In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Regard for Student Perspectives. As we continue our journey through the CLASS manual, today we will move into our next domain, Classroom Organization. Let’s dive right into the dimension of Behavior Management. And speaking of diving, summer is here and temperatures are at an all time high, so I’m sure we are headed to our local community pool to cool off!
The Example: The Community Pool
The minute you walk into the pool center you see the sign with the rules clearly stated behind the sign in desk:
As you head into the locker rooms to change, you see a sign with the rules clearly posted again by the hand washing sinks. Then, as you settle down into a chair by the pool you see another post on the fence (clarity of rules and clear expectations)! As you are applying your sunscreen you hear the lifeguard say, “Remember to walk so that you stay safe!” (consistency).
You noticed that the lifeguards on duty are constantly monitoring the water and the perimeter of the pool to ensure everyone’s safety (monitors). Additionally, they are watching for congestion at the diving board area, as this space can get congested with kids anxiously awaiting their turn (anticipates problem behavior or escalation).
At the diving board when two girls start to shove each other and shout, “It’s my turn! I was first!” the lifeguard calmly responds, “You will each get a turn to jump off the diving board. Let’s cheer her on!” The girls begin to cheer, “Go Samantha! Go!” (effective reduction of misbehavior). As the day hot day continues on you hear the lifeguard saying, “Thank you for walking! You're being safe—high five!” and, ”Thank you for not splashing” (attention to the positive).
With consistent and clear behavior expectations, being proactive and monitoring, paying attention to the positive, you hear the sounds of excited children having a fun and safe day at the pool. They are walking, and waiting their turn for the diving board (frequent compliance, little aggression and defiance).
By having proactive behavior management strategies in place at the community pool, children are able to engage in social play, develop their gross motor skills, and spend quality time with their friends and family in a safe and engaging learning environment!
What are some of your favorite real-world examples of Behavior Management? Does the dimension of Behavior Management ever come to mind when you are navigating the adult world too?
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
It's not uncommon for teachers in early education to need to strike a balance between following children's leads and sticking to the classroom schedule. We know that intentional teachers are aware of their responsibility to assess student progress, understand skill mastery, and plan accordingly to provide opportunities for children to grow. However, many times, as teachers begin a specific teacher-directed activity, it is unsettling when students begin to veer from the step-by-step plans the teacher has worked hard to implement.
Teacher and coach, Colleen Schmit, will share how teachers can strike the balance between following the lesson plans and giving children freedom of choice and flexibility in the classroom.
As an educator, you’re busy. Your time is being split by competing priorities, from managing students’ needs, meeting your program’s goals, and communicating with parents. While you’re juggling your work, it can be difficult to keep learning about important ways to improve your daily teaching practice. Teachstone is here to help!