Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dr. Randy Sprick's Safe and Civil Schools

A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Behaviour Management

I am attening a presentation put on by Dr. Randy Sprick today. It is on behaviour management. Most of my division is attending this inservice. Most of them are elementary schools and since we are a Junior High we are in a minority. Dr. Sprick talks about using positive reinforcement for behavioural disruptions to your class.

To assist in setting up a management plan that fits your style and needs of your students. Important to be your own personal style. It also needs be based on the needs of the kids you work with.

Classroom Structure is not the same as classroom strictness. Today will not be about canned discipline system.

Recent Survey on Manitoba Schools. Behavior problems number 1 concern.

Roving around the room and a child is disengaged with the assigned task. Teacher comes over and confronts the child to do some work.
What could you do do get him to work?
  • evil eye or the "teacher look"
  • May I help you with something
  • Are you missing a pen, pencil or working device? (table answers)
Sprick's Answer
  • Talk to other students giving them positive feedback. Gives the offtask student time to engage.
  • If there still is no engagement.... have a conversation... can I help you get going.
  • Kid still says no..... need to be more direct.
  • Kid still says no ..... You can't make me...
  • you need to react quickly....
  • You are right. I can not make you but this is an important assignment.... I need to go help Tom over here (time to have a personal break) and then go back to the problem student and attempt to have student start work.
The only wrong answer would be a belittling situation.

The way a setting is structured has a huge impact on behavior and attitude.

Think Disney and lines:
  • You are always moving
  • It is organized
  • You cannot see how long the line is
  • You can see the end
Now what does this have to do with schools. Think about lunch line. Getting to a lunch line becomes an aggressive competitive event. Aggressive kids feed on these events.

Classroom example "End of school day routine" many different ways to mess it up. Clean it up and make them less caotic.

Many schools depend on punitive consequences. Punitive consequences have inherent and inescapable drawbacks including but not limited to
escape avoidance , sneaking, lying, fear, may become neutral, may become reinforcing, can set a negative climate

The goal of classroom management is to develop a classroom of student who are responsible, motivated and highly engaged in meaningful tasks.

Good classroom Management:
Structures for success, orchestrate active involvement, prevents misbehavior, teaches behavioural expectations, induces enthusiasm and celebrates progress.

  1. Design rules that communicat your most expectations. Be sure to identify a misbehaviour or trait exibited by several students.
  2. Develop consequences for common rule infractions. Be sure to identify a misbehaviour or trait exibited by several students.
  3. Develop and post "Guidelines for Success" Be sure to identify a misbehaviour or trait exibited by several students.
  4. Develop a plan for responding to misbehaviour that is not directly covered by the classroom rules
  5. Develop an "attention signal"
  6. Prepare lessons on your behaviour expectations for each major activity. Be sure to identify a misbehaviour or trait exibited by several students.
  7. Prepare lessons on your behavioural expections for each major transition. Include time criterea.
  8. Analyze the physical setting -- modify the setting if necessary and possible.
  9. Design a workable schedule with time for teahing behavioral expectations (especially at the beginning of the year), teacher directed instruction, cooperative tasks, and independent tasks.
  10. Design routines or policies for: attendance, heading papers, assigning work, homework, late work, materials, collecting work.
  11. Design procedures for students to check off complicated work.
  12. Evaluate and improve your presentational style.
  13. Examine instructional expectations to insure that you have clear and important objectives for each instructions actibity.
  14. develop a plan for providing frequent positive feedback for following rules, striving towards the "Guidlines,"and for meeting expectations. Monitor interactions with students.
  15. Develop and implement individual and whole-class rewarrds that can be used as intermittent celebrations of success.
  16. Decide if your students could benefit from one or more structured systems for reinforcing responsible behaviour.
A range of nice mild concequences are better than hard hitting consequences.

As I sit here listening to this speaker I am amazed at how many of the "problems" that he is talking about that do not exist in my class. Behaviour issues come up when kids are actively engaged. Between the computer work and the cooperative conceptual work there are few issues.

What do you think... do you have behavioural issues in your room and are there issues when they are engaged in work that they want to do. Is that not the question? Let's create work that kids will do that makes them want to learn.


Anonymous said...

Seems like a scam or fad. Schools dish out 20,000$ to attend these workshops, 8000$ more for books and guides. Not counting travel expenses. At the same time the schools can't afford text books for students or equipment for PE. Many of his his ideas are can not actually be implemented in a real world setting. They are very inconveniencing for the staff(teachers and office). They stupid rules creates conflicts between teachers and administrators who are now trying to get involved with the teachers class room management.

Anonymous said...

So disagree with Anonymous! CHAMPS works.... Even if a little bit of it is implemented, it makes a difference.

Mr. H said...

Thank you for your comments. When a school and staff buy into an idea and work hard anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

Behavior is a strong issue in my classroom. Dr. Sprick was a joy from which to learn. I felt safe being his student and I hope that I can help my students feel the same about me. Most times, I can not cater to all the interests of my students at once due to resource constraints. Most of them rather not complete any paper and pencil tasks, but much of what I need them to do requires such. However, I will keep "making it interesting" in mind as I face the group again tomorrow. :)