What helped you the most with improving your classroom management?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Mar 7, 2013

    I've come a long way, no doubt about that, but I look at my colleagues and think I still have a ways to go. I have never been reprimanded by admin (was actually praised for my management at my last obs), never felt like I was way in over my head or anything like that...but I still feel like I don't quite "have it." I DO have control, when push comes to shove, but it takes me longer to get them to listen or follow a direction.

    What helped you the most? A book? A class? A website? Something else?

    My biggest issue is with lining up, talking, and walking around the room. My expectation is clear - leaving your seat without raising your hand is not allowed. I use the Dojo feature for Out of Seat but I still have kids who, 7 months into the year, come up to me to ask if they can sharpen a pencil or walk over to a friend to ask to borrow a book :dizzy: I repeat myself an awful lot, too :(

    Tips? Insight? How can I give a direction once and see that it's followed, regardless of where we are in the building? My kids lose their focus in the halls/bathroom, especially.
     
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  3. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Are they not allowed to leave their seat even when you're not giving instruction?
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Redoing until it's done right without any prompts and lots of positive praise for students following directions without asking.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    In order this is what helped me the most:

    1. Attending The Tools For Teaching Training for 3 days
    2. Reading The Tools for Teaching Training by Fred Jones book
    3. Taking a 1/2 day to observe different veteran teachers when I was in my 1st year.
    4. A 1 on 1 meeting with my principal my 1st year when she reminded me not to make so many changes to my classroom management plan during the year.
    5. Reading the book "The Inner Wealth Initiative".
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 7, 2013

    For me it's a continuous learning cycle. Our kids are so unbpredictable and classes change all the time. We have kids come and go, although they are locked up 6-12 months, so most of them are there, but the classes change too much, and class dynamics change with it. We have 5 classes altogether (in the one part of school where I sub most of the time) and probation pulls kids out of one class and puts them into another one ALL the time, based on behavior problems, peer problems, gang affiliation, etc.
    So sometimes getting an influential kid can change the class for the better or for the worse, and because changes occur on the daily bases it's even more fluid than that.

    So for me it has been a contant reflection of what the problem was one day, try to fix it without changing my overall ways, and observe. I do not want to change my rules, expectations and procedures based on problems with one class, or even all classes, that would be confusing.

    I normally see problems that I must not be consistent or strict enough in enforcing the rules. If we let things go a little, the kids will try to push the boundaries. It could be maybe even not giving enough rewards.

    So I learned to be very aware of the class environment, student attitudes (behavior and motivation to do work), I think that has helped me and will be valuable later on.

    But the key thing is to be consistent, ensuring that the kids clearly understand what is expected of them; said easier than done.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 7, 2013

    I was going to ask the same. If so, you may consider the possibility of allowing them a bit more freedom. I mean, sharpening pencils and borrowing a books certainly aren't bad behaviors. :)

    If you're worried about it getting out of hand, set limits. One boy and girl up at a time, for example. When working in groups, I allow one student from each group up (getting more supplies and things like that).
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I agree. Plus, doesn't it drive you crazy? I required my 5th graders to raise their hand to get out of their seet for a week after they terrorized a sub. I think I was punished more than they were!
     
  9. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yeah I was going to say that I've been to dozens of classrooms in past couple of years and I don't think I've seen any elementary classes where students aren't allowed to briefly get up if they need to unless there's some kind of lesson or group activity going on. That's a lot of sitting still for little ones, and I can't imagine having to give permission for every tiny thing! I see many great teachers who guide the kiddos toward being independent enough to know when it's appropriate to get up and move around. They generally ask if they need to go to the bathroom or do anything else that requires leaving the room.

    I work in one class where the teacher just amazes me with everything that goes on in there, including management. She's incredible and I feel so lucky to get to be able to see her in action. Her kids are often up and doing different things (stapling, switching out for a sharp pencil, etc) during independent work, which is a good portion of the day. There's no issue with them being off-task and they don't seem to be taking advantage of it. They don't get up during lessons or any whole group activity.

    Edit: I thought of one time that I've seen this! It was in a kinder class and the management was not working out so well. The teacher was great, but still getting accustomed to the behavior in lower grades.
     
  10. bison

    bison Habitué

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  11. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Mar 8, 2013

    The biggest help for me was when my P came in the room and taught a little lesson. I saw how he got and kept my wiggly students' attention. He changed his voice, remained positive and the kids loved the lesson. See if you can get permission to observe other teachers or have someone teach a lesson to your kids.

    I like the ideas on this blog, too.


    http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com
     
  12. First School

    First School Rookie

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    I agree with what the other member stated here and think getting of more about students and their strengths and weakness will help us to manage them better and develop the skills they are lacking and improve one in which they are good. We should try to forgive their mistakes and give a lesson from that mistakes. Choose to love, encourage, edify, and defend.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm nowhere near to great CM either, but this website has been my go-to source for classroom management matters for a while now, and all the advice works GREAT! I kind of want to buy the book but I heard it's not as good as the free stuff on the website.

    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    The Daily 5 CAFE

    It solved everything for me. I now look at how I approach every lesson or expectation through the ideas of Daily 5. The CAFE part gave me an idividual relationship with each child. Because of this, we have a respectful, working relationship that allows for compassion and humor.

    I am not only a better teacher, but a happier one.
     
  15. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Rabbitt what grade do you teach? Does Daily Cafe work with K & 1st grade as well? I was thinking that was more for older students.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    This!!!!!

    Also, the book "Teach Like A Champion" was quite helpful. Corny title, but full of specific strategies that I could try right then.
     
  17. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I use the Daily Five for my class and I teach first grade. It works well.
     
  18. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2013

    My biggest challenge was when I switched from high school to 7th grade. What helped me the most was learning to be a lot more clear and specific (ie. I could no longer say take out a paper, pencil and your book). Once I finally realized I had to just say one thing at a time, AND repeat it twice, AND make them say it back to me, my life got a lot easier.

    Younger kids just have zero attention span.
     
  19. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 10, 2013

    I have, even with middle schoolers, "practiced" my procedures repeatedly until they get it right. -As in "line up quietly/correctly": if I hear so much as a whisper, they return to their seats and wait to be excused again. If a chair doesn't get pushed in (part of the procedure), they try again. I've had classes miss most of their recess because they just couldn't/wouldn't get it right. The next time they had to line up, I reminded them about missing their fun, and we didn't have a single "miss-step."
    Consistency is the key. Following through with consequences is the other key. I know this, but sometimes, when I notice my class starting to "get out of control", I step back and think about if I have been following through. Most of the time, I have been lax in that department, which explains their behaviors. I have to crack back down, and I explain to them that we need to remember our rules and procedures (me, too). If necessary (always after Christmas break), we go over and practice them again.
     
  20. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I currently teach 2nd but have used it successfully with 1st.
    Stamina in 2nd generally peaks at 25 minutes in the AM and 20 in the PM.
    1st grade stamina was 20 minutes in the AM and 15 in the PM.

    Our K teacher uses it. They have a 15 minute stamina.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What helped me the most was my experience working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. There I saw how useful and important the broken record technique is and that it really works.
     
  22. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I think the thing that helped me the most is coming to an understanding I cannot control all the variances and different things that can happen any day in my classroom. Once I realized this, it took away the self blame for issues and I relaxed. Once I was more relaxed, I did a better job in the management over all. So although the variances and different things still happen they are not as messy and upsetting feeling and thus are easier to pull back to the goal for the class.
     
  23. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Having clear and consistent procedures for EvERYTHING.
     

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