help with small group management
I am a new teacher and have been teaching for about a year. I teach small ELL groups. This year we made the switch to an in class structure. Now instead of taking students out of class I meet with small groups in class during reading time. My principal had some concerns this year about my behavior management and she wants me to work on a plan for next year that is aligned with the classroom rules (teachers had complained about my group's noise level). I work with students from multiple rooms. Most teachers in our school use a card or clip system (move a card or clip to a different color each time you disobey). Some have no system at all. Some of my groups have students from four different classes pulled in to one. My question is.....what would be a good system to have within my groups to control behavior? I thought about writing a student's name down and putting a check after it each time I had to warn them. Then when group is over they would move their clip that many times. The problem with this is that the consequences are enforced through their classroom system, not me. Also, I have very little time with my groups (25 minutes) so any distraction for behavior takes away precious minutes. For this reason time-outs are also not an option. I will have the same kids next year as I did this year. I need to have something set in place for the first day of school and show them they cannot steamroll over me like they did last year. HELP!
The small amount of time alloted to you complicates the problem. Here is what I try to do: Immediate and logical consequences are best. If one of my children is talking after a warning, I ask that student to sit next to me and away from peers. I explain "We are listening right now. Until you can sit with friends and not talk, you will sit by me/over here." Or for touching issues "You are to sit on your hands/tuck your hands under your arms. Since you cannot stop touching your friends, this will remind you not to do so."
I'm not a big believe in clip or color systems. That is my personal philosophy. I don't do them with my students except when a professional like a therapist recommends it.
A seemingly simple suggestion is to model the behavior you want from them...Very quietly and excitedly, whisper everything you say...Make the day's learning a conspiratorial experience!
Originally Posted by jeljohns
I love that suggestion! It would be fun for young students and funny for the older ones.
One ESL teacher I know who has great success has very high behaviour expectations and simply expects that students will comply. And the do! her secret? She is CONSTANTLY rewarding them for every little thing they succeed in, from lining up quickly and quietly, to knowing their words for the week. Constant little rewards that are quick and quiet (like stickers in a book or on a chart, a small bit of candy, a new pencil, getting to sit in the "best" chair) can reinforce behaviour expectations and make life easier. I like to simply put a sticker on a child's hand when they're listening or on task. They usually put the sticker on the cover of their subject workbook, and it's fun to see how many some kids get after a few weeks!
I think something like the scoreboard system from power teaching could be effective with a small gorup with a short amount of time -- they work towards a goal each day and are rewarded at the end of the week -- maybe they could eat while they work with you on Fridays -- bring candy, or chips -- or they could get some time to read something of their choice, or each get to pick a small prize, or whatever, if they get enough happy faces and not too many sad faces.
I think how you deal with behaviour depends on the kinds of management problems you've seen in the past -- off task? just too loud? If you run a noisy program and it works, maybe you need to negotiate a different space to work in. I HATE it when people don't realise that noise can be very productive.!
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