Chapter 4 Establishing Norms for Behavior Summarized by: Tim White
RESEARCH ON STUDENT BEHAVIORS • Not knowing what is expected causes insecurity, discomfort, and self consciousness, especially for young students. • A study on motivation in the classroom showed that third, fourth, and fifth graders were more likely to work harder and to be more persistent when they perceived their teachers as providing clear expectations. “Well-defined norms for behavior can help to dispel the “what ifs” and enhance feelings of safety, security, and competence. Well-defined norms decrease the complexity of the classroom.”
RESEARCH ON EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT • Prior to 1970, teacher preparation programs could offer beginning teachers only minimal advice about classroom management • Things taught were little “tricks of the trade” (e.g. flick the lights for quiet), stressed the importance of firmness and consistency, and warned prospective teacher not to smile until Christmas. • Since no research was conducted, it was not clear why some classrooms functioned smoothly while others were chaotic. • In the 1970’s, Jacob Kounin performed a study of orderly and disorderly behaviors. He set out to compare teachers methods of responding to misbehavior and published the book “Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms”
WHAT SEPERATES GOOD AND BAD BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT? • Kouninfound that a large difference between an orderly class and a disorderly classroom were the strategies that teachers used to prevent misbehavior. • Successful teachers displayed withitness. • They were aware of what was happening in all parts of the room. • Exhibited an ability to overlap (do more than one thing at a time) • Kept lessons moving at a brisk pace, giving little opportunity for students to become inattentive and disruptive. • Had clear rules for general conduct (be prepared for class), as well as procedures or routines for carrying out specific tasks (going to the bathroom). • Effective managers spent much of the first few days teaching these rules and procedures to students – as carefully as they taught academic content – and continued to review during the first two weeks of school.
DEFINING YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR BEHAVIOR The research on classroom management at the beginning of the school year has helped to clarify what effective managers do to create order in their classrooms. This work underscores the importance of (1) Deciding how you want your students to behave and (2) Making these expectations absolutely clear to students. • Not only do you need to decide on norms for students’ general conduct. (class rules) • Need to identify the behavioral routines or procedures that you and your students will follow in specific situations. • What to do once they arrive for school. • What to do if another teacher comes into the classroom to talk to you. • How to conduct themselves during everyday activities.
4 GUIDELINES FOR PLANNING CLASSROOM RULES 1. Rules should be reasonable and necessary. What rules are appropriate for this grade level? Is there a good reason for this rule? 2. Rules need to be clear and understandable. Is the rule too abstract for the students to comprehend? To what extent do I want my students to participate in the decision-making process. 3. Rules should be consistent with instructional goals and with what we know about how people learn. Will this rule facilitate or hinder students’ learning? 4. Classroom rules need to be consistent with school rules. Are particular behaviors required in the halls, in the cafeteria, during assemblies, etc.?
3 CLASSROOM ROUTINES • Class-Running Routines: Nonacademic routines that enable the classroom to run smoothly. • Lesson-Running Routines: Routines that directly support instruction by specifying the behaviors that are necessary for teaching and learning to take place. • Interaction Routines: Routines that specify when talk is permitted and how it is to occur.
CLASS-RUNNING ROUTINES Administrative routines Taking attendance Recording lunch orders Distributing school notices Routines for student movement Entering/leaving the room at the beginning/end of the day Going to the restroom, nurse, library, “specials” Fire drills Sharpening pencils Housekeeping routines Cleaning chalkboards, desks Watering plants Storing personal items (backpacks, coats)
LESSON-RUNNING ROUTINES What to bring to the lesson Collecting homework Recording who has done homework Returning homework Moving in and out of centers Writing workshop responsibilities Distributing materials Preparing paper for assignment (heading, margins, type of writing instrument) Collecting in-class assignments What to do when assignments have been completed
INTERACTION ROUTINES Talk between teacher and students During whole-class lessons When teacher is working with a small group When teacher needs the group’s attention When the students need the teacher’s help Talk among students During independent work During center time During peer conferencing During cooperative activities During small-group work During free time During transitions