EBS 316: Topic 6: Micro-Teaching and Practice

UNIT 6: MICRO TEACHING AND PRACTICE

 

Unit Outline

Session 1: Microteaching

Session 2: Major skills of microteaching

Session 3: Questioning skills

Session 4: Board Management

Session 5: Class management

 

Hello Student! You are welcome to this unit. I believe you are much poised for this unit and ready action. This unit will deal with micro teaching and practice. This unit takes the teacher trainee training of assisting him/her to be able to teach effectively. The unit will equip the student to know and understand the importance of good planning and even how to manage his/her students in class.

 

Unit Objectives

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Define microteaching
  2. Explain the purpose of microteaching
  3. Explain the stages in teaching skills
  4. Describe microteaching cycle
  5. Describe the importance of classroom management

 

SESSION 1: WHAT IS MICROTEACHING?

 

Welcome to your first session of unit 6. I hope you have prepared very well in order to enjoy this lesson. This unit will enlighten you about is micro teaching and the purpose of micro teaching. This is to help you gain knowledge about micro teaching. This unit will help you in terms of practicality to understand what actually transpire in the classroom.

 

Objectives

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Define microteaching
  2. State the phases of microteaching
  3. Explain the purpose of micro teaching
  4. Differentiate between the traditional classroom teaching and microteaching
  5. State the benefits of microteaching
  6. State the setbacks of microteaching

 

1.1 Microteaching

Microteaching is a technique aiming to prepare teacher candidates to the real classroom setting (Brent & Thomson, 1996). Microteaching can also defined as a teaching technique especially used in teachers’ pre-service education to train them systematically by allowing them to experiment main teacher behaviors. A method of teacher training/ teaching technique. Simplifies the complex teaching process so that the student-teacher can cope with it. It employs real teaching situation for developing skills and helps to get deeper knowledge regarding the art of teaching. It is basically Scaled Down Teaching Encounter. In microteaching, teaching reduced in class size, concept, time and number of pupils. Simulated teaching encounter designed for developing the competence in teaching skills. Microteaching involves a short lesson is taught to a reduced number of students (peers) for a short period of time (10-30 minutes). The emphasis is on how to teach rather than what to teach. Microteaching, a teacher training technique currently practiced worldwide, provides teachers an opportunity to perk up their teaching skills by improving the various simple tasks called teaching skills. With the proven success among the novice and seniors, microteaching helps to promote real-time teaching experiences. The core skills of microteaching such as presentation and reinforcement skills help the novice teachers to learn the art of teaching at ease and to the maximum extent.

 

Procedure of micro teaching (micro teaching cycle)

to attain mastery. Microteaching is a system of controlled practice that makes it possible to focus on specific teaching behaviors and to practice teaching under controlled conditions. Competence in one skill is developed before proceeding to another.

 

  1. Defining the skill: A particular skill to be practiced is defined and explained to trainee teachers in terms of the purpose, teaching behaviors to provide the knowledge and awareness of the component teaching skills with examples.
  2. Demonstrating the skills: The specific skill in microteaching is demonstrated by the experts/supervisor in simulated conditions or through video to the trainee teacher.
  3. Planning the lesson: The trainee teacher selects a topic and plans a short lesson (Micro-lesson) for five to 10 minutes with the help of his/her supervisor, on the basis of demonstrated skill for his/her practice. The lesson planning should be in a logical sequence where maximum application of the components of a skill is possible.
  4. Teaching the lesson: The trainee teacher teaches the lesson to a micro-class (A small group of pupils, five to 10) and uses the components of skill as per the planning of the lesson. If the situation is different and not as visualized in the planning of the lesson, the trainee teacher should modify his/her behavior as per the demand of the situation in the class. The trainee teacher should have the courage and confidence to handle the situation arising in the class effectively.
  5. The lesson is observed: by the supervisor or peers or video recorded.
  6. Feedback: This term refers to giving information to the trainee teacher about his performance (Points of strength as well as weakness) so that trainee teacher can improve his/her performance in the desired direction. The feedback should be constructive and based on observation. Commenting on observable behavior also leads to suggestions for improvement. Thus the teaching is followed by discussion to provide the feed-back to the trainee on the basis of observation of the lesson. The teaching is evaluated by students, peers and the supervisor. Colleagues and post-graduate students can act as peer evaluators. The supervisor reinforces the instances of effective use of the skill and draws attention of the teacher trainee to the points where he/she could not do well.

The trainee teacher can observe his/her teaching activities on video. The awareness of his/her own teaching performance provides the reinforcement of the trainee teacher.

  1. Re-planning: In the light of the discussion, suggestions and feedback given by the supervisor, the trainee teacher re-plans the lesson incorporating the points of strength in order to practice the small skill effectively in the second trial for improvement.

8.. Re-teaching: The revised lesson is re-taught to another small group of pupils of same class for the same class duration to practice the small skill. This involves teaching to the same group of pupils if the topic is changed or to a different group of pupils if the topic is the same. This is done to eliminate boredom or monotony of the pupil. The trainee teacher teaches the class with renewed courage and confidence to perform better than the previous attempt.

  1. Re-feedback: The supervisor observes the re-teach lesson and gives re-feed back to the trainee teacher with convincing arguments and reasons. Thus the re-teaching is again followed by discussion, suggestions and encouraging the teaching performance by the re-feedback provided to the trainee teacher. This is the most important component of microteaching for modification of behavior of trainee teachers in the desired direction in each and every skill practice.
  2. Repeating the cycle: The “teach-re-teach” cycle may be repeated several times till desired level of skill or adequate mastery is achieved. Such repeated cycles of teaching, feedback and re-teaching help the teacher to improve his teaching skills one at a time.

Phases of microteaching

Microteaching procedure has various phases of acquiring skills.

  1. Knowledge acquisition phase  (Pre-active  phase):

It is the preparatory pre-active phase in which the teacher gets trained on the skills and components of teaching through lectures, discussion illustration and demonstration of skills by experts. The trainee teacher gets theoretical as well as the practical knowledge of the skill.

  1. Skill acquisition phase (Inter-action phase):

In this inter-active skill acquisition phase the trainee teacher plans a micro-lesson for practicing the demonstrated skills  and  carries  out  the  microteaching  cycle  and  evaluation of the practiced skill (Feedback), then re-plan, re-teach and re-feedback till the desired level of skill achieved.

  1. Transfer phase (Post-active   phase):  

Here,   the   trainee  teacher  uses  the  mastered  skill  in  the  real  class  room  teaching  and  tries  to  integrate  all  the  different skills.

 

1.2 Purposes of microteaching

 

The following are the purposes of microteaching. Microteaching allows teacher trainee;

  • to put the knowledge, theories and methods learned in the program into practice;
  • to further develop student teacher’s knowledge, skills, strategies and dispositions in various capacities;
  • to gain awareness of the multiple facets of teaching and learning in order to meet the challenges of teaching;
  • to foster reflection about teaching;
  • to foster a professional and collaborative spirit when working with each other (peers, cooperating teachers and supervisors);
  • to promote student teachers’
  • provides teachers with a real teaching situation to enhance teaching skills, accomplish specific teacher competencies, develop specific teaching skills.
  • helps teachers to improve both content and methods of teaching.
  • provides immediate, focused feedback and encouragement.
  • be more effective in modifying teacher’s behavior.
  • helps to get deeper knowledge regarding the art of teaching.

 

1.3 Microteaching vs traditional classroom

Micro Teaching Traditional Classroom Teaching
Teaching is relatively simple Teaching become complex
Controlled situation Uncontrolled
Class consists of 5 – 10 students Class consists of 40 – 60 students
Duration  time  for  teaching  is  5 – 10 minutes Duration time for teaching is 40 – 50 minutes
Student teacher provided immediate feedback No immediate Feedback
Provision for re-teaching No opportunity for re-teaching
Students gains confidence in teaching Tense and nervous
The teacher takes up one skill at a time The teacher practices several skills at a time
Teaching is carried on under controlled situation There is no control over situation
Patterns of class room inter-action can be studied objectively Patterns of class room interactions cannot be studied objectively
The role of supervisor is specific and well defined to improve teaching The role of the supervisor is vague

1.4 Benefits of Microteaching

  • It provides ongoing training for student teachers and retraining for classroom teachers in a simulated environment.
  • It enables student teachers to perfect their teaching techniques before applying them in the classroom.
  • It allows student teachers to prepare for a variety of classroom scenarios, including working with students of different skill levels and backgrounds.
  • It provides valuable opportunities for self-evaluation and peer feedback.
  • It helps to develop, sharpen  and  master  specific teaching skills .
  • It employs   real   teaching   situation   for   developing   teaching skills• It helps to accomplish specific teaching competencies.
  • It is more  effective  in  understanding  and  modifying teacher behaviors important in class room teaching.
  • It increases the confidence of trainee teacher.
  • It is  a  vehicle  of  continuous  training  applicable  at  all stages  not  only  to  teachers  at  the  beginning  of  their  career but also for more senior teachers• It enables projection of model instructional skills.
  • It provides expert supervision  and  a  constructive feedback.
  • It provides   for   repeated   practice   without   adverse   consequences   to   the   trainee   teacher   or   his/her
  • It reduces the complexity of teaching process as it is a scaled down teaching.
  • It helps to get deeper knowledge regarding the art of teaching.
  • It caters   for   individual   differences   of   prospective   teachers in their training.
  • Duration of teaching as well as number of students are less.
  • Content is divided into smaller units. There is facility of re-planning, re-teaching and re-evaluation.
  • It puts  the  teacher  under  the  microscope,  and  all  the  faults of the teacher are observed.
  • The problem of discipline can also be controlled.

 

 

1.5 Setbacks of Microteaching

 

  • It requires the presence of an instructor and a group of peers, which means that not all student teachers (or current teachers) can consistently complete microteaching sessions.
  • It is repeated multiple times so that the student teacher can refine their skills.
  • There may not be time for all student teachers to complete multiple sessions.
  • It is skill oriented; content not emphasized.
  • A large number of trainee teachers cannot be given the opportunity for re-teaching and re-planning.
  • It is very time consuming technique.
  • It requires special class room setting.
  • It covers only a few specific skills.
  • It deviates from normal class room teaching.
  • It may raise administrative problem while arranging micro-lessons.

 

In conclusion, microteaching works as a focused tool which helps teacher trainees to practice essential teaching skills effectively. Learning is a change in behavior, which is brought about by activity, training, or experiencing. When the learner is more experienced, learning becomes more effective. The most important quality of microteaching sessions is the ability to receive constructive feedback with an open mind and achieves appropriate teaching-learning goals. In addition, it increases self-confidence of teacher in an atmosphere of friendliness.

 

Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 6.1

  1. With the aid of a diagram, discuss what microteaching entails.
  2. Explain the three stages of microteaching.
  3. Describe any four purposes of microteaching.
  4. What are three differences between classroom teaching and microteaching?
  5. Explain one benefit and setback of microteaching.

 

SESSION 2:  MAJOR SKILLS OF MICROTEACHING

Welcome to the second session of unit 6. This unit will deal with some important skills a teacher should have before moving to the classroom. The unit is important to the teaching profession because it will enlighten the individual on the processes to follow when delivering a lesson and even the type of question to ask students in the classroom.

Below are a number of skills that are necessary in teaching. These teaching skills are:

  • Planning stage:
  • Writing instructional objectives
  • Organizing the content (lesson plan)
  • Introductory stage
  • Introducing the lesson
  • Presentation stage
  • Presentation skills
  • Questioning skills
  • Aid using skills
  • Management skills
  • Closing stage
  • Achieving closure
  • Giving assignments
  • Evaluating the pupil’s progress
  • Diagnosing pupil learning difficulties and taking remedial measures

Objectives

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Explain at least five major skills of microteaching

 

2.1 Major skills of microteaching

 

Skill of lesson planning

  • Clear-cut objectives and an appropriate planned sequence.
  • The content should be concise, appropriate, relevant, and could cover the specified duration.

Skill of Introducing a Lesson

  • Linking with previous knowledge with the topic.
  • Link between introduction and main parts
  • Gaining pupil’s attention at the beginning of the class by establishing  rapport  with  pupils.
  • Use of appropriate devices/ techniques like questioning, examples, etc.
  • Exposing students to essential content.

 

Skill of presentation

  • Teacher enthusiasm
  • Explanation
  • Narration
  • Giving appropriate illustrations and examples
  • Planned repetition
  • Encouraging group discussion wherever necessary

Skill of Explaining

  • Explain the concept   by   simple,   relevant,   and   interesting   examples to increase pupils’ understanding
  • Using beginning and concluding statement
  • Using explaining links
  • Questions to test students understanding
  • Questions followed by correct responses

Skill of Questioning

 

 

Skill  of  probing  questions

 

Probing questions are those  which  help  the  pupils  to  think  in  depth  about  the various aspects of the problem enabling pupils to understand the subject deeply. It is important to allow and  encourage  the  fellow  trainee  teachers  to  ask  structured questions and clarify doubts. Redirection, refocusing,   and   increasing   critical   awareness   are   important components of this skill.

 

 

Skill of Reinforcement

  • Recognizing pupil’s difficulties, listening, encouraging pupil participation and response.
  • The use of positive verbal and non-verbal cues would be the key components for this skill.
  • Positive verbal reinforcementinvolves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future using language. Examples: ‘Good’, ‘Fair’, ‘Excellent.
  • Positive non-verbal reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future using nonverbal Examples: Smiling, nodding the head, clapping, asking the students to clap.
  • Negative verbal reinforcement occurs when a certain stimulus (usually an aversive stimulus) is removedafter a particular behavior is exhibited using language or words. Examples: ‘No’, ‘Wrong’,’ stop it’
  • Negative non-verbal reinforcement occurs when a certain stimulus (usually an aversive stimulus) is removedafter a particular behavior is exhibited using nonverbal or a gesture. Examples: Beating, raising the eyebrows.

 

Skill of stimulus variation

  • Securing and sustaining the attention  of  the  pupil  is  imperative  for  a  good  The effective components of the skill are
    • Teacher movement
    • Teacher gestures (Hand, facial, body)•
    • Voice variation and modulation (Pitch, volume, speed)
    • Change in the speech pattern
    • Focusing
    • Change in the interaction pattern
    • Pausing
    • Student’s physical participation
    • Aural visual switching
    • Focusing
    • Emphasis on significant points

 

Skill of illustration

  • Formulating simple examples
  • Formulating interesting examples
  • Formulating relevant examples
  • Linking examples with day- to-day life

 

Skill of board writing

  • Legibility (easy to read)
  • Size and alignment (In a straight line)
  • Highlighting main points
  • Utilization of the space
  • Black-board summary
  • Correctness
  • Position of the teacher
  • Contact with the students

Proper  use  of  audio-visual  aids

  • The increased awareness of    the    audiovisual    aids    and    other    equipment is   important   for this
  • Neatness, readability, adequate  spacing,  distinct  size,  proper  spacing between words and lines, and use of relevant words  or  phrases  are  the  key  components  for  this

 

Skill of achieving closure

  • Questions and statements by the teacher related to the consolidation of the major points covered during the lesson.
  • Method of concluding a teaching session  so  as  to  bring  out  the  relevance  of  what has been learnt, its connection with past learning and its application to future learning.
  • Closure should be timely! Prepare to start and end in time.

 

Skill of managing the class

  • Providing proper instructions, restricting  inappropriate  behavior, and  calling the students by name are essentials of this skill.

 

Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 6.2

  1. Describe the following major skills of microteaching
  2. Skill of Explaining
  3. Skill of Stimulus Variation
  4. Skill of Questioning
  5. Skill of Reinforcement
  6. Skill of Illustration

 

 

 

SESSION 3: QUESTIONING SKILLS

 

Objectives

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Define questioning skills

 

Questioning skills

 

  • A question is any sentence which has an interrogative form or function. In classroom settings, teacher questions are defined as instructional cues or stimuli that convey to students the content elements to be learned and directions for what they are to do and how they are to do it.
  • The present review focuses on the relationship between teachers’ classroom questioning behaviors and a variety of student outcomes, including achievement, retention, and level of student participation.

 

Purposes of teachers’ classroom questions

 

  • To develop interest and motivate students to become actively involved in lessons
  • To evaluate students’ preparation and check on homework or seat work completion
  • To develop critical thinking skills and inquiring attitudes
  • To review and summarize previous lessons
  • To nurture insights by exposing new relationships
  • To assess achievement of instructional goals and objectives
  • To stimulate students to pursue knowledge on their own

Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 6.3

 

SESSION 4: BOARD MANAGEMENT

Boards have been valued by educators for decades because of their inherent accessibility, versatility, and adaptability as teaching tools. They can be utilized in class by both students and teachers for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Presenting content from a class
  • Offering information about the class
  • Incorporating new information into the class or expanding upon information already presented (for example, details in response to a student question or comment)
  • Engaging students in individual or group problem solving
  • Eliciting student ideas through class brainstorming.

 

 

Objectives

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Define board management
  2. Describe how to manage the board before, during and after class.

Board management is the process of managing a blackboard/whiteboard with chalk/marker in class in order to improve teaching effectiveness, classroom management and student academic success. Writing or chalkboards are reusable writing surface on which text or drawings can be made. They are widely used in schools and in most cases what the teacher writes on the board is what the students will put in their notes. They are used for points and presentation of notes. They require good use for quality classroom instruction. Have a clear purpose in mind. Will what you write provide focus for students? Will they need to write it down? Erase all unrelated materials on the board, otherwise things on the board will distract. Keep ready everything needed for board use (chalk, ruler, marker, etc.).

 

Before you start your class, teacher trainees should:

  • Divide board(s) into sections – It is a good idea to divide your board into sections. One section can be used throughout the lesson and be cleaned off and re-used.  Another section may be used by the instructor to convey important information throughout the whole period, such as the structure of that day’s lesson. For example, you could write up a list of the basic aims/activities for the lesson so that your students know what is coming. Tick items off as they are achieved during the class. At the end you can review the lesson aims for students to evaluate what they have learnt.
  • Write out the structure of the class – Instructors should include topics, activities, and learning goals, so that students always know where teaching is headed. The instructor can tick items off as they are accomplished during the class. At the end, the instructor can review the lesson topics with students. Instructors can consider crafting the lesson according to principle of backward design to keep lessons organized and effective.
  • Prepare notes beforehand – Instructors can select what key content they will write and how they want to organize content visually. At a minimum, instructors can create a list of the single words or phrases they would like to emphasize during class by writing on the board. They should feel free to copy directly from notes during class, especially for equation-heavy lessons.
  • Practice writing – Practise writing in straight lines across the board. Teachers should use large, clear characters. The instructor’s ability to write legibly is a prerequisite for using whiteboards/chalkboards with maximal efficacy. Point out the differences to your students and make sure they can read clearly what you have written.
  • Arrive early – If it takes a long time for an instructor to write, they can write out important information or draw out graphs before class.

 

During the class, teacher trainees should follow the following board management basics.

  • While the instructor is writing on the board, students are not able to see what is being written. Instructors can give students time to copy from the board, digest the material, and formulate questions.
  • While it may be tempting to look at what’s written on the board, instructors can try to avoid facing the board while talking to student. Eye contact helps students stay engaged in the lecture, and facing students allows instructors to gauge their comprehension of the material. In addition, student are better able to hear the professor when they speak towards the students.
  • Your students should have a clear, uninterrupted view of the board. Be careful that you don’t block learners sitting at the sides of the room. When you write something on the board move away quickly so that students can see what you have written.
  • Develop the ability to write on the board with eyes in the back of your head. Don’t turn your back on the class for too long. Good teachers have the ability to write on the board while still keeping a sharp eye on their students!
  • Write clearly on the board and make sure that you have written words/text big enough for everyone to see from the back of the class. With chalk and blackboard make sure that you wash the board often so that the writing stays clear. With a whiteboard make sure that the pen you are using is in a colour that everyone can read – black or blue are best.
  • Check what you write as you write. Many students have visual memories so we must be careful about accuracy of spelling and grammar, especially if we intend students to copy it down in their notebooks to learn.
  • Check with your students that they are ready for you to clean the board. If you are waiting for some students to finish copying or doing an exercise don’t leave the others twiddling their thumbs. Ask them to make a personalised example or start the warm-up for the next exercise orally.
  • For older learners you could write up other important information – key grammar points or vocabulary needed for the lesson, or test dates etc. With Very Young Learners it is better to write this kind of information at the top of the board. Leave the lower part empty for you and the students to write on. Remember they probably won’t be able to reach the top half of the board.
  • Ask students to come out to draw, write, present or even work. You could allow one group to work at the board when doing a group task.
  • Use your board as support for your voice – to give instructions, examples and feedback.
  • You can use board activities as an aid to discipline – settle a noisy class for example by giving a quick copying exercise or word game. Write a child’s name up on the board if they are talking too much instead of just telling them off.
  • Your board is an organisational tool too. Use it as a memory store for things to do or keep you on track with a lesson. Remember the more organised you are on your board, the more organised your students will be too.
  • You can use the large surface of your board to display all sorts of items – posters, pictures and flashcards. Use large pictures for class oral work but have students come out to the board to point to or talk about various items. Magazine pictures can be used for a variety of oral activities. Flashcards can be used for many games apart from simple matching activities.
  • Try to master basic drawing to use pictures and drawings with your students. Drawing pictures is an essential skill for explaining texts and stories to our students. Practise story-telling with basic pictures on the board. Remember you can ask your students out to the board to draw too – this is a fun activity at whatever level. You can create picture stories with your students and use these for further oral or written work. Other visuals which are useful to draw are large-scale pictures such as maps, a plan of a town, a plan of a house/school/new building etc. These could be used with stick on cut outs to provide a wealth of language practice.

 

After class, teacher trainees should;

Reflect on class session – Given time, immediate reflection following a class session can help instructors preserve and remember strong and weak moments. The board can often serve as an assistant memory device.

Copy out or capture board – The board can often serve as a map of conversation, a record of important student points, and a blueprint for future class sessions. Instructors can photograph the board or copy out key moments for use in later class planning.

Erase the board – If the next class’s instructor would like to arrive early and prepare the board, erasing will help to make their time more efficient.

Give out “board notes” – If vital concepts or exciting conversation points were recorded on the board, consider sharing those points with students after class. This practice will enhance and extend the board’s function in student learning and content mastery.

 

Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 6.4

  1. What is board management?
  2. Discuss what goes on in board management during the class.

 

SESSION 5: CLASS MANAGEMENT

Hi there! I hope you are having a nice time learning this unit. This is session 5 of unit 6 where class management is discussed. Identify the best teacher you ever had and why they were the best.  What is one strategy that teacher used for classroom management? Now identify a teacher that you would consider one of the worst teachers you ever had. Identify specific actions that you feel have earned them this title. Class management is very important to the teacher and to the students. Proper classroom management create a serene environment for the teaching and learning process. It helps to correct improper behaviours of students and also assist weak students.

 

Objectives

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Define classroom management
  2. Describe the importance of classroom management
  3. Describe at least six strategies to ensure effective class management.
  4. Explain at least three misbehaviours and how they can be handled.

 

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Classroom management refers to all of the things a teacher does to organize students, space, time, and materials so student learning can take place. Classroom management is ways of organizing the resources and pupils so that teaching and learning can proceed in an efficient and safe manner. Management skills are crucial and fundamental. Classroom management refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers use to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and academically productive during a class. A well-managed classroom has a set of procedures and routines that structure the classroom. Classroom management refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers use to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and academically productive during a class. When classroom-management strategies are executed effectively, teachers minimize the behaviors that impede learning for both individual students and groups of students, while maximizing the behaviors that facilitate or enhance learning. Generally speaking, effective teachers tend to display strong classroom-management skills, while the hallmark of the inexperienced or less effective teacher is a disorderly classroom filled with students who are not working or paying attention.

 

WHY IS CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?

  • Satisfaction and enjoyment in teaching are dependent upon leading students to cooperate. Classroom management issues are of highest concern for beginning teachers.
  • Classroom management and effective instruction are key in ensuring student success and learning.
  • Establishes and sustains an orderly environment in the classroom.
  • Increases meaningful academic learning and facilitates social and emotional growth.
  • Decreases negative behaviors and increases time spent academically engaged.

 

Classroom management strategies

 

You Set the Tone

  • Set the tone for everything…behavior, procedures, grades, work ethic, attitude…everything!!
  • Teach students to manage their own behavior
  • Students learn to be on-task and engaged in the learning activities you have planned for them…remember this… “It is more natural to be off-task than on!”
  • Teach, teach, and re-teach routine classroom procedures
  • Model/provide exemplars for excellence in student work and attitude

Model ideal behavior

  • Make a habit of demonstrating behavior you want to see, as many studies show that modeling effectively teaches students how to act in different situations.
  • A straightforward way to model certain behaviors is holding a mock conversation with another teacher or student helper in front of the class.
  • Talking about a test or other relatable topic, be sure to:
  • Use polite language
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Keep phones in your pockets
  • Let one another speak uninterrupted
  • Raise concerns about one another’s statements in a respectful manner

Fair, Firm and Consistent

  • Be fair, firm and consistent…remember that students are, by nature, the morality police.
  • They can spot inconsistencies a mile away and take joy in calling you out on it!
  • Students may not enjoy consequences of inappropriate behavior but they will respect your decisions if they know that you are fair and apply discipline/consequences fairly

Positive is a Plus

  • Build a positive, PROFESSIONAL rapport with students.
  • Establish a positive classroom environment…greet students at the door every day with a smile.
  • Model the positive behaviors and attitude you desire in your students.

 

Plan, Plan, Plan

  • Planning engaging, purposeful lessons is one of the best recipes for a smooth, orderly classroom
  • Over plan your lessons to minimize down time…down time is every teacher’s worst enemy
  • Plan lessons that address multiple learning styles and allow all students to experience success

 

Be Prepared

  • Be organized
  • Be on time
  • Be prepared for changes to your even the “best laid plans”
  • Have a plan B
  • Have a plan C
  • Anticipate possible hiccups in your lessons and activities
  • In other words, winging it is not an option!

Classroom Arrangement

  • Make sure all students can see and hear clearly (and you can see them clearly)
  • Arrangement is determined by learning activity (lecture, class discussion, small group work, etc.)
  • Allow room and easy access for proximity control
  • Think through class procedures and learning activities and arrange the room in the best possible way

 

With-it-ness

Withitness refers to a teacher’s awareness of what is going on in the classroom. A teacher has “with-it-ness” if:

  • When discipline problems occur, the teacher consistently takes action to suppress the misbehavior of exactly those students who instigated the problem.
  • When two discipline problems arise concurrently, the teacher deals with the most serious first.
  • The teacher decisively handles instances of off-task behavior before the behaviors either get out of hand or are modeled by others.

 

Proximity and Body Language

  • Eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, physical proximity to students, and the way you carry yourself will communicate that you are in calm control of the class and mean to be taken seriously.
  • Be free to roam.
  • Avoid turning back to class.

 

Encourage Questioning

  • Make it crystal clear that students can, and should, ask questions at any time.
  • As a teacher, you should not be so focused on your lecture that questions aren’t encouraged.
  • The printed rules should specify what students need to do to ask questions. Generally, students need to raise their hands.
  • Additionally, invest in finding ways of getting the students interested in the subject matter by offering relevance to their interests.
  • Ask the students questions and invite them to ask follow-up questions that steer the discussion in the direction of critical thinking skills development.
  • Encourage students to volunteer answers to their classmates’ questions.

Encourage Group Projects

  • There should exist lessons and tasks for building teamwork and leadership skills. Today’s digital students love working in groups; it’s in their nature.
  • They look to their peers to collaborate and share ideas.
    • Inspire the class
    • Improve a student’s self-esteem
    • Reinforce rules and values you want to see
  • Students develop leadership skills while others will learn to be more responsible about completing assignments when there is a group grade involved.

Accommodate all learners

  • Make sure every one of your students is able to learn the way you plan to teach.
  • So many classroom management challenges can be averted by considering and planning for the needs in your classroom.
  • Make it a point to share the individual accommodation with each student affected so they know there’s a plan too.
  • Understanding procedures and consequences may be just what a child with a behavior problem needs in order to feel more in control of their impulses.
  • Remember to design lessons that challenge everyone in the way they need to be challenged.

Offer praise

  • Praise students for jobs well done, as doing so improves academic and behavioral performance, according to a recent research review and study.
  • When it is sincere and references specific examples of effort or accomplishment, praise can:
  • Encourages students to repeat positive behavior. Let’s say a student exemplifies advanced problem-solving skills when tackling a math word problem. Praising his or her use of specific tactics should go a long way in ensuring he or she continues to use these tactics. Not to mention, you’ll motivate other students to do the same.

Students misbehave for several reasons:

  • They are bored.
  • They don’t know the purpose of your presentation.
  • They don’t understand how the information that you are delivering applies to them.
  • Instruction is uninteresting.
  • The pace of the instruction is incorrect (too fast, or too slow).
  • Not enough interaction between and among peers.
  • Seeking for attention.

 

Ways in dealing with certain misbehaviours in the classroom

 

Behavior:  Rambling — wandering around and off the subject. Using far-fetched examples or analogies.

Possible responses:

  • Refocus attention by restating relevant point.
  • Direct questions to group that is back on the subject
  • Use visual aids, begin to write on board, turn on overhead projector.
  • Say: “Would you summarize your main point please?” or “Are you asking…?”

 

Behavior:  Talkativeness — knowing everything, manipulation, chronic whining.

Possible responses:

  • Acknowledge comments made.
  • Give limited time to express viewpoint or feelings, and then move on.
  • Make eye contact with another participant and move toward that person.
  • Give the person individual attention during breaks.
  • Say: “That’s an interesting point. Now let’s see what other other people think.”

 

Behavior:  Sharpshooting — trying to shoot you down or trip you up.

Possible responses:

  • Redirect the question to the class or even the individual who asked it.
  • Acknowledge that this is a joint learning experience.
  • Ignore the behavior.
  • Speak to the student in private…take the stage away
  • KNOW YOUR CONTENT!!

 

Behavior:  Grandstanding — getting caught up in one’s own agenda or thoughts to the detriment of other learners.

Possible responses:

  • Say: “You are entitled to your opinion, belief or feelings, but now it’s time we moved on to the next subject,” or
  • “Can you restate that as a question?” or
  • “We’d like to hear more about that if there is time after the presentation.”

 

Behavior:  Overt Hostility/Resistance — angry, belligerent, combative behavior.

Possible responses:

  • Hostility can be a mask for fear. Reframe hostility as fear to depersonalize it.
  • Respond to fear, not hostility.
  • Remain calm and polite. Keep your temper in check.
  • Don’t disagree, but build on or around what has been said.
  • Move closer to the hostile person, maintain eye contact.
  • Always allow him or her a way to gracefully retreat from the confrontation.
  • Allow individual to solve the problem being addressed. He or she may not be able to offer solutions and will sometimes undermine his or her own position.
  • Ignore behavior.
  • Talk to him or her privately during a break.
  • As a last resort, privately ask the individual to leave class for the good of the group.

 

Behavior:  Griping — maybe legitimate complaining.

Possible responses:

  • Point out that we can’t change policy here.
  • Validate his/her point.
  • Indicate you’ll discuss the problem with the participant privately.
  • Indicate time pressure.

 

Behavior:  Side Conversations — may be related to subject or personal. Distracts group members and you.

Possible responses:

  • Don’t embarrass talkers.
  • Ask their opinion on topic being discussed.
  • Ask talkers if they would like to share their ideas.
  • Casually move toward those talking.
  • Make eye contact with them.
  • Standing near the talkers, ask a near-by participant a question so that the new discussion is near the talkers.
  • As a last resort, stop and wait.

 

 

Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3

  1. Define class management.
  2. State three reasons why class management is important?
  3. Describe any five strategies to ensure effective class management.
  4. Explain four misbehaviours and how they can be handled.

 

 

 

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