Classroom Management Strategy


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Creating space for learning

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Classroom Management Strategy

  1. 1. High School Classroom Management Strategy Mary T. Ruffin PBTL Summit Presentation
  2. 2. Vision Statement <ul><li>Engaging students is the most effective means of classroom management. Commanding their respect (for the teacher and for one another) is the most efficacious means of control. These are both possible in a high school classroom. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Goal and Objective <ul><li>Our goal is to create a space for learning to occur; in order to do so, we must </li></ul><ul><li>Clear away the obstacle of classroom chaos so “the community of truth” can be practiced. </li></ul><ul><li>This requires student engagement in the learning process, facilitated by </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher planning and conscious control of predictable variables and deleterious influences. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Classroom Chaos? <ul><li>Mutual disrespect </li></ul><ul><li>Unclear rules and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistently applied discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict and poor communication </li></ul><ul><li>Fearfulness and power struggles </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of learning </li></ul>
  5. 5. How Did We Get Here? <ul><li>Students don’t learn respect at home </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers aren’t trained in planning and blame students for their own failures </li></ul><ul><li>Old assumptions that are no longer valid go unexamined (e.g., that everyone has, or should have, the same learning style) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers and students have lost hope </li></ul>
  6. 6. Innovations for Change <ul><li>Teachers accept accountability for classroom management and approach planning with problem-solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Mindfulness practices are established as part of the standard school day </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that everyone has a clear voice </li></ul>
  7. 7. Eight Immediate Remedies Any Teacher Can Implement: <ul><li>Recognize the differences in children </li></ul><ul><li>Teach discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Set high expectations for behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Be a role model for behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Model happiness and show humor </li></ul><ul><li>Be a motivator </li></ul><ul><li>Provide hands-on materials for “doing” learning </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate nonverbally </li></ul>
  8. 8. Strategies that help with attention problems and ADHD: <ul><li>Explain Directions Carefully -- Take extra care when presenting clear directions, and repeat them. Make sure class assignments are interesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Direct Appeal and Proximity – Address the student directly during quiet time, ask him if he has questions, and kindly explain the behavior or task you need from him. Ensure his regular seat is near you so that he has fewer opportunities for attention to wander. </li></ul><ul><li>Break Up Activities – Ensure that there is variety in the way material is presented, and break up more tedious lessons into subtasks, allowing intervals to check work, get feedback, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Student Group Activities with Peer Intervention Opportunities – The student may be more willing to participate in class when he is held accountable to his peers. Set up group projects that involve cooperation and interaction with each other and with the material, making it hands-on when possible (rather than lecturing about it). </li></ul><ul><li>Offer Positive Reinforcement when Student Pays Attention – Ensure that the student is receiving feedback that is not all negative. If he is amenable, implement some self-recording strategies and compare notes with him on his progress toward goals at regular intervals. This will give him a sense that he literally has a “voice” and that he is being heard without having to disrupt the class or sabotage his own opportunities to learn. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Strategies to engage at-risk or emotionally disturbed students: <ul><li>Create a “quiet space” -- This puts a positive emphasis on the more negative-sounding instruction to “be quiet,” allowing the student to turn inward with a sense of empowerment and openness. This can encourage her to “hear herself” into speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Freewriting – Stream-of-consciousness writing without worrying about “rules” of grammar or even self-editing one’s feelings can give the student meaningful material that she can work with. </li></ul><ul><li>Make it Safe – The fear of being teased is real, and students will not be willing to take risks if they do not feel safe. Involve the students in making it a rule that no one will tease anyone else, and have them all agree to it by raising their hand if they don’t feel they can keep their promise not to tease each other. With a quiet reminder from the teacher if/when a snicker is heard, this can become a self-enforcing rule that effectively creates safe space. </li></ul><ul><li>Let the Student Choose – When asking a student to write about personal truths, offer many opportunities and/or subjects for her to choose from in a welcoming and respectful atmosphere. This can reduce the chances that she will become defensive, resentful, or just tune out. </li></ul><ul><li>Breathing – Whether students join in or not, asking them to use deep breathing practices to calm down, to let go of difficult emotions after writing about them, etc. This begins to open an awareness that her own breathing can help a student to feel grounded in the present moment and to think clearly. </li></ul>
  10. 10. References consulted: <ul><li>School: An Introduction to Education, Ebert and Culyer, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Specifically, Beth Elliott’s “Teacher Testimonial” on Classroom Management, Feature 7.1 , Ebert Text Chapter 7, pages 226-227. </li></ul><ul><li>Works of Parker Palmer, including articles read for class and his book, the Courage to Teach, 10 th Anniversary edition. </li></ul><ul><li>Language Arts teacher Helen Frost’s work with at-risk students, including her book, When I Whisper Nobody Listens, 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>Mastropieri and Scruggs: The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Teaching, 2006. </li></ul>