Strategies for Creating a Positive
Igniting a Spark in Your Students
Throughout our session,
whenever a person within the
group does something that they
deserve a “pat on the back for”,
place a sticker by their name.
“The teacher who is attempting
to teach without inspiring the
pupil with a desire to learn is
hammering on cold iron.”
Participants will understand the importance of
creating a positive classroom community.
Participants will explore strategies for creating a
positive classroom community.
What is your Gift?
What gift do you possess that makes you
Celebrate the Uniqueness of
Identify ways that you can
celebrate each student for their
Make the Room Theirs
“Students like to see their work displayed.
In a classroom where students work is
‘everywhere,’ students feel a sense of
both pride and ownership”. ( Breaux, 2003)
When you move into a new home,
how do you make it yours?
Focus on the Positives in Your
Imagine a time that someone
acknowledged you in a positive
way. What did they do to make you
feel that way?
Focus on the Positives in Your
Learning is an emotional activity. Cognitive
scientists say that positive emotions and
relationships enhance learning and memory.
Thus, the classroom, more than just a physical
space, can be a setting where understanding is
enhanced by addressing the social and
emotional dimensions of learning.
On your organizer, list a few ideas
you can use to focus on the
positives in your classroom.
What the Research Says……
To create the environment necessary for learning to take
place, the teacher needs to establish a positive social
climate. Such a setting has been defined by Schmuck
and Schmuck (1975) as one in which the students expect
one another to do their intellectual best and to support
one another; students share high amounts of potential
influence-both with one another and with the teacher;
high levels of attraction exist for the group as a whole and
between classmates; norms are supportive for getting
academic work done, as well as for maximizing individual
differences; and communication is open and primarily in
the form of dialogue.
What the Research Says……(cont.)
Students have to see a commonality in their goals
and feel a part of the whole (Schmuck and
Schmuck 1968) .
A key element of effective instruction is helping
students to establish positive attitudes and
perceptions about the classroom and about
learning. (Marzano, 2006)
Conveying a positive and enthusiastic attitude
toward your students may alleviate many
behavior problems before they start. Teacher-
student relationships are key to effective
classroom management. (Marzano, 2003)
How will you…
ignite the spark in your
BRAIN-COMPATIBLE LESSON PLAN
Opener or Icebreaker: Slide 3/8 minutes
Post or pose different classroom scenarios around the room (large group) or provide a handout of
scenarios (small group). Have each participant write words to describe their feelings in the given
scenario either on chart paper or at their table. Discuss responses to each scenario briefly. Identify
the positive scenarios and pose the question, “What can you do to create a classroom community
that looks like, feels like and sounds like the ones we have just identified? Jot down a few ideas on
the organizer. Come back to this at the end of the session.
Lesson Objective(s): Slide 4
Participants will understand the importance of creating a positive classroom community.
Participants will explore strategies for creating a positive classroom community.
Assessment (Traditional/Authentic): How will you know participants have learned the content?
Participants will write on flames to create a visual reminder of the strategies one can use to create a
classroom community. Informal observations of responses on the three-column chart will also
provide a basis for ongoing assessment throughout the presentation.
Ways to Gain/Maintain Attention: How will you gain and maintain participants’ attention?
Consider need, novelty, meaning, or emotion.
Music, movement, varied activities, reflections.
Content Chunks: How will you divide and teach the content to engage participants’ brains?
Lesson Segment 1: What Is Your Gift Activity
Learning Activity: Slide 5/6 minutes This slide has a gift on it with the question, “What gift
do you possess that makes you unique?” Participants will reflect on this question and
complete the gift organizer with a gift that makes them special or unique. Participants will
share out upon completion.
Processing Activity: Slide 6/6 minutes Have participants share their ideas with one another
by writing one idea onto a “ribbon” that can then be posted on a poster of a gift and then
included in a gallery walk at the end of the session. While they are working, post their
“gifts” on a wall or board. This will lead into the next activity.
Lesson Segment 2:
Learning Activity: Slide 7/6 minutes Ask participants to imagine that they are moving into a
new home. Ask them what they would do to make their new home feel like theirs. Have
them share ideas within their groups. Then, ask them to think about how they can provide
opportunities that allow the children to take ownership of their classroom. Ask participants to
share with their table the effect posting student work could have on their students and
Processing Activity: Slide 7/6 minutes Each participant should add ideas they have in the
appropriate column of their graphic organizer. Then choose one idea that they have, place it
on a “banner”, and post it around the room
Lesson Segment 3:
Learning Activity: Slide 8/5 minutes Take a few moments to discuss how it feels to be
recognized for the positive things that you do. Have the participants find someone in the
room that they would like to acknowledge positively.
Processing Activity: Slide 9/6 minutes Have participants list ideas they can use to focus on
the positives in their classrooms in the appropriate column on their chart. Participants will
choose one idea to post on the plus sign using a sticky note.
Closure: Slide 10/12 minutes
Participants will revisit their anticipation guide (Looks like, sounds like, feels like…) to add their
new learning. Participants will record one strategy they plan to use on a flame that will be posted on
the candle (posted on wall). Give students an additional flame that they can record questions they
still have about creating a classroom community. Students can take a moment to visit all that has
been posted on the wall and add to their 3 column organizer.
Evaluation: How will you have participants evaluate the training session? How will you (the
presenter) note what worked and what didn’t work?
Evaluation is part of their closing activity.
Brain-Compatible Strategies: Which will you use to deliver content?
Brainstorming/Discussion Drawing/Artwork Games
Graphic Organizers/Semantic Humor Manipulatives/Experiments/
Maps/Word Webs Mnemonic Devices Models
Metaphor/Analogy/Simile Storytelling Movement
Music/Rhythm/Rhyme/Rap Technology Reciprocal Teaching/Cooperative
Visualization/Guided Imagery Visuals Learning
Writing/Journals Reading/Discussion Role-play/Drama/Pantomime/
Other ____________________ Charades
Adapted from Marcia Tate 2005
You walk into the room and someone is there
to greet you with a smile and says “Good
Throughout the day, someone that you know
and respect acknowledges you for your
Your hard work is acknowledged in someway.
Igniting a Spark in Your Students
Celebrate the Make the Room Focus on the Positives
Uniqueness of Your Theirs in Your Classroom
My Gift is…