Mike Willmarth

Napa, CA, United States

About Mike

I'm passionate about

Education and social awareness

Comments & conversations

165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we get students to adopt specific classroom procedures without the use of negative consequences (punishment) or rewards?
Lesley - In this instance my idea of a successful learner is someone who can learn the required material. I don't think I'm imposing a system of how to learn though I am imposing a minimum system of organization. By having their materials readily accessible, students will be in a position to choose their preferred method of study. They can use past tests as a tool for review, individually and/or with study teams; they can review sections of the textbook that tie into the practice work done at home and in class; they can use online resources tied to what we have been studying. Without access to what we have worked on it becomes much more difficult for students to identify the skills to study. Thank you for your response. These conversations are really helping me prepare for introducing and justifying my expectations to my students.
165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we get students to adopt specific classroom procedures without the use of negative consequences (punishment) or rewards?
Barry - Thank you for acknowledging how negatively the TED community feels about policies that are controlling or restrictive. Many in the community prefer to comment about the state of education and the ways in which the macro system should be giving students greater choice in what they learn. Mine is not a macro policy role; my responsibility is to help students become successful learners within the existing system. I have been looking at leadership resources; thanks for the suggestion about salesmanship resources.
165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we get students to adopt specific classroom procedures without the use of negative consequences (punishment) or rewards?
Paul - You're right that I don't want students scrambling at the last minute to get organized. While I know that may work for some students, it usually doesn't work for the ones least inclined but most in need of organization. These students need role models for how to be a successful learners and the best role models are their peers. As for the horribly boring tests and reports, those are not items I've "thought up". Those are tests required by our district and reports that outline students' success on the required tests. I can have whatever opinion I want to about the tests, but I don't get to decide not to give them. Finally, the goal behind the "What I am thinking about" paper is to help students gauge their level of engagement. Whatever they learn in the future will take engagement. If they can become more self-aware as to how well they engage, they will be better able to avoid the things that become distractions. The most important skills these students need to learn is how to be learners. It seems professionally irresponsible to have a set of standards for language arts, math and science, but to leave the fundamental skills of how to be a successful learner for students to discover of their own.
165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we get students to adopt specific classroom procedures without the use of negative consequences (punishment) or rewards?
I'm considering a system whereby all students need a binder or single folder with sections for: - Home and class practice - Exit problems - “What are you thinking about right now?” pages - Returned tests and weekly Pacent reports All students will need a binder or single folder with the above listed section labeled. Students would not have the option to substitute other forms of organizing the class materials.
165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we get students to adopt specific classroom procedures without the use of negative consequences (punishment) or rewards?
Several respondents have asked for more specificity about the type of organizational program I want to put in place this year. Below is one, fairly simple, organizational tool I want all students to use: Students need a binder or single folder with sections for: - Home and class practice - Exit problems - “What I am thinking about right now?” pages (designed to help students monitor their engagement in class) - Returned tests and weekly Pacent reports All students will need a binder or single folder with the above listed section labeled. Students may not substitute other forms of organizing the class materials. To some, it may seem controlling to dictate a specific organization system for all students. It is. If everyone is using the same program we can provide better support for students who struggle with organization. Admittedly, this runs counter to those who promote a ROWE system. Or those who promote a system that allows students to find a method that best works for them. While both of these approaches may seem more respectful of students’ individual differences, given the dual goals of creating a system that is both efficient and effective I have elected to impose the uniform system described above. All of that said, my current concern is about best practices for motivation without resorting to if-then rewards or punishments. Thank you in advance for your input.
165068
Mike Willmarth
Posted about 2 years ago
Without the use of negative consequences (punishments), how do we get unmotivated or oppositional students to follow classroom instructions?
Mitch - Mitch - While that may be a good solution long-term, as I explained to another respondent the system in which my students and I work is one that requires students to show a given level of mastery in a set of skills that neither they or I select. Students who do not show the required level of mastery will still be moved on to the next course in the sequence, however they may be required to concurrently take a support class to help them acquire mastery in the previous set of skills. This support class comes at the expense of taking an elective which they would probably find more interesting. I want to help them acquire mastery of the required skills on the first go around so that they don't miss out on the elective choices later.