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"Practical Classroom Management: Class-wide and Individual Strategies"
Consider the following two scenarios:
The first is Ella, a 4th grade student who has been having behavior problems in class
- she is frequently leaving her seat, which on occasion escalates into talking to or bothering
other students. She shows non-compliance and occasional disobedience when asked to return
to her seat. Ignoring Ella doesn't work – She simply seems to escalate from wandering, to
talking, to bothering. On the other hand, paying attention to her behavior and especially
reprimanding her will cause Ella to resist and engage in power struggles with the teacher.
Ella's academic skills are generally below average – her reading skills are well below
the other students and she is clearly embarrassed by reading aloud in class. Her math skills
are stronger, but as word problems are becoming more common, her reading skills get in the
way. Ella has good social skills, so you suspect that she can fool you and the others into
thinking she knows an assignment she really doesn't understand. Recently, you've noticed
that Ella's become more vocal in her defiance when asked to return to her seat and you worry
that she could become a real behavior problem. Ella's parents are strong supporters of the
school and are happy to be involved with working with you on Ella's problems.
The second scenario is Mr. Jones, a 6th grade teacher who finished his student teaching
a year ago. He is approaching the end of this first year of teaching and is concerned about
the general state of chaos in his classroom. It seems as if he has to send a constant stream
of students to the office despite repeated harsh warnings to them. He is worried about
making it through his probationary period. His principal has visited his room twice and
both were days that students seemed disinterested and disengaged with his lessons. The principal
observed that the majority of students were off-task, passing notes, talking with each
other, and making hand gestures when Mr. Jones was looking at the his overhead presentation
on the screen. It was also observed that at least 60 percent of the students did not have
the math text on their desk. The problems were more common in the back of the room where
the principal was observing. The principal asked Mr. Jones what he thought the reasons
were that students who were successful in previous classes were suddenly having problems
with his class. Mr. Jones is searching for answers to improve the behavior in his classroom.
Analysis
Although the goal of teaching is to establish an environment in which children can learn,
as the two scenarios have shown, students often engage in behavior that distracts themselves
and others from that task. Mild or serious disruptions can range from simply failing
to do assigned work through bothering or bullying others, to severe aggression towards classmates
and the teacher. The case of Ella is fairly typical of the types of mild student disruptions
a teacher is likely to encounter in class; however, there is rarely only one problem
when a child is misbehaving. Understanding how these problems fit together and what causes
them can ultimately provide insights into how to intervene.
Think about the case of Mr. Jones. Here is a situation where the teacher contributes
to the chaotic state of the classroom. A conversation with Mr. Jones quickly reveals that he is
questioning his competence to teach. Fortunately, classroom management, the ability to handle
and reduce student misbehavior, is a skill that can be learned by Mr. Jones or any other
teacher.
Classrooms are complex environments. When students enter a new classroom at the beginning
of the year, they bring with them varied previous school experiences and widely differing home
histories. Likewise, as the teacher, you enter the classroom with a set of expectations and
a history of experience working with children.
Even the most skilled teachers struggle sometimes with classroom management. Clearly, there
are some students whose behavior would pose a problem in any classroom. For the majority
of students, however, behavior can be shaped by appropriate and skilled classroom management.
The purpose of this module is to introduce a set of skills that enable teachers to establish
and maintain a classroom in which the amount of time students spend actively engaged in
learning is maximized, while disruptions are minimized.
Overview
This module will provide an introduction to ways of identifying and understanding classroom
management problems. We will begin by looking at Mr. Jones's whole class situation first
because understanding how classroom management affects the entire class is critical before
one can hope to make sense of an individual case such as Ella's. By examining Mr. Jones's
situation we will illustrate various aspects of instructional and management strategies
that set the context for student behaviors. Then we will look at Ella's case to provide
strategies in defining the problem(s) when the problem is primarily an individual one.
That section will begin with a review of some strategies that have shown to be counterproductive
in dealing with student behavior problems and then will follow up with considerations
of teacher attention, Functional Behavior Assessment and Individual Behavior Plans – strategies
that can be used when an individual level of intervention is necessary. Ultimately,
in order to be effective, teachers need both an understanding of how to structure their
class to maximize learning for all students and specific skills to deal with individual
students.
Classroom Management Defined
Classroom management can be defined as a collection of teaching strategies that promote the self-regulation
of behavior by students, in order to enable them to take maximum advantage of the available
learning time. Our ultimate goal is to encourage and motivate each student to be fully engaged
in the learning task, not to focus on misbehavior. If the focus is on misbehavior, a behavior
vacuum is created - the targeted problem may decrease, but is often replaced by another
undesirable behavior. However, by increasing appropriate behaviors, simultaneously problem
behaviors decrease. When students are fully engaged in learning they are not distracting
others from learning or causing the teacher to stop teaching.
A note on self-regulation. Ideally, teachers should not have to spend their time telling
students what they should be doing, but rather students need to internalize teachers' expectations
so they can be independent learners. The overall focus of this module is on moving from reacting
to student misbehavior to preventing student misbehavior.
Part 1: Classroom management strategies for preventing misbehavior
What could Mr. Jones have done differently to improve his classroom situation? There
are a variety of well-tested strategies that can increase most students' engagement with
learning tasks while reducing the likelihood of problem behaviors.
This section of the module begins with a description of the physical layout and instructional and
curricular strategies that set a context for a well-managed classroom. The next section
examines strategies for communicating expectations for classroom behavior through rules and procedures.
Finally, a three tiered model of prevention will be highlighted as a framework to conceptualize
efforts to promote an effective learning community.
Aspects of Classroom Management
There are a number of ways in which effective teachers structure their classrooms, their
instruction, their curriculum, and their rules and procedures to maximize the likelihood
of a positive and effective learning climate. In this section, we will review those findings
in the areas of:
1. Physical Arrangement of the Classroom 2. Characteristics of Instruction
3. Student Interaction with Curriculum
For each area, we provide a set of questions that can help you in evaluating and perhaps
restructuring your own classroom to create the optimum environment for learning.
Classroom Physical Arrangements
Imagine a classroom where it is difficult for students and teachers to find assignments,
desks and tables are haphazardly arrayed, and traffic does not flow smoothly. It is
easy to see how inappropriate behavior could be generated as students wander around in
confusion or bump into each other.
Mr. Jones for instance, agreed with the principal that the problems were worse in the part of
the classroom that was furthest from his desk. Simply restructuring the room can be very
beneficial. Relative to the physical arrangement of the room, we could ask the following questions:
How does the seating arrangement promote or inhibit classroom interaction? Can the students
see the teacher or do they have to move their chairs or turn their desks in order to do
so?
How does the seating arrangement promote or inhibit students' interaction with each other?
How does the arrangement of students' desks and work space accommodate normal traffic
patterns? When they turn in homework/seatwork? When they gather and put away materials that
are used frequently?
What is displayed on the walls of the classroom? Do the materials displayed contribute to a
sense of community in the class? Are class rules posted?
The layout that seems to be most functional is one where all the students face the teacher.
This arrangement will be best for classroom flow in most situations. However in some cases,
small clusters of desks facing each other can be useful if the students are working
collaboratively in small groups. It is up to the teacher to determine the most productive
classroom design based upon their individual teaching style and instructional activities
– a teachers who regularly employs group work may prefer clusters while a teacher who
favors individualized instruction may find the separate desks most dynamic.
Characteristics of Instruction
Imagine looking out at your class and seeing nothing but glazed over eyes, blank stares
out the window or fidgety movements in chairs. That image is something teachers dread. Mr.
Jones experienced this during his math lessons when the majority of students were off-task,
passing notes, socializing with each other, and making hand gestures when they thought
he could not see. What suggestions would you make for Mr. Jones that would help him engage
his students?
Questions to consider concerning the characteristics of instruction that predict better student
attention are:
How are lessons introduced? Are students given a "preview" of what is to be covered through
advanced organizers? Are prerequisite concepts or previously covered material reviewed?
Did the teacher capture and keep student attention with humor and enthusiasm?
Does the pace of the lesson provide appropriate challenge for all students?
Is there a high level of student response in the lesson? How were the students motivated
to become engaged in the lesson?
Are there smooth transitions between activities?
This knowledge comes from hundreds of observed classroom teachers who promoted the highest
levels of achievement and the lowest levels of disruption in their classroom. The teachers
that best kept their students on track exhibited behaviors such as clearly telling students
what they were about to cover and reviewing previous concepts as they introduced their
lesson. Those teachers also worked to capture and keep student attention through enthusiasm,
the use of humor, and a well-paced lesson. Among the most important discoveries from
this research was that the more students were actively engaged in a lesson—through the
pacing of questions and answers or through hands-on learning—the more they actually
learned from the lesson. You may have noticed that from your own classroom experiences.
Have you experienced disturbances in classroom flow when changing from one topic or activity
to the next? Studies have shown that more than 30 transitions can occur in a day in
a classroom, accounting for approximately 15% of classroom time. Making transitions
planned and organized can be an important aspect to creating a smoothly functioning
learning environment.
Student Interaction with Curriculum
Children and youth are by nature active and energetic. If they cannot understand the academic
material put in front of them, a natural response will be to put their energy and attention
elsewhere. Each teacher can recall students who get frustrated with their school work
and end up distracting themselves or others.
Thus, it is important to find out if the material being presented is at a level that students
can understand. Due to a range of abilities and skills among students, this understanding
is highly specific to the individual. It is very valuable to ask students how much of
their assignments they clearly understand. The answers may surprise you and can often
provide a key to better instruction for students who are having difficulty. Potential questions
to ask students are:
What was the assignment?
What materials/books were you supposed to have for this assignment?
What are the rules that the teacher wants you to follow?
If you are working in groups, what is each person's role?
On this particular problem, how did you get that answer?
Where do you turn in your assignment?
What are you supposed to do after you finish this assignment?
Do you think this work is something you can do? Is it too hard? Too easy?
If you can't do it, what kind of help do you need?
What happens after math each day?
We know that students learn best when work is appropriately challenging. Asking students,
especially those who are having difficulty, how well they understand what their assignment
was, what materials they need to complete it, or how they need to complete it, can provide
insights into any breakdowns in their learning. Asking specific questions, such as how they
got an answer or if they understand what the question is asking, provides an opportunity
to assess their comprehension of classroom processes.
There is a strong relationship between academic failure and misbehavior. Constantly monitoring
the extent to which assignments and instruction are understood is an important method of preventing
classroom disruption. Although it may be unrealistic to assess all students' understanding on a
frequent basis, a sample of students can be interviewed to make sure most students understand
the material.
In order for a student to benefit from your instruction, three things must occur. First,
as just noted, the student must have the prerequisite skills and knowledge to complete the lesson.
Second, the student must be motivated to accomplish the task. Finally, there must be adequate
time allocated for the student to complete the task successfully. A breakdown at any
of these three points can lead to student disengagement from academic tasks, and increase
the probability of inappropriate or disruptive behavior.
Teaching the Social Curriculum: Expectations, Rules, and Procedures
In every school and classroom an implicit social curriculum acts as a guide for student
behavior throughout the school day. The details of that social curriculum are unique to each
teacher and classroom: from the way each teacher chooses to decorate the classroom, to the
schedule of the day.
How do you introduce your social curriculum to your new students? Teachers present their
own social curriculum to students in the form of hundreds of interactions per day, and in
their verbal explanations, rules, and associated consequences. Thoroughly explaining your rules
and expectations is very important for students and it is beneficial to the classroom to spend
a lot of time on it at the beginning of the year. Classroom and school rules, especially
when written, function as an explicit outline for students of classroom expectations. Students
also learn about teacher expectations on a daily basis through the responses they receive
for positive and inappropriate behavior. In a well-run classroom, these three components
work together to teach students how they should behave in order to succeed in the classroom.
In less well-managed classrooms and schools, inconsistency among expectations, rules, and
consequences makes figuring out the social curriculum more difficult, and may even give
students conflicting messages about the appropriate way to behave in a given classroom or school
situation. Disciplinary responses that are inconsistent with written rules or unfair
to certain students may give students the message that they do not need to pay attention
to posted rules, since what the teacher says is not the same as what she does.
For example, one of the authors of this module once observed a resource room with the posted
rule: "Raise hand before speaking." Yet the teacher in that room also appreciated spontaneous
discussion, and as the discussion became more animated she would allow students to speak
freely without first raising their hands. When the teacher noticed the discussion becoming
unruly, she reminded students of the rule, at which point they returned to raising their
hands. In contrast to the written rule, then, the implicit rule that students had apparently
learned was: "Raise hand before speaking, unless we are having a really good discussion."
In the following sections, we will explore setting and following through on expectations,
rules, and procedures, so that students receive a consistent message about the social curriculum.
The Importance of Setting Expectations Early
Wong emphasizes the importance for teachers to establish expectations for students in
the classroom, especially at the beginning of the year. The first week of class is essential
to molding the group of individuals who make up a class into a cohesive learning community.
Establishing a set of rules is a critical step toward creating a classroom where students
respect each other and pursue learning. During the first days and weeks of class the students
do a great deal of observational learning: watching how the teacher responds to students,
learning what the teacher pays attention to and what is ignored. Based on their observations
they make judgments about how they will behave.
Number and Form of Rules
What should you consider when creating rules for your classroom? How many do you usually
have? Most classroom management experts recommend not more than three to six general rules.
If the list is longer, the students will have difficulty learning and integrating the rules.
The rules should be clearly and positively stated', e.g., Respect others, Be on time,
and Be prepared. There is a difference between "Respect others" and "Do not interrupt the
teacher or a student when speaking." All students regardless of education level will benefit
from clearly stated and posted positive rules.
The Importance of Teaching Classroom rules
It is also important to explain the rules of the classroom to your students. All students
have different experiences and histories and as a result might not understand how to behave
in the new class or might come from a home or community where rules are inconsistently
enforced or regularly changed. Likewise each teacher enters the classroom with a different
set of expectations and experiences. It is the teacher's responsibility to make sure
the students understand the rules in his or her classroom. This often means repeating
rules for students, working with students to clarify their understanding, and perhaps
even using some type of formal or informal assessment to see if students' understanding
of classroom rules matches that of the teacher.
How to Establish Rules
There are different schools of thought regarding how one should go about establishing classroom
rules. Marshall prefers to use the term, "expectations" instead of rules because it has more of a
positive connotation. Marshall believes that student-teacher and student-student interactions
should promote internal self-discipline, not just compliance.
Marshall lists six expectations he used in his classroom.
1. Do my tasks 2. Have materials
3. Be where I belong 4. Control myself
5. Follow directions 6. Speak considerately
These are good expectations (or rules) because they are brief, there are not too many, and
they cover many classroom situations.
Rules vs. Procedures
What is the difference between rules and procedures? Marshall suggests that "procedures" have more
specificity than expectations or rules. For example, a science teacher would teach procedures
for handling materials in a lab. Procedures refer to routines that occur on a daily or
frequent basis. Consider the following examples of procedures.
Homework is always deposited in the basket on the right corner of the teacher's desk.
Each day's assignments are written on the whiteboard to the left of the teacher's desk.
Students that are absent may consult the 3-ring notebook next to the homework basket on the
teacher's desk.
Each homework assignment is dated and placed in the homework binder. (More technologically
advanced schools/teachers also post homework assignments on the Internet so they may be
easily retrieved from home).
One person may go to the restroom at a time. The wooden pass is kept by the coat rack and
must be returned to that spot when the student returns to the classroom.
Once the students learn the procedures, you won't need to give instructions for each occurrence.
Primary Prevention Model: Preventing Classroom Behavior Problems
Prevention is the key to developing classroom management systems that maximize student engagement
and minimize student misbehavior. The more we can prevent misbehavior from occurring,
the less inappropriate or disruptive behavior we will have to react to. However, determining
which prevention techniques to use can be difficult due to the varying degrees of behavioral
problems.
In the field of mental health and school violence prevention, a framework known as the primary
prevention model has been widely accepted as a means of organizing our interventions.
The model deals with a range of problems and attends to them at three levels simultaneously:
the universal, selected and intensive levels. At the primary prevention or universal level,
interventions are targeted at all students. An example is conflict resolution, where students
learn how to avoid conflict and violence. At the secondary prevention or selected level,
we attempt to identify students who may be at-risk for emotional or behavioral problems
and involve them in programs such as mentoring in order to re-engage them in schooling. Tertiary
prevention or intensive level interventions are directed at students who are already engaged
in disruptive or violent behavior.
Universal prevention
Establishing appropriate expectations and consistent routines is a universal prevention
strategy that will substantially decrease classroom management problems. The effort
is directed at all of the class members, making the prevention universal. All students benefit
from clear presentation and occasional reminders of the classroom rules and expectations.
Secondary/selected prevention strategies
At this level, students at risk of behavior problems are identified individually so that
they can be administered assistance before a problem occurs. Response to Intervention
(RTI) is a strategy designed to identify students who are at risk for falling behind in reading,
written language or mathematics. For example, frequent assessment with Curriculum-Based
Measurement is used to identify 15-20 percent of class members who are struggling with reading.
If you recall the case of Ella, the disruption that she caused in class was mainly due to
her inability to do the work because of her low reading level. As reading is one of the
foundational skills for children's success in most subject areas, targeting those students
who are struggling in reading permits them to receive the needed additional instruction.
As noted above, although one may not think of academic interventions as "classroom management,"
providing curricular materials that are neither too easy nor too difficult clearly contributes
to a classroom in which students are engaged in learning.
Other secondary prevention strategies include those described by Jacob Kounin for catching
classroom problems before they develop into larger more difficult confrontations. Have
you ever experienced a class situation that escalated very quickly, such as a disruptive
student who gets other students involved in the disruption? Kounin believed that in order
to prevent those situations, the problems should be stopped at the source. He analyzed
videotapes of classrooms to identify strategies used by teachers who experienced minimal behavior
difficulties while teaching.
Kounin used the term "withitness" to describe teachers that had a hypersensitive awareness
of what was going on in their classrooms. These teachers were constantly monitoring
the behavior of all their students.
"Overlapping," or doing two things at once while teaching, was another behavior that
was characteristic of those teachers with the fewest behavior problems. Through the
use of overlapping, these teachers were able to continue whole-class instruction while
simultaneously noticing when and where students were beginning to show signs of a struggle.
The teacher's physical proximity to the students would inconspicuously calm the situation.
Suppose your class was divided into a few smaller groups for a group project. In order
to still have control over the class, you would always have your eye on the rest of
the class even when working with an individual group.
Tertiary/Intensive Intervention
Despite the presence of the most extensive primary and secondary prevention strategies
however, there will always be some students who will engage in inappropriate or disruptive
classroom behavior. It is important to have a set of tertiary or intensive intervention
strategies available for coping with classroom disruptions that may arise unexpectedly. In
the second half of this presentation, Interventions for Individual Student Behavior Problems,
we will present a variety of such tertiary strategies.
Part II: Inteventions for Individual Student Behavior Problems
The first half of this module presented a set of management skills. Now we will discuss
some intervention techniques you can use in your classroom.
Through appropriate use of physical space, engaging instruction, curriculum matched to
student abilities, and setting rules and expectations, you can alleviate a large proportion of classroom
misbehavior.
What happens, though, when misbehavior does not go away? What can you do? Classroom behavior
management involves being prepared to deal with any disruption and misbehavior at the
classroom level and promoting self-regulation for each student. We will now discuss teacher
attention strategies, functional behavioral assessment, and individual interventions for
students exhibiting more consistent or serious behavior problems.
What Does NOT Work for Improving Classroom Behavior
Depending on your teaching style, classroom management strategies will vary. Some approaches
are more successful than others. We start here with some of the unsuccessful ways to
handle misbehavior such as: the use of extinction (or ignoring inappropriate behavior), reliance
on harsh or punitive disciplinary approaches, and intense emotional responses to student
behaviors.
One ineffective strategy that is attempting to completely ignore inappropriate classroom
behavior, the technical term is extinction. For many students, especially older students,
attention from peers can be more rewarding than attention from the teacher. Because of
this, many students might be disruptive in order to test the limits. If a student continues
to engage in behavior that violates the rules, procedures, and expectations of the classroom
without a response from the teacher, both that student and other students in the class
will pick up on that. Just as you notice your students' behavior, they will notice yours.
Another unsuccessful approach stems from the belief that student behavior can be controlled
at the classroom or school level solely by "getting tough." Many schools and school districts
in the past 10 to 15 years have adopted zero tolerance strategies, using increasingly harsh
consequences like suspension and expulsion for increasingly minor misbehavior in order
to send a message that misbehavior of any kind will not be tolerated. The data, however,
have shown that such procedures are for the most part ineffective and often lead to over-representation
of students of color in school punishments. Similarly, at the classroom level, a teacher
may believe he or she can "send a message" to students by responding to misbehavior with
harsh disciplinary tactics (e.g., sarcasm, calling a student out in front of peers) or
overuse of office referrals. Although such tactics may appear to work in the short term,
in the long term they can backfire. Harsh interpersonal tactics may lead students to
lose respect for the teacher and discourage cooperation. In addition, the overuse of office
referrals shifts the responsibility for managing the classroom to the office, ultimately sending
the message to students that the teacher is not in control of the classroom.
Have you ever felt like completely breaking down after a long, frustrating day of teaching?
If so, then you know that disruptive behavior can be very upsetting. However, it is important
to avoid personalizing classroom management responses through drawn-out emotional interactions.
However tempting it is, venting emotions in your classroom will only leave you more frustrated.
It takes away time and energy from the lesson at hand, and can create personal power struggles
with individual students. Instead, directions and corrections to students should be delivered
in as brief, unemotional, and consistent a manner as possible. In the long term, depersonalizing
behavior management interactions directs students away from a personal power struggle with the
teacher and focuses their attention on learning the posted expectations, rules, and procedures.
In the following sections, the module describes more effective approaches to intervening with
student behavior problems, including shifting teacher attention, functional behavioral assessment,
and strategies for intervention with more intensive behavior problems.
The Importance of Teacher Attention
Can you think back to a class you either taught or were in where the students excessively
needed the teacher's attention? There are a variety of reasons for seeking attention
in the classroom. Some students have learned that the only method for getting such attention
is through negative behaviors. Bringing this experience with them, such students may well
attempt to get teacher attention primarily through negative behavior.
The Importance of Positive Teacher Attention
Imagine one of your students was misbehaving. Would you find it difficult to avoid focusing
your attention on that student? Can you think of some problems that might result from giving
that student your attention? Vance Hall, a researcher on classroom management, found
that it is not uncommon (and is perhaps "natural") to pay increased attention to students who
are misbehaving, in an attempt to get them to stop. The trouble with such an approach
is that students may be reinforced by such attention, learning that they can get their
teacher's attention through negative behavior. If such a pattern continues, other students
will likely learn that they too can get the teacher's attention by calling out, getting
out of their chairs, or bothering each other. Over time, paying attention only to misbehavior
and disruption can spiral into chaos, as a teacher spends a greater and greater percentage
of time "putting out fires." Allowing such a pattern to escalate can destroy the classroom
dynamic.
How can we break this cycle? One of the best ways to change this pattern is to shift the
focus to noticing or rewarding those students who are doing the task they were assigned.
Such attention should be as specific as possible, "I like the way Joan has her book open and
her eyes on me." Such an approach, termed "praise and ignore" or differential reinforcement,
can be extremely effective in general classroom settings.
A Continuum of Teacher Responses
For some students, however, stronger messages may be necessary. These slides present a continuum
of strategies for preventing behavioral escalation in the classroom. At the top are strategies
covered in the first half of the module, such as effective instruction and teacher awareness.
As misbehavior continues, unaffected by prevention, the list presents a continuum of progressively
more intrusive options. Since more intrusive strategies will disrupt the lesson to a greater
extent, however, the goal is to choose the least intrusive option that will be effective
in re-engaging the offending student. As the teacher, you can begin with the use of praise
for appropriate behavior or praise coupled with ignoring.
Prevention through Effective Instruction
Develop engaging instructional activities Make rules and procedures clear
Generate meaningful tasks geared to students' instructional level
Use humor and enthusiasm
Nonverbal Cues and Teacher Awareness
Clearing one's throat immediately following the misbehavior, without looking at the offending
student Changing tone, inflection, and volume of the
"teacher" voice slightly Making eye contact
Teacher withitness and overlapping Proximity (moving close to a student)
Placing light hand on shoulder of student misbehaving
Praising Correct Behavior Incompatible with Misbehavior
"Catching 'em being good" 
Praising Other Students
Ignoring misbehavior and praise appropriate behavior
Praising the behavior you're hoping for Praising others whose behavior changes positively
Verbal Reminders
Saying the student's name while continuing with instruction
Giving reminders about appropriate behavior immediately after misbehavior  
Stating what students should do  Focusing on the behavior rather than on the
student 
Repeated Reminders
Response to "testing" "Broken record strategy"
Avoid argument
Applying Consequences
Removing misbehaving student from activity he or she likes, lose a privilege
Consequences should be mildly unpleasant, short in duration, immediate
Certainty of consequences is more important than severity 
Follow through on ensuring that consequences are received, but then it is important to
let go of any grudge
What is the next step if prevention strategies or positive teacher attention fail to engage
the students who are misbehaving? You would move to the use of verbal reminders, such
as saying the student's name or direct reminders. Such reminders should focus on the directions
being given ("Josh, please open your book") rather than on an emotional confrontation
with the student ("Josh, you never listen! How many times do I need to tell you to open
your book?").
Have you ever witnessed a student who appears to be non-compliant just to be difficult?
A useful strategy for students who may appear to be "testing the limits" is giving repeated
reminders, sometimes called the "broken record strategy." In this case, the teacher simply
repeats the request, in the same non-emotional tone, in the face of student non-compliance
or verbal resistance:
Teacher: Josh, please open your math book to page 43.
Josh: Yeah, wait a minute, I've just gotta do one thing.
Teacher: Josh, please open your math book to page 43.
Josh: Yeah, yeah, geez you're so impatient! Teacher: Josh, please open your math book
to page 43. Josh: OK, OK. (Pulls out math book and finds
page 43).
Through the judicious use of this strategy, the teacher shows Josh that non-compliance
or resistance will not make the request disappear, and that eventually - he will have to respond.
Consequences for Behavior
What happens if the behavior becomes more severe and keeps escalating? This situation
may require consequences for the student's behavior that he or she has never had to deal
with before. While it is important not to overuse consequences, it is also important
to have responses planned and in place for serious disruption or defiance; otherwise,
students learn that rules will not be enforced. To be most effective, a continuum of possible
consequences should be available that can be geared to the seriousness of the offense.
In general, the severity of the consequence is less important than whether the student
learns that failure to follow the rules will result in a certain consequence.
A possible continuum might include several options, ranging from least to most intrusive:
Name on board. "Time-out" in back of classroom
Send student to another classroom Lose free time or recess time
Contact parents Send to office for further action (e.g. detention,
suspension)
Whenever possible, consequences should be planned beforehand, not improvised in the
heat of the moment. This will ensure that the consequences are fair, objective, and
structured. Behavioral researchers have emphasized that consequences can create side-effects
(e.g., anger or desire for escape) in some students, so it is helpful when using consequences
to work with colleagues to help define those consequences and the situations under which
they will be applied. When a special behavioral program involving consequences is implemented,
time should be taken to teach the student exactly what those are. Your students should
know what to expect. As noted above, consequences should be delivered in as brief and unemotional
manner as possible.
Finally, it is important not to hold a grudge in administering consequences. Once a student
has received whatever consequence has been administered, it is important to welcome that
student back into the classroom community. Such a perspective is difficult to take on
with some students, but it helps keep all students engaged and prevents certain students
from establishing a reputation with their peers as "bad" or "the troublemaker."
Intervention Plan: Functional Behavior Assessment
Some students' behavior problems continue over long periods of time, occur in multiple
settings, or may escalate into serious disruptions or even violence. For these students, a more
comprehensive intervention approach will be necessary. The first step in designing an
intervention plan is conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment. Functional Behavior Assessment
provides teachers with a technology that addresses the most common question that comes to mind
in the face of challenging behavior, "Why is he or she doing that?"
Think about the various reasons students misbehave in classrooms. What comes to mind? Some students
might misbehave in order to escape work they cannot do. For instance, Ella, whose reading
skills are not adequately developed comprehend written math problems, will be unable to solve
those problems. Wandering around the room, talking with others, even physically disturbing
classmates, may seem like good alternatives to sitting still and completing work he or
she "knows" cannot be done.
Another rationale for misbehavior is to obtain attention from the teacher and/or peers. Once
Ella has started wandering around the room, the attention she gets from the teacher and
other students may motivate her to continue that behavior or even accelerate it. When
a student is misbehaving in order to get attention, it may be possible to change the misbehavior
by making sure a student is rewarded for positive rather than negative behaviors.
Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) provides a vehicle to understand an individual's rationale
for misbehavior. The goal of FBA is to develop hypotheses as to the reasons for the behavior.
The foundations for FBA are found in the science of applied behavior analysis. The assumptions
of FBA include: 1) all behaviors, even misbehavior, serve some purpose for the student; 2) behavior
is best understood within its context or situation; and 3) past behavior is a good predictor of
future behavior.
ABC Analysis
The foundation for functional behavior assessment is what is known as the A-B-C analysis, for
Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence.
Antecedents are also known as setting events, while the consequences that maintain the behavior
are often spoken of in terms of the "function" of behavior.
Antecedents (Setting Events)
In FBA, when and where the behavior occurs and does not occur is very important. Antecedent
events may be broken into two categories, slow and fast triggers. Slow triggers or distal
setting events are situations that may set the stage for the problem behavior, but do
not result in immediate behavioral issues. For example, a troubled family situation with
intense marital fighting and multiple separations places a child at-risk for increased emotional
and behavioral problems. In this case the antecedent is a slow trigger, because the
child's behavioral reactions may or may not be exhibited immediately.
Fast triggers, on the other hand, are immediate and are close in time to problem behavior.
For example, every time a fifth-grade boy is teased, he hits or kicks a classmate. Since
the behavior occurs immediately afterward, we term the antecedent a proximal setting
event or a fast trigger. Other antecedents to explore in this portion of the analysis
might be type of assignment (e.g., paper-and-pencil, lecture), subject area (e.g., reading, social
studies, recess), or social arrangements (e.g., with peers vs. alone).
Behavior
In order to best understand the behavior, the behavior must be described as specifically
as possible. Stating that Thomas is aggressive does not enable one to develop a plan, since
the aggression could be physical or verbal or some mixture, and could range in form from
angry glares to life threatening assault. Therefore, a number of questions should be
answered in describing the behavior: What does it look like? How long does it last?
Are there different variations of the behavior (e.g., hitting and kicking)? How intense is
the behavior? The more detailed the description of the behavior, the better it can be understood
and more easily modified.
Consequences (Function of Behavior)
The functional assessment paradigm assumes that students engage in behaviors because
there is a reinforcement, or payoff, for doing so. Ella may wander around the room because
she has learned that it gets her out of work that she perceives as too difficult for her.
Josh may act like the class clown because he has learned that he can always get the
attention from peers he craves by doing so. Thomas may hit other students because it keeps
them afraid of him and keeps him in control. These reinforcers direct our attention to
the function of the behavior; that is, what type of payoff does the student receive from
maintaining this behavior. What situations have you had or can you imagine that are similar?
Behavior can allow either access to certain outcomes (e.g., attention, control or the
situation) or escape from some part of the situation that is perceived as negative (e.g.,
classwork, individuals).
Conducting a Functional Assessment
If a student in your classroom consistently generates classroom problems in a number of
situations or settings, and those problems are severe enough to regularly take time away
from other students, a functional assessment and development of a behavior plan may be
in order. It is likely that some personnel in your building, such as the school psychologist,
special education teacher, or behavioral consultant, have been trained in and regularly conduct
functional behavioral assessments. In working collaboratively with other professionals,
the FBA enables you to better understand the behavior and develop more effective interventions.
The following slide summarizes the steps in conducting a functional assessment and designing
a behavior plan.
1. Define the behavior.
What is the frequency, duration, intensity of the behavior?
Where and when do the behaviors occur? What happens before? after?
Can we identify "bad days" at the beginning of the day?
2a. Identify the function and context of behavior
How does this student see the world? What function/need is being met by this behavior?
2b. Identify replacement behaviors
Alternatives that meet the same need Functional for the student; reasonable for
the classroom
3. Designing the Plan
Proactive instruction/planned consequences guide a transition from negative to pro-social
behavior How will opportunities to learn the social
curriculum be provided? What types of external structure or consequences
will be needed? How will these be faded?
Fading involves the reduction of a stimulus as the student's response stays the same.
A more familiar example from dog training involves teaching a dog to sit; starting with
a loud command and pushing him gently down. Gradually you can fade out the loud command
and only use a hand signal without touching the dog.
What types of support/staff training will be needed for this plan?
FBA Phase 1: Defining the Behavior and Its Context
In the first phase of functional assessment, teachers work with a consultant to define
the behavior and identify setting events and consequences that may be creating or maintaining
the behavior. Three types of measurement strategies are typically employed.
First, the school psychologist or consultant will interview the teacher, to gain a better
sense of the behavior and its context. Observations of the student's behavior are conducted, often
by the psychologist or consultant, but teachers may also wish to write down their own observations.
There are a variety of behavior sampling techniques. Third, FBA checklists, such as the Motivation
Assessment Scale may help provide a fuller picture of the behavior without a great investment
of time and effort.
FBA Phase 2: Hypothesis Development and Specification of Replacement Behavior
The process of functional assessment is at the core a process of hypothesis generation
and testing. Rather than simply reacting to inappropriate or disruptive behavior, we collect
data about the behavior and attempt to better understand the gap between what the student
is currently doing and what we expect her to do. Typically, data from interview, observation,
and checklist are used to generate hypotheses about maintaining causes and conditions in
two areas. First, what are the setting events or environmental conditions (e.g., individual
seatwork, playground, or classes right after lunch) that make the occurrence of the behavior
more likely? Second, what is the student getting out of behaving that way? Understanding the
motivation behind the act is essential in choosing the most appropriate intervention.
The ultimate goal of this phase is to specify a replacement behavior or behaviors that the
student will be taught. In order to be an effective replacement behavior, the behavior
should address the setting events, function, or skill identified in data collection. In
this phase, it is important to distinguish between instructional goals and replacement
behaviors. For a student who is often out of her seat because she frequently approaches
the teacher with questions, increased time in seat is an appropriate instructional goal;
it does not, however, represent a replacement behavior.
An appropriate replacement behavior, such as asking peers for help before approaching
the teacher, addresses the instructional and functional needs of the student in attempting
to reach the instructional goal. Ultimately, the end result of this phase is to identify
environmental and instructional changes needed to help the student better adapt to the classroom
environment. Can you think of any other replacement behaviors that you have heard of or have actually
used?
FBA Phase 3: Developing an Individual Behavior Plan (IBP)
Once we have developed hypotheses about the behavior and a replacement behavior, that
information is used to create an individual behavior plan to teach the skills and behaviors
that will improve student adaptation. If the behavior plan includes a description of consequences
for various behaviors (e.g., the first occurrence will result in a checkmark, the second loss
of five minutes of recess, the third a trip to the office), that sequence should be clearly
spelled out in the behavior plan. Keep in mind that overuse of consequences in dealing
with disruptive behavior can lead to fruitless power struggles in the classroom.
In addition to specifying consequences, the behavior plan must also specify how the replacement
behaviors are to be taught. Just as we use a variety of strategies--overviews, discussion,
modeling, practice and feedback - to teach academic subjects, a variety of instructional
approaches should be considered in designing an individual behavior plan.
If we are teaching a student a new routine to replace call-out behaviors with quietly
asking a peer for information, it is important to: a) teach the student the new routine,
b) model or practice the new strategy, c) check the student's understanding of the procedure,
d) make sure the student practices the strategy, and e) reinforce the student when he or she
engages in the new strategy. It is important to re-emphasize that the goal of any behavior
plan is not just to stop specific instances of misbehavior, but rather to help the student
learn new responses that will enable them to internalize behavioral control.
Strategies for Improving Classroom Behavior
A number of individual interventions are available for students whose behavior requires more
intensive programming. You can work with special education teachers, school psychologists,
or behavioral consultants to design such programs; the ultimate aim of such programs is to re-engage
disruptive students in classroom activities and curriculum, and assist them in moving
towards self-control. A few strategies are suggested on the following slides. These suggestions
are illustrative and should not be considered comprehensive. If you are interested in a
more extensive list of strategies, you can find an appendix of helpful sources on our
website near where you entered this module.
Reinforcement through token economies or behavioral contracting
Although the ultimate goal in behavioral programming is to encourage self-control, external reinforcers
are often helpful in getting students to re-engage if they have learned that schoolwork is something
to be avoided. Have you used any kind of external reinforcers to further engage your students?
If so, then you have created a token economy in your classroom. In token economies, a student
or students earn some kind of symbol (e.g., stickers, points, checkmarks) that can be
exchanged at the end of a week for items or activities that they find reinforcing. In
behavioral contracting, the teacher and student develop a paper contract specifying a reward
(e.g., extra free time, time to visit a favorite school staff member) in exchange for a given
amount of behavior (e.g., two chapters completed or four days with less than three call-outs.
In a token economy system, reinforcers are defined as those events or activities that
increase the likelihood of a behavior. Thus, reinforcers are highly individual-specific
and age-related. Although some students might view washing the board as a chore, for others
it might be the best reward imaginable, something they might be willing to do a lot of work
for. Also, the exchange should be developed with terms that are meaningful for students,
yet do not overburden the teacher. Although students may be unrealistic in expecting that
they will be able to get 10 minutes of free time for every math problem they complete,
it would also be unrealistic to expect students to be willing to work an entire week to receive
only 15 minutes of free time.
Home-school contracts or folders.
A specific form of contracting that involves the parents is called a home school contract
or home-school folder. In this intervention, students receive a folder or assignment sheet
that contains information on all their assignments. At the secondary school level, students may
carry the folder from class to class to help them organize across classes. The student
gets each teacher to initial assignments for the evening. At home, the parent or guardian
reviews the assignment sheet before the student begins her homework, and then signs off after
completion. If desired, the home-school folder can be made into a behavioral contract, stating
that a certain amount of completed work will result in a certain reinforcer (e.g., going
out to the movies). Depending on how technologically advanced the school is, the teacher also has
the option to create a site to do this online by posting assignments, forms and notes for
both students and parents to read and refer back to.
Self-monitoring.
You know how busy the classroom can get and that there is not a lot of time for you to
monitor the work completion of every student every day. Therefore self-monitoring is a
valuable method of implementing a behavioral intervention that requires less time and attention
from teachers. In self-monitoring of academics, students can monitor their own progress on
assignments, checking off assignments on a check sheet on their desk or in a folder.
In self-monitoring of behavior, students can count the number of times they engaged in
a positive or negative behavior on a check sheet or wrist counter. Studies have found
that students can be trained to be quite accurate if there is a periodic monitoring of the student's
and teacher's counts at the beginning of the program.
Again, reinforcers may be provided when a student has completed a certain level of work
or reached a certain level of appropriate behavior.
Discipline of Students with Disabilities
Students served in special education are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education under
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Federal and state special education laws define a separate set of procedures for discipline
of serious misbehavior of students with disabilities. That law intends to maintain a balance between
the need for safe school climates and the need to preserve disabled students' right
to an education under IDEA.
It is important to note that, up until 10 days of suspension or expulsion, students
with disabilities are subject to the same disciplinary procedures as other students.
It is a myth that federal and state law does not allow the discipline of special education
students. Once a student reaches 10 days of suspension or expulsion, however, certain
rules and safeguards apply. Some of IDEA's disciplinary provisions are:
Manifestation determination.
In order for a student with a disability to be removed from school past the 10 day limit,
it must be shown that the behavior in question is not a result of the student's disability.
A manifestation determination meeting is held to consider data pertaining to whether or
not this is the case. If the behavior in question is not due to the student's disability, that
student may be removed from school for the same amount of time that a non-disabled peer
would be removed.
Functional behavioral assessment/Individual behavior plan.
If the behavior in question is determined to be a function of the child's disability
and the child is to be removed more than 10 days, the team must conduct a functional behavioral
assessment plan and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the student.
* Removal to an Interim Alternative Education. For possession of drugs, weapons, or behavior
involving serious bodily injury, students with disabilities may be removed to an Interim
Alternative Educational Setting for a period up to 45 days.
This is not to say, however, that there will not be issues requiring additional attention
for students with disabilities. Students with emotional disabilities, will, by the nature
of their disability often exhibit a greater frequency and intensity of emotional and behavioral
problems. With such students, it is likely that more intensive individual interventions
will need to be put in place. Teachers should work with the special education teacher of
record, the school psychologists, or other personnel who specialize in behavioral issues,
to ensure that a behavioral intervention plan is in place if needed, and the effectiveness
of that plan is periodically monitored.
Finally, it is important to note that requirements regarding the implementation of a functional
behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan after 10 days suspension or expulsion
are a minimal requirement. For any student exhibiting consistent behavioral problems
that interfere with classroom instruction, whether disabled or not and regardless of
number of days of days of suspension, it is always a good idea to consult with the school
psychologist and other school professionals on whether a functional behavioral assessment
would be valuable in better addressing intensive behavioral issues.
For basic definitions of event, latency, and duration observation methods, see slides 12
to 43 in: http://cecp.air.org/present/ppt/CollectingDataWhileTeaching.ppt (Quinn, 2006).
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實用的教室管理 (Practical classroom management)

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Pedroli Li 發佈於 2018 年 4 月 3 日
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