Creating Learning Environments Chapter 12
I. The Need for Organization • Classrooms are dynamic environments: • Multidimensional (people, tasks, time pressure) • Simultaneous (many events happening at once) • Immediate (the pace is fast) • Unpredictable (behavior or mechanical problems) • Public (teacher is judged by all) • Histories (current actions depend in part on what has happened before)
Goals of Classroom Management • More time for learning • Allocated time(specific time set aside) • Engaged time or time on task • Academic learning time(when students are actually succeeding) • Access to learning • Students must know what the participation structures are • Management for self-management • If the focus is on compliance, students may see the purpose for school as following rules
II. Creating a Positive Learning Environment • Routines and procedures • Administrative routines • Student movement • Housekeeping • Routines for accomplishing lessons • Interactions • Rules • Consider the impact on atmosphere • Assure rules are consistent with school rules and principals of learning • A few general rules that cover specifics better than a list of dos and don’ts
Creating a Positive Learning Environment cont’d • Consequences • Don’t wait until a rule is broken before thinking about the consequence • Separate the deed from the doer • Emphasize that students have power to choose their actions • Encourage reflection, self-evaluation, and problem solving • Help students identify and give a rationale for what they could do differently next time
Student-Created Rules: A Real Example from a Preschool Classroom • No running—use your walking feet • No poking eyes out or pushing • Talk to your friends nicely • Say your sorry • Save kisses for mommies and daddies • Keep your hands out of your mouth • Wash hands with soap • No calling names or using potty words • Sit quietly on the rug with a bubble • Share • Listen to your teacher
Guidelines: Designing Learning spaces • Note the fixed features and plan accordingly • Create easy access to materials • Provide clean, convenient surfaces for studying • Avoid dead spaces and “race tracks” • Assure you can see students and that they can see instructional presentations • Make sure work areas are private and quiet • Provide choices and flexibility • Be creative: Try new arrangements, then evaluate and improve
Getting Started: Elementary • First day: well planned and organized • Deal with student’s main concerns • Teach rules and procedures • Appeal to student interests • Monitor the whole group • Stop misbehavior quickly
Getting Started: Secondary • Establish rules, procedures, and standards • Clearly communicate standards for work • Consistently enforce expectations • Monitor students closely • Deal with rule infractions quickly • Shorter work cycles for lower ability students • Monitor student progress carefully
Encouraging Engagement • Busy students are better behaved • Supervise students closely • Include cues for desired behaviors • Clear steps for activities • Provide necessary materials • Engage students in authentic tasks • Employ curiosity, interest
Prevention is the Best Medicine • Withitness • Communicate to students that you are aware of everything that is going on • Prevents minor disruptions from developing into bigger problems • Not waiting too long to intervene or blaming the wrong student • Overlapping and group focus • Supervising several activities at once • Keeping as many students as possible engaged
Prevention is the Best Medicine • Movement management • Keep groups moving and appropriate and flexible pace • Smooth transitions • Student social skills as prevention • Teach social & emotional self-regulation
IV. Dealing with Discipline Problems • Make eye contact • Verbal hints: name dropping • Ask students if they are aware of the consequences of their behavior • Remind students of the relevant rule or procedure • Ask the student to state the correct rule or procedure and follow it • Assertively tell the student to stop the misbehavior • Offer a choice
Bullying and Cyber-Bullying • Teachers tend to underestimate amount of bullying • “Silence” from teachers regarding bullying may communicate acceptance • Help students to make the correct attribution to others’ behavior • Teach students how to prevent cyber-bullying (Table 12.5 on p. 440)
Special Problems with High School Students • Work not completed: • Teach students how to use a daily planner • Keep accurate records • Enforce established consequences • Do not grade on “the benefit of the doubt” • Continue to break rules: • Seat student away from other students • Catch them before they break the rules • Enforce established consequences • Don’t accept promises
V. Violence in Schools • What factors might contribute to school violence? Is it any one thing? • What are some steps that a school can take in order to prevent violence? A teacher?
Warning Signs of Violence • Daily loss of temper • Frequent physical aggression • Significant vandalism • Drug/alcohol use increase • Risk-taking behavior increase • Detailed plans to commit violence • Enjoying hurting animals • Carrying a weapon
Peer Mediation & Negotiation Strategies • Jointly define the conflict • Separate the person from the problem • Exchange positions and interests • Reverse perspectives • Put yourself in their shoes • Invent at least 3 arguments that allow mutual gain • Reach an integrative agreement
VI. The Need for Communication • Message Sent = Message Received? • Sometimes the intended message doesn’t get across • Hidden messages • Body language • Choice of words • Paraphrase rule (must accurately paraphrase what has just been said before being allowed to speak)
Diagnosis: Whose Problem Is It? • Determine who ‘owns’ the problem • If it is the student’s problem, then the teacher may take on role of ‘counselor’ • If the teacher’s, then the teacher will need to address it.
Whose Problem Is It? • A student write obscene words and draws sexually explicit illustrations in a school encyclopedia. • A student tells you that his parents had a bad fight and he hates his father. • A student quietly reads a newspaper in the back of the room.