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Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

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Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

  1. 1. Creating a Positive Classroom Environment Source:
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>How to structure the physical environment </li></ul><ul><li>How to structure the emotional environment </li></ul><ul><li>The role of self-esteem in the classroom </li></ul>
  3. 3. Structuring the Physical Environment <ul><ul><li>Konza, Grainger & Bradshaw (2001) in their book, Classroom Management: A Survival Guide explain that the physical environment of a classroom explains a lot about your expectations as a teacher. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Structuring the Physical Environment <ul><li>Desk arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>Student placement </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom decoration </li></ul><ul><li>Music in the classroom </li></ul>
  5. 5. Desk Arrangement <ul><li>Desks in groups, with students facing each other, can help stimulate student discussion </li></ul>Source:
  6. 6. Desk Arrangement <ul><li>Desks in single or double rows are good for demonstrations and independent work </li></ul>Source:
  7. 7. Desk Arrangement <ul><li>Desks in u-shapes are recommended where possible </li></ul>source:
  8. 8. Desk Arrangement <ul><li>Desks in workstations are suited for students who have developed self management skills </li></ul>Source:
  9. 9. Desk Arrangement <ul><li>Remember, all seating arrangements should accommodate an inclusive learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Foreman (1996) notes that some classrooms may require free and quiet spaces to facilitate learning </li></ul>
  10. 10. Student Placement <ul><li>Place easily distracted students away from each other, doorways, windows and areas of high traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Preferably, place to one side of the classroom, close to the front </li></ul><ul><li>An inclusive classroom should place students in areas of the class best suited to their needs </li></ul>
  11. 11. Classroom Decoration <ul><li>Students like to see their own work displayed, even in High Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Class-made posters help students develop a sense of belonging to the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Plants and animals can have positive effects on the classroom (Nicholls, 2006) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Music in the Classroom <ul><li>Music can be a great addition to any classroom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use as reward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create positive mood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps broaden musical experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In inclusive classroom music can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comfort/calm and help focus (some students) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Structuring the Emotional Environment “ It is the teacher’s responsibility to value each and every one of the students in their class, so that each student feels special and important.” (Groundwater-Smith et al, 1998, p. 95)
  14. 14. Structuring the Emotional Environment <ul><li>The bond between a teacher and student is much more important for students with management and behavioural issues such as ADHD and Asperger’s. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Structuring the Emotional Environment <ul><li>ADHD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students need extra motivation so they can maintain attention, work consistently, and avoid boredom associated with repetitive tasks. (eg. Maths) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Asperger’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A bond with the teacher can encourage, inspire and greatly assist them. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Knowing and Liking You <ul><li>Who you are </li></ul><ul><li>What you stand for </li></ul><ul><li>What you will ask them to do </li></ul><ul><li>What you will not ask them to do </li></ul><ul><li>What you will do for them </li></ul><ul><li>What you will not do for them </li></ul>(Glasser, 1993, p.32)
  17. 17. Strategies <ul><li>Greet students personally </li></ul><ul><li>Make frequent eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate rules and routines with students </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge positive behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Use positive language </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with students outside the classroom </li></ul>
  18. 18. Strategies <ul><li>Minimise embarrassment </li></ul><ul><li>Use humour </li></ul><ul><li>Use bibliotherapy </li></ul><ul><li>Use class meetings (Konza et al, 2001, p.30-33) </li></ul><ul><li>Take home buddies </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow pages (Lacey, 2006, p.31) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Self-esteem Defined <ul><li>An individual's sense of their value or worth, or the extent to which a person values, approves of, appreciates, prizes, or likes him or herself (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1991). </li></ul><ul><li>A favourable or unfavourable attitude toward the self (Rosenberg, 1965) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Self-esteem Pop Quiz <ul><li>A) Increasing a students self-esteem will result in increased achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>B) Increasing a students achievement will result in increased self-esteem. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Self-esteem: The Research Shows Increased self-esteem does not result in increased achievement. (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2005, p. 84) (Craven, Marsh & Burnett, 2003) (Hattie, 1992)
  22. 22. Group 1: What causes good and bad grades? &quot;I can be proud of myself.&quot; &quot;I can do this.&quot; &quot;I am better than most of the other people in this school.&quot; &quot;I am satisfied with myself.&quot; Students who did not improve were thinking: &quot;I'm ashamed of myself.&quot; &quot;I don't deserve to be in college.&quot; &quot;I'm worthless.&quot; BOTTOM LINE: Hold your head--and your self-esteem--high.
  23. 23. Group 2: What causes good and bad grades? &quot;I need to work harder.&quot; &quot;I can learn this material if l apply myself.&quot; &quot;I can control what happens to me in this class.&quot; &quot;I have what it takes to do this.&quot; Students who did not improve were thinking: &quot;It's not my fault.&quot; &quot;This test was too hard.&quot; &quot;I'm not good at this.&quot; BOTTOM LINE: Take personal control of your performance.
  24. 24. Results? <ul><ul><li>By the end of the course, the average grade for students in the first group dropped below 50 percent -- a failing grade. The average for students in the second group was 62 percent -- a D minus, which is poor but still passing. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Similar Research <ul><li>“ 6 percent of Korean eighth-graders surveyed expressed confidence in their math skills, compared with 39 percent of U.S. eighth-graders. But a respected international math assessment showed Koreans scoring far ahead of their peers in the United States, raising questions about the importance of self-esteem.” (, 2006) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Self-esteem Breakdown <ul><li>Earned Self-esteem: develops when students have accomplished something worthwhile or behaved in a personally or socially responsible way. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A product of achievement, not the cause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achievement leads to self-esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global Self-esteem: a general sense of pride in oneself. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not necessarily a reality-based evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-esteem leads to achievement </li></ul></ul>(McGrath, 2003) (Shokraii, 2005)
  27. 27. Implications for Teachers? <ul><li>Don’t disregard self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on techniques that will result in increased earned self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Don't shield students from feelings of sadness, frustration, and anxiety when they lose, fail or make mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Teach resiliency and self-control </li></ul>
  28. 28. Strategies <ul><li>Pro-social values </li></ul><ul><li>Coping skills </li></ul><ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Managing feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Social Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Goal achievement (SMART) </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence-based self-knowledge </li></ul>(McGrath, 2003)
  29. 29. Be the Teacher In order to establish a positive emotional environment in your classroom you must first arrange the room in a manner that will facilitate your long term goals. The physical space is the groundwork for the type of classroom you run. The Information: You are the teacher of a year 8 class. The class is relatively small being comprised of 12 students. Within the class you are aware of students with the following circumstances: Student A - ADHD tendencies, constantly seeking attention and going off task in class. Student B - Identified as having RD, 3 years behind class. Involved in peer-assistance program. Student C - Physical disability and is confined to a wheelchair. Top performing student. Student D - Diagnosed Asperger’s. Only likes to sit next to student B. Student E - Extremely shy, does not like to work in groups, exhibits poor task management skills. The Task: You have three options for your classroom arrangement: rows, groups or u-shape. Decide which arrangement would best suit this class. Discuss your reasoning as a group.
  30. 30. Thank you one and all. Good luck on your assignment next week!