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  1. Teacher Behavior: Key to Enhancing the Learning Environment Michelle Marchant, Darlene Anderson, Michele Thompson Brigham Young University and Nebo School District

  2. Share key concerns regarding student behavior in your classroom and school.

  3. Think – Pair – Share Scenario A Case 2 Background Student: Heather Age: 8.1 Grade: 3rd Scenario: Heather is a third grader in Ms. Reyes’ classroom of 24 students. Heather enjoys school and often arrives early so she can spend time on the playground with her friends. Ms. Reyes, however, is concerned because Heather is disrupting the class. She reports that Heather calls out answers during lessons, speaks over others during class discussion, and talks to neighbors during group and independent work. For 25 minutes each day, Heather and two peers receive resource room support in math. Heather’s resource room teacher has not noticed any of these behaviors. Ms. Reyes decides to set these goals for Heather for the next nine weeks: Raise her hand and wait to be called before speaking. Decrease interruptions and wait for others to finish before adding to discussions. Complete independent work quietly. Scenario A Case 1 • Background • Student: Sam • Age: 14.2 • Grade: 8th • Scenario: Sam is an eighth grader who is not finishing his work due to his off-task behaviors. According to his records, this has been an ongoing problem since third grade. His grades have become progressively worse this year. His academic grade in his social studies class (and in most of his other classes) is at 65% because assignments are rarely completed or are done haphazardly. When Sam does start an assignment, he often rushes through it, making a number of errors and overlooking information. His teacher reports the following types of off-task behaviors; reading books and magazines, drawing and doodling, daydreaming, and talking to friends and neighbors. These behaviors occur most often during independent work times and rarely during large group or whole class activities, Sam’s social studies teacher believes he is capable of doing grade-level work and has decided that Sam will achieve the following goals within six weeks: • Increase the number of independent assignments completed. • Earn 80% or higher on all completed assignments.

  4. Effective Practices: Developing a Positive and Engaging Classroom Climate Improving student achievement is a national concern. Teacher quality is directly related to effective learning environments where students are more likely to achieve (NCLB, 2001; Sutherland, Wehby & Yoder. 2002; Chalk & Bizo, 2004). Positive and Engaging Classroom Climate. The ultimate act of prevention: Teaching behavior along with academic content (Algozzine, Wang & Violette). Effective Teacher Practices. Effective classroom management is preventative rather than reactive (Emmer & Stough, 2001).

  5. Effective Practices: Developing a Positive and Engaging Classroom Climate Effective Teacher Practices. Student outcomes improve when teachers take a positive, proactive approach to managing problem behavior (Tillery, Varjas, Meyers, & Collins, 2010). SWPBS – The primary prevention tier involves teaching, monitoring, and acknowledging behavioral expectations for all children and implementing evidence-based practices (Horner et al., 2009). Behavior-specific praise is considered an effective teacher skill to increase student engagement in academic and socially appropriate behavior (Beaman & Wheldall, 2000; Brophy, 1981; Cherne, 2009; Sutherland, Wehby & Copeland, 2000; Sugai, 2007).

  6. Given the current emphasis on improving outcomes for all students, it is imperative that educators receive access to methods and training materials appropriate to a wide range of student needs.

  7. Over Arching Principles • Assess and Establish a Positive Learning Environment • Include a Positive Teaching Approach • Implement Praise

  8. Over Arching Principles • Assess and Establish a Positive Learning Environment • Include a Positive Teaching Approach • Implement Praise

  9. Assess and Establish a Positive Learning Environment Children are more likely to trust teachers when they model responsible behaviors and provide students with opportunities to receive positive reinforcement for engaging in desired behavior.

  10. Positive Learning Environment (cont.’d) Relationship bank Positive vs. negative interactions Body Language Non-contingent attention High expectations& routines

  11. Relationship Bank

  12. Positive vs. Negative Interactions Adult ‘withdrawals’ are more powerful Deposits > Withdrawals Balance feedback with positives 4:1 positives: negatives

  13. Video clip of Dean Young here

  14. Adult BehaviorsJudged by Young People as: POSITIVE • Calm, pleasant voice tone • Offers to help • Compliments on their performance • Fairness • Explaining why, how, or what • Concern • Enthusiasm • Politeness • Getting right to the point • Giving specific examples • Pleasant facial expression • Stating expectations NEGATIVE • Overt displays of anger • Accusing/blaming statements • Giving no opportunities to speak • Mean insulting remarks • Unpleasant physical contact • Lack of fairness • Bossy, demanding • Unpleasant • Talking only about mistakes • No eye contact Adapted from Willner, et al. (1977)

  15. Over Arching Principles • Assess and Establish a Positive Learning Environment • Include a Positive Teaching Approach • Implement Praise

  16. Use a Positive Teaching Approach

  17. Video clip of Dean Young here

  18. Over Arching Principles • Assess and Establish a Positive Learning Environment • Include a Positive Teaching Approach • Implement Praise

  19. What is Praise?

  20. Praise is… • Reinforcement • Specific • Descriptive • Accurate • Sincere • Contingent • Age appropriate • Relationship building

  21. Praise is not… • a compliment • a statement with an accompanying ‘zinger’ statement • insincere comments made out of duty

  22. 3 Types of Praise GENERAL: simple, not specific EFFECTIVE: specific, sincere, immediate, and contingent upon something a child has done or an effort he has made INSTRUCTIVE: praise that teaches, includes the components of effective praise along with a rationale

  23. Examples PRAISE • Thanks for putting your coat away so quickly. • I appreciate the way you shared your cookies with Alan. • Wow! Look at the way you painted that picture. It looks terrific! COMPLIMENTS • You look great today. • Nice shoes. • You are a good boy.

  24. Professional Development Strategies for Teachers: Pre-service and In-service

  25. Instructor Materials and Resources

  26. In-Class Activities

  27. Praise Note Assignment and In-School Application • Identify 1 or 2 people/students • Write 10 praise notes • Create written reflection • Share observed changes • Reference readings • Indicate future use

  28. Example Praise Note

  29. Lora I was actually very excited about this assignment because I know the power of these notes…Whenever a [praise] note is given in my class, all of my students try just a little harder . . . I have already discovered that giving students praise notes helps me have a better attitude toward them . . . Giving [a student] five notes within two weeks really helped me notice more of his strengths instead of focusing on those things that bothered me. He, in turn, liked all of the positive attention he was receiving from me and worked very hard in class each day.

  30. Lora video clip here

  31. Sheila I was . . . impressed  that something as simple as writing a praise note [would impact [student] behavior and class work… I must admit I had never seen Joe work so hard in my class before. Joe still had talk outs, but they were fewer. He would still make jokes, but . . . was less disruptive. On Friday…the office called to say he was being checked out of school early. As he was putting away his belongings, he pushed the pad of yellow [post-it] notes [in] my direction and smiled at me. I wrote him [a] praise note which he stuck to his shirt . . . I have learned . . . how important it is to fill the relationship bank with all kinds of deposits. I have also learned that this bank takes currency in the form of verbal praise, kindness, trust, understanding, and [written] praise notes. Because of this experience and what I have learned from it, I will continue to write praise notes to my students.

  32. Sheila video clip here

  33. Kathy [Kelly] was  a little socially awkward and not . . . as accepted by her classmates as others. . . [One] day . . . I wrote [her] a [praise] note . . . She . . . ran over to her mom and (happily] showed her the note. Her mom [simply] smiled . . . [However] the biggest change has been in me. This assignment helped me to appreciate . . . Kelly . . . I hope that in some way the notes have helped [her] . . . I know this assignment has helped me.

  34. Kathy video clip here

  35. Multi-tiered Training Tier 1: School-wide faculty training on the use of BSP Tier 2: Video self-monitoring Tier 3: Coaching

  36. Outcomes of Multi-tiered Training

  37. Figure 1. Effects of multi-tiered interventions on BSP rates

  38. Social Validity • 6-point Likertscale • Strongly agreed on the following: • Increasing BSP is an effective intervention • Collaborative coaching is an effective tool to improve teacher behavior

  39. Contact Information • Darlene Anderson • darlene_anderson@byu.edu • Michelle Marchant • michelle_marchant@byu.edu • Michele Thompson • michele.thompson@nebo.edu • Marchant, M., & Anderson, D. (2012). Improving social and academic outcomes for all learners through the use of teacher praise. Beyond Behavior, 21 (3), 22-28. • Thompson, M. T., Marchant, M., Anderson, D., Prater, M., & Gibb, G. (2012). Effects of tiered training on general educators’ use of specific praise, Education and Treatment of Children, 35 (4), 521-546.

  40. Questions?