What the future of my speech on optimal class size looks like…

and it doesn’t look that great.

Instead of memorizing my speech, I decided I needed to go to Target to get candies for my group tomorrow and candles to burn while I finish putting together my speech. Obviously I got distracted at target and spend hour and a half walking around. Once I got home, “I had to clean”. No I didn’t – my husband would not have minded a messy house because he knows I have school to worry about but I did that instead of preparing this speech. But, lets get this straight. I actually wanted to do this topic and I was very excited about my speech but for some reason I don’t want to put all my thoughts in order and memorize the speech. Maybe writing it out here might give me some sort of idea how to structure my notes and a motivation to finish it.

Let me share with you my notes on what I would like to say tomorrow morning with in 3 minutes I get for my presentation…

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How big is big?  The text suggests, we as educators need to create a learning environment for students were they feel emotionally and physically safe  and it is very difficult and less personal when the class sizes are large. But, large ratio and small ratio both have advantages and disadvantages.

Lets look at these problem one at a time. Small schools have limited curriculum offered, for example schools rural areas don’t offer classes like physics or chemistry. Students are involved in many curriculums at the same time, like year book, football, basketball, track, and newspaper. Teachers are teaching more than one area again like algebra and yearbook, track, football – you get the picture.

While, it is opposite when looking at big schools in big cities, teachers have to teach only one area but they can hardly get students to be invested in their studies when the class size is more than the average size of 11 students per class.  Teachers and students at this rate can’t get to know each other by which do not find achievements to work towards.

Both teachers and parents want  small schools, the factor of building cost comes in the middle and taxpayers prevent from it.

Class size of 20 students or less is optimal.

Teacher-student radio is used to measure the classroom size, which is some times misleading because it also includes administration and other district level personnel – making it look better than it really is.

Reducing the class size can help with students long term and short term effects.

Class size reduced from 25 – 15 saw a change in reading and math skills and the effect lasted through the end of high school. Low SES students actually graduated from high school with their diploma. And, students later took challenging courses and were able to attend college with larger classes. These changes were seen especially in low SES and African American students.

It also helps teachers since it will give them a chance to get to know their students strengths and weaknesses minus the amount of time wasted on classroom management, grading papers, and keeping track of all the record.

I guess this is the way I will be presenting it!

Toodle, A.

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