Improved Student Behavior:
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Step 6 Addressing teacher skills

Teachers create more effective classrooms when they prepare with the proactive big three: expectations, rules and procedures. In addition to these, they can also increase the effectiveness of their classrooms by developing skills for classroom management and skills for presenting engaging lessons.

Classroom management skills

Teacher training rarely provides the skill building needed to effectively manage a classroom. When teachers lack these skills, classrooms are not effective learning environments. In addition, a disorderly classroom can be extremely stressful for the teacher. Inability to effectively manage a classroom is one of the most common reasons that teachers leave the profession.

From the point of view of an inexperienced teacher, master teachers seem to have an effortless way of maintaining a well-run classroom. It appears to be almost magical. But it isn't. It is based on a particular set of skills.

Teachers don't need to suffer through presiding over chaotic classrooms. Classroom management depends on a set of skills that can be learned through deliberate practice.

Classroom Management Skills Practice in Behavior Manager

Classroom Management Skills PracticeBehavior Manager includes Practice Classroom Management Skills, a game-like application that provides deliberate practice in essential classroom management skills in a real classroom: your classroom!

The teacher is given a skill to practice each day and marks her progress until the full set of skills become second nature. There are five categories of skills: rules and procedures, leadership, cooperation, interventions and mental set. Mental set is further broken down into emotional objectivity and withitness. This collection of skills is based on research on what makes some teachers so much more effective at classroom management than others.

Key: Skills are developed through deliberate practice.

You're a teacher, you know that!) This application provides a framework for practicing classroom management skills, not just reading about them.

Below is an outline of the skills covered in Practice Classroom Management Skills.

  • Rules and Procedures
  • Leadership
    • Orientation and Goals
    • Authoritative Body Language
  • Cooperation
    • Wish for Someone's Good Day
    • Catch Them Doing Something Right
    • Learn Their Names
    • Talk Informally With Students
    • 5 to 1 Ratio
    • Negotiate Difficulties With Class
  • Interventions
    • Reminders
    • Student Self-Assessments
    • Tokens or Symbols
    • Be Assertive
    • Be Consistent
    • Create a Discipline Plan
    • Class Circle
  • Mental Set
    • Practice Emotional Objectivity
    • Practice Withitness
      • Scan
      • Intervene Promptly
      • Use Names
      • Stop Instruction
      • Nonverbal Commands
      • Avoidance
      • Reminders and Warnings
      • Walk Around

Engaging instruction

In addition to classroom management skills, teachers must inspire students to engage in the class content. Engaged students are rarely problem students. While certainly some aspects of engaging instruction is an art, many aspects of it are well known. We've included a checklist of aspects of an effective lesson.

Just as pilots go through an extensive preflight checklist before every flight, we recommend that teachers go through the SCORE CHAMPS checklist for every lesson. Yes, it is lengthy. Yes, you may be an experienced teacher. But just as checklists have improved the safety of flight and the outcomes of medical procedures, SCORE CHAMPS can help you present more engaging instruction.

SCORE CHAMPS checklist

  • Structure
    • Write and follow lesson plans
    • State objectives
    • Use graphic organizers
    • Provide mediated scaffolding
    • Use effective classroom management techniques
  • Clarity
    • Provide explicit instruction
    • Prime background knowledge
    • Carefully design examples
    • Define vocabulary
    • Teach conspicuous strategies
    • Repeat important information
    • Use organization language (e.g., “First a…then b…)
  • Opportunities to respond
    • Provide high levels of opportunities to respond to instructional stimuli during new learning and practice
    • Ensure high levels of correct responding
    • Use a variety of response formats, including choral responding and response cards
  • Redundancy
    • Ensure repetition in teaching new skills
  • Explicit instruction
    • Provide direct, teacher-led instruction
    • Incorporate elements of structure, clarity, opportunities to respond and redundancy
    • Provide clear feedback for student responses
  • CHoices
    • Provide choices before and during academic tasks
  • Assess the forms of knowledge
    • Determine whether instruction targets represent factual learning, rule learning, conceptual learning, procedural learning or problem-solving learning
    • Use instructional methods that are appropriate for the form of knowledge being taught
  • Monitor student learning
    • Monitor students' academic progress using frequent, objective data
  • Practice
    • Provide sufficient practice opportunities that reflect the learning objectives, provide high levels of response opportunities and provide immediate feedback
  • Success
    • Ensure high levels of success in academic tasks

The SCORE CHAMPS checklist is from Positive Behavioral Supports for the Classroom by Brenda K. Scheuermann and Judy A. Hall.

Avoiding boredom

One of the most common student complaints about classes is that they are boring. Using the SCORE CHAMPS checklist above will go a long way toward preparing to teach a class. Boredom is highly relevant to student behavior and classroom management because a bored student 1) is not learning and 2) soon starts looking around for more stimulation. Since the complaint of boredom is so common, here are a few ideas of things to do and not do specifically to eliminate boredom.

The Anti-Boredom Checklist

Do incorporate…

  • Adventure
  • Humor
  • Challenge
  • Fascination

Don't make these common mistakes…

  • Sitting too long
  • Talking too much
  • Speaking too softly
  • Making the simple complicated
  • Making the interesting uninteresting
  • Talking instead of doing
  • Directing too much, observing too little
  • Slow pace
  • Failing to adjust


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