Effective Classroom Management Tips and Tricks

Effective classroom management strategies can ensure a pleasant teaching environment for the entire year. Conversely, poor classroom management may lead to a difficult class and a year that drags on. These tips will get you well on your way to creating a positive environment in your classroom.

Post class rules

Students need to know what is expected of them from the very beginning. It is also useful to have visuals of the rules so that you can redirect small misbehavior problems by pointing at the appropriate rule poster. Since I have very little artistic talent I had my students create the posters for me. We went over the rules the first day of class and I had students each create a poster for two rules. We displayed all the posters for the first week. I later had the students vote on a single poster for each rule to leave up.

Post consequences

Students may occasionally break a rule. It is important that you have established a procedure for dealing with infractions. The consequences must be appropriate and clear so the student knows what to expect. Go over all consequences at the beginning of the school year and review if necessary.

Model appropriate behavior.

Since one of my rules is to respect everyone in the classroom, I make sure to be respectful to my students. Remember that you as the teacher must set the example. It will be difficult to get the students to follow your rules if you make exceptions for other students or yourself. If you also follow the rules it shows that they are important and will allow your classroom to feel like a community. Also be sure to thank your students when appropriate; we all like to be appreciated.

Develop a routine for beginning your class

Students often misbehave when they are bored or frustrated. You can prevent some of this boredom by beginning class immediately and in a predictable fashion. Students like to know what to expect. I prefer to begin immediately after the bell rings so students know that our class time is valuable. Try to avoid beginning with verbally taking roll as students will become distracted and talk amongst themselves during this time. Since my school requires roll to be taken within the first five minutes of class I take roll silently while the students work on a warm-up opening activity.

Write a daily schedule on the board so students can see what is coming next. Having a visual guide to the class time will help the students make transitions between activities. A visual schedule will also prevent some questions about what time is break and “how long do we have to do this?”

Activities

Plan more activities than you think you’ll have time for and always have a back-up plan. Most behavior problems occur when students get bored. Be sure you have engaging lessons to prevent this for most students. Also keep in mind that overhead-bulbs die and other technical issues happen so be sure that the lesson can go on even if something goes wrong.

Prepare engaging enrichment activities for the students that finish early. No matter how much you plan, sometimes students will still finish early. You will want to be sure that activities that these students will enjoy are available. When I plan units, I include extra activities that could be used for these situations. Silent reading is also a good option as reading is always valuable. This could be a book of the student’s choice or a book you provide.

Reward good behavior

Many students are eager to please and will appreciate their good efforts. Small rewards also work wonders. I use “Thank You Tickets” to thank the students for good behavior and appropriate class participation. These tickets can be traded for small prizes such as candy, pencils, or homework passes.

Be fair

Since your rules and the consequences are clearly posted it will be easy to enforce them the same for everyone. It will also be very obvious if you make exceptions for any one student. This will cause you to lose respect from all of the students and will make it difficult to manage your class. Be sure the rules are the same for everyone in the classroom. Also be sure to avoid confrontations with any students. Singling out one student will make that student confrontational and will likely distract your entire class. It is best to deal with behavior problems privately.

Use a seating chart

At the beginning of the year, you will definitely want a seating chart while learning the students’ names. Seating charts also help a substitute or classroom visitor as students respond better when the teacher knows and uses their names. At the beginning of the year I create a random seating chart by numbering desks and creating a set of index cards with matching numbers. I give students a card as they walk in and that is the assigned seating chart for the first week. It is also important to change this chart once you know the students as some students will need to be moved or separated. I find it helpful to change the seating several times a year to keep things interesting. Depending on your class, you could also offer to let them choose their own seats if they behave well for a set amount of time.

Education Needs a Makeover

In the great poem by Prince Ea, “I Just Sued the Education System!!!” he says, “… here’s a classroom of today and here’s a classroom we used 150 years ago. Now ain’t that a shame. In literally over a century, nothing has changed. Yet you claim to prepare students for the future? But with evidence like that I must ask: do you prepare students for the future, or the past?”

If you have stepped into a public school classroom in the last… well, 100 years, then you know how dire the situation is. But let’s go a little further than that. If you have stepped into a Title I school in the last ten years, then you could quickly understand why we have thousands and thousands of teachers across the country out in the streets demanding better.

I’m going to leave teacher salary and school funds and budgets out of this and just focus on our education system itself- the structure of it. School in America today is pathetic compared to the immense breakthroughs and upgrades we have made in science and technology.

How is it possible that today, in 2018, we can hold an entire computer in our pocket, with access to all of the information ever published on the world wide web, not to mention enough space for 5,000+ pictures, and the ability to have a face-to-face conversation with someone on the other side of the globe? And YET our classrooms (especially the ones in low-income areas) are still using whiteboards, cramped with over thirty students in a classroom, sitting at desks that are falling apart, always without a pencil. Who even needs a pencil nowadays?

As a public school teacher myself, I can say that I have been really discouraged by the educational system and structure. It was so clearly created to keep minorities down and despite all of the innovative ideas and new, alternative types of schools opening up (in rich areas, of course), these schools just keep the pipeline-to-prison cycle going around and around. As Prince Ea discusses in his poem, we are not preparing our youth for a successful future.

Case in point, here are just a few of the top skills that employers currently look for (Careers NZ) along with explanations of how we are not helping our students build those skills.

Top 5 skills employers look for:

Communication- We demand that students raise their hands to speak, only speak when called on, and only respond to specific questions that the teacher poses. Students are seldom given the opportunity to have open conversations with peers where they have to professionally express their opinions, allow others to speak and find an appropriate time to respond, and respectfully disagree. This means that our students are basically never given a voice of their own.

Teamwork- Yes, students still occasionally work on group projects, perhaps they create a poster board or PowerPoint presentation. However, there is no room in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for discovering your own personality type, learning how to work with different personality types, learning how to brainstorm ideas together, collaborate and take advantage of each team member’s strengths. In case you’re wondering, we still do old school quizzes, end-of-chapter tests, standardized state testing, all of which students can’t peak at their classmate’s work. What we deem as “cheating” is what we later demand that they have: the ability to work well with others!

Self-management- Whether or not you choose to believe the claims that the education system was created and implemented specifically to brainwash our youth to think and behave in a way that benefited us (specifically young boys in modern-day Germany to become obedient soldiers), anyone can walk into a school today and see that everything is black and white, set in stone, strictly structured and students are highly micromanaged. Assigned seats, bells (even minute bells!), waiting in lines, etc. Students are not taught to manage their time, to make decisions about how they complete tasks, or even just how to choose what environment they work best in.

Thinking skills- Teachers, and adults in general, are constantly jumping in to solve problems for kids from birth to eighteen years old and then suddenly, they are adults and we just expect them to know how to figure things out. Whether it’s conflict resolution and how to get along with peers, how to find a solution to a math problem, how to complete two homework assignments on time, how to coordinate their schedule with classmates to finish a group project… we do all of these things for students! Or their parents call in and excuse them from solving their own problems (which shows that school is not the only culprit in this). It is okay for our kids to have problems, it is okay for our kids to be stressed, it is okay for our kids to fail. It’s how they solve those problems that matters, which is why we need to be teaching them thinking and problem-solving skills early on.

Resilience- Speaking of failing, where in the CCSS curriculum does it cover how to bounce back from failing? Where in the CCSS curriculum does it cover how to overcome personal obstacles to be successful and create a better future? If you are over the age of twenty and have had at least one job interview in your life, you have most definitely had to give an example of when you made a mistake or failed at something and how you recovered. But when do we teach that?

In a world where the iPhone is updated every six months (or less), where we can order our coffee from our phones before walking into the coffee shop, where we can essentially collaborate and create a project with five strangers in five different countries, we absolutely need to upgrade and update our education system. We need to think more long term. Students do not need to be memorizing maps, or practicing alliteration, or reciting Shakespeare, unless it directly ties in to their life and the skills that will help them have a better future. Let’s be real, almost every fact is easily accessible on Google. Even maps are accessible on Google (including virtual tours of places like Taj Mahal and the Amazon Rainforest)! What our students need to be learning, practicing and mastering are the soft skills that their future employers will demand of them.

Tips To Help You Choose The Best Assignment Help

Assignment help is something that can provide assistance to the students in the best ways for sure. Students these days have a very busy schedule with the projects, exams, assignments, and so much more. With such added pressure, they aren’t really able to focus on every single aspect of education.

As a result, the students will not score good marks in their exams as well. However, with the help of the best assignment writing provider, the students can easily make sure that they have all the help that they need with the assignment. That way, they can also concentrate on all the other aspects of education as well.

Choosing The Best Provider Of Assignment Services

However, finding the best assignment writing service provider is not that easy of a task. The students need to take care of some important factors. We all know that there are some fraud assignment services providing companies. These companies would take all the money and then not provide the important results that the students expect. Hence, it is important to choose the services in a careful manner. Here are some of the tips to help the students.

  • Do Your Research Well

Research is one of the most important things that you need to take care of when you are searching for the service provider. As we said, there are many different service providers that are providing services of assignment help. However, not all of them are genuine and authentic. So, you need to research and find a reliable service provider.

  • Reputation

When you are looking out for the service provider for the best assignment writing service provider, one needs to see if the service provider has got the reputation to handle the task or not. This is something that you will be able to see on their websites. So, keep that in mind always.

  • Academic Authenticity

When it comes to hiring the writers, you need to make sure that they are authentic as well. Some of the writers might claim to be authentic but will not be able to provide you with the services. So, choose the ones that suit the needs and requirements that you have and you will be fine.

  • Technicalities

The writer needs to make sure that they are able to properly implement all the different technicalities that are required for preparing the assignments. This is in relation to the essays, thesis, and other case studies as well. So, the writing service that you hire should be able to have all the knowledge of the technicalities.

Conclusion

When it comes to hiring the best assignment writing help providing services, you need to make sure that you always consider these important factors. Another one of the important things to consider would have to be the price of the service provider. There are many companies that provide services which are higher. So, most students might not be able to afford the services. Hence, having a reasonably priced service provider will definitely be a great start for the students.

The Young Teacher’s Guide to Long Lessons

Lessons with duration of 60 minutes or more in a high school create a new set of conditions for the teacher and the students in his/her class.

It is important to understand the issues and to devise ways to overcome these issues and make use of the advantages that the longer lesson period gives the teacher.

These issues discussed below come out of my own experience in the class room when my school changed from six 40 minute periods per day to four 70 minutes per day. It also reflects the experience of the staff of my department.

The issues are in no particular order of significance but I thought it was important to raise them.

1. It’s hard work for teachers and students. It is impossible for most students and teachers to concentrate effectively on one topic for long periods such as one hour. There must be short breaks or changes in what you are doing to sustain the interest and concentration of both students and teachers.

2. Your available teaching time must become “SACRED”. Don’t let anyone have it without a fight – even the administration. Longer periods mean less numbers of periods. Therefore, one lost period becomes a significant percentage of your teaching time in any teaching week.

3. You must have a homework/study strategy for students. Since you will see the class less often, you will need to suggest when they do homework and when they do study, e.g. do the homework tonight to keep the learning fresh and reinforce quickly or do it the night before the next lesson to have it fresh in the students’ minds.

4. Lack of continuity. This occurs when students are absent simply because they lose such a large percentage of their learning time making it difficult to catch up on the missed work. Additionally, for students who are present in class, there may be as many as four days between successive lessons.

5. Work ethic is difficult to develop. Points 2 to 4 above support this point.

6. Strategy for absent student. It is important to ensure that absent students do not get left behind. What I did was to keep in my diary a detailed account of what I achieved in each lesson. I made sure I kept any handouts for absent students. I wrote the names of all absent students on any handout ready to give to the absentees in their next lesson. With the longer period, I was able to spend a little time with them to bring them up to date.

7. Strategy for absent teachers. With the longer lessons, a teacher’s absence had a greater impact on the class. Therefore, it is important to plan an effective lesson to cover that absence.

8. Detailed planning and full use of time is essential. It is easy to “waste” time. Plan some extra, short activities for any unexpected spare time that comes in a lesson, e.g. quiz or problem solving activity.

9. Group planning will be essential. If you are part of a team of teachers allocated to the same year level and/or subject, Team Teaching could ease the burden of long lessons and add variety to help maintain student interest and concentration. Students enjoy a change of teacher from time to time.

10. I always seemed to be rushing to cover the course when long lessons were first introduced. This is why you must plan minutely how to use every minute of the long period. What I did was to plan to complete the work program for the term or semester at least a week ahead of any planned assessment.

11. You need to divide your lessons into short segments to survive. Each segment allows you and your students a respite and a chance to “recharge your and their batteries”. Have a basic structure for each lesson. Your students should be aware of this structure. Publish it on your board each lesson.

12. Teach skills first and foremost. Good basics enhance a student’s chance of being successful in all areas of your course, especially in the more challenging areas of problem solving and critical thinking.

13. Student Mentors. Encourage older students to form study groups of four or five to work together out of school. In class, use your talented students to explain ideas to the class as a whole or to individual students. This is good for their personal development. Students often learn much from their class mates as they tend to “speak the same language”.

14. There is time to teach students skills that need extensive time to develop, e.g. develop a logical decision-making process, experimental procedures in Science, developing an argument in History.

15. You can teach a whole topic in one lesson and use subsequent lessons to consolidate. You can give an overview initially, showing where the topic is leading.

16. Students must become more accountable for their learning, homework, study and examination technique. Teach these skills in class in short bursts over time. Revisit these skills as often as you can to reinforce and develop.

17. Learn to work smart – use every available tool or idea you can, e.g. multiple intelligences, listening skills, variety of teaching strategies.

18. Help students learn to think, write and speak using the language and the terminology of your subject disciplines. Give short, subject vocabulary tests/quizzes to enhance these skills and to add another segment to your long lessons.

Top 3 Proven Speech Therapy Tips When Your Child’s Speech Is Unclear

Do you have problem understanding what your child is saying?

Does she say “yion” instead of “lion” or makes mistakes with other sounds?

Is your child getting left out in school or at the playground because other children cannot understand him?

It is frustrating for both you and your child when you cannot understand her, and have to ask multiple questions just to clarify. Here are the main reasons we frequently explain to our speech therapy clients why your child has unclear speech:

Muscle weakness.

Various muscles are involved when producing speech, and sometimes the inability to move these muscles may cause speech to be unclear. For example, your child may not be able to lift up the tip of his tongue in order to produce the ‘l’ sound.

Control and Coordination.

The problem may not be muscle weakness, but rather your child has difficulties coordinating the movements. This is similar to people who are not able to dance. There is nothing actually wrong with their legs, but they dance ‘with two left feet’. So, your child may be able to say ‘l’ in ‘lion’ but unable to say ‘l’ in “caterpillar”. Or she might say ‘lion’ one minute and ‘yion’ the next, and ‘wion’ the next.

Phonological difficulties.

This is more about having a cognitive concept of sounds, as opposed to the physical aspect of producing speech. For example, if your child grew up speaking or hearing Mandarin Chinese, he may be say ‘hou-‘ instead of ‘house’ or ‘cat-‘ instead of ‘catch’.

It is not that he is unable to produce the ‘-se’ or the ‘-ch’ sound; it is simply because there are no such ending sounds in Mandarin and thus makes it more difficult for him to understand the concept that there are ending sounds in English.

Why Speech Therapy is Important

A speech therapist is a professional who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat speech problems in children (and adults). Speech therapy is important because it:

1. Makes your life easier

2. Eliminates the vicious cycle: unclear speech causes less interaction and therefore less speech input and worse speech and language.

When your child has unclear speech, this may result in less interaction with other children, which would result in even worse speech and language because of the lack of practice. Even adults attend speech therapy classes for this reason alone.

3. Affects how your child learns to read.

Instead of learning that the letter ‘s’ has the sound in ‘sock’, for example, if he says ‘tock’ instead, he may end up thinking that the letter ‘s’ has a ‘t’ sound.

The 4 Guiding Principles for Speech Therapy

Teaching a child with unclear speech may be different from how you teach other children in your family. You may need to repeat more often and emphasize the sounds more. Here are a few things we use regularly in speech therapy when tackling your child’s unclear speech:

Be aware that clear speech sounds comes down to the oral motor movements of the tongue or lips or other speech muscles. (It’s not ‘All about that bass’ it’s ‘All about the place’!) The placement of the tongue, that is.

We produce different speech sounds in tongue twisters (“She sells sea-shells on the sea shore.”) and in everyday speech because we are able to move our tongue to different positions within the mouth, and also by producing sounds in different ways. Some sounds are ‘quiet blowing sounds’ such as ‘f’, ‘s’, ‘sh’; some other sounds are ‘noisy sounds’ such as ‘z’, or ‘r’.

Be aware that some sounds develop earlier, some sounds develop later.

The general developmental order of speech is ‘from the outside in’. This means that it is easier for your child to use their lips and jaw than their tongue. Hence, it is important to note that some sounds don’t come as easily as the others.

Be aware that not all words that begin with the same letter or sound will be equally easy or difficult.

A child who is having difficulty saying “k” sounds will find it easier to say the sound in a word such as “kite” where the mouth is more open and there is more space for the tongue at the back of the mouth compared to saying it correctly in “key” where the mouth is more closed.

Be aware that getting from where he is right now to the target sound may take a few intermediate steps.

For instance, if your child cannot say “the” and says “ge” instead, she may need to learn to progress from ‘g’ to ‘d’ and then ‘th’. Anything that moves her in the right direction is progress.

Now that we’ve gone through the ‘why’, it’s time for the ‘how’:

Here are the top 3 speech therapy tips:

1. Slow Down, emphasize the sound and do everything you can to show your child the necessary tongue and lip movements.

If your child says ‘totate’ instead of “chocolate”, rather than just telling your child ‘No, say chocolate’, at your usual conversational speed, try to slow down, and emphasize the sound: ‘ch-ocolate‘. Exaggerate what you do with your mouth. Look in a mirror together with your child while you are teaching so that he can see what you are both doing.

If your child cannot say the entire word, at least try to get a small part of the word right, for example, just being able to say the sound on its own “ch-ch-ch” or even just the sound partly right, such as just being able to blow out the air, or just rounding the lips.

2. Help your child to hear what it’s not and what it is.

Help your child to avoid mistakes and say sounds correctly by showing them what it is not and what it is. For example, “I don’t have any coyour pencils, these are all colour pencils. What would you like?” Your child will be more likely to say “colour pencil” correctly.

It is also important for you to give them very clear feedback. This includes mimicking what your child is doing, or describe the sound in a language your child can understand. For example, you could say: “If you say ‘-op’ your friend may not understand you. It’s a quiet sound ‘h-op’.”

3. One Game Changer Tip: Teach it aloud, then say it silently, then say it aloud again.

One great speech therapy tip I found with my experience is to focus the on the movement of the mouth. Ask your child to say the word, for example, ‘strawberry’ with you. On the second attempt, just mouth the word without saying it aloud.

Encourage your child to move his mouth in the same way. This allows your child to focus more on the movements of the mouth. Using a mirror can help your child see exactly how they are moving their mouths.

Please understand that correcting unclear speech through speech therapy exercises is a process. Being able to do it slowly is better than not being able to do it at all. Speech therapy for learning the necessary lip and tongue movements is more like learning to dance or how to play the piano rather than learning a new language.

Just knowing the word is not the same as being able to move the tongue quickly enough to say the word. It takes practice and the more you practice, the better you get. So you want to try to get your child to say the word more than just once. One time is NOT practice.

Remember: your child is where he is right now because of how he learns so far. If your child learns speech differently, he needs to be taught differently. Seek help from a professional and consult a speech therapist.

Working along with a speech therapist will save you and your child a lot of time and frustration. More often than not, your child will also enjoy the speech therapy sessions too!