Classroom management methods
The following outline collects summaries of several classroom management strategies and was written for a class in teaching methods in the Spring of 1998.



Methods for eliciting student cooperation
A. Kounin's "with-it-ness" approach requires a lot of internal stamina and mental energy in order to be able to maintain a cool demeanor and a nearly omniscient awareness of what is going on.  This is the ability to stamp out a trouble spot in the classroom without ever breaking from the teaching at hand.
B. Ginott's approach is to focus on the behavior of the student, not on the student him/herself.  By directing both derision and praise on the behavior, students recognize that it is their actions which need to be refined or replicated in the future.  Directing critical comments at the student is to attach a label to his/her character and can cause him/her to believe that he/she is deserving of that label beyond the incident, not the behavior exhibited.
C. Glasser believes that teachers should approach students' behaviors as rational choices, though they should not tolerate aberrant behavior simply because they know the basis for it.  What is good about it is that it fosters responsibility to the student.  If a student's actions are rationally decided by him it would make sense that the student should be allowed to choose their consequences.  This rationale teaches students to accept responsibility early on in their lives and doesn't wait for it to come on all at once later when they are out of school.
A major strength of this approach is that naturally occurring punishments can be the result of this responsibility, such as with students who refuse to do their work.  Using this approach the student might be allowed to shirk his practice assignment, but be expected to know the material for the test the next day.  If he fails it, he is responsible for the rational decision he made.
However, one problem with this approach is that some naturally occurring consequences are not punishments for some students.  A failing grade is meaningless to a student who has failed chemistry all semester long.  Why start participating in the final weeks of the semester?
Students who act up as a result of other problems such as abuse at home, etc., are going to be difficult to control using this approach alone.  The use of a combination of approaches is necessary to handle situations where certain approaches fall short by themselves.

Infractions and consequences
off-task - disruptive: isolating the student from others (in the office or Time-Out Room)

off-task - nondisruptive: place student in a group activity in which his/her grade depends on interaction with the group.

cheating: give a zero for that particular test/assignment.

cursing: isolate the student where he can no longer make a display or interact with his peers.

no homework: require that the "forgotten" assignment be turned in before any further homework can be accepted for a grade.

talking during discussion: (If the student is one more likely to participate in discussions) do not allow participation until such time as the disruptive behavior has been extinguished.


Before school even starts...
Goals and objectives
In general, the goals and objectives of lower elementary students tend to be need-based, gradually progressing toward a more content-driven system as students advance through the grades.  By the time students reach high school, most of their courses will be primarily content driven.

For example, in the lowest grades fundamental skills and basic knowledge is taught such as forming printed letters, addition and subtraction, and reading.  These are the basis of skills all citizens need throughout their lives, without which they would be unable to function in society.

On the other hand, the content of higher math classes (which are frequently criticized for their lack of relevance to students' lives) tend to be organized around principles of the material itself, not what the student will need in order to exist in day to day living.  Therefore the content of the course tends to drive the goals and objectives (and the order in which these goals and objectives fall).


Assessment
Formative assessment examines students' cognitive growth in a specific portion of a course; a new concept recently covered, for example.

Summative assessment looks at the overall learning of a unit or an entire course.  In effect, a summative assessment "sums up" what a student has gleaned from that unit or the course as a whole.


Evaluation methods

Just a few...


Routines
The establishment of routines can increase student learning by creating a businesslike atmosphere in which learning is paramount.  Routines direct activities toward specific goals.  These goals must be attained by the students in order to achieve rewards.  This pattern of achievement and the (intermittent) application of rewards becomes a routine from which students will be reluctant to deviate.  Routines eliminate bumpy transitions between roll call, lectures, individual learning activities, etc.

Some examples of routines: Students are aware that they should have out their notebooks and writing utensils before the tardy bell has rung.  During roll call students are to begin writing in their journals.  At the end of class (always signaled by the teacher) all belongings are to be picked up and students are to be seated before they are dismissed.

The businesslike atmosphere these routines provide allow teachers to efficiently move between lessons and hold discipline problems to a minimum.  Students are prepared to learn without having to be told to have materials ready or where in the classroom they should be.  Energy the teacher might otherwise spend directing student behavior can be better focused toward teaching.


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