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Teachers can set up clear expectations for behavior and classroom management techniques using two methods: establishing clear rules and procedures, and providing consequences for student behavior.
Research indicates the significance of developing clear rules and procedures for general classroom behavior, seat work, group work, transitional periods and interruptions, rules for going to the bathroom, using materials and equipment, and the start and end of each period or subject.
If possible, the classroom rules and procedures should involve both teacher and student input and should be consented by both parties (Glasser, 1969).
Classroom Management Consequences In addition to designing classroom rules and procedures, it is necessary for the teacher to recognize students' behavior by reinforcing acceptable behavior and providing negative consequences for unacceptable behavior. ** It is important not to ignore inappropriate behavior or be sidetracked by students denying, arguing, or blaming someone else for the misbehavior. Instead, listen to legitimate explanations**
Strategies from Stage and Quiroz (1997) for Classroom Management Consequences to Occur
Prompt the class about specific expected behaviors through prearranged signals.
Use extensive and various verbal and physical reactions to students' misbehavior.
Provide tangible recognition of appropriate
When a student misbehaves, speak clearly
and use an appropriate tone of voice in a
pitch that is to some extent elevated
from normal classroom speech .
Stage and Quiroz (continued)
Use policies for group work that hold the entire group responsible for behavioral expectations.
Use assertive body language by maintaining a firm and consistent posture and facial expression
that is consistent with the
body language, facing the
Persist until students
respond with the
Types of Motivation There are two types of student motivation: Intrinsic motivation : satisfies a student’s curiosity, the need to know and feelings of competence or growth. Extrinsic motivation : comes from outside the learner and has to do with external rewards for completing a task. The overuse of extrinsic rewards can eventually undermine the intrinsic rewards that students would gain. It is important to use extrinsic rewards minimally. Students might come to rely too heavily on what they stand to physically gain from completing a task, rather than the more important academic gains.
Motivation is an essential component of classroom management. Therefore, teachers should plan for motivation in the same way they plan for instruction. When teachers and parents nurture a young child’s natural curiosity and encourage exploration, they are sending the message that learning is worthwhile, fun and interesting.
Every lesson should plan for student success. When a student can expect to do well at a given task, the need for classroom management intervention is greatly minimized.
Some quick ways that teachers can do this:
Meet the motivational needs of students by adjusting praise, guidance and reinforcement.
Treat students as eager learners; they are more likely to behave as eager learners!
Establish a supportive environment – be encouraging and patient, try to take away negative reinforcement.
Monitor the difficulty of the goals and tasks that students choose for themselves.
Express interest in the content, and project enthusiasm – students often find motivation knowing that the teacher enjoys the topic.
Having an unmotivated student is not uncommon. It is important that teachers recognize that these students might “not care about their academics” because they are feeling discouraged.
In these situations the teacher should:
Help students concentrate on the task at hand, rather than the fear of performing poorly.
Encourage the student to retrace their steps to find the source of the problem.
Promote alternative solutions to each problem rather than giving up on only one method.
Help the student to discover where they are going wrong, be it lack of effort or information, rather than their supposed lack of ability.
Helping Unmotivated Students
Every student has intrinsic motivation within them, sometimes the teacher just has to find their own in order to guide their students on the path toward success.
Post the day’s assignments
at front of class for all to see.
Be prepared to be flexible.
Greet students when they enter the classroom.
Have quick access to school’s timetable for reference and time management.
Have a ‘bag of tricks’ resource kit.
Set high behavioral expectations by:
Using professional dress and
Restating existing classroom rules .
Posting 5 or fewer rules if no rules posted, with consequences and rewards.
Providing clear and specific directions.
Manage with Confidence
Use posture, demeanor and voice to project confidence.
Walk around the room to use proximity and assessment to assert control.
Keep students on task by immediate involvement in the lesson.
Be observant of and highlight on task
Immediately redirect any off-task
Follow-up on assigned consequences .
‘ Bag of Tricks’
You never know what you will find/have available in the classroom, so be prepared with:
A ‘hook’ prop to engage students and share your personality (puzzles, video, favorite book/quote, word games or other games).
Books for various grade levels for
Lesson plans for various grade
levels with generalized
Worksheets for various grade levels, enough for class set (e.g. crosswords, word matches).
A couple of activities that cross grade levels and strands (ex. chocolate chip cookie mining).
Foster trust, respect and mature interaction with design . (Streich, 2009)
Turn classroom into “true
learning center.” (Streich, 2009)
Work the Crowd
Manage group behavior more easily by “working the crowd.” (Jones, 2003)
Access to all students is important
Use teacher proximity, mobility, and access as “instruments of management.” (Jones, 2003)
Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones is a great source for more information about “working the crowd.”
Reorganize the Room
Move teacher’s desk away from room front. (Jones, 2003)
Arrange furniture to get students closer to teacher/room front. (Jones, 2003)
Place trash cans and pencil sharpeners to reduce distractions and ease use. (Wagaman, 2008)
Improve teacher movement
and access to all parts of room
by eliminating obstacles .
Plan to Improve Teaching/Learning
Reduce clutter and disorganization. (Wagaman, 2008)
Make space for paper, tools, materials, and technology. (Wagaman, 2008)
Improve proximity to all students . (Jones, 2003)
Keep proximity in mind for a variety of
seating arrangements. (Jones, 2003)
An interior loop allows room to walk around
All teachers strive for the prevention of behavior problems and find ways to use instructional time more effectively.
It is important to tell your student what is expected, model the expected behavior, and then allow students to practice.
There are 5 kinds of routines according to
“ Teaching Effective Classroom Routines”:
Basic Student Routines
Responsible Student Routines
1. Teacher Routines
Signal for Attention
Responsible Student Routines
3. Basic Student Routines
Organizing Student Materials
Request Teacher Assistance
Returning from Nutrition Break or Recess
Behavior for Sub
A procedure becomes a routine when the student does it automatically without prompting or supervision. It is important to have very clear and concise procedures so that students are less likely to act up in frustration.
“ Positive reinforcement is anything that occurs after a behavior that increases the likelihood that the behaviour will reoccur.” (Special Connections) “ The results of current research indicate that an over reliance on punitive policies is not only ineffective at changing behaviour … but possibly exacerbates problems.” (Morrissey et. al)
Types of Group Positive Reinforcement
Sounds simple, but often teachers forget how important this is.
Well Done certificates, bookmarks, stickers
The class collects points that earn them
something, an activity, a reward, pizza party,
trip, movie, etc.
“ One approach could be to make one activity contingent on another: students can earn time in one favored activity by performing well in another.” (ERIC)
Students get coupons, ballots for good behavior they write their names on them and enter them into a draw at the end of a given period of time, for a prize.
Students earn points, tokens, or coupons by demonstrating desired behavior and saving them up to buy prizes or rewards.
For more information on setting up a token economy visit http://www.usu.edu/teachall/text/behavior/LRBIpdfs/Token.pdf
A Different Take on Token Economies
Have an auction!
Students save up tokens and then have an opportunity to bid on rewards
Sample rewards include; using the good chair for a period (teachers chair), 15 minutes in the gym at recess, working in the hall with a partner, having a period on the computer (teacher chooses activity), having a 1-day extension on an assignment, no homework pass, sit with a friend, silent reading in the library, recess extension of 5 minutes for the whole class (one who bid on it got to pick the day), etc.
** An advantage to using the action system is that the students who consistently demonstrate desired behaviors have more tickets to bid with at the action and usually get the best prizes. Students can save their tickets for later actions to get better prizes (Jackson)
Keep data to determine whether an approach is working. Compare behaviour during baseline and treatment phases. (ERIC)
For example track how many coupons you are giving out and to whom. (This is also useful when it comes to filling out the “learning skills” section of the report card.)
Re-assess effectiveness and make adjustments accordingly.
Consider integrating other behavior management techniques.
Students to Learn. Retrieved on 2010/06/13 from http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=BbJJzPLe_9IC&oi=fnd&pg=PP13&dq=motivation+and+classroom+management&ots=gqBAjzlHUI&sig=MsnCguTJQZHNyt2wMpFsUMYtHSU#v=onepage&q=motivation%20and%20classroom%20management&f=false
Byer, John L., “A Comprehensive Method for Effective Substitute Teaching,”