Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Circle of Courage Assignment (511)

Assignment--Identify teaching strategies to foster each core value:

·         Fostering class cohesion
·         Group work
Class discussions
                                 Group Projects
                                 Class-wide decision-making (voting; e.g.—                             deciding on rules the first day of class)
·         Making content challenging and rigorous
·         Providing students with support to achieve mastery
·         Visual aids, scaffolding supports (e.g. graphic organizers), 
·         Assignments that allow students to demonstrate mastery when
           they’re ready (group projects, inquiry-based labs, essays, 
           science topic reports).

·         Giving students choices (assignments/activities/content/where
           to sit (when possible))
·         Discussion of biology issues in current events so students can
           make informed opinions about how they feel (e.g. stem cell

·         Volunteer opportunities (Sierra Club; trail restoration; beach
·         Raise awareness about local environmental issues (fire, water
           quality, bark beetles)
·         School garden
·         Field trip to ecological preserve (San Elijo Lagoon) or Wild
          Animal Park to learn about wildlife preservation

Identify a management problem:
Some students talk out of turn in my class. Other times, they whisper while I’m talking and don’t pay attention. They also have trouble staying on task when given group assignments. In general, the management problem would be not paying attention, talking out of turn, and not staying on task.

How could I prevent the situation?
I need to focus on developing the students’ sense of mastery and independence. Each person has an internal drive to master the material they are learning and become independent in solving problems associated with what they’re learning. Students who are struggling with material may tend to be distracted and unfocused in class because they are overwhelmed with the content and frustrated so they shut down their learning and search for other methods to keep them entertained, other than classwork. In addition, by distracting others (including the teacher), it draws attention away from the fact that they are struggling with the material, allowing the student to escape notice from appearing lost and therefore being labeled as “stupid” by his peers. By focusing more on assisting these students, they can overcome their frustrations and learn to stay on task better. Also, I can pair up these students with model “A” students who can peer teach them.

How can I support desired behaviors?
Students who are distracting the class by talking out of turn and are not staying focused will naturally feel more motivated in their classwork if they understand it better. By achieving mastery through more teacher assistance, they will gain confidence and will want to move to the next step: independence. They will want to demonstrate that they can complete the work on their own. This strategy also fosters self-discipline. In addition, understanding the material better will enhance their sense of belonging to the class because they will be more likely to participate in group work and class discussion. Since they will feel confident in their ability to do the classwork, they will want to show this to the rest of the class. By making the student aware of their own intrinsic motivation to master new material independently, little discipline will be needed. Students who demonstrate such positive behaviors, such as improved scores on tests and quizzes, staying on task in groups, and participating appropriately in class discussion will receive plenty of praise and enjoy an increased grade.

How could you respond at various points during the incident?
When a student first whispers during class while I’m talking, I pause for several seconds and stare directly into the student’s eyes until they stop talking and look up. If they talk a second time, I publicly tell them to stop talking, using their name. This is their warning (this has been communicated to them on the first day, along with what the consequences are). At this point, to avoid further problems and try and engage the student more, I might call on them to include them a class discussion to foster belonging. When doing independent work, I would make sure to linger by their desk to look over their work and quietly give them extra assistance to help them achieve mastery. I would look for opportunities to praise the student to boost their self-confidence and foster independence. When doing group work, I would frequently check on the student to make sure he is on task, and if he’s not, I would assist him at the point where he left off to get him back on track.

How could you respond after the incident?
If the student’s behavior doesn’t improve after I’ve given him a verbal warning, I have to take action. The student must learn that there are consequences to his actions. Talking after a warning warrants a time-out and a phone-call home. After that, the student gets a referral. However, we try to avoid referrals, whenever possible. If a student gets a time-out, I talk to the student in private to discuss his inappropriate behavior. I always ask why the student is acting like he is and if he understands why the behavior is disruptive. I try to understand the motivation behind the student’s behavior and trouble-shoot with the student prevention strategies. I involve the student fully in this process because I want them to take ownership for their behavior. By allowing the student to participate in his own discipline, he learns to be more independent (self-discipline) because he is given choices. I also am teaching him generosity because I discuss how disruptive behavior is disrespectful to other students.

Link to Circle of Courage website.

No comments:

Post a Comment