Location: Chicago Literacy Alliance Literacenter
Presenter: Caleb Probst, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
Classroom Management Brainstorming Breakfast
Community partners gathered at the Literacenter on December 10 to discuss common challenges and areas for improvement when it comes to classroom management. The group collectively identified areas where they experience the most challenges within three main categories: Program, Classroom, and the School. Participants generated many ideas to improve their teaching experience, which are listed below.
I. How do I motivate students to participate?
- Set clear, concise expectations. Prepare students for what is coming Ex. “In a few minutes, we are going to get up and move to the board.”
- Use student names whenever possible (utilize name tags, seating charts). Use name games:
- Students sit in a circle feet towards facilitator in the middle. Touch the person’s feet before person says another student’s name.
- Students and/or you are on either side of a curtain. When the curtain is pulled, whoever correctly says the name of the person they are facing wins, and that team could get a point or the winning team gets to keep that “player.”
- Always keep content relevant. Have students involved in the planning and teaching of the activity. Ex. Students reteach a key message of the lesson, use “Jigsaw” approach to activities.
- Throughout the lesson, get students up and moving. Consider creating engaging assessment practices.
- Utilize positive narration to maintain order. Reward good behavior. Ex. Student helps lead activity, provide healthy snacks. CPS Wellness Policy: RewardWELL.
- When things do not go as planned, be flexible.
- For afterschool programs where students choose to participate, have them reflect on why they are there.
II. Transitions are important for managing a group. What does this look like?
- Ask teacher for call-and-response of how to get students attention. Ex. Teacher: “One, two, three, eyes on me.” Students: “One, two, eyes on you.”
- Be clear and concise about directions. Know what you want students to do. Tell them what they are going to do and then do it.
- Challenge: What are ways to transition with students of different learning abilities in the same class?
III. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
- Plan! Have extra activities planned
IV. How do I utilize the environment to manage a classroom?
- Utilize visual appealing material and storytelling to keep students on task
- Keep things level – try to make your space more inclusive. Ex. Students seated in a circle instead of at desks.
V. What role can the teacher play in managing a classroom?
- Involve the teacher in your activities.
- Ask teacher to step in and address any behavior issues.
VI. How do I discipline student behavior?
- Observe class beforehand to get to know the class and look for teacher’s management techniques.
- Stay calm.
- Go straight to the student disrupting.
- Address the issue immediately.
- Don’t stop the flow of the topic. Integrate the disrupting student into the conversation.
- If two presenters, send one presenter to deal with the disrupting student in a private conversation.
- Utilize the classroom teacher.
- Separate talking students and get them participating in the teaching.
- Stand close to students – use your physical closeness to send the message (REMEMBER: Do NOT touch the student on the shoulder, arm, etc. Touch can be triggering to a student).
- Have your group create classroom rules. Designate a student to keep facilitator accountable.
- Incorporate breathing. Oxygen to the brain is a great thing. (See video below.)
- Use one attention getter, then pay attention and work with (and praise) the students that ARE paying attention.
- If students are having a very difficult time sitting still- give them a chance to get it out for a minute
- AS AN EDUCATOR, Remember that you are not there to be their friend. Set expectations and stick with them.
VII. Communication: The school did not know I was coming. What do I do?
- A day before your program, confirm with principal or assistant principal that you will be there. Do this especially for ONE-TIME programs.
- Identify another contact at the school so that someone else knows you’re there. (teachers, admin, parents)
- Write brief, concise emails to school administrators/teachers. School staff are very busy and receive many emails each day.
- Build relationships with the school to build buy-in for your program. Leave something behind for them to remember you and your program (ex. a postcard thanking the school, a quote from the class about the program).
- VALUES: Know what the school values are and incorporate them into the program. Embed yourself into the school and community.
- Also, note dress code culture. Ex. If students wear ties, you wear a tie.
VIII. How do I get support from the school?
- During a pre-service meeting or call, ask the school about any special needs or considerations there are for the students you will work with so you can plan accordingly.