CAIS Northern Regional Meeting 2011- Presentation Notes

Managing Children’s Challenging Behavior
Presentation – Keynote Version
Presentation – PowerPoint Version
Workshop Notes

Book Recommendations
Behaviour Management: A Whole-School Approach
Cracking the Hard Class
How to Manage Children’s Challenging Behaviour

Teach Spelling and Grammar in Creative Ways
Presentation – Keynote Version
Presentation – PowerPoint Version
Workshop Notes
Scattergories – Random Letter Generator
Snakes and Ladders Board
Buzz Off – Cards

“Behaviour Management” by Dr Bill Rogers

Behaviour Management“Behaviour Management: A Whole School Approach” by Dr. Bill Rogers is a must have educational book for any educator who wants to develop their classroom management skills and modify classroom behaviour.  Bill Rogers is an Australian teacher and educational consultant who has worked and written widely on the topic of behaviour management (often referred to as classroom management) for over twenty years.  The magic of Bill Rogers’ writing is that it is extremely practical.  The ideas outlined in “Behaviour Management” are easily transferable to a vast array of educational settings and ages.  I was first introduced to this book during my undergraduate studies in 1996.  I have read it cover to cover numerous times and implemented many of the ideas outlined in the book to great effect.  I have also seen Bill Rogers lecture a number of times which is always inspiring.

Behaviour Management: A Whole-School Approach
is available in the US and the UK via Amazon and in Australia via Scholastic Education and Dominie.  You can also visit Bill Rogers’ website at . While I highly recommend this book his other books and DVDs are also a valuable resource for any educator or school.

Bill Rogers’ Online Articles

Five Tricky Personalities — and How to Handle Them
Making a Discipline Plan
Building  Playtime Communities

Reestablishing Classroom Rules and Routines

As your students return from their winter holiday it is important to reestablish the classroom rules and routines that you set up at the beginning of the year.  This helps students reconnect with their peers as well as the overall classroom and school expectations more easily.  It is important to remember that the routines and expectations at a student’s home may be quite different from the classroom.  Therefore, the time spent reestablishing rules and routines can help your students feel more at ease.  When my students return to school from a break I welcome them and give them a brief overview of the weeks ahead.  I then read through the class rules we had written and posted on the wall earlier in the year and explain why each is important.  I also talk about the classroom routines and jobs and explain how each job if done promptly and thoughtfully benefits everyone.  This introduction may take twenty minutes, however, I have found it sets a positive tone for the months ahead.

Classroom Feedback

Now that the school year is underway and you have set up your routines and have your classroom management structures in place it is time to gather feedback from your students.  It is easy to avoid gathering feedback from your students as it never feels good to receive less than positive feedback.  However, student feedback can be an extremely valuable tool in maintaining a positive classroom culture.  Three methods I have successfully used are class meetings, a suggestion box and a feedback survey.

To begin a classroom meeting have all the children sit in a circle on the floor, or on chairs.  You may need to rearrange furniture for this to work in your classroom.  Explain to the children that only one person is allowed to talk at a time and you may only talk if you have the ball.  I used a miniature soccer ball for this, however, a tennis ball is fine.  Pose a questions such as, “what can we do as a class to make the classroom a more positive environment?”  Then ask the children to raise their hands if they have a suggestion and roll the ball to one student.  Once the student has finished they roll the ball to someone who has an idea.  It is important that the children are aware that all ideas will be considered.

A suggestion box is a small box in the classroom that the children can anonymously write ideas to improve the classroom or explain things about the classroom or school that have been worrying them.  The ideas in the suggestion box can also be used to guide class meetings.

A feedback survey can also be used to gather information.  The survey may be very open ended or may focus on a particular area of the school such as the classroom or playground.  I have uploaded a classroom climate survey for you to use.  I have adapted it from the school climate survey.  Please download and edit this survey to best suit your classroom needs.  Administrating this survey anonymously may lead to more honest answers.

Classroom Climate Survey.doc
Classroom Climate Survey.pdf

I believe it is vitally important that children feel they are active participants in the classroom.  Participation fosters a sense of belonging and can help reduce disruptive behavior.

Buongiorno! Buenos días! Umhlala gahle!

I received and email from an Australian teacher, Amanda Walsh, in response to the post I wrote about greeting children in the morning. She would greet her students in other languages which they really enjoyed. For those of you who are not multilingual, Amanda has supplied a link that lists 250 ways to say good morning! For Australian teachers this can also be a good opportunity to introduce different Aboriginal Languages of Australia.

classroom jobs

Assigning classroom jobs or roles is a fantastic way to build a cohesive classroom culture. I have found that giving allClass Jobs students in my class a job works most effectively. I introduce a few jobs at the beginning of the year and ask the students to come up with others. Each year there are enough jobs for every student. One of the favourites in my class this year is the “Window Monitor”. It is a student’s job to open the windows in the morning and close them in the afternoon and they take great pride in doing it each day.

Another job that has been very effective is class photographer. During certain whole school or class activities it is the responsibility of one or two students to take photographs using an inexpensive digital camera. I have found that the students always take great care with the camera and take priceless photographs. The size of the job does not matter, it is the sense of belonging that it develops that counts.

For a number of younger students a class job could be their first taste of responsibility. The author Sark writes in her book Inspiration Sandwich, “My first job was at age 4 as the wake up fairy in kindergarten. I had a magic wand, and touched each sleeping child. I still have that magic wand.”

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Greeting Sudents in the Morning

I went to visit one of my colleagues at the start of a school day last year. She was checking the student’s attendance in a way I had not seen before. Instead of saying the students’ names and having them answer “Yes” or “Here”, she was saying, “Good Morning Noah,” and the students would answer, “Good Morning Mrs Bromwich.”

This was such a fantastically simple idea that I could not believe I had not thought of it earlier. I now greet each of my students with “Good Morning” as it sets a wonderful tone each day. This is one of those simple ideas that has such a positive effect on the culture of the classroom.

Cleaning the Classroom – Magic Scrap!

Magic Scrap

There are some days when the children leave the classroom at the end of the day and I wonder how the room became such a disaster, with pencils, paper and books scattered across the room. When I first started teaching it was a struggle trying to clean the classroom in the afternoon. That was before Magic Scrap

Magic Scrap is a simple, fun game you can play in the afternoon. Just before the bell rings in the afternoon choose something on the floor that will be the Magic Scrap. Then tell the children they have thirty seconds to search for it. Once everything has been picked up, put away or placed in the bin, tell them who the winner is. The winner receives a small price. It is amazing how effective this game is. The children look forward to playing it and it makes the cleaners very happy! It is also easy to modify to suit different age groups. When I taught Grade 2, two children were the Magic Scrap Monitors and it was their job to choose the Magic Scrap and supervise the game. Needless to say this job was very popular.