Do you stay awake at night racking your brain for more effective ways to engage your students, dealing with students with varying needs, make the learning more enjoyable and relevant and help the struggling student?
Whole class reward systems have many positive benefits for you and your students. Motivating your students is the key to making them enjoy their learning experience.A major part of motivation is positive reinforcement, one of the oldest tricks in the book used to encourage certain types of behaviour.
Parents are the first educators of their children and as such are your valuable allies in the quest to develop their child into a lifelong learner. Parents hold the information that can make your life as a teacher much easier, they can hold the key to unlocking student potential and tips that get students to cooperate.
Having a positive classroom culture is one of the most important elements of a successful learning environment and thus teachers should actively work towards creating a classroom culture that encourages participation and student success.
Prevention is always better than cure. Use these foundation teaching skills to prevent most behaviour problems before they arise...
While there is no quick fix for the difficulties schools face with the behaviour of some students, many of the issues can be mitigated by having a positive whole school behaviour management approach. Schools that work well with students with challenging behaviour, usually work well with all students. It is about putting most of our efforts into positive, proactive strategies and having a solid foundation.
How to Have a Stress Free Classroom
I recently read an article about the current Bridezilla phenomenon. The American documentary series of the same name explores what happens to seemingly ‘normal’ girls once they are planning a wedding- on the TV show they often become uncontrollable, bullying, emotional and use whatever means necessary to get what they want. All this to plan what is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives!!
To get the most out of your students, it is important that you get the most out of yourself first. You can do this by modelling high standards in your lesson preparation.
Here is a good way to think through how to develop routines that work for you and your students. What it usually means is that the teacher has invested time and energy into teaching the students the routines that they need to follow. This means that the teacher has decided on the behaviour they want to see in the classroom and designed processes that will work for the particular class.
How well you listen can impact your relationships greatly. Here are 6 areas where better listening can create a shift in your effectiveness in and out of the classroom.
Much off task behaviour and disruption could be prevented through the use of relevant, engaging curriculum and interesting pedagogy. If you consider how long you can sit still in a meeting or professional development and remain focused it is not that difficult to understand why students can be off task and unmotivated.
A technology teacher at one of our workshops raised an ongoing issue he was having with students who don’t bring appropriate clothing to his subject. This is a safety concern as well as a behaviour issue - students cannot participate in the lesson without correct footwear. This makes extra work for the teacher, taking him away from the rest of the class while he finds work for these students and manages their behaviour.
Teachers often come to me bemoaning the fact that while they know the strategies to use for one off-task student, but they don't know what do they do when there is more than one student misbehaving. This situation can feel overwhelming and you may need to look outside the box for answers to this dilemma.
Have you ever taught a student who made you dread going to class? The student who won't engage no matter what you do? Who made you wait expectantly for the bell at the end of the lesson even more eagerly than the students? I know I have! A student who won't engage with the learning, who refuses to follow directions, who disrupts the class and with whom you feel you cannot connect can really undermine your confidence. Don’t despair. There are ways to relieve your stress levels and improve the situation.
We know that a student displaying constantly inappropriate behaviour and not effectively accessing the learning is a cause for concern. When the student doesn’t respond to your whole class expectations, reinforcements and consequences you may decide to work with them to develop an individual behaviour contract. Depending on the severity of the problem, parental support can also be enlisted to implement the plan.
Have you ever decided to use group work in one of your classes only to have it very quickly turn to chaos? When I first started teaching Year 1 I had just this experience. I was so excited to use group work because I had read all the literature on how students learn better in social situations. I was convinced my students were going to benefit so much because of this wonderful cooperative learning strategy. Of course what ended up happening was just a mess! There were kids rolling around on the floor, some of them were bossing the others around and some went off on their own to read in the reading corner. It was an unmitigated disaster!
Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conflict with a student that began with a minor issue that blew way out of proportion and ended in the student having a meltdown, the principal being called and perhaps the student being suspended? Many teachers have been in this situation and it is not a happy place. It can feel like things are out of control and you are heading down a path you wish you never started. You simply asked the student to put their hat away and now there is a broken window, a cut hand and this is not what you signed up for. Low-level behaviours require low-level responses.
While your name may be the sweetest sound on earth to you, when it is overused in a negative tone, there is no sweetness! I have heard teachers use a student’s name over and over in a vain effort to have them comply with directions - to stop or start doing something. The teacher’s voice becomes white noise - the target student is not listening and the rest of the class is annoyed and also switching off. Being creative and using a variety of non-verbal ways to manage student behaviour and gain student attention can avoid this pitfall and save your voice:
As educators we all recognise that differentiation in the classroom is vital as students are individuals who learn at different rates and in different ways. However, planning, programming and assessing for the wide variety of needs and interests of multi-age and multi-ability classes can be quite a challenge! Here are 14 ways you can use differentiation in the classroom.