most important factor in improved student learning is with an effective
teacher. Written ten times a year, Harry and Rosemary Wong
feature effective teachers and administrators and what they do to
enhance student learning. The columns provide specific strategies
and activities that you can download and use. An archive of
past articles can be found at the end of every column.
strategies and activities are all based on the teachings and works
of Harry and Rosemary Wong and they are happy to share with the
profession the work of effective teachers. If you have an
effective strategy or technique that works, please share this by
sending it to [email protected].
The Wongs will consider it for sharing in future Effective Teaching
About Harry and Rosemary
and Rosemary Wong are teachers. Harry is a native of San Francisco
and taught middle school and high school science. Rosemary
is a native of New Orleans and taught K-8, including working as
the school media coordinator and student activity director.
Wong has been awarded the Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award, the
Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology
Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal. He was
recently selected as one of the most admired people in the world
of education by readers of Instructor magazine. Rosemary
was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has
been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year
Wong is the most sought after speaker in education today.
He has been called "Mr. Practicality" for his common sense,
user-friendly, no-cost approach to managing a classroom for high-level
a million teachers worldwide have heard his message. Because
he is fully booked for two years, he has agreed to and has invited
his wife to join him in doing a monthly column for teachers.net
so that more people can hear their message.
About Their Work...
Harry and Rosemary
Wong are committed to bringing quality and dignity to the materials
they produce. For this, they have formed their own publishing company,
of which Rosemary is the CEO. They have dedicated their lives
to leaving a legacy in education and making a difference in the
lives of teachers and students.
Their latest contribution
to helping teachers succeed is an eLearning course, Classroom
Management with Harry and Rosemary Wong. The
course can be taken in private at the learner's convenience.
The outcome of the course is a 2 inch binder with a personalized
Classroom Management Action Plan.
This Action Plan is
similar to the organized and structured plan used by all successful
teachers. Details for the classroom management course can
be seen at www.ClassroomManagement.com.
The Wongs have written
The First Days of School, the best-selling
book ever in education. Over 3 million copies have been sold.
The third edition
of The First Days of School includes an
added bonus, an Enhanced CD featuring Harry Wong. The Enhanced CD,
Never Cease to Learn, is dedicated to
those teachers who know that the more they learn, the more effective
The Wongs have also
produced the DVD series, The Effective Teacher,
winner of the Telly Award for the best educational video of the
past twenty years and awarded the 1st place Gold Award in the International
Film and Video Festival.
They have released
a new set of CDs with Harry Wong LIVE, called How
to Improve Student Achievement, recorded at one of
his many presentations. He is the most sought after speaker
in education and his presentations are legendary.
When the book, video
series, CD, and eLearning course are used together, they form the
most effective staff training tool for developing effective teachers.
Staff developers and administrators who would like to know how to
implement the aforementioned book, video series, and CD are encouraged
to consult the book, New Teacher Induction: How to Train,
Support, and Retain New Teachers. Information about
these products can be found by visiting the publisher's website
The First Days of School with Enhanced CD, Never
Cease to Learn
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
$23.96 from Amazon.com More
The Effective Teacher (Video Set)
Presented by Harry Wong
Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators,
Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education
by Peter M. Senge (Editor), Nelda H. Cambron McCabe, Timothy Lucas,
Art Kleiner, Janis Dutton, Bryan Smith
Bob Marlowe is fresh out of college, clueless but excited over
being a new teacher. With 17 boxes of activities he can't wait
to make learning fun. So he starts the first day of school with
his most favorite fun activity and then spends the rest of the
school year chasing after the class.
Melissa Pantoja scripted her first day of school. She is like a coach who scripts the first 25 plays of a game. A teacher would not "wing it" in a classroom any more than a coach would "wing it" on a football field or a pilot would wing it on a flight from Baltimore to Kansas City! The successful and effective teacher goes in with a plan and modifies that plan if conditions change.
Melissa began the first day of her first year of teaching with a plan. She scripted the first day of school as follows:
First Day of School
Mrs. Melissa Pantoja
Greet each student at the door:
hand each child a classroom rules sheet (goes in notebook)
direct them toward their assigned seat (alphabetical)
tell child to read and follow the instructions written on the board
have instructions written on board for them to start on
finish greeting the last to arrive in class
Welcome students to class and introduce myself:
talk about family (husband, kids)
where I'm from and where I live
tell them why I wanted to teach
Arriving and leaving class:
teach procedure for arriving in class
teach procedure for dismissal from class
Explain rules and daily procedures:
refer to the rules that are posted at front
explain discipline plan and refer to poster
go over procedures and refer to poster
talk about "We missed you" chart
each person will have a number that represents them
the number will be on all of their art papers and on their art folder
this will help all of us to keep our papers straight
when writing your number on something put your grade level before your number (1st-5; 2nd-8 and so on)
Respecting the classroom and the art supplies:
refer to classroom rules and procedures
teach them to be responsible for the art supplies and room; teach procedures
Teachers things and students things:
some things are only for me
other things are for you to use as you need it
Explain thematic lessons and such:
will be going along with what regular teacher is teaching
everyone will get a chance to go to all the centers
art centers board will have names (numbers) that tell us who does what that day
each child will be taking a portfolio home
papers will be stored (filed) in a container until end of semester (or year?)
this is so that the child can record their grades and keep track of them for themselves
to store vocabulary words for future use
to write a weekly journal entry about what they liked most about the weeks lesson
At the end of her first year as a teacher, Melissa Pantoja writes:
"My first day of school was a success. Each of my students had a place to sit and an art number, which they would use for the duration of the year. The overhead projector was ready with seatwork on the board and they worked quietly until I was ready to introduce myself. I let them know what I expected and that each of them would be successful.
"Classroom management and having a procedure for everything is a key factor in success, but I have also found that having a place for everything and everything in it's place is also very important. The longer it takes to find a paper or get out work for students who have been absent, the more distracted other students become.
"I feel that studying The First Days of School and using the suggested strategies was a key factor in the overwhelming joy I feel when thinking about this first year."
If you do not plan, the students will plan for you.
The effective teacher organizes and structures the classroom
for his/her success, but most importantly, for the success of
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