Blog By Chris Maregedze: Trainer Komatsu
When learners feel they belong at school and in their classroom they also feel respected and ready to learn and actively contribute in the learning process. That’s why we as Maths Centre we strive to ensure that we create a class environment where every student feels able to contribute and be heard.
As human beings, one of the most essential needs we have is the need to belong. When that sense of belonging is there, learners throw themselves into the learning environment and actively participate. When that sense of belonging is not there, learners will alienate, marginalize, and step back. Classroom norms are one way to make sure everyone is on the same page about how to treat one another in the classroom spaces, and they are even more powerful when learners are involved creating them. Classes that go really well are the classes where you start off by reflecting on the norms and using those norms to articulate how the class will run.
In addition to giving learners a shared language to talk about the learning community, teachers can use specific strategies like problem solving, creative thinking, gamification and practical approach activities to engage learners in a topic no matter their starting point. With many learning needs in a classroom, this practice gives students time to think to themselves, as well as time to learn together. It also builds confidence because there are so many entry points for noticing and wondering. It gives everyone a voice in the classroom and allows learners to listen to each other’s ideas before they do the analysis. So, it’s like a way to collect information collaboratively, but allowing time to think first.”