Teacher Developed Tools in Urban Schools

Teacher Developed Tools in Urban Schools









"More Than 40% of Low-Income Schools Don't Get a Fair Share of State and Local Funds"

-Department of Education Research Finds






Since many of the schools in urban areas do not have all of the high-tech equipment and resources, teachers working in urban classrooms much find ways to support their students by using tools and routines that they have created. It is crucial to have consistency with these self-developed tools in order to support students when it comes to meeting standards and preparing for testing. 


There are many different types of tools/routines that teachers can implement:  

1. Text Supports 

Because these teachers may not have access to an abundant amount of resources/computers, students need to have a chance to be exposed to all types of texts and information.  


In order to do this teachers need to be able to access texts online on their own and then bring them into the classroom. Teachers also need to be consistent throughout their grade level/subject area in order for the students to have a better understanding of the content.


If these schools do not have a consistent text book that they are using year to year they need something else that is consistent











Online websites with multiple texts


Create reading groups and activities based on grade level/reading level


Create packets using texts




RAZkids.com, readworks.org, nationalgeographic.com, newsela.com, scholastic.com, engagenewyork.com


2. Tech Support

You should expose students to as many instances of technology that is avaliable to your use. This is specifially important now that standardized testing is all computerized, students need exposure time to become familar with computers. 






Allow students to have library/computer lab time--if no personal computers in the classroom, use school sets of labtops regularly if provided


Play videos/clips in order to give students real life experiences and help develop prior knowledge previous to a lesson 


Use DocCam/Projectors to show worksheets to the class in order to save paper and allow the whole class to see the work. This can also be done by projecting websites if the classroom has one computer to teach students how to navigate the web by watching the teacher. 






3. Classroom Management

Having a cohesive classroom is important, espcially in urban areas, in order to keep control of the environment and to create an area of respect where students feel safe and comfortable. As a teacher in order to be successful in an urban school setting you must know yourself, know your environment, and constantly keep high expectations for your students. 



Arrange classroom in groups to create collaborative learning, encourage talking buring group discussion/work so that kids are not as tempted to talk during direct instruction or other times that are disruptive


Positively reinforce if students are having meaningful converstations and working well together. This also is a way to create relationships and practice polite talk amongst peers


Get to know students home lives and what they care about or are involved in in order to better understand their characteristis and personalities in the classroom as well as their learning style


Use surveys at the beginning of the year to get started


Have one-on-one meetings periodically to keep up with the kids and set goals. This shows you care about each child's individual success and are taking the time to get to know them as people and not just learners. 


**See 2nd Video about Classroom Management in Chicago Public Schools


















"When a teacher cares about a student whole heartedly, there is no limit to how much they can help them. " 

-See Ellen Video



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