Sometimes I Read

Today I am in teacher mode, non-teachers might find this all incredible snooze worthy...but I included a few silly selfies for your enjoyment, or something like that!

Sometimes I read blogs that are educational, shocking I know.

Like this one Smart Classroom Management, every Monday bright and bushy tailed begrudgingly at 5:45 a.m. I read my Google Reader in an attempt to wake up and right myself with the world.  Smart Classroom Management comes in some time over the weekend but I generally try and avoid all school things like the plague until Monday morning.

The Monday after spring break I had these babies waiting for me: The Most Common Speaking Mistakes Teachers Make (Part 1 and Part 2).  Following a rough few weeks before spring break I took the blog posts as signs of the direction I wanted to steer my classroom in as we do the final push towards summer. Teaching to me is always a constant cycle of evaluation, tweaking and making improvements. 

So here are the top four mistakes teachers make, I am sure everyone is probably guilty of at least one, I will be completely honest and admit to being guilty of all four:

All teacher advice must be given with shades on!

1.  Speaking Too Loud
Main Points: "To attract students to what you have to say, to encourage them to hang on your words, speak softly." and  "Further, you'll find their own voices growing softer and more respectful. After all, they mimic what they see, and hear, from their teacher."

In my classroom I have been known to go really loud with my attention signal (5,4,3,2,1, volume level 0) in order to ensure students hear me. 
New resolution: count down softly and calmly. 

2.  Speaking Over Students
Main Point: Waiting until all students are silent and looking at you to begin talking.

In my classroom I rarely speak over students, just my rule of thumb but I know that I have been guilty of moving on when I only had about 80% of the eyes on me or the board. 
New resolution: stand firm on the 100% and don't move on no matter if it takes all period...and it nearly has a few times.

3.  Talking Too Much
Main Point:  Be stingy with your words. Make every word count.

This is probably my Achilles heel. I talk way to much, shocking right!?! 
New resolution: be brief and too the point when providing directions or discussing a project.

4.  Repeating Yourself
Main Point: Say directions only once, if students know that you will be repeating yourself they have no urgency to follow the directions.

I do this way too much, I feel like everyday I repeat my directions nearly three times before I release my students. Plus they are on the board and in their electronic worksheet.
New resolution: Have students read worksheet silently at the beginning of period, then review directions once and release.

Sometimes I read books that aren't written by Tyrese and Rev Run...mind blowing I am sure!

Last Tuesday our PLC was centered around Teach Like a Champion, a book I never get tired of.

Certainly beats this weeks PLC's, two 45 minutes of STAAR training(our state assessment) blahhhhhhh it was mind numbing to say the least. Oh and plus there is a 100+ page training manual we have to read, sigh. Sure I have time to read through it who needs a life.

Stank face for the STAAR.
Back on topic, all teachers were asked to pick one Teach Like a Champion strategy to use in their classroom for the rest of the semester and my favorite was the 100% Technique: teachers will expect 100% compliance and not accept anything less. Accepting anything less is basically saying you don't have to follow my rules or procedures. I thought this technique would pair nicely with my new speaking strategies and what I am already doing in the classroom.

I tried these out last Monday and have to say that my week ran SUPER smoothly. It felt like we were moving at a slower pace waiting for 100% at first, but I really did feel like these small changes were able to tweak the few areas I was unhappy with before spring break.

Because I am honest and all, I will say that even just reviewing them now I feel like I started slipping on number 3 and 4 this week, but my classroom is ALWAYS a work in progress.

I don't know about you but this time of the school year gets more difficult for us: 8th graders check out, 6th graders are starting to push back, and well our 7th graders...lets just say bless their hearts.  

So every little bit helps me keep a firm semi grasp on my sanity, hopefully someone else will find these helpful as well.  

I look totally sane right?!?

What's your favorite classroom management technique? How do you keep behavior issues to a minimum these last few months of school?

- The Babbling Box!

1 comment

  1. I like using some kind of an attention-getter where the students respond. I like variations of Class- Yes and 1,2,3 Eyes on Me (students respond 1, 2, eyes on you). That way, I say it quietly and kids repeat after me. Usually, by the end of the chant, they're all saying it with me- and if not, I say it two or three times. I don't usually have to raise my voice too often because as they chime in, their part gets louder and louder. I also make a special point to reward those who chime in right away. Around the holidays, we changed things up- "hocus pocus" and they responded "everybody focus" and this week we did "little bunny foo-foo" and they responded "I don't wanna see you!" The novelty helps! Good luck!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad