I try to build protective factors (health-related skills) and developmental assets (building blocks of human development) for my students through my instruction, curriculum, and classroom management. In my curriculum, I have incorporated projects that focus on the importance of healthy family and peer relationships. In my instruction I have modeled online safety procedures that involve safe decision-making and refusal skills (ignoring online strangers or ignoring ads). In my classroom, I also define computer lab expectations that promote appropriate behavior:
- Come to class with clean hands.
- Operate only YOUR equipment properly.
- Monitors off!
- Push your chair in when you are done.
- Use your inside voice.
- Take care of your computer station and leave it the way you would like to find it.
- Eat and drink outside the computer lab.
- Raise your hand if you need help.
- Listen to the teacher’s directions carefully.
- Always work toward your best, not your neighbors’ best.
- Be sure to stay on task at hand.
Students are also recognized for participation in positive activities and rewarded team points.
I think the factors and assets that are relevant to 2nd graders are decision-making, defining expectations, and the promotion of health. Our 2nd graders work with online productivity tools (Gmail, Google Apps, and other Web 2.0 tools) so they encounter many ads and links that are not education-related. A big part of my technology class is to develop an awareness of these online features and help them to make safe decisions. It is also important to define and practice classroom expectations at this age. Technology increases student engagement, but their excitement might be disruptive to the learning environment. So it is crucial to practice the lab expectations so that students can learn in a safe, productive learning environment. I also try to promote the importance of health. I always share my healthy activities to classes. As a role model, I feel it is important to show them that I am active outside of school, and eat food that are good for my body.