Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Jul 31, 2015.
Jul 31, 2015
I start day one giving consequences. The first time a kid speaks without raising their hand you could say "this is a one time reminder for the class, you need to raise your hand if you would like to speak" The start following through.
I would teach it the first day, and I would begin enforcing the consequences right after you teach it-so that would mean the 1st day. If you really don't want students in trouble on the first day, then you may want to give a warning on the first day (but only 1) or give a smaller consequence on the first day.
Alright, if it works for you both, it will probably work for me too!
(This is what I mean about being consistent. If I can start upholding the classroom management plan by day one, fine with me.)
Otterpop, I found that same website and I love it. I'm still substituting, so I don't implement it in the exact same way (it feels a little counterproductive to expect students to live to expectations I haven't had time to model for them, especially if they're used to different models from their regular teachers).
Even, though, with a modified version in elementary classrooms, my classes have shown a lot more relief and have had much less issues if I follow through from the beginning of the day until the end.
As long as you're pleasant, giving fair and forewarned consequences that are consistent is a lot better for them than inconsistent ones.
Please come back and let me know how that system works for you when you have your class. I'm really curious.
Careful with that site, it has a lot of great advice, but, imo, he gives very little ideas on the most important aspect of making that plan effective.
Pashtun, can you explain that further? I'm hoping to use it when I have a class, and I want to know any shortcomings people are finding with it.
Curious as well.
I'd also start day 1, but use any needed enforcement as discussion tools as well so the kids see and hear exactly what the consequences are.
Any Kindergarten teachers out there? I'm starting Kindergarten at a new district this year and I am debating.. I want to start the year on a positive note and want to assume the best since some students may potentially not understand at all how to behave, but I want to have strong classroom management this year. Any suggestions?
I'm not sure what he is referring to. I have followed Michael Linsin's website, own his two books, and follow him through email/Facebook.
I want to say I get 1-2 "complaints" a year on my classroom management (class of 30)- 95% approval rating- I'll take it.
The garden-variety negative feedback I'll get from a parent is "My son or daughter feels singled-out by you" or "My son or daughter feels like you don't like him/her." From my perspective I've just been holding them accountable each and every time they break a classroom rule- no threats, yelling, or put-downs on my part. So I have no issues handling these complaints quickly and easily with parents.
Aug 1, 2015
The key is always consistency. I like the point to start from Day 1, hour 1. This is a great suggestion, “I promise that I will protect your right to learn and love school by following our classroom management plan every time a rule is broken.” He said to keep saying this to yourself and your class until it becomes ingrained in everyone.
What kind of consequences are you giving?
In our school we practice the consequences as well as the procedure. Our consequence is "take a break". (We are a Responsive classroom school). So we practice how to take a break:where to go, what to do there, and how to come back to the group. EVERYONE practices how to take a break before any rules are enforced.
That way there isn't any huffing, puffing, and foot stomping when a rule is enforced because they know what to do.
When a procedure isn't followed, it is retaught(model again, practice, practice practice)
The first few weeks of school are all about modeling and practicing procedures. You need to have order before any real learning can begin.
I am also at a responsive classroom school. In my experience the take a break works for 90% of the kids. Of course you have the 10% it doesn't work for! which is why I also use the buddy class take a break (for those of you not familiar, it's just taking a break in a nearby classroom). I am also considering behavior folders this year so there's no surprise come report card time.
You already know this but the more immediate the response the more the infraction will be associated with the consequence. Consider a student sent to detention on Thursday (only day detention is supervised) as a consequence for a behavior occurring on Monday. Often students don't remember why they are in detention. Compare with a student sent to time-out immediately after causing a disruption.
From Fred Jones' Positive Classroom Discipline; "Don't have any rule you are not prepared to enforce each and every time it is broken. To do otherwise defines your rules as 'hot air' ."
As for "warning" if you have taught the rule to mastery and students are capable of understanding there is no need for a warning. Exception might be if you include warning as part of the rule or procedure. "Hot air" rules come into play when the teacher teaches a rule, never mentioning warning as part of the rule, then says "This is your first warning!" This tells students the teacher doesn't mean what she/he says.
Following along in this classroom management bit, I'm not sure what consequences are appropriate for 4th grade? I heard that those clip-charts are going out of fashion.
I teach kinder and the first day is procedures and routines all day. If someone shouts out without raising their hand, I stop what I'm doing and address it with the class then we practice. I do a lot of modeling and practicing what I want to see. There are no consequences, but I am very consistent on what I expect.
Aug 2, 2015
Be consistent and enforce rules objectively. Children do not follow rules because they are cute, clever, or accommodating to them. They follow rules because there is a consequence for breaking rules that is delivered CONSISTENTLY and OBJECTIVELY.
I start the first day as well. However I tell them: "Since today is the first day, the consequences don't really mean anything, we're going to do them just to practice the procedures in the classroom. Starting tomorrow, practice is over."
When someone breaks a rule, like calling out without raising their hand, I might say something like: "Whoops! You've broken rule number __. You have a warning for breaking that rule. But remember today is practice. If you break it again, you'll have to practice going to the focus table."
So essentially I still give them warnings and time-outs, and such, but it's all in the name of 'practice'. (They're still actually getting the consequences anyway, lol!) I think it makes the consequences less antagonistic on the first day when mistakes are easily made, so they don't come to resent you immediately.
I've never had any student go past a time-out on the first day of school, but if they did get to a parent phone-call or an admin support call, I would probably tell them: "Today's the first day, and I understand you're getting used to the rules. This type of behavior is not acceptable in my classroom, and after today your parents will be called or you may get an admin support call if I see similar behavior in the future. I want you to participate with and be a part of the rest of the class, so can I count on you to improve tomorrow?"
So I guess I would give them a free pass from admin calls or parent calls the first day. (I might have them practice making a parent phone call without actually calling.) However my reasoning for that is that I don't want to be so quick to throw away my authority to outside forces like parents and admin. Kids know I am serious as there is a set time that 'practice' runs out and 'real consequences' begin. As long as I follow through, they'll know I'm consistent, and me giving them that chance to make up for their mistakes the first day helps me build a relationship with them and improves first impressions.
I think he gives a lot of detail and insight into what makes the plan effective. You just need to have an open mind when reading his advice rather than questioning it at every turn.
I would also recommend reading his books, as it's hard to get the feel for the whole system just by reading a few articles. You can read his entire website and all of the articles but that might take a long time.
I will say that his website and books nearly single-handedly transformed my classroom from one where I struggled to maintain control, into one that we have fun in learning each and every day; and that was after reading a lot of other CM books like Fred Jones, Harry Wong, Teaching with Love and Logic, Teach like a Champion, etc.
Michael Linsin's site and books in my opinion have the best and most effective CM tips out there, but they require more than just a superficial shift in the procedures of your class. It requires a fundamental shift in the way you think each and every day, and taking time each morning to repeat a mantra to yourself, similar to the posted up above about protecting the rights of every student by being consistent with your classroom management plan, and remaining calm in the face of frustrating situations.
There are a lot of facets to his management philosophy, and I like to think about what I need to work on personally, and make that part of my mantra every morning until I feel I've gotten a handle on it: "I will not focus my attention on my difficult students, I will instead focus my attention on keeping the ENTIRE class accountable to the rules as matter-of-factly as possible to avoid singling out my difficult students and creating friction in our relationships."
Aug 4, 2015
Like I said, I believe the site has a lot of great advice, I think that it just falls drastically short on the 3rd cornerstone. You will need to supplement it with other resources in my opinion. As Linsin says "Because if they don’t, if boredom and dissatisfaction take hold, then everything you do to curb misbehavior will eventually fail.
I wish he had more concrete advice and examples, as he does for the other conerstones, for cornerstone#3.
What sort of consequences are you going to enforce? If they do something minor like talking without raising their hand what do you expect to do to them?
Aug 9, 2015
I see where you're coming from now.
I think that the reason that he doesn't go into a lot of detail about cornerstone 3 is because creating a fun classroom is something that is highly personal to each individual teacher.
For me, a fun classroom is doing labs and investigations where students can interact with science using hands-on activities, and engineer authentic solutions.
An elementary teacher might view a fun classroom as one where they have dance parties every Friday, or have field days where they go outside to do their lesson every now and then.
It's not cut and dry. I think the best thing to think about when trying to build a fun classroom is thinking: what would I enjoy teaching and doing?
Because if you enjoy it, your kids will ultimately enjoy it. You don't want to step into activities and procedures that seem unnatural to you (like I could never host a dance party and feel comfortable with that, or bribe students with toys and gifts, because I prefer the ability to learn be their reward, but some people live by that stuff).
The kids will enjoy what you personally bring to the table, if you genuinely enjoy it and are not shy about it.
Aug 10, 2015
I agree Peregrin.
Aug 12, 2015
Thank you for elaborating. I hope to foster the same environment of enjoyment, curiosity, and mutual respect when I get a classroom. In the mean time, every anecdote and experience helps.
Pashtun, I agree with you on #3 as well, but I also agree with Peregrin that you have to find your own way with this. I try to make my classes "fun" with review games, video clips, etc. I'm not a naturally "funny" kind of person (unless you really get to know me and get sarcasm/dry humor...).
I am also going to be teaching seniors next year and I don't think "time-out" will work with 18-year-olds so I am trying to adapt the system to make it more mature.
I plan on using something similar to the Smart Classroom Management recommended consequences, which are:
2) Time Out
3) Letter Home
I'm a little worried about #2 for a couple of reasons, but neither are worth not giving it a try. One, my classroom is really small, and I don't have a lot of room to have a student sitting away from the group. Two, I had one really difficult kid last year who would have gone over there loudly and then continued to try to get the whole class's attention from that seat. Not entirely sure how to deal with that, if it should happen again. I put that kid in an isolated area last year and the child literally did not stop saying my name to get my attention for about 45 minutes, as the rest of us ignored it. (Any suggestions on that welcome.)
Aug 13, 2015
Set the tone early. Be firm and assertive, but always praise so they know you care. Kids WANT direction!
Aug 14, 2015
The thing I love most about his system is his emphasis on modeling it all. He stresses the importance of negative modeling-- showing them all the things not to do and impressing on the students how unhelpful those things are. I think the what-not-to-do roleplay is the most helpful part of it.
I've also had a lot of success with modeling. I used a clip chart my first first year and it wasn't really "me." I focused a lot on responsive classroom stuff and relationship building. That seemed to help a lot. When I "deducted" from a kid's emotional bank account with a consequence, it wasn't as bad, because I'd made so many "deposits."
Aug 15, 2015
Ottorpop- For a kid who has behavior issues- what is the function of his behavior- is is attention, avoidance, tangible or sensory-from that description the child was attention seeking since they would keep engaging in their behavior until their desired result- and ignoring was the correct response-
Model the behavior is key! Show exactly what their behavior should look like and give specific praise when kids what you want them to!
I like this... is that a part of Responsive Classroom?
I know a bit about the Responsive Classroom techniques, and read one of their books, but am certainly not experienced with it.
Aug 17, 2015
The idea, yes. But I made up the metaphor myself to help me understand the spirit of what they were saying. :haha: It makes sense if you think about it. Kids can get burned a little bit by you as long as you've loved them consistently. They see it as high expectations vs. nagging/being picked on/etc. I've noticed my kids understand the why behind my expectations better when they've spent time with me to learn my background and why I value the things I do. It all comes down to wanting what's best for them.