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Classroom Management

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tracy duncan

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Classroom Management

Specific issues to target:

- anger management; lack of respect for peers, staff and materials; lack of engagement with topic/school in general
- innappropriate language, lack of focus, disruptive behaviour
- lack of respect for peers, staff and materials; lack of engagement, disruptive behaviour
- haven't included as he has since left
Teaching as Inquiry
NB :After my initial confusion!Teaching as Inquiry is not the same as Inquiry Learning!

"To promote student learning, the teacher needs to critically reflect on what they have done and what impact this has had on student achievement: This is Teaching as Inquiry"
Professional readings =management strategies, (Ken Robinson, Kevin Knight, Bill Rogers, John Hattie)
Conversations with colleagues
Data & relationships: who are these kids?

Teaching Inquiry: Pedagogy choices
CONSIDER: What talking, reading, and/or observing do I need to do to make my pedagogical choices about WHAT to teach and HOW to teach it?
Learning Inquiry:
Outcomes for students
Focusing Inquiry: or, "What is important and worth spending time on, given where my students are at?"
My current management strategies are obviously not working:
so what can I change?
Desired results:
* Students are engaged in the learning
* students are polite and respectful to other members of the class (including me), * students show empathy
* students treat equipment and resources with care and respect
*we all enjoy the learning experience!
Classroom Management!

Engagement in class and better behaviour
• How can I manage the general behaviour in my Yr 8 topic class more effectively?
• What learning tasks and approaches are most likely to help my students progress?
• How can I teach and encourage better life skills in my classroom?
• What specific strategies will better help these students learn?
AKO: After consultation with colleagues and professional readings:

1. Lower my excitement levels! project calm, remember to wait for total silence.
2. Trial collegial suggestions. e.g. lesson format & content
3. Identify possible errors I am making that are contributing to the lack of class control, eg: no clear full attention cue, repeating instructions, using “excuse me” & “thankyou” as negative prompts, inviting & accepting occasional call outs : realisation that I am making a whole heap of what he identifies as management errors - I do all of the above!).
5. Positive reinforcement of good behaviour. Lots of it. 5x positives before 1x negative.
7. Follow school behaviour plan -Time out, then withdrawal room if behaviour continues:"ladder"
8. Incentives: “awesome” award if class behaviour can improve over term?
9. Continue to build relationships with students out of class

• Research (academic)
• Pedagogical content knowledge
• Prior knowledge: student-driven focus
• Professional relationships/collegial input

What happened as a result of the teaching?

• Began with lining up outside; took longer than hoped. Explained it was a fresh start – in retrospect, should have left this our as self-explanatory: may have been seen as a negative/reminder of negative behaviours.
• Students could not focus on the quiz: really low engagement levels: most found it too difficult although it was pitched pretty low.
• Sweep difficult while still learning all names.
• Difficult to get around desks as so close together
• Time out was almost seen as a badge of honour – impossible to send out more than one child at a time, and there were several key instigators of negative behaviour

Reflection: felt I was teaching someone else’s lesson in someone else’s style: authenticity was lacking, and students picked up on it. Felt I was failing them because the behaviour meant no-one was learning (had a domino effect on the boys and resulted in huge frustration for the girls).
Led to a crisis of confidence in myself and my teaching. BUT - What is going wrong? Why is this so different to previous experiences at other schools?

IMPLICATIONS? Back to pedagogy…
Teaching Inquiry: Pedagogy 2

• Observations of my teaching from others & feedback/forward on possible strategies
• Conversations around specific students: data on target group
• More professional reading (systematically and critically engage with evidence and professional literature to reflect on and refine practice).

1. Physical environment - changed rooms to the art room where I am more familiar and there is more room for us to move about (not stuck at front of classroom), plus better lighting and air flow= more ambient setting.
2. Observed student behaviour in other classes/with other staff
3. Re-thought whole unit to better engage them - More feedback to try and get student voice about what they want to find out/how they want to approach unit.
4. Re-introduced unit using on-line resources (3D interactive site) in hope that it would appeal to the Gaming generation, and then asked students to work collaboratively in groups to create series of artefacts based on our topic. They could choose their own groups. As a class we brainstormed possible artefacts and they could choose which to research and create

As a result of my data I identified the following
potential barriers to learning

Lack of established teacher-student relationships
Low student expectations
Lack of student engagement/personal relevance in the specific topic(s)
Impact of learning environment - no where to hang up work/take ownership/belong
Problematic home circumstances & low parental expectations/focus on learning
Poor literacy skills
Lack of studious, high achieving student &/or parental role models - how visible are positive (& yet 'cool') role-models in school & wider community?
Low self-esteem and confidence amongst students: peer pressure & fear of put downs, but also the reverse: kudos, encouragement & peer support for misbehaviour/inappropriate behaviour.
Recognised disabilities/learning needs and not enough teacher knowledge to cater for those students
Teacher inexperience
Possible poor communication between school/teacher and parents/caregivers

I chose Trae, Takana, Clayton & David as my target group, working on the premise that if I could raise their individual achievement it could lift the performance of the whole class. These were the four students I felt were causing the most impact on the class.
I collected data (stanine scores,feedback from colleagues, IEP's, etc), and identified learning targets for each student based on perceived needs.
All students responded well to new classroom
Use of technology to introduce units was really successful- obvious increased engagement levels for boys in particular.
Student voice: created successful engagement with majority of class – Clayton and Takana in particular responded well to this, offering opinions and ideas.
Frankie worked unexpectedly well collaboratively, as she worked with Jodie and Marama; Alesha worked well with Motu as she could be the 'teacher' and enjoyed sharing her knowledge & skills. Students teaching student5 & sharing successes.
Interesting to note
-These 4 boys were the ones who struggled the most with working collaboratively.
Trae & David
contributed the least in terms of offering ideas and feedback - they chose not to participate, even when offered the opportunity to choose their own groups, subject and learning approach.

At the heart of this teaching as inquiry focus is the desire to share my personal experiences with my colleagues. Although it began as a way to problem solve what I saw as gaps in my own teaching, it has broadened to encompass issues that are school wide and concerns that many of us share. Building trust, sharing ideas and learning collaboratively applies to us as staff in as much as it applies to our students.

Tone and manner and intent are very important, particularly when you are communicating with adolescents.”

Rogers talks of “non-confrontational leadership” which stems from confidence, the ability to relate to young people and the ability to know what to say under pressure. An effective teacher is marked out by their ability to avoid confrontation and use language that is
as positive as possible.

Consequences are important and Rogers distinguishes between them and mere punishment. Consequences should relate to the behaviour that caused them and should
maintain the student’s dignity.

Bill Rogers ,
Otago University’s John Taylor says

"the most effective classroom management practice is to engage students in what they are doing."
If students are enjoying an activity, they are not going to be stabbing one another with compasses or giving the teacher a hard time. Taylor suggests that the starting point for engaging students is a student-centred approach. The opposite can be very counter-productive, he warns.

Research on classroom management verifies that teachers are concerned about
the amount of time they spend on behaviour management issues to the detriment of learning/instructional time
(Merret & Wheldall, 1993)
. Studies also show that
teacher confidence and capacity can deteriorate if they continually experience troublesome students
and are not sufficiently skilled in classroom management strategies, or have a highly limited repertoire of behaviour management skills
(Bibou0-Nakou, Kiosseoglou & Stogiannidou, 2000; Billingsley, 1993).
teachers believe they are inadequate,
which may deteriorate into

emotional exhaustion, decreased accomplishment and burnout

(Evers, Gerrichhauzen & Tomic, 2000) ...
something like 1/3 of all new teachers quit within three years!

How to deal with Yr 8 classroom management & behaviour issues so that our classes are more fruitful and enjoyable. For everyone.
Classroom management needs to change the environment not try to change the individual's behaviour
(Henley 2006).
"classroom management & behaviour are directly related to how students feel"
Henley, M. 2006, Classroom Management A Proactive Approach, Pearson Merrill
So, how can I change the learning environment? What can I modify? How do I find out how they feel?
Typical Adolescent Behaviour
Trying on different persona's/identities
Over-sensitive : difficulty reading facial & social cues due to slow development of amygdala (e.g.
teacher A
hates me/doesn't like me)
Scientists have identified a specific region of the brain called the
which is responsible for instinctual reactions including fear and aggressive behavior. This region develops early. However, the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls reasoning and helps us think before we act, develops later. This part of the brain is still changing and maturing well into adulthood.
Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains function differently than adults when decision-making and problem solving. Their actions are guided more by the amygdala and less by the frontal cortex.
This means that....

Adolescents are
likely to:
• act on impulse

misread or misinterpret social cues
and emotions
• engage in dangerous or risky behavior
Adolescents are
likely to:
• think before they act
• pause to consider the potential consequences of their actions
• modify their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors.
So that means...
Think about my leadership style - how do I come across to the class?

Choose small focus group to target rather than whole class: main instigators of behaviour issues - Can I use the key players to POSITIVELY influence the rest of the behaviour?
A common theme in my readings, both local and international, is the claim that students need to feel part of a community to flourish. We could speculate that these boys are less engaged and more disruptive because they do not feel they belong. Readings also show that at risk students see little to strive for: so how do we convince these guys that it is worth their while to make an effort? Can we create a truly inclusive environment that they can feel part of and can take ownership in?
Being part of something bigger:
The Maori term 'Ako' describes a teaching and learning relationship where the educator is also learning. Ako is grounded in the principle of reciprocity and recognises that the learner and whānau cannot be separated. In this sense, the word 'whanau' applies to
Who they are outside of school/at home-family influence
the community of learners within the school settings - peers and teachers
Ako acknowledges the way that new knowledge and understandings can grow out of shared learning experiences. This concept has been supported by educational research showing that when teachers facilitate reciprocal teaching and learning roles in their classrooms, students’ achievement improves (Alton-Lee, 2003).

The principle of ako affirms the value of the pair and group learning approaches in which students interact with their peers, teacher, tasks, and resources.
This links to the work of John Hattie, who say's
"it's more about the learning than the teaching".
and promotes the idea of Visible Learning:
where the students know exactly how well they're doing and can articulate this, and
what they need to know
, to their teacher.
Hattie says that teachers should ask themselves, "how many of the kids in your classroom are prepared to say, in front of class, 'we need help', or 'we don't know what's going on'? "

It's a rare thing and it's all about building a culture of trust: between students, between teachers and students, between staff and parents, and between staff themselves:
Sadly, I have discovered no miracle cures - this is an on-going work in progress! But I think it is important because...
Alfie Kohn beleives traditional management strategies begin with the premise that the child is in the wrong. He suggest that we consider:

* when there's a problem, we should focus not only on the child who doesn't do what he's asked, but also on what he's being asked to do (and how reasonable it is).

* when a student is off task, the right question to ask isn't "How do I get him back on?" but "What's the task?"

* Maybe when a student does something inappropriate, we should look at the climate of the classroom that we have helped to create.

"Working with students to build a safe, caring community takes time, patience, and skill. It's no surprise, then, that discipline programs fall back on what's easy: punishments ("consequences") and rewards. Do they work? Yes and no. Threats and bribes can buy a short-term change in behavior, but they can never help kids develop a commitment to positive values...Children learn to make good choices by having the chance to choose, not by following directions."

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