Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Checklist for the Successful Prevention of Behavior Problems--49 Ideas That Can Help

  1. _____    Change pace of lesson to meet needs of students
  2. _____    Provide transition activities between assignments
  3. _____    Make sure students know the relevance of their assignments
  4. _____    Deliver instructions in at least two modalities
  5. _____    Praise good behavior as often as possible
  6. _____    Teach and reteach classroom procedures
  7. _____    Enforce classroom rules consistently and fairly
  8. _____    Call a student’s home while a problem is still manageable
  9. _____    Contact a student’s home early in the year to create a supportive relationship
  10. _____    Stand in the same area of the classroom when asking for student attention
  11. _____    Set reasonable and clear boundaries and help students observe them
  12. _____    Present yourself in a professional manner at all times while you are at school
  13. _____    Be specific when giving directions
  14. _____    Make sure that your behavior directives are positive in tone
  15. _____    Listen patiently when students are expressing themselves
  16. _____    Provide a mixture of activities so that students can be successful
  17. _____    Celebrate your students’ successes
  18. _____    Make sure students have clearly expressed and obtainable goals
  19. _____    Design and deliver engaging instructional activities that encourage active learning
  20. _____    Model the courtesy you want from your students
  21. _____    Provide motivational activities to inspire your students to want to learn
  22. _____    Use encouragement to make sure that students know what to do to be successful.
  23. _____    Establish classroom signals so that students can seek help appropriately.
  24. _____    Follow school rules and observe school policies. Help your students to do the same.
  25. _____    Try to ignore as much of the small stuff as you can.
  26. _____    Make student success as visible as possible. Let students see their successes.
  27. _____    Offer appropriate tangible rewards as often as necessary and effective.
  28. _____    Encourage students to work together and help each other learn.
  29. _____    Move close to a student who is just beginning to misbehave.
  30. _____    Don’t turn your back on a class.
  31. _____    Don’t ever leave a classroom unattended.
  32. _____    Pay attention to the signs that your students are starting to be restless. Change the                    activity sooner rather than later.
  33. _____    Offer plenty of formative assessments so that your students will know what to do.
  34. _____    Stop horseplay as you as you can. It can quickly escalate into trouble.
  35. _____    Avoid giving students “free time.”
  36. _____    Carefully monitor your students throughout class. Move around.
  37. _____    Start to build positive and caring relationships with your students early in the year.
  38. _____    Present yourself as a well-prepared, knowledgeable teacher who is clearly in charge.
  39. _____    Never lower your academic or behavioral expectations for your students.
  40. _____    Offer help individually and to larger groups.
  41. _____    Try offering your students as many options about their work as possible.
  42. _____    Set up the traffic flow in your class so that students can move around easily.
  43. _____    Say, “What are you doing to help yourself learn right now?”
  44. _____    Make it easy for students to be willing to take a risk by encouraging an atmosphere of                tolerance.
  45. _____    Be so prepared for class that you can focus on your students .
  46. _____    Pay attention to the things that tend to trigger misbehavior and address them early.
  47. _____    Provide activities where students can interact productively with each other .
  48. _____    Arrange the desks in your classroom so that you can see every student and every                student can see you.
  49. _____    Have students settle to work as soon as they enter class by providing them with                engaging and useful bell work activities.

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Manage Snow Days and Other Inclement Weather Events

Inclement weather takes many forms: bitter cold, hurricanes, tornadoes, excessive heat, floods…just about any weather event can turn into a school-closing inclement weather event very quickly. As teachers, we probably welcome the idea of an occasional happy day spent snug at home just as much as our students do. But the issue is far more complicated for us than it is for our students. Here are some things to think about the next day you have to miss school due to inclement weather.

        Be the responsible adult in the room and temper your personal enthusiasm for a day off—at least in front of your students. Not every student welcomes a snow day. For some, home is not the comfortable, safe haven that school should be. There may not be enough food or heat or the family dynamic may be dysfunctional. Be mindful of this as you help students manage the time away from school.

        Loading students up with homework or rushing them through a lesson is not the most productive way to catch up on missed work. Instead, be sensible. A little here and there over a few days of class will result in more learning and less stress for everyone. Shift your plans instead of rushing.

        Even if the time away from school is only one day, spend a few minutes reminding kids about the information from the previous class. Activate their prior knowledge. Get them back into the routine of thinking about school. Spending a few minutes on this will save you a great deal of time in the long run.

         Before demanding that homework be completed, check to make sure that your students have access to power and a place to work.

        If you have a class Web page or another way to communicate with students, touch base with them while they are not in school. Remind them what they need to bring to class. Remind them what the day’s schedule will be like. Communicate with them so that they can be as prepared for a productive return as possible.

        It’s always a good idea to leave your desk clean at the end of the day, but during the months when weather may make school difficult, it’s important to leave your classroom in good shape just in case you need a sub. Have a set of emergency plans, class rolls, seating charts, and anything else you can think of ready just in case you can’t get to school.

        Be kind. Ask kids what they did while they were not in school. If the weather event is extreme, they will want to share stories. Shared stories and good listening build a positive class atmosphere.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Classroom Problem Solved: Did We Do Anything While I Was Out?

It's tempting to respond sarcastically when a student who has been absent from class innocently asks, "Did we do anything while I was out?"  Unless there is a plan in place to help students find out what happened and what work they need to make up, everyone feels frustrated. One way to manage this is to create a class log book where students take turns keeping a record of the day's events. You can have individuals, pairs, or even small groups do this. Sharing the responsibility for helping their classmates stay on track is also a good way to build community in a class.

Begin by printing several copies of a form similar to the one below. File the blank forms in a large three ring binder. When class starts, the student or students who are responsible for keeping the log that day simply turn to the first blank page and fill it out as class progresses. Soon, the logs add up to a complete record of what has happened  in class.

When absent students return to class, they first check the class log to see what happened in class and then can check with you ask clarifying questions and to pick up missing assignments, handouts, or returned papers.

Class Log
Day of the Week and Date____________________________________________________________
Student Reporter___________________________________________________________________
Homework Assignments and Due Dates
Class Activities
Work Turned In