Positive Behavior is not a Dream...It's a Plan!
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Seventh grade science teacher, Mr. Brian Jones needs to be able to take a short leave later this school year to welcome the baby he and his wife are expecting so he invented a classroom management system that will allow his students to manage themselves while he is gone. I passed by his room the other day when he happened to be out and saw the sub standing in the doorway with very little to do. The students inside all seemed to know exactly what they were expected to do. Some were working in groups designing posters or completing worksheets. Others were conducting experiments in an independent center. Still others were on classroom desktop computers doing research. Most importantly, all of them were on task and engaged.
Brian explained the system he developed to achieve this independence and walked me through it. Students progress through a series of self-paced, student-centered projects to achieve the Next-Generation Science Standards, (NGSS). The projects are organized on worksheets which the students find in a paper sorter as they enter the room, or they have a choice of using Doctopus in Google Drive, which pushes the consecutive projects out as they are completed. Students demonstrate mastery by completing journal entries, taking quizzes, writing reports, or creating posters, among others.
"The students love the flexibility," Brian reports, "Some students work through the projects much more quickly than others. This way, I don't have to stall the quicker ones to wait for the slower ones, the way I used to in the past. I find I can work with individuals or groups to guide them along more than before. If the students finish all the projects, they become facilitators for the other students."
If this management system sounds interesting to you and you would like to observe it in action, please take advantage of the generous offer by our AP Paula Mayes and she will cover your class while you go visit Brian's class. Thanks for all you do for our kids, Mr. Jones, and God Bless the arrival of your baby girl in January.
As the compassionate images on this video imply, treat others with kindness and the kindness will come back to you, just like a boomerang. Seventh grade teachers, Mr. Jones and Mr. Carroll, are betting on the Kindness Boomerang rule. They are encouraging their students to perform random acts of kindness, then post them on a classroom bulletin board. Students get extra points for their posts.
want Students to Listen?
Recently a number of Los Alisos teachers have been reading the Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish multimillion selling series of books to help improve the challenging skill of "talking to kids so they will listen, and listening to kids so they will talk." The YouTube videos linked here provide an overview of some of the main points in the books. The hallmarks of the strategies are positive verbal messages, acknowledging kids' feelings, and helping kids be self-directed in finding solutions to their everyday problems.