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Effective Classroom Management


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Title: Effective Classroom Management

Effective Classroom Management
  • Classroom management is possibly the most
    important challenge facing beginning teachers.
  • A new teachers reputation among colleagues,
    school authorities, and students will be
    influenced by his or her ability to perform the
    managerial functions of teaching, particularly
    creating an orderly learning environment and
    dealing with student behavior.

Effective teachers have a repertoire of
management strategies to be used as situations
Research by Kounin, J.S.
The most interesting result that stems from all
this research is that good classroom managers
actually prevent problems from occurring through
the way they plan for and pace their lessons and
the means they use to nip misbehavior in the bud.
Independent Variables
  • Kounin conceptualized eight different variables
    for describing the group management behavior of
  • With-itness The ability to accurately spot
    deviant behavior, almost before it starts.
  • Overlappingness The ability to spot and deal
    with deviant behavior while going right on with
    the lesson.
  • Smoothness Absence of behaviors that interrupt
    the flow of activities

  • Momentum. Absence of behaviors that slow down
    lesson pacing.
  • Group alerting. Techniques used by teachers to
    keep noninvolved students attending and
    forewarned of forthcoming events.
  • Accountability. Techniques used by teachers to
    keep students accountable for their performance.

  • Challenge arousal. Techniques used by teachers to
    keep students involved and enthusiastic.
  • Variety. The degree to which various aspects of
    lessons differed.

Classroom Management
  • When effective classroom managers are compared to
    ineffective classroom managers, the following
    teacher behaviors were observed
  • The more effective classroom managers had
    procedures that governed student talk,
    participation, and movement turning in work, and
    what to do during downtime.

  • Laboratory and group activities in the effective
    managers classrooms ran smoothly and
    efficiently. Instructions were clear, and
    student misbehavior was handled quickly.
  • Effective managers had very clear work
    requirements for students and monitored student
    progress carefully.
  • Effective managers gave clear presentations and
    explanations, and their directions about note
    taking were explicit.

Child-Centered Traditions
  • The child centered perspective on classroom
    management views that the chief source of the
    problem as irrelevant curricula and overemphasis
    on quietude and uniformity of posture and
    movement upon a machine-like simulation of the
    attitudes of intelligent interest. The teachers
    business is to hold pupils up to these
    requirements and to punish the inevitable
    deviations which occur (Dewey in Kohn, 1996,

  • Preventative
  • Classroom Management

Preventative management is the perspective that
many classroom problems can be solved through
good planning, interesting and relevant lessons,
and effective teaching.
  • Establishing Rules and Procedures
  • Classrooms, in some ways, are similar to busy
    airports or busy intersections. They, too,
    require rules and procedures to govern important

  • Rules are statements that specify the things
    students are expected to do and not do.
    Normally, rules are written down, made clear to
    students, and kept to a minimum.
  • Procedures, on the other hand, are the ways of
    getting work and other activity accomplished.

  • Procedures are seldom written down, but effective
    classroom managers spend considerable time
    teaching procedures to students in the same way
    they teach academic matter.
  • Student movement, student talk, and what to do
    with the downtime are among the most important
    activities that require rules to govern behavior
    and procedures to make work flow efficiently

  • Student rules and procedures are of little value
    unless participants learn and accept them. This
    requires active teaching.
  • See page 187 for sample rules
  • Maintain Consistency
  • Effective classroom managers are consistent in
    their enforcement of rules and their application
    of procedures.

  • It is sometimes difficult for beginning teachers
    to establish consistency for at least two
  • 1. Rule breaking normally occurs when more than
    one event is going on simultaneously. A novice
    teacher cannot always maintain total awareness of
    the complex classroom environment and thus does
    not always see what is occurring.

  • 2. Many beginning teachers find it easier and
    less threatening to ignore certain student
    behavior rather than to confront and deal with
  • Experienced teachers know that avoiding a
    difficult situation only leads to more problems

  • Another dimension of preventative classroom
    management involves pacing instructional events
    and maintaining appropriate momentum. Keep
    lesson going in a smooth fashion.
  • Dangle is starting an activity and leaving it in

  • Teachers also slow down lessons by doing what
    Kounin labeled flip-flops. A flip-flop occurs
    when an activity is started and then stopped
    while another is begun and then the original is
    started again.
  • Dangles and flip-flops interfere with the
    smoothness of classroom activities, cause
    confusion on the part of the students, and most
    important, present opportunities for noninvolved
    students to misbehave.

  • Fragmentation and over dwelling are two frequent
    types of lesson slow-down behaviors.
  • Fragmentation occurs when a teacher breaks
    activities into overly small units. The teacher
    can be guilty of not making a complete sentence
    when giving instructions.
  • Over dwelling occurs when a teacher goes on and
    on after instructions are clear to the students.

Orchestrating Classroom Activities during
Unstable Periods
  • Opening Class. The beginning of class is an
    unstable time. Students are coming from other
    settings (home) where a different set of
    behavioral norms apply.
  • The beginning of class is also a time in most
    schools in which several administrative tasks are
    required of teachers, such as taking roll, lunch
    count, and making announcements.

  • Citing research of Gump (1967, 1982) and
    Rosenshine (1980), Doyle (1986) said that
    approximately 31 major transitions occur per day
    in elementary classrooms and they account for 15
    of class time.
  • It is during transition periods when many
    disruptions occur.

  • Cuing and signaling systems are used by effective
    teachers to manage difficult transitions periods.
  • Think of cuing as an alerting device similar to
    the yellow light on a traffic signal or the
    slow sign on a curving road.
  • Cues are used by teachers to alert students that
    they are about to change activities or tasks and
    to start getting ready.
  • See figure 5.2 on pages 192 and 193

  • The closing of class is also an unstable time in
    most classrooms.
  • Effective teachers anticipate the potential
    management problems associated with closing
  • Leave sufficient time to complete important
    closing activities.
  • Assign homework early enough so that confusion
    can be cleared up before the last minute.

  • Establishing routine procedures for collecting
    student work so class time will not have to be
    used for this activity.
  • Using alerting and cuing procedures to give
    students warning that the end of the class is
    approaching and certain tasks need to be
    completed before they leave.
  • Teaching older students that class will be
    dismissed by the teacher, not by the school bell
    or buzzer.

Developing Student Accountability
  • An additional dimension of classroom management
    involves rules and procedures for managing and
    holding students accountable for their work.

  • Have procedures for monitoring student work.
  • Communicate assignments clearly and specify work
  • Be consistent in checking students completed
  • Provide appropriate feedback on assignments.

The Causes of Misbehavior
  • Students find schoolwork boring and irrelevant
    and try to escape it
  • Students out of school lives (family and
    community) produce psychological and emotional
    problems that they play out in school.

  • 3. Students are imprisoned within schools that
    have authoritarian dispositions, which causes
    them to rebel.
  • 4. Student rebelliousness and attention seeking
    are a part of the growing up process.

Using Rewards
  • When certain behaviors are reinforced, they tend
    to be repeated.
  • Behaviors that are not reinforced tend to
    decrease or disappear.

  • The key to using reinforcement principles to
    influence student behavior obviously rests on the
    teachers ability to
  • identify desirable behaviors
  • identify appropriate reinforcers and
  • skillfully use these reinforcers to strengthen
    and encourage desired behaviors.

  • Praise The reinforcer most readily available to
    the classroom teacher.
  • Effective praise is specific
  • Attends to students accomplishments
  • Helps students appreciate their accomplishments
  • Attributes success to effort and ability
  • Focuses attention on task related behavior.

  • Rewards and Privileges
  • Teachers can also encourage desirable behaviors
    through granting rewards and privileges to
  • Points for certain kinds of work or behavior that
    can enhance a students grade
  • Symbols such as gold stars, happy faces, or
    certificates of accomplishment
  • Special honor rolls for academic work and social

  • Privileges
  • at the command of most teachers to bestow
  • Serving as class leader or helper collects or
    passes out graded papers
  • Extra time for recess
  • Special time to work on a special individual
  • Being excused from some required work
  • Free reading time

  • (Rewards and privileges will not solve all
    classroom management problems.)
  • Effective teachers usually involve their students
    in identify rewards and privileges in order to
    ensure their effectiveness.

  • Coercive Punishment and Penalties
  • Rewards and privileges are used to reinforce and
    strengthen desirable behaviors.
  • Punishment and penalties are used to discourage
    infractions of important rules and procedures.

  • Socially acceptable punishments and penalties
    available to teachers are
  • Taking points away for misbehavior that, in turn,
    affects students grades
  • Making the student stay in from recess or after
    school detention
  • Expelling from class or send a student to a
    counselor or administrator

Classroom Management Programs
  • Assertive Discipline
  • The Canters program maintains that teachers can
    gain control of their classrooms by insisting on
    appropriate student behavior and by responding
    assertively to student infractions.

  • Consequences for disobedience are clearly
    specified. (simple, will not cause serious
    disruption in the instructional program)
  • Students and their parents are given clear
    explanations of these rules, and the consequences
    for infractions are explained.
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