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Strategies for Creating an Effective Classroom Environment

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Jeff Timpe

on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of Strategies for Creating an Effective Classroom Environment

Strategies for Creating an Effective Classroom Environment
Addressing Aggression and Violence at School
Reducing Unproductive Behavior
Unproductive behaviors or misbehaviors are characterized as actions that can potentially disrupt learning and planned classroom activities, put one or more students’ physical safety or psychological well-being in jeopardy, or violates basic moral and ethical standards.

• Some misbehaviors are minor and have little to no long-lasting impacts on students’ well-being or achievements. e.g. talking out of turn
• Some misbehaviors are serious and can have a long-lasting effects on students’ well-being and achievement. e.g. hitting classmates.

As a teacher you must remember that consequences need to be consistent, however different strategies may be implemented.

Expanding the Sense of Community Beyond the Classroom
Plan for transitions
Take individual and developmental differences into account
Keep students productively engaged in worthwhile tasks
Establish reasonable rules and procedures
Collaborate with colleagues to create an overall sense of school community
Work and communicate cooperatively and regularly with agencies that play key roles in student's lives and parents/primary caregivers
Invite families to participate in the academic social life inside the school
Sometimes instructional strategies or assignments cause unproductive behavior. When students have difficulty learning something or little to no interest in learning something they may misbehave. Ask yourself how you can modify your teaching to help the students learn.
Consider whether something you deem as a misbehavior is due to a student’s cultural background. Something unacceptable here may be totally acceptable in another culture. e.g. not looking the teacher in the eyes is a sign of respect throughout most Asian countries.
Ignore misbehaviors that are temporary, minor and unlikely to be repeated or copied. If a misbehavior is not going to interfere with a childs well-being or achievement and is not a “contagious” behavior you may do more good in ignoring it. Sometimes pointing out a misbehavior reinforces it rather than discourages it. Ignore these behaviors

It is almost winter break at North Brook Elementary School, almost halfway through the year. Mr. Fields’ cannot wait for the end of the school year. Even though his classroom is bare of posters and any other objects that may be distracting and each desk is at least three feet from another, his students always seem distracted and chatty. He tries to get them to pay attention by surprising them with 100-point quizzes. Often, he reminds them that this material will mostly likely be on the standardized test at the end of the year and that they would have to repeat third grade, if they fail. Even when he repeats the information to the point at which he is sick of it, his students still do not seem to remember it.

Furthermore, there are quite a few students who annoy him. Among the most annoying are Ally and Charlie. Ally rarely shows up to class on time and is always distracted. Mr. Fields calls on her to answer questions whenever he thinks she is not listening. She never knows the answer and no longer seems embarrassed by getting the answer wrong in front of her peer. “Obviously”, Mr. Fields’ concludes, “She is not an intelligent child.”

Charlie is a distraction to the other students because he often talks about violent video games, which other students find frightening, and he will throw objects and scream in class. Mr. Fields yells at him for his inappropriate behavior and tells him to stop acting like a child. He sends Charlie to the office or isolates him in the middle room for a time-out, but his behavior never changes. Mr. Fields wonders what is wrong with his parents. “How could they raise such an awful child?” He thinks. Mr. Fields cannot wait until he retires in five years.

Creating an Environment Conducive to Learning
Enforce rules consistently and equitably
Create a sense of community and belongingness
Continually monitor what students are doing
Classroom Management
: Establishment and maintenance of a classroom environment conducive to learning and achievement
Classroom Climate
: Overall psychological atmosphere of the classroom
Provide a supportive environment
Hold high expectations and standards for children's behavior
Consistently enforce rules for behavior
Include children in decision making
Students feel safe and secure
Learning is a high priority
Use only punishments that have shown to be effective in reducing misbehaviors. Punishment is most useful when a student has little or no motivation to change their bad behavior. Be careful with punishments. Try to use mild punishments.
Teaching style
Identify poor relationships
Hostile feelings
Rarely interacts
Learned helplessness
Strategies to repair relationship
Analyze behavior
Meet with student
Spend more time with the student
Sense of Community:
Shared belief that teacher and students have common goals, are mutually respectful and supportive, and all make important contributions to classroom learning
: General sense that one is an important and valued member of the classroom
Peer support
Listen to your students
Student social skills
Classroom activities
Mastering academic subject matter
Students' attention
Discuss with Parents
Important when student behavior problems show a pattern that has negative academic and social effects.

Be conscious of how you communicate with the parents. Don’t just showcase the negative behavior.

Be mindful of different cultures and perspectives that your students and their parents may have.
To Address a Chronic Problem
A systematic intervention is needed when the problem behavior is persistent.
Determine if Undesirable Behaviour Might Help the Student
Sometimes students’ misbehaviour can actually help them maintain a sense of well-being.
Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA is behavior therapy that focuses on changing the conditions and contingencies around the student.
A suggestion for this is collect data on the frequency of the problem and desired behaviours both before and during the intervention.
Cognitive Behavior study focuses on the cognitive and motivational factors.
Encourage a better perspective on aspects of social cognition like taking.
Using the Functional Analysis Approach which identifies the specific stimulus conditions that exists both before and after the behavioral event.
Precursor -> Behavior -> Consequence
Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) is a step that takes the undesired behavior and turns it into a desired one.
Give student opportunities to make choices; that way, the student often gains the desired outcome without the need for the inappropriate behavior.
• Incorporate variety into lessons
o Colorful audiovisual aids, small groups, discussion, and moving around
• Always want to try and have the students doing something
o If students don’t have something to do it will most likely lead to misbehavior
• How to keep students productively engaged
o Have everything ready before class
o Make sure all students participate
o Make sure time with individual students is short

• Strategies to keep students on task differ from student to student
o Factor in temperament (energetic, irritable, impulsive)
o Factors also include ability level (students will work harder when they have an appropriate task)

• Teachers constantly communicate withitness
o Teachers give the impression of knowing what all students are doing at all times
o Demonstrating this will cause better behavior and high achievement

• Misbehaviors often occur during transitions
• Leave little time between activates
• Can give small assignments between transitions
o A middle school math teacher has students copy the next homework assignment as soon as they come to class
o An elementary school teacher has students follow the same procedure each day as lunchtime approaches: (1) Place completed assignments in a basket on the teacher’s desk (2) Put away supplies (3) Get lunches from the coatroom, and (4) Line up quietly by the door

• Consistently force classroom rules across occasions and students
• Students can start to become resentful when teachers start to grant special favors and over look rule breaking

• Students should know what behavior will not be tolerated
• Having reasonable rules promotes a more productive learning environment, and helps students prepare to become members of adult society
• Communicate effective classroom rules and procedures right from the start
o Take time to clarify rules if necessary
• Students should know the rules are in place to have the classroom run smoothly and effectively
• Try and present the rules and requirements as information

Creating challenging and engaging curriculum
Creating caring and trusting student-faculty relationships
Establishing partnerships
Establish communication networks
Creation of a Peaceful School Environment
Social skills training
Club involvement
Reinforce productive behaviors
Intervene Early for Students who are at Risk of Social Failure
Identify students who exhibit warning signs of violent behavior
Encourage school collaboration with mental health clinics, police, etc.
Share with students their strengths and weaknesses
Avoid jumping to any conclusions about the students
Provide Major Intervention for Students in Trouble
Communicate and enforce clear policies
Identify the specific nature of gang activity
Forbid signs and symbols associated with gang membership
Actively mediate internal and external gang disputes
Gang Violence
What are some of the issues with Mr. Field's class?
What are some other possible explanations for his students' behaviors?
How can he improve his teaching?
Case Study Questions
Mr. Field's Class
A Better Classroom
Arrange the classroom to maximize attention and minimize disruptions
Intriguing materials
Chronically misbehaving students or uninvolved students
Communicate acceptance, caring, and respect for every student
Work hard to improve relationships that have gotten off to a bad start
Create a goal-oriented, businesslike atmosphere

When a child is also concerned about their behavior use self-regulation strategies. This allows the teacher to focus on other things while the student themselves regulate their behavior
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