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Classroom Management

  • Classroom Management Tips
  • Establishing Classroom Rules
  • Establishing Classroom Rewards
  • Fred Jones: Tools for Teaching
  • Dr. Ken Shore: The Classroom Problem Solver
  • Joe Martin: The Educator Motivator
  • Howard Seeman
  • The Homework Dilemma
  • Bullying and Teasing Resources
  • Tips for New Teachers
  • Tips for Back-to-School Time
  • More Articles of Interest

     

    CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TIPS

    Differentiated Instruction, Flexibility Make Multi-Age Classes Work
    Multi-grade classes sound like a lot of work for teachers. But by regularly assessing students, differentiating instruction, and using flexible groupings, the experience can be revitalizing for a teacher. Included: Tips for planning lessons in multi-grade classes.

    Goal Setting Made Easy
    Teaching students how to set goals is easy with Goal Setting 101, a 3-part article that describes the process, and the Goal Tracker booklet, a student journal for recording goals and focusing on action steps.

    Tools for Teaching Supplies Specifics for PBIS and RtI
    The objective of Tools for Teaching for the past 40 years has been to develop specific classroom management procedures that prevent both discipline and instruction problems.

    The Hiring Process: A Little Research Never Hurts
    Although you might be anxious to fill out applications and begin the interview process, it really is important that to take the time to do a little research first.

    Motivational Tools
    When trying to determine how to implement rewards in your classroom, you need to consider your goals, the kinds of incentives youll use, and the impact of the program on students.

    Goal Setting 101: Setting Individual Goals
    You dont have to wait to achieve a class goal before teaching students to set personal goals. The steps of the process are the same, although youll need to approach the task a little differently.

    Freedoms and Responsibilities
    Your goal should be to empower students to take a part in their own learning while being held accountable for their behavior and work product. That can be developed through a system of freedoms and responsibilities within the classroom.

    Goal Setting 101: The Process in Action
    As any effective teacher knows, telling isnt teaching. The best way to help students see the goal-setting process in action is to set a class goal and work together to achieve it.

    Practicing Love & Logic Can Mean Happier Schools
    Stressing positive teacher-student relationships, empathetic adults, and differentiated consequences, the Love & Logic approach to behavior management has fans among teachers and parents. Included: Nine essential skills for teachers practicing Love & Logic.

    Goal Setting 101: Understanding the Process
    Many of us never were taught how to set goals for ourselves, and we only discovered the power of goal setting later in life. But with a little creativity, we can adapt the strategies used by successful adults and share them with our students.

    Setting the Tone
    How can you develop a positive classroom environment that also embraces structure and accountability? How can you set just the right tone starting from day one? The key has everything to do with you -- your body language, eye contact, and tone of voice.

    Teachers, Start Your Engines: Management Tips from the Pit Crew
    Who said classroom management has to be boring? While you've been (we hope!) enjoying a relaxing summer, the editors at Education World have been lurking on listservs and in chat rooms, reading articles and message boards, and surfing education sites and teacher Web pages in search of classroom management tips you can use in the new school year. This week, we offer you the results of our search -- 20 successful classroom management strategies to get your year off to a great start and keep your classroom running smoothly throughout the entire year.


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    Classroom Management: Ten Teacher-Tested Tips
    Hallway conferences, pasta discipline, buddy rooms, bell work: Those and six other ideas for taming temper tantrums and other classroom disruptions are the focus of this Education World story. Included: An opportunity for all teachers to share the classroom-management techniques that work for them.

    The Secret's in the Little Things: Simple Tips for Successful Teachers
    Here they are -- 12 quick tips to help make managing your classroom a breeze! Included are tips for getting to know your students, communicating with parents, getting your day of to a good start, and much more.

    Modeling Procedures
    Modeling classroom rules involves demonstrating the specific behaviors and language patterns of an expectation. Teachers act out the behaviors, showing what each looks and sounds like. Included: Eight procedures for modeling and practicing expectations.

    Using Language to Encourage and Empower Children
    In the Responsive Classroom approach, our goal is to use our language to encourage and empower children. Three simple structures support encouraging and empowering language. We call those structures "The Three R's": to reinforce, to remind, to redirect. A four-part series.

    Tools for Teaching: Bell Work
    Bell Work is the work that students are doing when the opening bell rings. It's the work that provides purpose to the process of "settling in." Dr. Fred Jones explains how Bell Work can add teaching and learning time to your day.

    Class Meetings: A Democratic Approach to Classroom Management
    Patterned after family meetings in her own home, teacher Donna Styles established a format for class meetings that enabled her students to share their thoughts and solve classroom issues on their own.

    Helping Students Find the 'Write' Way to Behave
    Having students write about their misbehavior, why it occurred, and what they are going to do to correct it is valuable for students and teachers.

    Creating a Climate for Learning: Effective Classroom Management Techniques
    In Positive Classroom Discipline, Fred Jones states, "The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag." It's also probably the least effective. Learn how to stop nagging and start teaching.

    Do Seating Arrangements and Assignments = Classroom Management?
    Now might be a good time to take a long look at your classroom seating arrangement. Advice and opinions about classroom arrangements and seating assignments abound, and Education World explores the possibilities.

    Pretzels
    A weekly activity allows the exchange of compliments and criticism among the students in your class. This activity can help resolve conflicts and teach children how to properly handle conflict.

    Let's Cooperate! -- Teachers Share Tips for Cooperative Learning
    Cooperation starts at the top! Teachers who use cooperative learning in their classrooms have developed techniques that make the most of this method, and they share them. Included: Teacher tips, rubrics, and more.

    Voice of Experience: Handling Difficult Students -- Lessons from Mrs. G
    Educator Perri Gibbons pays tribute to teacher Deb Graudins, whose success with the most challenging students wins respect from students and colleagues alike. Her measured, consistent approach could hold lessons for any teacher who must handle difficult students.

     

    ESTABLISHING CLASSROOM RULES

    Keeping Kids Above the Line
    Above and below are concepts most children grasp at a young age -- so that is the basis for the Above the Line behavior management approach, which stresses teaching children to keep their behavior Above the Line and encourages them to fix it when its not.

    School "Rules" -- Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules
    Starting the school year on the right foot includes establishing classroom rules that will last the whole year through. Many teachers involve students in establishing their classroom rules. (Surprisingly, student-created rules are often much the same as -- or even tougher than -- rules a teacher might create. After all, students want to attend school in a safe environment, and they want to know the boundaries when it comes to classroom behavior.)

    School-Wide Rules Creation
    Learn about one school's efforts to improve school climate by developing a more consistent approach to discipline from classroom to classroom and in common school areas, such as the playground, lunchroom, and hallways.

    Responsive Classroom Strategies: Teaching the Rules
    We have generated our hopes and dreams. We have constructed our classroom rules, which are signed and beautifully and prominently displayed. We have shared our rules with parents. Now comes the interesting part, the part where we teach the rules.

    Logical Consequences Teach Important Lessons
    Logical consequences help teachers intervene when children break rules. It is a strategy that reinforces the limits of the classroom, the accountability of each individual, and the belief that we can take better care of ourselves, one another, and our environment.

    The Three R's of Logical Consequences
    'Logical consequences' is a strategy that seeks to help children learn from their mistakes. A logical consequence has two steps: the first stops the misbehavior; the second recalls children to the rules and teaches alternative behaviors.

    Examples of Logical Consequences
    The goal of logical consequences is to stop children's misbehavior and help them make more constructive choices. There is no one-size-fits-all consequence, although there are a few general categories that can help us consider effective implementation of logical consequences.

    Tools for Teaching: Rules, Routines, and Standards
    Classroom management expert Fred Jones explains why educators need to teach -- not just announce -- classroom rules and routines. In this month's column, he offers effective strategies for getting students to take your standards seriously.

    The Essential 55: Rules for a Lifetime
    Ron Clark, the author of The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, discusses his classroom rules and the philosophy behind them.

    Class Rules Smooth Way for the Year
    Rules in School, a book from the Northeast Foundation for Children, tells teachers how they can regain instructional time during the school year by helping students develop class rules and consequences at the beginning of the year.

     

    ESTABLISHING CLASSROOM REWARDS

    Preferred Activity Time (PAT) Is Preferred by Kids and Teachers
    If you talk with any group of teachers, you are likely to discover that at least one uses PAT, or preferred activity time, a reward system described by Fred Jones in his book Positive Classroom Discipline. Because this system requires little effort and expense, teachers are taking it up. Because it is fun, students are eating it up! Whether teachers view the time students earn as free time or educational game time, they all agree that PAT works. Included: Teachers share favorite educational games from their PAT repertoires.

    Reward Systems That Work: What to Give and When to Give It!
    Read about ways four teachers reward students' good behavior and motivation. Learn what to give and when and how you can encourage students to improve. Included: 35 reasonable rewards.

    WANTED: Rewards, Rewards, and More Rewards!
    Do rewards motivate students? Some say no, but many teachers think they do. This week, Education World takes a look at a wide variety of rewards used by teachers in the classroom. If you are looking for a way to reward successful students or good behavior, you might find the ticket here.

    Classroom Rewards Reap Dividends for Teachers and Students
    All teachers prefer to rely on their students' intrinsic motivation to encourage them to come to school, do their homework, and focus on classroom activities, but many supplement the internal drive to succeed with external rewards. The teachers say rewards -- free time, school supplies, or tasty treats -- can help kids master the expectations of acceptable classroom behavior and scholastic achievement. Included: Ten tips for using rewards in the classroom.

    99 Ways to Say 'Very Good'
    CareerLab, a "career strategy and human capital management firm," generously granted Education World permission to reprint 99 Ways To Say 'Very Good,' by Arzella Dirksen. CareerLab was more generous than the firm realized, however. The article actually contains 100 ways.

    Carrots or Sticks? Alfie Kohn on Rewards and Punishment
    Former teacher Alfie Kohn is an outspoken critic of the focus on grades and test scores. In an exclusive e-interview with Education World writer Cara Bafile, Kohn shares his views on classroom rewards and punishment and talks about how teachers can encourage intrinsic motivation. He also tackles the tough topics -- standards, accountability, and high-stakes testing.

    Voice of Experience: The Power of Written Praise
    Being roused from a sound sleep by a parent can be a rude awakening. But in one case it got educator Max Fischer reflecting about the power of written praise to raise student achievement. Included: Six reasons to put praise for students in writing.

    Tools for Teaching: Having Fun with PAT
    In Responsibility Training, students earn Preferred Activity Time (PAT) when they save time. Apart from curriculum enrichment activities, team competition is perhaps the most reliable and easy-to-use motivational "hook" in education. Anything can be taught in the form of a team game.

    Token Economies Yield Promising Results
    When classroom management is a struggle, the answer might be as simple as the traditional American "five and dime!" See how systems based on "token economies" can work with even the toughest classes.

    PAT: Learning to Give in Order to Get
    To learn time management, students must have time -- time they desire; time they are willing to work for. "Preferred Activity Time" or PAT, is the time you give students to teach them time management. Dr. Fred Jones provides a grade-by-grade schedule for PAT.

    Incentives Teach Lessons
    The management of cooperation in the classroom focuses on giving students a reason to cooperate. If you want students to cooperate class after class, day after day, you must answer for them the question, "Why should I?"

     

    THE HOMEWORK DILEMMA

    Be sure to see a special Education World series, Help for Homework Hassles for tips and unique approaches to "the homework dilemma."

    Students Rule With 'Design Your Own Homework'
    "I started by sending home a letter to parents at the beginning of school explaining that students could bring in their own homework projects," said teacher Valerie Grimes. Included: Learn more about the types of assignments Grimes's students have selected.

    Put an End to Homework Horror
    If your students lack interest in your homework assignments, it may not be your students -- it may be the assignments. Author Nancy Paulu has some advice for teachers who want to make the most out of homework. Included: Links to school homework policies.

    Help for Homework Hassles
    How can teachers motivate students to do their homework? How should teachers handle kids who just don't care? This week, Education World explores ways to ease homework hassles.

    Homework: A Place for Rousing Reform
    Educator Brenda Dyck reflects on a year in which she and her colleagues (begrudgingly, at first) came to a new understanding about the value and relevance of homework assignments. Learn how they tamed the homework beast.

    Help -- Homework Is Wrecking My Home Life!
    Just how much homework is too much? Education World interviews teachers and the top experts -- including Howard Gardner, Carol Huntsinger, and Harris Cooper -- to find out.

    The Homework Dilemma: How Much Should Parents Get Involved?
    Just what kind of parental involvement -- and how much involvement -- truly helps children with their homework?

    Homework Takes a Hit
    In an Education World e-interview, John Buell, co-author of The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning, makes a case for ending homework as we know it.

    Homework Study Hall
    Startled by the number of failing grades his students were receiving, principal David Chambers made making up missed work a mandatory activity. The policy has raised students' GPAs and improved teacher morale. Could it work for your school?

     

    BULLYING AND TEASING RESOURCES

    Be sure to see Education World's special Bullying Archive for lesson ideas, tips, and teacher-tested approaches to solving the bullying problem.

    Middle School Teachers, Students, Combat Teasing
    A group of students and teachers at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton, Massachusetts, use seminars and discussions to courage tolerance for others and reduce bullying. Included: Tips to reduce teasing and bullying.

    Don't Get Even; Get Help: Support for Victims of Bullies
    Students in one Canadian school who decided to do something about bullying in their school. They created www.bullying.org, a Web site designed to help victims of bullies deal with the problem in nonviolent ways -- and to help victims and others learn how to solve the problem.

    Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work
    "Bullying," according to noted expert Dan Olweus, "poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child." Learn what you can do to keep bullying behavior from poisoning your school. Included: Practical tips for changing the behavior of bullies and their victims.

    Sticks and Stones and Names Can Hurt You: De-Myth-tifying the Classroom Bully
    Bullies are raised in the home, but their victims are too frequently created in the classroom. Learn how what you believe about bullies can hurt your students! Included: Ten myths about bullies, and the research that helped identify those myths.

    Stop Bullying Before It Starts!
    Bullying is no longer seen as the norm in the school or the community at large, and prevention has become the name of the game. Included: Poor and good solutions to bullying.

    A Safe and Orderly Environment
    "That's a put-down," John Ash tells his students. "We don't use put-downs. We tell the other person how we are feeling and what we want to happen." Can Ash's strategy help you eliminate put-downs from your classroom too?

    Ways to Teach Empathy Skills
    Everyone has met people who are highly compassionate. But we would meet more of them if children were taught at an early age to be empathetic, according to author/teacher David A. Levine, who has created lessons and activities to teach empathy skills.

    Teaching Tolerance
    Martin Luther King Jr., dreamed of a world more tolerant than the one he lived in. These lesson ideas -- perfect for use at the start of the school year or for celebrating King's life in January -- are designed to teach kids about tolerance. Included: Lessons on stereotyping, appreciating differences, recognizing how words can hurt (or heal), and more.

     

    FRED JONES: TOOLS FOR TEACHING

    See a complete library of articles -- more than two dozen articles in all -- by classroom management guru Fred Jones in our Fred Jones's "Tools for Teaching" Archive. The articles below include a sampling of the articles you will find.

    Creating Student Engagement
    To create student engagement, the teacher must succeed in managing both discipline and instruction. If kids are goofing off, you wont get much engagement.

    The Process of Growth and Change
    Training is the easy part of effective professional development. The hard part is follow-through. Follow-through requires organizational change to support personal change.

    Making Say, See, Do Teaching Affordable
    In the Say, See, Do Teaching method, you tell students what to do, you show them what to do, and then you have them do it. The process is repeated as students learn by doingone step at a time.

    Tools for Teaching Tips for Substitutes
    Consider two different perspectives when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about to have a substitute. The second is when you are about to be a substitute.

    Tools for Teaching Implements Response to Intervention (RTI)
    RTI is a multi-level system that focuses on the prevention of learning problems. It is designed to develop capacity for identifying, adapting and sustaining effective instructional practices.

    Excellence on a Shoestring
    Keeping our program alive and well in the face of budget cuts requires training that can be done on a shoestring, and support and follow-through that costs nothing.

    Dealing with the Unexpected
    No set of skills comes with a guarantee. Certain individuals in certain situations will respond atypically. In this segment, we will examine a type of child whose response to you meaning business will be the opposite of what you might expect.

    Nasty Backtalk
    If we think of discipline management as a poker game in which the student raises the dealer with increasing levels of provocation, then nasty backtalk is going all in. The student is risking it all for the sake of power and control.

    Backtalk: When In Doubt, Do Nothing
    The cardinal error in dealing with backtalk is backtalk -- your backtalk. Becoming involved with backtalk only makes the problem worse -- which produces our first rule of backtalk: It takes one fool to backtalk. It takes two fools to make a conversation out of it.

    Responding to Backtalk
    "Think of backtalk as a melodrama which is written, produced, and directed by the student. In this melodrama there is a speaking part for you. If you accept your speaking part in the melodrama, it is "show time." But if you do not, the show bombs."

    The King of Classroom Management! (An Education World e-Interview With Classroom Management Expert Fred Jones)
    Since 1969, Fred Jones has offered teachers advice about how to manage students and classrooms effectively. The author of Tools for Teaching, his third book on classroom management, shares his thoughts about the difficulties teachers face in classrooms today. Included: Jones talks about the failure of the nation's colleges and universities to provide future teachers with adequate training and how legislators make teachers' jobs even tougher.

    Creating a Climate for Learning: Effective Classroom Management Techniques
    In Positive Classroom Discipline, Fred Jones states, "The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag." It's also probably the least effective. Learn how to stop nagging and start teaching. Included: 12 teacher-tested tips for behavior management.

    Do Seating Arrangements and Assignments = Classroom Management?
    Now might be a good time to take a long look at your classroom seating arrangement. Advice and opinions about classroom arrangements and seating assignments abound, and Education World explores the possibilities! Included: Tips from Fred Jones on how to get the most out of classroom arrangements.

    Tools for Teaching: Training the Class to be Responsible
    Training kids to do what you want them to do when you ask them to do it is the side of discipline management we call Responsibility Training. The goal of Responsibility Training is to make responsible behavior in the classroom a matter of routine. In this brief summary of Responsibility Training, Dr. Fred Jones offers new options for classroom management.

    Tools for Teaching: Positive Discipline -- Part 6
    Rules carry a price. As teachers, when we look up to see one of our rules being broken, we face a moment of truth. Will we act -- or will we equivocate? In this column, Dr. Fred Jones examines the importance of meaning business, and explains how consistency, commitment, and calm can help you act like a teacher as well as think like one.

    Tools for Teaching: Instruction Meets Discipline
    While school discipline codes focus on large infractions, discipline management within the classroom is dominated by continuous small disruptions. It is a picture of endless "goofing off" and time wasting. Tools for Teaching might be viewed as an attempt to prevent the goofing off typical of most classrooms. As you might imagine, instruction and discipline go together.

    Tools for Teaching: The School Discipline Code
    Look in your student handbook under the heading "Discipline Code" and you will find a "hierarchy of consequences," beginning with a verbal warning and ending with suspension and expulsion. Does it work?

    Tools for Teaching: Escaping the Paper Grading Trap
    The paper-grading ritual, says Dr. Fred Jones, not only fails to improve student learning, it also cannibalizes the after-school time available for planning tomorrow's lessons with yesterday's clerical work. The more adept you become at building work check into teaching, the more responsibility students take for quality control, and the more your evenings are freed up for lesson planning.

     

    DR. KEN SHORE:
    THE CLASSROOM PROBLEM SOLVER

    Got a classroom problem that needs solving? See a complete library of articles by Dr. Shore -- more than 70 articles in all -- in our Ken Shore's "Classroom Problem Solver" Archive. The articles below include a sampling of the articles you will find.

    Classroom Problem Solver: Dealing With a Student with Asthma
    Asthma symptoms and accompanying anxiety can hinder concentration on schoolwork and give rise to emotional difficulties. Dr. Ken Shore offers eight tips to help minimize the effects of the asthma on students' academic and social success.

    Classroom Problem Solver: Chronic Complainers
    Some students seem to find fault with everything. They gripe about the amount of homework, food in the lunchroom, their seat in the classroom, and comments of other students. Dr. Ken Shore offers eight tips for dealing with those chronic complainers.

    Classroom Problem Solver: The Unmotivated Student
    The unmotivated student is the one whose attitude toward schoolwork screams, "I don't care!" When working with an unmotivated student, you first have to convince him that he can be successful, and then you must figure out how to capture his interest.

    Classroom Problem Solver: The Student With Low Self-Esteem
    When working with children with low self-esteem, the challenge is to restore their belief in themselves. That means showing appreciation for the things they do well, expressing confidence that they will improve in areas in which they don't do well, and adapting instruction so every student experiences success.

    Playground Problems
    Behavior problems on the playground run the gamut from arguments to bullying to vandalism and beyond. Dr. Ken Shore offers twelve tips for dealing with playground problems.

    Completing Seatwork
    When responding to a student who doesn't complete in-school assignments, you first need to figure out why. Dr. Ken Shore offers nine tips for getting successful seatwork from all students.

    Classroom Problem Solver: The Disorganized Student
    Elementary teachers must recognize the importance of teaching organizational skills. Such skills will be essential in middle school, when students will be expected to keep track of their assignments and school responsibilities with little teacher assistance. Dr. Ken Shore offers eight tips for teaching organization skills.

     

    JOE MARTIN: THE EDUCATOR MOTIVATOR

    Its Not About Us
    We can keep doing what were doing and getting the same results, or we can change our school by changing our attitude toward our job.

    Be a Pro-Change Teacher
    Are you a change-phobic? This Teacher for a Day activity will change your ways.

    Dont Get Teacher Amnesia
    Its difficult to remember the blessings of teaching when were constantly bombarded with the burdens of teaching. I call that affliction teacher amnesia.

    Teach Outside Your Comfort Zone
    Comfort is comfortable, but its not the goal. The goal is constant and never-ending improvement.

    Teach It Forward and Reap It Forever
    Sometimes the smallest gifts are the greatest gifts. I should know, because my physical education teacher made an impact on my life that I have never forgotten.

    Teach in the Now
    Lets make a pledge to adopt a now mentality, and leave the delay tactics to the bureaucrats.

    Go for Your Teaching Goals
    Persuade yourself to buy what you’re selling by overexposing yourself to your own commercial. And what are you trying to sell yourself? Your teaching goals!

    Teachers Must Earn Students Respect
    That is one of the most basic principles of successful teaching -- and one of the most difficult lessons for new teachers to learn: to get respect from students, you have to earn it.

    First Things First on the First Day of School
    One of the greatest mistakes a new teacher can make in a classroom (especially on the first day) is to assume that the student values the class as much as the teacher does.

    Who Said You Have to Change?
    “There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes; the problem is when we fail to correct those mistakes based on stubbornness, ignorance, fear, pride, or even anger. Whenever I find myself guilty of that, I describe it as being ‘stuck on stupid.’”

    Medicate to Educate
    “What do I tell those teachers who ask me for my secret to staying motivated in the classroom? I tell them to ‘get medicated.’ But what I’m referring to isn’t a prescription; it’s more of a philosophy. It’s the secret weapon I like to call ‘the medicine cabinet.’”

    A Little Change Will Do You Good!
    I believe we have three choices when it comes to responding to change: we either can get up (do something about it and learn from it), give up (throw in the towel), or shut up (accept it for what it is).

    What Are You Paying Attention To? “I tell my friends when they question my sanity (which is quite often) concerning teaching and my ability to maintain a positive attitude, ‘I have a simple choice: I either can focus on whining about teaching or I can focus on winning as a teacher.’”

    Even Teachers Make Mistakes
    "Last year, when a student caught me in a careless math mistake, I laughed it off and said, 'This is the first math mistake I've ever made!' From that point on, students took it as a friendly challenge to catch the math teacher making another math mistake."

    Imitate to Motivate
    Think back and remember your favorite teacher. Reflect on everything about that teacher that made you admire and respect him or her. Now, I want you to pretend to be your favorite teacher for at least one week this month.

    More Who, Less What
    One of best lessons I learned in my early years of teaching was to focus on WHO we teach, not just on WHAT we teach. Now, dont get me wrong. WHAT we teach is vitally important to our students success, as well as our schools success. But sacrificing the WHO for the WHAT is just plain criminal.

    Raise Your Standards
    We as teachers already face enough negativity from the public and media without having to worry about dissention and tension within our own ranks. This month, therefore, Im asking you to raise your standards when it comes to your colleagues.

    I Owe, You Owe, We Owe
    My question to you this month is, How much do you owe your favorite teacher? If your favorite teacher was anything like mine, Im sure he or she would say, Just pay your students what you think you owe me.

     

    HOWARD SEEMAN

    Preventing Classroom Discipline Problems: A Classroom Management Handbook
    In the latest edition of his book, Howard Seeman offers the kind of common-sense approach to classroom discipline that beleaguered teachers are looking for. Education World examines "Preventing Classroom Discipline Problems: A Classroom Management Handbook."

    Cheating in the Classroom: How to Prevent It (and How to Handle It If It Happens)
    Have you ever considered that there are things you might do to head off cheating before it occurs? Classroom management expert Howard Seeman offers tips for preventing cheating and for handling it if it does happen.

    Handling Late Comers
    You're already five minutes into the lesson and a late students walks in. How do you handle the disruption? Do you stop the class? Do you ignore it? Included: Classroom management expert Howard Seeman offers eight tips for handling latecomers.

    A Teachers Back to School Supply List
    Each summer, teachers send home a list of supplies students will need during the upcoming school year. Until now, little thought has been given to the supplies teachers might find useful. Noted educator Howard Seeman corrects that oversight with his back-to-school list for the well-equipped teacher.

    Reforming Teacher Education Programs Too often new teachers walk into their first classroom assignment full of educational theories but short on practical training, according to consultant Dr. Howard Seeman. Teachers need more hands-on experience in classroom management, he said.

     

    TIPS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME

    Don't miss Education World's Back-to-School Archive. There you'll find ideas for getting to know your new students, special lesson ideas for the first days, and much more.

    Tools for Teaching: Starting the New School Year
    On the first day of school, the first question in students' minds is, "Who are you?" Their second question is, "Who are they?" Students do better when they are comfortable, relaxed, and "at home." A very good reason to devote the lion's share of your first class period to creating comfort.

    Planning for Your First Day at School
    On the first day of school, the secret to success is in the planning, not the pedagogy. How's your back-to-school planning going? Have you forgotten anything? Our checklist can help.

    Back-to-School Letters and Survival Kits Build Communication
    Many teachers and administrators have started introducing themselves to parents and students before school starts. Some have even provide "survival kits," to help students weather the first few days of school. Included: Survival kit samples.

     

    A Techtorial: Create a Seating Chart with Excel
    Creating a seating chart couldn't be easier when you use Microsoft Excel. With just three simple steps, you can create a seating chart that's both easy to read and easy to edit.

    Hopes and Dreams: A Strategy to Begin the Year
    "In classrooms using the Responsive Classrooms approach, teachers begin their year generating 'Hopes and Dreams.' The process of developing hopes and dreams each year is a process of reviving hope -- and hope is one of our most critical community resources. How do we teach or learn without it?" Ruth Charney shares strategies for developing hopes and dreams.

    A Teacher's Back-to-School Supply List
    Each summer, teachers send home a list of supplies students will need during the upcoming school year. Until now, little thought has been given to the supplies teachers might find useful. Noted educator Howard Seeman corrects that oversight with his back-to-school list for the well-equipped teacher. Included: Twenty-seven must-have items.

     

    TIPS FOR NEW TEACHERS

    If you're a new teacher wondering where to start, Education World's New Teacher Archive will get you going in the right direction.

    Back-to-School Guide for Beginning Teachers (and Not-So-New Teachers Too)!
    Have you found yourself singing the new-teacher blues -- "So Much to Do, So Little Time?" Change your tune with Education World's Back-to-School Guide for Beginning Teachers.Included: Assessment ideas, time and behavior management resources, classroom freebies, technology information, humor, and much more!

    'How To' Books for First-Year Teachers
    "Where do I get my paycheck? How will I ever find time to do everything? What is the best way to set up a classroom?" Lynne Rominger, a writer and fledgling high school English teacher, co-wrote Your First Year As a High School Teacher and Your First Year As an Elementary School Teacher to answer those and other questions for new teachers.

     

    MORE ARTICLES OF INTEREST

    School Photo Day Made Easy
    Do your school photos make you cringe? Professional photographer Linda Russell shares with teachers, parents, and students her tips for creating frame-able -- and embarrassment-free -- school portraits.

    Teaching with Rap
    Educators from California to New York say that raps lively lyrics, meaningful messages, and familiar beat can be powerful tools for learning.

    100 Report Card Comments
    It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more. A daunting task? Not with Ed World's help! Included: 100 positive report card comments for you to use and adapt.

    Open-Ended Questions
    Open-ended questions elicit fresh and sometimes even startling insights and ideas, opening minds and enabling teachers and students to build knowledge together. Discover how to form open-ended questions and how to use them to bolster learning.

    "Good Morning, Learners!"
    Morning messages welcome children to school and enhance the day's learning and teaching.

    The Last Six Weeks of School
    Though learning doesnt end just because school does, its good to help children bring a sense of closure to the year of classroom learning. This article highlights the benefits of doing so and offers suggestions that you can easily adapt for children of different ages.

    Make Time to Teach: Ten Tools for Reducing Paperwork
    What happens when paperwork starts to crowd out time with students? Is there a way to streamline the forms that can take over a teacher's life? Educator Brenda Dyck shares with you ten online tools she has found to help her reduce paperwork and give her more time to teach.

    Author Aims to Help Children Manage Anger
    Laura Fox's book, I Am So Angry I Could Scream: Helping Children Deal With Anger, tells the story of a long, frustrating day for a little girl who finally loses her temper. A sympathetic aunt shows her how to list what makes her angry, why those things make her angry, and how she can use her anger in positive ways. Included: A summary of My Anger Chart, which helps children identify and address issues that make them angry.

    Voice of Experience: Weighted Grading Can Work
    Max Fischer shares his approach to grading, which takes into account all elements of his students' performance. It's a weighted system that Fischer believes truly reflects the needs of his students -- and it has the support of parents too. "Weighted grading categories," writes Fischer, "offer teachers the opportunity to tailor their assessment practices to the skills they believe are most critical to student success within their classroom."

    Student-Led Conferences Hold Kids Accountable
    Would you like to find a way to actively engage students in their learning process and increase parent attendance at conferences? Student-led conferences can accomplish those two objectives. Included: Highlights of research about student-led conferences.

    Let's Cooperate! -- Teachers Share Tips for Cooperative Learning
    Cooperation starts at the top! Teachers who use cooperative learning in their classrooms have developed techniques that make the most of this method, and they share them. Ideas that range from forming groups to using rubrics will make any lesson of a cooperative nature a little more fun! Included: Teacher tips, a rubric for grading students' cooperative efforts, and additional online resources!

    "Recovery Rooms" Put Disruptive Students on Road to Recovery
    Are disruptive students inhibiting learning in your school? If so, the answer may be creating a place for them to refocus and regroup -- a "recovery room." With guidance, students can reflect on their mistakes and find ways to improve.

    Revisiting Hopes, Goals, and Classroom Rules
    Revisiting September's hopes and goals is an important midyear activity that will help students see the progress they've made so far, while setting the tone for productive learning during the remainder of the year.

    Who's Fault Is it, Anyway?
    Students who fail to make the connection between effort and results attribute their successes and failures to someone or something other than themselves. Successful students see their successes as something they can influence.

    Tattle Tales
    The important issue to help children understand about tattling is not when to report. Nor is it what to report. The critical decision involves who to report to.

    Keep It Clean
    Do you find yourself spending precious after-school time cleaning up your classroom? Have you tried student cleanup and decided it wasn't worth the chaos or loss of learning time? Maybe all you really need to turn class cleanup into a fun and productive activity is a little help from some creativity colleagues.

    Rubrics Help Improve School-Wide Behavior
    Teachers have seen the value in using rubrics to assess student work and behavior. Now some principals are using them as a tool for monitoring and modifying behavior on a school-wide basis. Included: Examples of behavior rubrics.

    Changing Attitudes About Student Discipline by Developing a Code of Conduct
    I was new to the school. To me, the general atmosphere of the school seemed too focused on punishment; the atmosphere seemed more negative than positive. I saw an opportunity to increase discipline and students' self-respect.

    Strategies That Work: Motivation
    The most successful ways teachers can motivate students who are not intrinsically motivated to learn include engaging their interest; demonstrating the relevance of what they're learning; displaying enthusiasm for what we're teaching; establishing challenging, but achievable expectations, and employing a variety of instructional strategies.

    From Beginning to End: Making Memories All Year Through
    Experienced educators share how they enrich their classes with projects and activities that take students from the beginning of the school year to the end -- while creating memories that last a lifetime. Included: Ideas for time capsules, memory books, welcome letters, more.

    When It Comes to Volatile Kids, Pick Your Battles
    Dr. Ross W. Greene, a psychologist who works with easily frustrated children and their parents and the author of The Explosive Child, advises parents and teachers that identifying the causes of a child's frustration and working with the youngster to develop coping skills can lead to fewer explosions and more compliance. Included: Strategies for working with explosive children in the classroom.

    "Brag" Phone Calls
    Too often, parent-teacher communication is about negative things students do. Many teachers see the value in calling parents to report good news. Teacher Donna Kelly believes in the power of "brag phone calls," but she lets her students make those calls.

    The "Jigsaw" Technique
    The "jigsaw" cooperative learning strategy helps students create their own learning. Each member of a group works to master a segment of information; when group members come back together, they "piece together" a clear picture of the topic at hand.

    A "Nuts and Bolts" Approach to Classroom Successes
    A former teacher, Dr. Jane Bluestein turned her pages of tips for teachers about classroom management and organization into a book and then a business. She works with educators seeking new ways to improve their teaching and interactions.

    "Let It Slip!" Admit and Exit Slips in the Classroom
    Want to know what your students really learned today, and what might require extra reinforcement? Use exit slips! When students respond in writing to what they learn and share it, teachers can target the gaps and keep them on the right track.

    Restorative Practices Build Community, Responsibility
    Although student misbehavior impacts many people at school, often only the student is involved in the discipline process. The restorative practices approach stresses correcting the harm rather than punishing the deed, and advocates including the affected parties in the process.

    Teaching Manners
    Although character education is a hot topic in schools, education in manners often receives scant attention. Teachers who "teach" manners say, however, that they notice a real difference in students' attitudes, in the way they treat one another, and in their schoolwork.

    Manners and Etiquette: Teaching Essential Ingredients for Success
    Whether they use a formal curriculum or simply take advantage of serendipitous opportunities, two teachers are taking good manners off the back burner. Those educators say that focusing on manners in the classroom is not an option -- it's a must!

    Signaling an End to Classroom Chatter
    Some teachers are finding that mini traffic lights are as effective at regulating student conversation levels as the real signals are at controlling traffic flow. Devices such as the teacher-created Yacker Tracker tell students when to put the brakes on their chatter.

    Teaching Self-Control: A Curriculum for Responsible Behavior
    Martin Henley has created a curriculum for teaching 20 self-control skills all children need. The Teaching Self-Control curriculum includes role-plays, simulations, learning center activities, and children's literature that can be used to teach those skills.

    Evaluating In-School Suspension Programs
    Monitoring in-school suspension programs can make them more effective, or even unnecessary, if school climate changes occur, according to education analyst Anne Wheelock. Schools need to monitor who is suspended and by whom.

    In-School Suspension: A Learning Tool
    While educators agree that keeping suspended students in school is better than having them home unsupervised, schools need more than a room and a teacher for in-school suspension to change behavior. Included: Administrators share effective programs.

    Last updated 08/06/2007