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Tender Mercies

 

Rules and Procedures

 

For this monograph, I am going to focus on three classroom management ideas that need to be implemented at the very beginning of the school year. I will attempt to explain the behavioral goals, as well as the ensuing teacher and student actions necessary to assure that the learners successfully meet the inherent benchmarks (Laureate Education, 2007).,


The first component I chose for my third graders involved teaching rules and procedures for working in pairs. In this format, to insure optimal learning experiences for all, there must be shared control and responsibility and well-defined limits (Jones & Jones, 2007). For our purposes, rules can be referred to as behavior norms and procedures can be defined as expectations for behavior that facilitates accomplishment of a specific activity (Jones & Jones, 2007). As such, these modi operandi should be tailored to the needs of the children, as well as the lesson at hand (Laureate Education, 2007). Before the actual lesson begins, I plan to read a story to the students that accentuates the importance of following rules and procedures. My choice is Appelemando’s Dreams” by Patricia Polacco (Polacco, 1991).


After reading and discussing the Polacco tale, my overarching strategy is first to explain that we are going to work with partners on the upcoming activity. I will next provide a rationale for why “Think, Pair, Share” will be especially helpful in understanding the contents of the lesson. I will also provide a connection to the adult workplace by stressing that the ability to collaborate is a quality that many employers seek in their workers. Next I will demonstrate the expected behaviors through role playing. In this manner a sense of teamwork will be instilled in the youngsters. This will encourage them to reach for the higher standard of working together so that each will not let the partner down. Correlationally, this should deepen their intrinsic motivation.  Additionally, as part of this rehearsal, I would have the role players talk in “twelve inch voices”, while in a knee to knee position, etc. I would also let the children witness a non example by having two students model inappropriate behavior in this configuration. I would further remind them of our agreed- upon beginning and ending cues. Finally, before the actual activity commences, I would ask the learners to practice the routines, as I provide guidance. If I feel that some students have not really understood the sequences, I am always prepared to reteach the procedure.


The next component I would like to discuss is instructional clarity. This involves being clear when you issue directions as well as present information to students in the form of a lesson or activity. In order to model lucid, “alpha” thinking, the related quality of preparedness in the teacher’s actions must be made evident to the youngsters (Jones & Jones, 2007). It is therefore incumbent upon the instructor to have the complementary materials ready. Clarity and preciseness also embrace orderly procedure. Therefore, the teacher should not relinquish students’ attention from the last activity until he/she has given clear instructions for the following activity (Jones & Jones, 2007). The next phase is to practice and implement a cue for getting the student’s attention. Once these prerequisites are accounted for, my next stage is to precisely describe goals, activities, directions and evaluation procedures connected to the lesson. This may include what they are doing, why they are doing it, how they can obtain assistance, describing the quality of finished work, what to do with the completed work and activities they can undertake when finished (Jones & Jones, 2007). In addition, I would remind students of key procedures related to the activity. In order to assess whether these directions and procedures were understood, I would have students paraphrase what I have said. I would also place directions and procedure steps where they can be seen (Jones & Jones, 2007). If, after monitoring the students’ progress I felt that they still did not fully understand the implications of the directions, I would break the task down into smaller segments (Jones & Jones, 2007).


From the very first day of the term, safe and secure learning environments are necessary for students to achieve their educational goals. Without this atmosphere students can feel anxious and defensive, emotions that are not conducive to intellectual growth. Abraham Maslow has taught us that children have within them two sets of needs. The first strives for growth and the other clings to safety (Silberman, 1996). The need to feel secure must be met before the child will take the risks associated with growth. One way to ensure a safe learning environment is an ongoing presence in our classrooms is to sharpen our behavior monitoring skills. Monitoring can involve scanning the classroom for potential problems. It can also include keeping track of the students’ decorum over an extended period of time. The difference between successful classroom discipline and the alternative is that prescient teachers prevent problems before they begin (Jones & Jones, 2007). For this positive outcome to occur teachers need to be eternally vigilant in their attention to student activity. Monitoring student behavior relies heavily on the teachers’ ability to multi-task. They must “read” the children as they teach (Laureate Education, 2007). In order to facilitate this perceptiveness, we must arrange seating patterns so that we can easily see and move among the pupils (Jones & Jones, 2007).In addition we must remain calm as we issue an immediate response to the problem. This can be done with quiet contact such as making eye contact, lending proximity to your physical presence, or touching the child on the shoulder. So too is asking the student for an on task response or reminding each of the rule not being followed (Jones & Jones, 2007).


Besides scanning, superintending incorporates a variety of intuitive skills. One such ability is to recognize signs in a student that usually precedes inappropriate acing out. These skills may also involve diplomatically discussing recurring misbehavior with the student. In this case, after validating the students’ feelings, and asking what solutions occur to the child, a mutually agreed upon oral or written plan or contract may be necessary. This format will insure that the children recognize their behavior and that their needs and teacher’s needs are simultaneously addressed and met. With a written contract, both the teacher and student can keep running records of the students’ progress or lack thereof. In this manner the student not only becomes aware of trends associated with hi/her performance but can develop a degree of autonomy, as well (Laureate Education, 2007).


In conclusion rules and procedures, introduced at the beginning of the year   provide the structure necessary to meet the student population’s academic, behavioral and personal needs. By establishing these behavioral norms and routines we are sending the message that we care to every learner (Laureate Education, 2007).


By constantly monitoring these behaviors we are ensuring that the desired results of these behavior norms are actuated. As a result of our philosophy and efforts, children become more autonomous, and as a result of the secure environment, are more able to take intellectual risks (Silberman, 1996). Further, by understanding the reasoning behind the rules, the children are more likely to internalize them (Jones & Jones, 2007). As part of their inner core of beliefs they will attend to these rules because of the inherent intrinsic motivation rather than the consequences and rewards. I must also be mindful that rules and procedures change according to classroom needs. Therefore I need to monitor that content, as well as the results attending these benchmarks, on a continuing basis.

Additionally by presenting clear “Alpha mode” instructions, directions and learning objectives, as well as involving the children in engaging lessons, not only will I enhance the learning, but I will also diminish the possibility that they will become bored  or confused, both of which are fecund breeding grounds for maladroit behavior (Jones & Jones, 2007). As we can discern, each of the three aforementioned components affects and informs each other. As such, they constitute a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.

-www.fastoutofthegate.com

 

References

Jones, V. & Jones, L. (2007). Comprehensive classroom management: Creating communities of
support and solving problems (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Upper Saddle River
NJ: Pearson.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2007). Program Five. “Establishing Procedures to Support
Classroom Management” {Motion Picture}. Baltimore: Harris, A.

Polacco, P. (1991).  Appelemando's dreams. New York NY Putnum & Grosset Group.

Silberman, M. (1996). Active learning 101 strategies to teach any subject. Boston MA: Allyn and
             Bacon.


 

 

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