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This defines minimal requirements for appropriate behavior, which is often misunderstood in schools with a diverse student population. Rules should be placed above the front board frame in large, colorful lettering with student photos to maximize attention. Without rules, students behave according to their prior school experience and personal regard for authority. Never assume students have any familiarity with appropriate behavior. Continuously discuss and rehearse rules to shape students’ awareness. • Reinforce demonstration of behavioral rules during classroom activities ex: praise, bonuses, privileges, certificates, social activities “We just earned three coupons for class participation toward our reward day!” Behavioral development is dependent on assigning greater value to pro-social behavior.This generation, regardless of age or background, is receptive to any positive response to their mastery of class rules. Providing personal attention is a powerful motivator because of students’ neediness for feedback and recognition. Displaying completed papers, applauding effort, and offering individual assistance are sample reinforcers to promote pro-social behaviors. Survey students to identify their preferences, and adjust seasonally. Vary reinforcement frequently to maintain enthusiasm. Always strive to develop eventual selfcontrol by minimizing tangible rewards. • Signed group contracts defining pro-social behaviors/reinforcement/ time lines ex: entire class signatures on posted contract to encourage group identity “Wow, our class received five bonus points for finishing their project this week!” Contracts are extremely beneficial to instill a sense of group pride and accountability. Student signatures foster a commitment to respect class rules and monitor personal conduct. Select highly valued rewards and evaluate performance biweekly. Record progress on visible chart to sustain motivation. Adjust behavioral goals and revise rewards following prescribed time line. Use peer pressure to encourage high risk students’ allegiance.

• Conduct multi-modality lessons using differentiated instruction to complement management techniques ex: chunk lesson into small components, technology, group assignments “Create a skit with partners to demonstrate causes of the American Revolution.” Today’s learner expects instruction to be entertaining and personalized. Having been reared on technology from preschool, students anticipate teachers utilizing a variety of techniques to communicate information. Passive, teacherdirected instruction should be replaced by interactive activities to minimize apathy or disruption. Refrain from traditional practices relying on rote memory, simple question-answer responses, and recitation of facts. Instead, employ visual aids, manipulatives, commercial software, and Internet resources to address students’

Donald Perras, Ph.D.

unique learning skills. Encourage creativity and critical thinking to develop attention to task, participation and compliance. Provide cooperative learning opportunities that tap students’ varied abilities and social behavioral maturity. Experiment with different teaching formats to match students’ changing needs. District-based professional development must prioritize training staff in preventative management systems while also offering on-site coaching to improve application of strategies. Following these recommended Ecological Model interventions will produce reliable outcomes for both students and faculty. Donald Perras, Ph.D. has been an educator since 1967. He specializes in programs to help educators deal with students who have serious emotional disturbance (SED) and related behavior disorders. For information visit www.

• Teacher trainer since 1972. • Specialized in preparing educators for positions working with emotionally disturbed/behavior disordered learners. • Conducted professional development workshops for thousands of educators since 1973. • Provided on-site consultation to 206 school districts and social service agencies since 1973. • Created an Ecological Model of strategies that integrates instruction and classroom management. • Targets middle and high schools in urban communities.

The Ecological Model was designed to offer educators a preventative system of practical techniques to address today’s challenging classrooms. While classroom management issues represent a prime stressor for a majority of educators, teacher-certification training typically offers minimal preparation in this area. The Ecological Model system provides a field-tested blend of procedures to enhance student learning while developing pro-social conduct.

D.P. Enterprises 203-385-0068 | | SouthEast Education Network ™ FALL 2013


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Seen 15 2  

Southeast Education Network issue 15.2

Seen 15 2  

Southeast Education Network issue 15.2