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Classroom Management First Week Activities

Using the research on the first-week management behavior of effective classroom teachers, state what you would do during your first week as a new teacher and why you would do that. Discuss the difference between focusing on increasing on-task behavior or decreasing off-task behavior (Give specific, original examples, not just generalities.).

Developed by W. Huitt, 1999

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First Week Activities

The most important factor in classroom management is getting off to a good start.

In general, this means to develop and implement a classroom management plan that will prevent problems from occurring.

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In general, teachers who get off to a good start in terms of classroom management generally have more orderly classrooms in January as well as better student achievement (e.g., Emmer, Evertson & Anderson, 1980; Evertson & Emmer, 1982).

  • Emmer, E., Evertson, C., and Anderson, L. (1980). Effective classroom management at the beginning of the school year. Elementary School Journal, 80, 219-231.
  • Evertson, C., & Emmer, E. (1982). Effective classroom management at the beginning of the year in junior high classes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 485-498.

First Week Activities

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First Week Activities

One of the most important activities during the first week is to establish and teach classroom rules (guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate behavior) and procedures (specific routines for accomplishing daily activities).

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First Week Activities

A second guideline is to work with the whole class during the first two weeks to establish group cohesiveness and solidarity.

If groups are to be used, every student ought to be engaged in the same activity.

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First Week Activities

A third guideline is to provide many opportunities for students to respond appropriately.

If you want students to write their names and the date on their papers in a certain place, give several assignments each day where students will have to practice this activity.

Then provide corrective feedback to help students accomplish the task successfully.

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First Week Activities

A fourth guideline is to use a variety of activities during the first week or two in order to capture and maintain student's attention.

These should be relatively easy and enjoyable and should probably engage students in reviewing previously learned material.

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First Week Activities

A fifth guideline is to keep track of each student's progress and insure, as much as is possible, that each student is engaged and successful in learning activities.

Any student that seems to demonstrate an inability to keep up should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

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First Week Activities

Increasing student involvement in classroom activities (or time-on-task) is one way to think about getting off to a good start.

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First Week Activities

However, since

Total allocated time

=

Time-on-task

+

Time-off-task

another perspective is to focus on how to decreasetime-off-task.

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Huitt, Caldwell, Traver & Graeber (1981) found that student off-task (unengaged) behaviors could be classified in one of five categories:

Huitt, W., Caldwell, J., Traver, P., & Graeber, A. (1981). Collecting information on student engaged time. In D. Helms, A. Graeber, J. Caldwell, & W. Huitt (Eds.). Leader's guide for student engaged time. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools, Inc.

Decreasing Time-Off-Task

  • management/transition,
  • socializing,
  • discipline,
  • unoccupied/observing, and
  • out of the room.
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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • Daily, routine classroom activities or "in-between" activities
  • Distributing, setting up, or gathering equipment, supplies, materials, etc.

Management/Transition

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • Taking roll
  • Students standing in line
  • Waiting for teacher's help
  • Turning pages in book
  • Listening to nonacademic directions
  • Waiting for next activity to begin

Management/Transition

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

Two or more persons are interacting socially

Socializing

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • Whispering nonacademic comment to neighbor
  • Passing notes
  • Watching someone else whispering

Socializing

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

Adult is reprimanding a student, a student is being punished, or student is watching other student being scolded

Discipline

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • One student is being scolded and other students are listening
  • Head on desk as punishment

Discipline

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

Sitting or standing alone, wandering about with no evident purpose or goal, watching other people or unassigned activities, or playing with materials

Unoccupied/ Observing

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • Staring out the window
  • Aimlessly wandering around the room
  • Watching another student do a different assignment

Unoccupied/ Observing

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

Out of the room

Temporarily out of the room

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

The acronym of Ms. Duo can be used to help remember these categories.

  • Gone to the
    • bathroom
    • nurse
    • library
    • principle's office

Out of the room

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Work in schools helping teachers improve student engaged time (e.g., Caldwell, Huitt & French, 1981) showed that two of the five categories were used to classify almost 90% of the unengaged behaviors:

Caldwell, J., Huitt, W., & French, V. (1981). Research-based classroom modifications for improving student engaged time. In D. Helms, A. Graeber, J. Caldwell, & W. Huitt (Eds.). Leader's guide for student engaged time. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools, Inc.

Decreasing Time-Off-Task

  • management/transition and
  • unoccupied/ observing.
slide23

Decreasing Time-Off-Task

Management/transition occurred mainly when the teacher was working with the whole class.

Unoccupied/observing occurred more often when students were involved in seatwork.

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

A larger than normal amount of socializing generally meant that the teacher was involved in the social interaction process (e.g., discussing a recent sports activity or the upcoming dance).

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

When a larger than normal amount of discipline occurred it generally was a result of a "cease and desist" classroom management strategy.

That is, the teacher waited until an inappropriate behavior occurred and then tried to stop it rather than attempting to establish appropriate behavior in a proactive manner.

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Decreasing Time-Off-Task

A larger than normal amount of out-of-the-room behavior usually meant that either

  • the teacher was not paying attention to the number and lengths of trips to the bathroom

OR

  • some person outside of the classroom was requesting that students leave the classroom on a regular basis.
slide27

Decreasing Time-Off-Task

Specific research-based management strategies focused on the most often occurring management problems in a classroom are provided on the web and in your handouts.

Close attention to dealing with these problems in a proactive manner will reduce time-off-task, thereby increasing time-on-task.

[Notice that the management/transition category has four subcategories with suggestions for each.]