If you ever find yourself thinking, “I want my students to have special memories, but I spend most of my time trying to keep the chaos at bay…”
Or, perhaps you’ve even been advised to forego the “special” times until your class shows increased self-discipline and is more attentive to learning.
Don’t worry. There’s hope for getting your classroom back on track! Abeka has considered the most common reasons why classroom discipline breaks down and incorporated solutions directly into the Abeka curriculum lessons plans, starting by creating consistency in the messaging.
1. Lack of consistent, balanced expectations
Inconsistency in any area tends toward confusion and imbalance—and inevitably a breakdown in classroom discipline. “Getting tougher” doesn’t solve the problems of inconsistency and imbalance. However, we cannot ignore the imposed discipline of direction and enforcement and correction and penalties—that is as bad as exclusively depending on it.
But consider also the imposed discipline of following a schedule, learning a good pattern, recognizing a familiar approach to work. Students are more apt to cooperate and learn self-control when they “know how to do it.” When teachers have a consistent plan, most students follow it, and problems are easily identified. When teachers do not follow a plan, it seems the whole class is out of control!
2. Students have too little work or not enough challenge
No one likes to be bored, least of all young people. But they do love challenges, and they love knowing stuff. Classes filled with learning are not boring. And neither are they chaotic.
Abeka Lesson plans keep the learning moving forward, plus, they’re a major preparation time-saver! They even contain optional extras if needed. If you stay on track with the lesson plans for each subject, your students will not run out of content to soak up. Each day has been laid out to keep your students engaged and learning. There’s even a script to follow if you want to use it.
3. Students cannot keep up with instruction
Don’t be the teacher who skips the review of previous material and the end of class reinforcement. Students need it. Experienced teachers may have learned the hard way that “I didn’t think they need all that” turns into “I don’t know why so many failed the test; we covered every page in the book.” True, the Abeka books are a teacher’s dream, but it is the curriculum lesson plans that provide the METHOD that keeps students on board and meeting goals.
4. You (the teacher) overestimated the attention span of the class
Abeka’s lesson plans are not intended to “be in charge.” Students need teachers—teachers who watch their faces, check their learning, answer their questions, and understand the development process. Do your best, however, to follow the suggested class time allotments in the curriculum lesson plans. You may feel you need more time, but keep in mind that the younger the student, the more often he or she must change gears. Also be aware that there is a reason some subjects are scheduled for morning and others for later in the day—and it has to do with attention span!
Abeka suggests staying pretty close to the plans the first time you use them. Give yourself a good chance to see how they work together throughout the day and across subjects.
As you get comfortable with the intentions behind the plans, allow yourself to flex them to best meet the needs of this year’s class.
Let the Abeka method help stop the chaos. Let the happy memories commence.
From an Appreciative Abeka User Abeka’s curriculum is the teaching tool that has given me the greatest value
because . . .
It sets me up for success.
Abeka lesson plans taught me systems that helped me from the get-go. Just the pacing and sequencing guidelines would have taken me years to develop. My confidence in it grew as I saw my students learning so much.
As the school year goes by, take notes. What’s working and what’s not working? It can be hard to look back and remember the details. So, if you have a planner, start to make it part of your routine to jot down the successes and failures you’re seeing and why you believe they are occurring. Next year, you’ll have something to look back on.
I appreciate the flexibility.
For my advanced kids, there are additional math problems in green and extra exercises in grammar. For my speedy students, I use the recommended enrichment ideas. For those struggling, the ongoing spiral review gives them the repetition they need. If I had to generate all of this, it would add hours to my work day.
I like the challenge of being sharpened.
Even though I’ve examined many curriculums over the years, I’ve spent my teaching career understanding and appreciating Abeka’s age-appropriate scope, the subject integration, and consistent methods. It is MY best tool; I can wield it with confidence to meet the needs of my classroom. It has made me a better teacher. It truly works!