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Chapter #7 - Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management

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Katie Anderson

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Chapter #7 - Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management

Creating Productive Learning Environments: Classroom Management Productive Learning Environments Productive learning environments: classrooms that are orderly and focused on learning. Students feel emotionally & physically safe, and the daily routines, learning activities, and standards for appropriate behavior are all designed to promote learning In productive classrooms, students are well behaved, but the emotional climate is relaxed and inviting In a productive learning environment, students understand that learning is the highest priority, and they are respectful of others and accept responsibility for their actions Teachers rarely raise their voices, and the focus is on helping everyone learn The Importance of Classroom Management For teachers, effective classroom management creates an environment in which they can teach and students can learn For the public, effective classroom management is a clear, visible sign that schools and teachers are in charge and know what they're doing Influence on Student Learning and Motivation Learning is the central purpose of schooling, and the primary reason classroom management is so important is that students learn more and are more motivated to learn in well-managed classrooms
Students learn more when the environment is comfortable and inviting, so effective teachers strive to create an emotionally safe environment in which students can live and learn
We emphasize respect and personal responsibility because they promote personal, social, and moral development in our students
We avoid criticizing students because criticism detracts from learning
We create systems of procedures and rules because students learn more in environments that are safe and predictable
Productive learning environments are so important because they allow students to learn and teachers to teach Goals of Classroom Management Classroom management: comprehensive actions teachers take to create an environment that supports and facilitates both academic and social-emotional learning Discipline: teachers' responses to student misbehavior Jacob Kounin (1970) helped teachers understand the difference between classroom management and discipline Classroom management is more than simply keeping students quiet and in their seats. When effectively done, it contributes to learner's academic, personal, and social development Effective managers have four primary goals: 1. Creating a positive classroom climate Students learn more and are happier when the classrooms we create are safe and supportive Positive classroom climate: An environment in which learners feel physically and emotionally safe, personally connected to both their teacher and their peers, and worthy of love and respect Physically aggressive acts as well as name-calling, bullying, put-downs, and other forms of hurtful interactions detract from a positive classroom climate are discouraged 2. Creating a community of learners Learning communities: a classroom environment in which the teacher and the students work together to help everyone learn Inclusiveness and Support In a learning community, promoting learning isn't the teacher's responsibility alone
All students participate, support each other's learning, and believe all can succeed
Every student believes that he or she belongs in the classroom. Goals of Classroom Management 2. Creating a community of learners Respect for others When students learn to be respectful, their personal and social development advances and this development makes classroom management easier
Our job as teachers is to help young children understand that there are other students in the classroom
By carefully explaining that classroom rules are designed to protect the rights of students, and that all students have a responsibility to follow them, teachers can make a major contribution to their student's development 3. Developing learner responsibility Learners obey rules because the rules make sense, instead of obeying rules because of the threat of punishment for breaking them
Students understand that order is important for learning, and they follow rules because they're designed to protect their rights as well as the rights of others
Learners are more likely to obey rules when the rules make sense and when they recognize what rules exist to protect their rights and the rights of others
This responsibility also contributes to ethical thinking and character development
By promoting student responsibility and understanding, teachers actually make their own jobs easier
Students who display aggressiveness and other conduct disorders can be taught to accept responsibility for their own behavior Goals for Classroom Management 4. Maximizing opportunities for learning Academic learning depends on two factors: Time available for learning
The effectiveness of the teacher's instruction To maximize time for learning, some reformers have suggested lengthening the school year and the school day, and even increasing the amount of time devoted to certain subjects Classroom time exists at four levels: Allocated time: The amount of time a teacher designates for a particular content area or topic Instructional time: The amount left for teaching after teachers have completed routine management and administrative tasks
Teachers also lose instructional time when they respond to student disruptions and make transitions from one activity to another Engaged time: The time students spend actively involved in learning activities
Teachers influence their students' engagement by how they teach
Interactive instruction, such as questioning and group work, which place students in active roles, results in higher engagement rates than strategies such as lecture, where students remain passive Academic learning time: The amount of time students are both engaged and successful
If work is too difficult for students, they become frustrated, give up, and go off task
Maximizes instructional, engaged, and academic learning time so time is used efficiently
Maximizing learning time can also promote responsibility Creating Productive Learning Environments The Teacher's Role Teachers are essential for creating productive learning environments; they set the emotional tone for the classroom and create an atmosphere that can be inviting, neutral, or even threatening Teachers also create productive learning environments through the learning activities they design, which engage, ignore, or even distance students Caring: An Essential Element in Teaching Caring: a teacher's investment in the protection and development of the young people in his or her classes Students are more motivated and learn more in classrooms where they believe their teachers like, understand, and empathize with them A supportive classroom environment, where each student is valued regardless of academic ability or performance, is essential for both learning and motivation Communicating Caring Ways teachers communicate that they care about students Learning students' names quickly and calling on students by their first name
Greeting students every day and getting to know them
Using effective nonverbal communication such as eye contact and smiling
Using "we" and "our" in reference to class activities
Spending time with students
Holding students to high standards Effective Teaching Effective teaching: instruction that maximizes learning by actively involving students in meaningful learning activities It's virtually impossible for teachers to maintain orderly classrooms if instruction is boring or doesn't make sense to students Preventing Problems Through Planning The cornerstone of an effective management system is a clearly understood and consistently monitored set of rules and procedures that prevent management problems In planning rules and procedures, effective teachers consider the developmental levels of their students Creating Procedures and Rules Procedures: the routines students follow in their daily classroom activities Effective teachers create procedures for activities such as the following: Entering and leaving the classroom
Handing in and returning papers
Accessing materials such as scissors and paper
Sharpening pencils
Making trips to the bathroom
Making up work after an absence Rules: guidelines that provide standards for acceptable classroom behavior When consistently enforced, clear, reasonable rules not only reduce behavior problems that interfere with learning but also promote a feeling of pride and responsibility in the classroom community Guidelines for implementing rules: State rules positively - communicates desirable expectations for students
Emphasize rationales for rules - once students understand the reasons for rules they will take responsibility for their own behavior
Minimize the number of rules - helps prevent students from breaking rules simply because they forget
Monitor rules throughout the school year Creating Productive Learning Environments: Involving Parents Creating Productive Learning Environments:
Involving Parents Learning is a cooperative venture Benefits of Parental Involvement More positive attitudes and behaviors
Higher long-term achievement
Greater willingness to do homework
Better attendance and graduation rates
Greater enrollment in post-secondary education These outcomes result from parents' increased participation in and understanding of school activities, higher expectations for their children's achievement, and teachers' increased understanding of learners' home environments Parent-teacher collaboration can also have long-term benefits for teachers. Teachers who encourage parental involvement report more positive feelings about teaching and their school. They also have higher expectations for parents and rate them as being more helpful Strategies for Involving Parents All schools have formal communication channels, such as open houses; interim progress reports; parent-teacher conferences; and report cards. Send a letter home to parents within the first week of school that expresses positive expectations for students and solicits parents' help
Maintain communication by frequently sending home packets of student work
Emphasize students' accomplishments through e-mails, newsletters or individual notes One of the most effective ways to involve parents is to call them Talking to a parent allows you to be specific in describing student's needs When talking to parents, make an effort to establish a positive, cooperative tone that lays the foundation for joint efforts Economic, Cultural, and Language Barriers to Communicating with Parents Low-SES parents frequently lack resources, such as childcare, transportation, internet access, and even telephones, that allow them to engage in school Multiple jobs often prevent parents from volunteering at school and even helping their children with homework Cultural differences Involving Minority Parents Teachers can offer specific strategies for working with their children By encouraging parents to attend the school's open house, increases the likelihood that they would do so. Intervening When Misbehavior Occurs Intervening Effectively Intervention: a teacher action designed to increase desired behaviors or eliminate student misbehavior and inattention When intervening in the case of misbehavior, you have three goals: Stop the misbehavior quickly and simply
Maintain the flow of the lesson
Help students learn from the intervention They following guidelines can help reach these goals: Demonstrate withitness and overlapping Withitness: a teacher's awareness of what's going on in all parts of the classroom at all times and communicating this awareness to students "Having eyes in the back of your head"
Teachers who are with-it also watch for initial signs of attention or confusion; they approach, or call on, inattentive students to bring them back into lessons; and they respond to signs of confusion with questions
They are sensitive to students and make adjustments to ensure students are involved and successful Overlapping: a teacher's ability to attend to two issues simultaneously Overlapping allows to maintain the flow of the lesson while stopping the misbehavior, two major goals of interventions
The lack of withitness and overlapping is often a problem for beginning teachers. Well-established routines and carefully planned instruction simplifies the amount teachers have to think about Intervening Effectively Preserve student dignity A positive classroom climate is an essential component of a productive learning environment, and the tone of your interactions with students influences both the likelihood of their compliance and the emotional climate in your classroom
Loud public reprimands, criticism, and sarcasm reduce students' sens of safety, create resentment, and detract from a positive classroom climate
When students break rules, simply reminding them of the rule and why it's important and requiring compliance are as far as a minor incident should go Maintain consistency The need for consistency is essential for an effective classroom management system
Achieving complete consistency in the real world is virtually impossible; interventions need to be adapted to the student and the context Keep communication congruent If teachers' communications are going to make sense to students, their verbal and nonverbal behaviors need to be congruent
When verbal and nonverbal behaviors are inconsistent, people attribute more credibility to tone of voice and body language than to spoken word
The more eye contact teachers make with their students the more likely the students are to believe that they're with-it and are in charge of their classes Handling Serious Management Problems:
Violence and Aggression Most schools have created prevention programs, taken security measures, and established detailed procedures to protect students and teachers from violent acts When students are verbally aggressive, your goal is to keep the problem from escalating In the case involving fighting, follow these three steps: Stop the incident (if possible)
Protect the victim
Get help A loud noise, such as shouting, clapping, or slamming a chair against the floor will often surprise the students enough so they'll stop. You can then begin to talk to them, check to see if anyone is hurt, and then take the students to the main office, where help is available If this does not help, you should immediately rush an uninvolved student to the office for help Unless you're sure that you can separate the students without danger to yourself, or them, attempting to do so is unwise You are legally required to intervene in the case of a fight. If you ignore a fight even on the playground, parents can sue for negligence on the grounds that you failed to protect a student from injury The law does not require you to physically break up the fight; immediately reporting it to administrators is an acceptable form of intervention Parents want to be notified immediately if school problems occur The vast majority of management problems will involve issues of cooperation and motivation. Many problems can be prevented, others can be dealt with quickly, and some require individual attention Effective Classroom Management in Urban Classrooms Students in urban environments come from very diverse backgrounds As a result of this diversity, their prior knowledge and experiences vary, and what they view as acceptable patterns of behavior also varies Urban classes are often large Negative stereotypes about urban students create the perception that developing a productive learning environment through classroom management is difficult, if not impossible Urban teachers often "teach defensively," "choosing methods of presentation and evaluation that simplify content and reduce demands on students in return for classroom order and minimal student compliance on assignments." This defensive approach results in lowered expectations and decreased student motivation Students who aren't motivated to learn are more likely to be disruptive because they don't see the point in what they're being asked to do Classroom management is an urban environment doesn't have to be over restrictive or punitive. Four important factors: Caring and supportive teachers Teachers who care are important in all schools but are critical in urban environments
When students perceive their teachers as uncaring, disengagement from school life occurs, and students are much more likely to display disruptive behaviors than their more involved peers Effective Classroom Management in Urban Classrooms Clear standards for acceptable behavior Urban students' views of acceptable behaviors often vary
Being clear about what behaviors are and are not acceptable is essential in urban classrooms
The line between clear standards for behavior and an overemphasis on control is not cut-and-dried. One important difference is that in productive urban classrooms, order is created through 'the ethical use of power." High Structure Procedures that lead to well-established routines are important, and predictable consequences for behaviors are essential
A predictable environment leads to an atmosphere of order and safety, which is crucial for developing the sens of attachment to school essential for learning and motivation Effective instruction Classroom management and instruction are interdependent, and, unfortunately, students in urban classrooms are often involved in low-level activities such as listening to lectures and doing seat work that is not challenging
This type of instruction contributes to low motivation and disengagement, which further increase the likelihood of management problems
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