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Classroom Management: "Text" Your Students
I can’t take credit for this because it was an idea that I got from a good friend who teaches junior high Math, but I wanted to share it because I think it’s great.
When a student misbehaves, he calls the student up to his desk, opens a Word document, and has a “text” conversation with the student. He says he likes it because it eliminates the possibility of other students eavesdropping on the conversation and removes the need for him to ask the student to leave the room. When the conversation is over, he dates and saves the file. Boom. Instant documentation.
I like that it requires the students to think about their responses and may reduce defensive and emotional outbursts. He pointed out that it works well because students are very comfortable with this form of communication, and I like the fact that there is a written record of what was said.
25 Ways to Obtain Children's Attention in a School Setting
I found this on Stumble Upon!
25 Ways to Obtain Children’s Attention in a School Setting
By Leah Davies, M.Ed.
There are countless times when educators need their students’ undivided attention. The following methods are best taught during the first weeks of school. These ideas can assist teachers in providing an ordered and safe learning environment for everyone.
I am So Over the Behavior in my 5th Period
Today we did a cut and paste activity to model dehydration synthesis. They were too chatty to hear my instructions and they left paper scraps all over the floor, which understandably upset the janitor. It’s totally unacceptable. Today a kid threw a pair of scissors across the room at the end of class. I didn’t see who did it and it happened as the bell was ringing, but that was pretty much my last straw with them.
They responded well to my switching seats last week, and they responded well to losing participation points. But each time that happened it only worked for about a day or two before they were off track again. And it’s a big class! There are 28 of them, and it is really difficult for me to pin down the chattiness to only a couple of kids. If I am actively lecturing at them they are just fine—quiet and attentive. But if I stop talking for even 5 seconds I lose them and have to rein them in. Transitions are an absolute mess; if I switch between PowerPoint and the document cam, which I can do in under a minute, I lose five minutes of class.
So here’s how tomorrow, and every foreseeable day, is going to go:
- They have journals for warm-ups. Currently, all 28 of the journals live in a crate that I put at the front of the room as class begins. Tomorrow, I am going to make a second crate, and I am going to divide up the journals based on seats. People in the back half of the room will have their own crate. This should make traffic flow smoother and help them settle down in the beginning of class, rather than being on top of each other.
- Tomorrow their warm-up is going to be all about behavior. They are gifted and talented kids, so I am hoping that responding to questions like, “Is it appropriate to throw a pair of scissors across the room?” will help them see the idiocy of their behavior.
- Talking out of turn in class is now an automatic detention. The students know that I welcome questions and comments, and they enjoy that part of my teaching style. But I am absolutely done reminding ninth graders that “One person talks at a time” and “Raise your hand.” YOU HAVE BEEN IN SCHOOL FOR 10 YEARS THIS IS NOT NEWS.
- As class ends, they will not be permitted to stand up to leave until I have verbally dismissed them. Anyone who decides that they are going to line up at the door without my permission can come hang out with me in detention.
I really hate to do this. I don’t actually like a silent classroom; I like them to be able to discuss their work with one another. I don’t like handing out detentions. But this class has shown me repeatedly, that even after a couple of different interventions, they are not capable of handling that kind of freedom.
I am over it, 5th period.
Jedi Behavior Management Mind Trick
The other day I was watching an expert teacher dealing with a student that was misbehaving. What she did was so simple but so fascinating to me, she used probably 6 different voice tones in order to pacify the student, and it worked like Jedi magic (I work in a middle school ps).
The student was reacting in an overemotional manner in the hallway.
- First, she started out really firmly. Think of the way the way you tell a young child to stop misbehaving because they’re about to break something- that kind of tone.
- Then she paused to hear him out.
- Then in a notably softer voice tone told him that he was making a poor decision.
- He didn’t listen, so kept repeating a phrase to get him on track.
- Afterwards she used a combo of loud and firm to immediately softer tones.
I find that behavior management is kindof like standing on a flimsy wooden board in the middle of a lake, and if you tip over to one side too much, you’ll fall in, but if you keep appropriately shifting your balance you’ll make it.
I found that her change in voice tones was simple, but totally disarming to the student. It was almost hypnotizing. So, later on I decided to use it.
I saw a student misbehaving and rather than keeping to one voice tone, I switched from loud to the softer one immediately and it disarmed the student, and they went back on track. Im kind of mystified by this trick. Perhaps it works because the firm voice, if kept up too long, is too authoritarian, and the soft voice, if kept up too long, is not firm enough, yet if there is a balance of both, it tends to showcase both sides of authority.
It might seem simple, and I’m sure some of you have already used this trick, but if you haven’t and you think it might work, then give it a go.
Do you have any Jedi Behavior Management Mind Tricks?