This “slide show” identifies and describes the four common components or parts found in most effective classroom management systems. There is a “code” to help you view this show. A red punctuation mark indicates that the show has stopped. You must “left click” on your mouse to view the next part of the slide. A green punctuation mark also indicates a stopping point and the end of the material on a particular slide. Tom McIntyre, www.BehaviorAdvisor.com 9/20/06 Proficient management of student behavior is crucial to our success as teachers. It allows us to perform all the other duties associated with our job. While perhaps the most important skill of teaching, it is undoubtedly the most difficult to master. With reading, writing, and math, we can learn the curricula and teach the material well by following certain steps. Management of behavior also requires a knowledge base and skill in procedures, but there is much more that is required to do it well. In order to promote student achievement and guarantee physical, psychological, and intellectual safety to our charges, our actions and reactions must prevent and subdue inappropriate behavior. Most teachers find that their effectiveness is increased and enhanced if they construct a strong framework on which to attach their many strategies and interventions. Essentially, there are four universal requirements that must be considered and addressed when setting up a classroom management plan. There are four pieces of the behavior management puzzle that must fit tightly and securely. They are… The “BIG FOUR” 4 Most effective comprehensive behavior management systems used in classrooms contain four integral components. What are they? Rules Negative consequences for non-compliance Positive consequences for compliance Consistency on the part of the teacher. Component #1: Rules Generally, teachers set up rules early during the first day of school. Do any of you have an exception to the rule on rules? There is always an exception to rules (except certain absolutes such as “Do no harm.”, “Do what is in the student’s best interest.”) How many rules are appropriate? Usually 4-7, non-redundant of school rules…specific to the needs of your classroom. Do you involve the pupils in the making of the rules? If yes, how so? Another Rule for Making Rules Rules should inform kids as to the behaviors that are expected in the school house (rather than telling them what NOT to do). Avoid rules with “Don’t”s or “No”s. How then might we phrase them? POSTIVELY, identifying the behavior that we wish to see displayed. “Don’t rules” fail to tell the students what they should be doing. In fact, they may create misbehavior as students attend to the action word, failing to mentally attend to the “No” and “Don’t”. So…Let’s rephrase some of Mrs. Mutner’s rules into more positive versions. -No hitting -No cursing -No yelling -No cheating -No cell phones -No note passing -No asking unrelated questions -No talking while the teacher is talking -No saying “No”. Exceptions to the “No no’s” rule? Are there times when a “No rule” is indicated and useful? When positive phrasing would be awkward, complex, and/or interfere with understanding. To make it known that an action is so inappropriate, heinous, vile, and despicable that it is not acceptable under any circumstances. In general, rules Should Be Specific, describing the behaviors one wishes to see one’s students display. Sometimes though, we think “outside the box ” For whom might this less specific “Code of conduct” be appropriate? What might be the purpose of this approach? SAFETY: Are my actions safe for myself and others? RESPECT: Do my actions show consideration for myself and others? HONESTY: Do my words and actions meet the expectation to take care of myself and be a dependable member of the group? COURAGE: Am I resisting peer pressure or directions that might hurt others? Am I doing the right thing? COURTESY: Do my actions help to make this place a positive learning climate where people feel welcomed and accepted. Do my actions allow others to do their work without interruption? Thematic Rules Some teachers package their rules in a “theme” format. Anyone here do so? If yes, tell us more. What are your thoughts regarding the following example? (published in a newsletter of a state-level organization for special educators) Horse School House Rules No horsing around. Be mature. Don’t act like a colt. Trot on the track, not in the halls. Bridle you mouth while the trainer is instructing. Braid your mane at home. Don’t be a show horse. Munch on your hay with your mouth closed. Saddle up your manners & step into the stirrups of learning. Another Example: Rules with a Car Theme Keep your eyes on the road. (Do your own work) Buckle your seat belt. (Stay in your seat) Signal to turn. (Raise your hand to speak) Stay alert. (Listen while others speak) Stay in your lane. (Keep hands, feet, & objects to yourself) Be a courteous driver. (Speak kindly and encourage others) Control your speed and direction. (Use appropriate language and gestures) Most Experts Recommend that Rules be Posted Why? Serves as an on-going reminder as kids periodically scan the room. Allows us to promote selfcontrol by saying “What should you be doing right now?” while gesturing toward the poster. Other Influences On Rules? Might the rules be different for various age groups? Can you identify examples of rules that might be age-group specific? Might other characteristics such as gender cognitive level/intellectual ability culture/ethnicity disability/challenge affect the type, intent, focus, or wording of the rules? If yes, how so? . Component #2: Negative Consequences When student behavior does not match stated expectations (the rules, regulations, routines, directions), negative consequences for those actions are often deemed necessary. Punishment can be effective in promoting behavior change, but to gain this outcome, it must be administered in a well-informed and thoughtful manner. The above conditions are not often met. Typically, consequences are placed into a list of sequentially more punitive penalties. They usually follow an official “warning” telling the student to engage in the appropriate behavior. The word “warning” might be viewed as confrontational or coercive by the student, spurring defiance. Many teachers prefer “reminder” or “cue”. The “warning” is not actually the first intervention. The teacher should have tried to get the student on task in subtle ways previous to it (distracting the youngster, “proximity praise”). Too many teachers make this component the main ingredient in their behavior management stew. Instead, it should be a sparingly used spice adding a subtle undertaste. Other Important Points To Remember Let the list of consequences do the work while presenting yourself as being: Confident Calm Regretful at having to implement consequences Show more firmness and resolve (but not anger) in your voice and approach as the youngster moves through the penalty list while ALWAYS reminiscing about the times when s/he made a good behavior choice encouraging a good choice now to avoid further penalties. If the systematic application of a list of consequences isn’t working, change it. Get a better system. Don’t get meaner and crankier; get smarter. Immediately show a smile upon compliance (at any point) and thank the student for making “a good choice” or displaying the correct behavior (instead of holding a grudge and saying “It’s about time. Don’t do that again.”) People are more likely to comply with authority figures that they like. Be sure that the archive of positive interactions between you and student outweighs the history of negative events (at least 5-8 positive interactions for each negative one…more if interactions have been primarily negative to this point). Make a list of 4 to 7 consequences that could be used in your (future) classroom. After the consequences have been exhausted, it is time for the administrator in charge of discipline to take over. The teacher should be supportive and respectful when administering consequences. Talk about what privileges and points can be kept, versus how more will be lost. What if I only have one big punishment that I can use? Removal of recess Phone call to the home Send to the office Lunch in an isolated place Lethal injection . EITHER…Take it away in segments Elementary grades: 1 minutes of lost recess; 3 minutes; 7 minutes; 15 minutes; all of recess spent sitting on the sidelines watching others have fun Secondary: Student leaves 20 seconds after the bell for the 5 minutes of hallway passing to the next class; 45 seconds, 1½ minutes, 2 minutes; (then detention assigned…10 minutes if quiet during that time, 20 minutes if quiet) OR…Take away all of a privilege after a certain number of warnings have been given 3rd checkmark on the board results in implementation of serious consequence Decrease the number of warnings as the student is capable of more restraint. “Losing your license” (This slide shows the penalty component for the “Driver theme” plan seen earlier.) If a certain number of negative points accumulate, daily privileges (social time, lunch with friends) are denied. Violations that result in “points on your license”: Failure to yield right-of-way (disrespect shown toward others) Failure to observe a stop sign (failing to follow directions) Reckless driving (roughness with others) Excessive speed (use of profanity or offensive words) . Component #3: Positive Consequences The major focus of our system should be placed on “catching kids being good”. Have the students join you in promoting appropriate behavior by implementing a group reward system that creates positive peer pressure/support to behave well. (found at www.behavioradvisor.com) When the class is “out of control”, scan the room looking for kids who are doing “the right thing”. Recognize that those students in an attempt to instigate “the ripple effect”. Constantly watch for opportunities to recognize appropriate behavior. Don’t be stingy with praise, smiles, non-verbal positive signals. Positive Non-Verbal Signals What are some non-verbal signals that indicate pleasure with the actions displayed by students? Oops…That’s not what I meant To whom might these gestures be offensive? Thumbs up Pointing at the person Summoning with a finger curl Making the “V” for victory sign with the back of the fingers toward others The “OK” sign Pasting a star on a paper Handing items with the left hand A light touch on the shoulder, or mussing of the hair Showing the sole of your shoe to others when crossing legs . Negative Non-Verbal Signals What are some non-verbal responses that indicate displeasure with the actions displayed by students? Stern facial features and glaring eye contact (perhaps with angled body leaning back and arms folded across chest) Holding up index finder and wagging it side-to-side Holding up “stop” hand (arm outstretched and palm of hand facing student with fingers spread) . All in All… Research and craft knowledge tell us that our best behavior management practice is to catch kids being good. Make it the MAJOR focus of your behavior management approach. Component #4: Consistency In order for our system to be effective, we must be predictable in our responses to actions that abide by and break the rules.