Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Classroom Management: Strategies 1-4

Ok...so I started reading this awesome book and I've decided to post by strategies. The first section is preventative management practices. So many problems can be avoided if we think ahead. I totally believe in this! I am not the best at dealing harshly with situations when they arise...I would much prefer to prevent the situation from occurring and thus I do not have to deal with an uncomfortable situation! :)

Strategy 1: Social Cues:  Social cues consist of stating your desired behavior through praise of someone who is doing that behavior. The premise is that other students desire our praise and will fall into line in order to get that praise. For example: a couple of students are chatting so you comment on how prepared to learn another student is (which gets the off-task student's attention). I try to do this as much as I can :)

Strategy 2: Attention Signals:  Adamson says that teachers should begin by moving to a central location in the room where they can be seen by all students. Choose a signal (such as a bell, gong, phrase, clap, etc.) that you can live with and that is portable. I chose the phrase "Spongebob"and had the kids follow with "Squarepants" one year and regretted it terribly! Next time...I will choose something I can deal with several times a day...every day! LOL  Adamson says it is very important to take the time to make eye contact with EVERY student before moving on. Do not settle for less! They will not take you seriously or believe what you say is important enough to stop what they are doing. At this point, it is appropriate to use a social cue to let students know what is accepted behavior.  Then, begin the lesson immediately! Nothing will hold their attention forever! :)

Strategy 3: Self-Starters:  I call these "bell-ringers"and totally believe in them! I always have something on their desks when they come in in the morning. They must be well-aware of your expected routine for entering the classroom and then know they are to get immediately started on their seat work.  Adamson suggests that these activities only take about 5-10 minutes to complete and they need to be on or a bit below level (or review) so that they can work independently of you to complete them. I prefer for them to take a bit longer because I have a terrible time getting anything done in 5-10 minutes...especially in the mornings!  Adamson says make sure you take this assignment up...but he suggests rarely grading it. They do need to be accountable for it however.

Strategy 4: Proximity Control:  This is simply making yourself available/visible during all times. As we all know...students will usually stop doing whatever it is they do not need to be doing if they think the teacher is nearby. It is very important (as a preventative) to make it known that you could be anywhere...at anytime! There should not be "blind spots" or "safe areas" for students to misbehave.

Well...these are the first 4 strategies! Let me know what you think and if you want to know more!