Consistent parent involvement dramatically increases the likelihood that quality learning will occur. Parents play such a crucial role in their children’s academic, physical, social, and moral development that we, as teachers, make a huge mistake if we view them as anything other than indispensable collaborators. If we are committed to bringing the best out of our students, we need to build and maintain long-term relationships of loyalty, trust, and respect with their parents. Investing the time and effort to work closely with parents throughout the year maximizes our chances of helping students reach their incredible potential.
By the end of the course, you will be able to establish a strong home-school connection with parents. Specific topics include:
• keeping parents informed and involved in a variety of meaningful ways
• creating a favorable first impression with parents
• making the most of major events such as Back to School Night, Open House, Parent Conferences, & Student-led Conferences
• helping parents help their children at home.
"Great insight. Very informative." - Vanessa Khani
"This course gives some excellent advice on the best way to make sure there is 2-way communication with the home. Really smart ideas coupled with practical suggestions. I highly recommend!" - Marc Fienberg
Traditional classroom management approaches tend to focus on getting students to comply with rules through the use of extrinsic rewards and punishments. These coercive approaches produce, at best, short-term obedience and have the potential to thwart the development of many positive student behaviors and dispositions that we promote in our classrooms. This course presents an alternative classroom management approach rooted in intrinsic motivation and designed to create a learning environment in which children work hard, work together, and work with purpose.
By the end of the course, you will be able to implement a progressive approach to classroom management that fosters responsibility, nurtures intrinsic motivation, and brings out the best in students. Specific topics include:
• encouraging students to invest their hearts and minds in the class mission
• establishing a strong sense of purpose in your classroom so that students find meaning in their work, experience joy, and understand the many reasons why pursuing an education matters so much for their futures
• empowering students with lasting habits of mind and habits of character
• establishing the routines, procedures, and expectations necessary to create a classroom environment in which students consistently behave well and produce quality work
• seeking opportunities to engage and inspire students
• understanding the problems associated with the use of extrinsic motivation
• learning how to nurture the intrinsic motivation to learn and grow that all students possess.
"I had the privilege of hearing Steve speak in person on this topic at a local conference and left wanting more! This class delivers! Very comprehensive and full of great methods and ideas. I encourage educators, facilitators, and administrators to take this course!"
- Sandra Bowers Courtois-Lawrence
"The information was delivered in an organized, applicable manor. great ideas for running a super classroom." - Patrice Law Murphy
"I found Steve's course very informative. It gave me some insight on how to prepare for and support my son's education and I now have better insight about what to look for in my son's teachers. I also found that many of the tools discussed can be replicated (with some tweaking) in my home in order to create a family environment that will encourage positive behavior...for all of us!" - Sandy King
"This course went well beyond my expectations! Fantastic insights into creative ways to motivate my students intrinsically. I never realized how simplistic and inadequate simply offering rewards was. There is really a lot of brilliant, insightful information in this course that I'm already using." - Marc Fienberg
"Steve Reifman has captured the essence of accomplished teaching and how these important elements contribute to student learning. His sense of classroom structure, mutual respect and knowing your students enhance the learning environment. Steve's course, his books and his presentations are very practical and easily implemented for both novice and experienced educators. I highly recommend his course for educators at all teaching levels." - Clara Carroll
"Steve Reifman has done the deep dive on what it takes to improve learning for young people. I particularly like the emphasis on techniques that apply not only to the four walls of the classroom but to the big classroom we call "Life". Kudos for the great work!" - Chris Kahn
Steve offers two distinct types of workshops, one based on the philosophical framework that comprises his UCLA Extension course and his book Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8 and the other based on the brain-friendly learning strategies found in his book Rock Your Studentsâ€™ World. Each type is described below, and each type can be easily adapted to fit a variety of time formats, ranging from hour-long conference sessions to multiple-day course offerings.
"Since I worked with Steve at Roosevelt Elementary School, I have observed hundreds of teachers. I have rarely seen any who approach his level of skill in building student-centered learning and self-reflective learning for young people. No one comes close to Steve in creating self-directed learners! If you have a chance to learn from Steve as a child or an adult, you are indeed fortunate- he is a gifted teacher, a role-model for all of us."
- Amy Fowler, Educational Consultant
This activity-based workshop is intended for classroom teachers who are looking to incorporate music, movement, and storytelling strategies into their standards-based instruction to improve student learning and transform their overall classroom environment. Strategies that incorporate movement, music, and storytelling offer unparalleled novelty, interest, stimulation, excitement, and joy, and as a result, students become emotionally involved in these activities, pay more attention, remember better, and, in short, learn better. In addition, the activities featured improve class morale, build self-esteem and enthusiasm for learning, and increase feelings of student â€œconnectednessâ€ to the class and to one another. Specifically, this session focuses on the following topics: