The observation of classroom activities is a valuable experience that helps new (as well as seasoned) teachers to gain insights into effective methods of classroom management. Motivation and classroom management are two important areas to consider as they often define the quality of teaching and learning. The students in the three observed classes (two-second grades and one first grade) were evaluated as mainly well-behaved and motivated to participate in classroom activities. The teacher did not anticipate any serious issues regarding children’s behavior, but students could also distract from activities during classes, as expected by the teacher. Based on the observation and the reviewed video clips, a set of tools to avoid or manage misbehavior can be considered and utilized in future practice.
One of the ways to manage classes effectively is to establish routines. Children have diverse routine activities that are performed with no time waste, which leads to appropriate behavioral patterns. One of these routines can be addressing a teacher or student for a specific purpose (asking for clarifications, asking for help, attracting attention, and so on). The use of codes is really helpful as children tend to be more attentive to such codes compared to verbal warnings or the teacher’s verbal attempts to attract attention. Raising hands is a common code employed in all classes. However, many other codes, such as gestures, facial expressions, music and sounds, can be introduced. An interesting technique to improve classroom management is to create routines related to supplies (One FAB Teacher, 2017). For instance, if a child needs some supplies (a sharp pencil or a new marker), there is no need to interrupt class activities as the child reaches the necessary supplies available in particular places. The physical arrangement of zones in a class plays an important role in classroom management.
Clear instructions are seen as critical for the teaching and learning process. In one of the classes, a boy distracted his peers, making them laugh. He tried to persuade the teacher and the class that he had only tried to ask for clarifications as he had not quite understood the instructions. The teacher used this case to discuss behavioral models and instruction-related routines. Such routines are beneficial for the teaching process as children learn how to be more independent learners and how to behave properly (Linda Kardamis, 2018). Guided discussions are a potent instrument for helping students develop desired behavioral patterns, as well as acquire communication and emotional skills (The Lettered Classroom, 2016). The teacher initiated a discussion of the boy’s misbehavior and guided the class in trying to solve the problem. Students decided to take away some scores the misbehaving child had earned earlier, but the boy had (and used) an opportunity to earn them back during the day.
Classroom management is closely linked to motivation as motivated children are willing to take an active part in activities without distracting others (and themselves) from their work. The teacher used stickers in all three classes, which proved to be an effective motivational tool. Students were eager to earn stickers, but they still tried their best to complete tasks. In some cases, students become concentrated on the reward rather than tasks, but this was not observed in the classes under discussion. The chart enhanced students’ motivation as they could actually see their progress, which helped them feel satisfied once they achieved certain points. In all three classes, children were quite responsive and active, but some students could be more engaged. For example, it could be effective to use a puppet to make some activities or instructions less formal (Macmillan Education India, 2019). Teachers’ instructions and stories could be seen differently when they were articulated by a third party (a funny monster, an animal, or a doll).
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that clear instructions, motivation, and routines are instrumental in managing the classroom effectively. The teacher can utilize various tools, but it is important to make sure that children understand what is expected from them and are willing to behave accordingly. The present observation experience was valuable as some challenges related to classroom management were identified. The teacher undertook effective measures to address those challenges, so diverse objectives were reached.
Linda Kardamis. (2018). Classroom management solutions live training. YouTube. Web.
Macmillan Education India. (2019). Useful tips to improve your pre-primary classroom management (Advancing learning webinar). YouTube. Web.
One FAB Teacher. (2017). Classroom management: Procedures and routines. YouTube. Web.
The Lettered Classroom. (2016). Behavior Management in the Classroom. YouTube. Web.
|Classroom 1||Classroom 2||Classroom 3|
|How did the teachers keep their students motivated?||She provided stickers to those who completed tasks.||The class has a chart where children receive scores and stickers during the class.||Students received stickers. The class also played specific games once they have finished certain tasks.|
|How were the behavior expectations different in the three classrooms?||Children were expected to be attentive and hardworking, although some talking or misbehavior could happen.||Although some instances of misbehavior were expected, the class was overall properly managed.||Some of the children were expected to be more active than necessary, so active games were often used to motivate children.|
|How was the management of the classrooms the same or different?||Clear instructions, codes, and routines were central to classroom management. Children took their time to complete tasks.||Routines and clear instructions, as well as discussions, were a part of classroom management.||The lessons were more dynamic. Clear instructions and routines were used.|
|Explain the methods observed that guided student behavior. How do these methods support the student’s cognitive, social, and/or emotional development?||The teacher and students had a system of codes related to behaviors (hand movements). Children also expressed their motives and feelings. They gained social and emotional skills.||The teacher discussed behavioral patterns with the children. The teacher-guided the children encouraging them to solve the existing problems. Problem solving and communication skills were developed.||Children received detailed instructions and were encouraged to speak about their concerns, feelings, and behaviors.|
|What adjustments would you have made in the classrooms?||I would add a chart of achievement and growth, where academic results and behavior could be highlighted on a regular basis.||I would add codes for proper classroom management (hand movements, cards, and others).||I could add a third-party instructor (a puppet) to motivate students and manage their behavior, as well as discuss appropriate behavioral patterns.|
|Explain any student discipline you observed and describe how the behaviors were addressed.||Two girls talked during the completion of a task and did not even notice the signals the teacher sent. When the teacher played a specific musical piece (which was a code – attention), the girls paid attention and stopped talking. Notably, music was played at the end of the period devoted to a task, so other children’s work was not interrupted.||A boy distracted his peers during an activity, making them laugh. The teacher addressed the boy, stating that his misbehavior caused a lot of harm and encouraged the class to discuss the situation. Guided by the teacher, it was decided that the boy, as well as other students, would not behave that way. Since the harm was serious, it was decided to take away some scores, but the boy had a chance to earn points to add to the chart.||A group of children did not want to stop a game (used as a transition activity). The teacher reminded them of stickers and a high chance to receive none at the end of the day. The boys stopped the game.|