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Effective Classroom Management Techniques

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Classroom management is a term used by teachers, trainers, educators, etc. to describe the process of ensuring that classrooms are orderly and goal oriented. Classroom management basically refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers need and/ or apply to keep students organized, orderly, mentally alert, focused, attentive, on task and more importantly academically productive during a class. The term also involves the absolute prevention of disruptive behaviour preemptively, as well as effectively responding to it after it happens.

As a teacher, Classroom Management could be one of the most challenging task in the business of teaching, ensuring that lessons run smoothly without disruptive behaviour from students compromising or interfering with the teaching.

Effective teachers are passionate about teaching and educating their students. They want to spend their time teaching, not dealing with classroom disruptions. However, when once a teacher loses control of his/ her classroom, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to regain that control. This is the reason why every teacher must in one way or the other apply a suitable classroom management technique. This is because if applied properly, effective classroom management creates an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.

When classroom management strategies or techniques are executed effectively, teachers minimize the behaviours that impede learning for both individual students and groups of students, while maximizing the behaviours that facilitate or enhance learning.

An encompassing or updated view of classroom management techniques extends to everything that teachers may do to facilitate or improve student learning, which would include such factors as behaviour (a positive attitude, happy facial expressions, encouraging statements, the respectful and fair treatment of students, etc.), environment (for example, a welcoming, well lit classroom filled with intellectually stimulating learning materials that’s organized to support specific learning activities), expectations (the quality of work that teachers expect students to produce, the ways that teachers expect students to behave toward other students, the agreements that teachers make with students), materials (the types of texts, equipment, and other learning resources that teachers use), or activities (the kinds of learning experiences that teachers design to engage student interests, passions, and intellectual curiosity).

This is imperative because, a negative facial expression from a teacher, poorly designed lessons, uninteresting learning materials, a negative statement, a dull classroom or unclear expectations, for example, could contribute to greater student disinterest, increased behavioural problems, or unruly and disorganized classes, classroom management cannot be easily separated from all the other decisions that teachers make.

Therefore it is important to point out that, a good teaching and good classroom management techniques to a large extent are indistinguishable.

Importance 
  • A good classroom management establishes and sustains an orderly environment in the classroom.
  • An effective classroom management strategies increases meaningful academic learning and facilitates social and emotional growth.
  • Classroom management techniques decreases negative behaviours and increases time spent academically engaged.

Establishing procedures, like having children raise their hands when they want to speak, is a type of classroom management techniques.

Classroom Management Tips
Take Charge of Your Class
It is important to get everyone’s attention before beginning class. This means the lesson won’t begin, the lecture won’t start, and nothing will be written on the chalkboard until everyone is in his/ her seat paying attention.

Do This Right Now
This is a brief written activity that students are given as soon as they arrive in the classroom. This technique is intended to get students settled immediately, focused, productive, and prepared for instruction as quickly as possible.

Focus on the Disruptive Students
If students aren’t paying attention or busy doing other things, get them focused by using nonverbal signals of disapproval. If they are talking, pause and look toward them. If in front of the class, continue with the lesson but walk toward the problem students and stop near their seats, while still teaching. Having you so near usually shuts off the unwanted activity as the rest of the class’s attention is directed toward the misbehaving students. If there is a discussion going, direct a question to the student who is not paying attention or misbehaving. For example, mention the child's name; James, do you agree that amino acids are monomers of protein? This usually will make them pay attention.

Accolades
This is the act of publicly recognizing and praising students who have done something good, such as answering a difficult question or helping a peer. Accolade or Prop is done by the entire class and last typically for a short moment. It could be an applause or spoken phrase. The technique is intended to establish a group culture in which learning accomplishments and positive actions are socially valued and rewarded.

Let Students Choose Their Seats
At the beginning of the school year, it is important to let students pick or select seats for themselves which they will keep permanently all year. When students choose their seats, they have “ownership” in those seats and tend to behave well in order to avoid being moved.

Privately interview students
Interview students who aren’t academically engaged or displaying prosocial behaviour to learn how to better manage them. While running learning stations or a large-group activity, pull each student aside for a few minutes. Ask about;
  • What helps them focus,
  • Who they work well or better with,
  • Their favorite types of lessons,
  • Their favorite in-class activities,
  • Which kinds or what type of exercises help them remember key lesson points.

Note their answers to come up with activities and approaches that will engage them, thereby limiting classroom disruptions.

Be discreet
Discuss very negative behaviours in private. During break or after class firmly request a change in behaviour of those students who are disruptive.

Keep an Eye on Your Students
Class goes so much better when you can see your students. Turn your back on them and you may get surprised. Position yourself so that most, if not all of the class is visible. Watch out for shelves, computer equipment or class supplies that can block your view. When teaching, try to be facing students as much as possible. As you work with a student at his or her desk, place yourself so you can see most of the class. As you move around the classroom, don’t follow the same pattern. By varying your routine, it becomes harder for students to be disruptive if they don’t know where you will be next.

Make positive letters and phone calls
It is easier to call parents and report a child for misbehaving, but it is more important to call or write parents if students performed excellently. Keep students happy in and out of class by pleasantly surprising their parents, making positive phone calls and sending complimentary letters home. When the occasion arises, from academic effort or behavioural progress, letting parents know has a trickle-down effect. They’ll generally congratulate their kids; their kids will likely come to class eager to earn more positive feedback. This can also entice parents to grow more invested in a child’s learning, opening the door to home lessons. Such lessons are a mainstay element of culturally responsive teaching.

Repeat
This method is used when students do not perform a basic task correctly, and the teacher asks them to do it again the correct way. This technique establishes and reinforces consistent expectations for good quality work.

Make class engaging
A bored student is often a misbehaving student. This is why engaging curriculum is one of the strongest tools a teacher has in a well-managed classroom. Strive to create authentic and captivating curriculum that engages kids, sparks wonder, and requires hard work. Not everything needs to burst with excitement, but the more compelling you can make your class, the more engaged your students will be.

Avoid punishing the class
Address isolated behavioural issues instead of punishing an entire class, as the latter can hurt your relationships with students who are on task, on track and thereby jeopardize other classroom management efforts. Instead, call out specific students in a friendly manner. For example:
“Do you have a question?”, not “Stop talking and disrupting other students”
“Do you need help focusing?”, not “Pay attention and stop fooling around while I’m talking."

This basic approach will allow you to keep a friendly disposition, while immediately acknowledging poor behaviour.

IDENTIFY YOURSELF
It is important for your students to know you to an extent; your ideals, your beliefs. Tell your students who you are and why you're there. A classroom where each student deeply trusts the teacher has the potential to be a great environment for learning. To build that trust, tell your students who you are and why you chose to be a teacher. Tell them about your background, what you did when you were their age, and why you want to be their teacher. The more your students know about you and your intentions, the more they'll trust you to lead them.

Establish Consequences for Misbehaving
Good classroom management starts the first day of school. Once students learn there will be consequences for misbehaviour, they usually come around. Determine what consequences will be effective with your students. Ask yourself what students don’t want to have happen.

Tell students that there will be consequences for misbehaviour. First, if you must, put their name on the board. Tell them that how long they stay after class depends on how the rest of the hour goes. They now control their own destiny. If they behave, they will stay perhaps only few minutes. If they continue to cause problems, they will stay longer.

Follow through with consequences for misbehaviour. Show students that you are serious and they will take you seriously.

Hold parties
Throw an occasional classroom party to acknowledge students’ hard work, motivating them to keep it up. Even if it’s just for 20 or 30 minutes, they should be happy with snacks and a selection of group games to play. Clarify that you’re holding the party to reward them and they can earn future parties by demonstrating ideal behaviour, collectively scoring high on assessments and more.

Classroom management, especially with primary and junior secondary age students, never ends. It is an ongoing process, but once the foundation is laid, it only takes occasional reminders.

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