CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 13 . . . . March 1, 2002
The term "class meetings" has been around for a long time, but the concept has been used with varying degrees of success. This book outlines a structure that can be used to help ensure that a favorable outcome is reached. In the current climate of zero tolerance towards bullying, the use of class meetings would be very useful, as the goal is to improve self-concept, encourage open discussion and to improve cooperation among students. The book is laid out as a "how to" guide to setting up, developing and maintaining class meetings.
contents include why teachers should make time available for class meetings,
a proposed model for the meetings, how to get ready for the meetings,
how to run an effective meeting, how to create a respectful environment,
and how to celebrate the success that is sure to happen if you follow
the steps that are so clearly outlined. I wish that I had had this book
when I was in the classroom because the ideas and suggestions are clear,
concise and easy to follow. Depending on your class, with modifications
for some students, success can be achieved.
One chapter deals with how to build the child's self-concept through techniques such as personality packs, silent messages, "Me" mandalas, Student of the Week. Student teachers will especially appreciate the examples of letters to parents, and experienced teachers will find some new ideas as to how they could adapt some of their present practices. A discussion of how teachers would like their classrooms to be is valuable for any teacher. We all strive for a caring, "community" learning environment, and we are always looking for new ideas to accomplish this idea.
The author gives suggestions for assessing how well the classmates have fulfilled their responsibilities in the class meetings. Blackline masters of how to evaluate a mandala, an oral presentation, and a personal best self evaluation are documented. Specific examples of goals and how to evaluate their attainment are described. Suggestions for teacher observations, interesting ideas for celebrations at the end of a term and awards are listed.
this concise book, Styles has included actual comments from students
about what they have learned from participating in class meetings. It
is important that teachers hear what students feel and whether they
understand what we are trying to do.
This brief book would be useful for teachers already in the field as well as for student teachers who are preparing to enter the profession.
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reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.