Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: MENTOR ME

Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: MENTOR ME

Article excerpt

QUESTION "I get tired of students interrupting instruction to go to the bathroom or to their locker because they 'forgot something.' How can I keep students in their seats and focused-or at least decrease the number of interruptions?"

Any disruption can drastically shiftthe equilibrium during instruction-especially the "can I go to the bathroom?" requests that trigger a domino effect. The first student asks, then one by one, the rest chime in and before we know it, instruction goes right out the window.

As a former military wife, I've taught in several states and across a few grade levels. Here are two strategies I have found useful in a variety of school settings:

1. Develop a classroom management plan that sets realistic expectations and, most important, is easy to follow. I learned about Randy Sprick's CHAMPS positive behavior support system while teaching in Kentucky. The CHAMPS system uses a chart that clearly displays expectations for every activity. CHAMPS stands for:

Conversation: Can students talk during the activity and if so, at what level? For example, 0=no talking, 1=whisper, etc.

Help: How can students ask for help? For example, "Ask 3 before me," or raise your hand.

Activity: What will students be working on?

Movement: Where can students go during this activity? For example, sharpen pencil (yes), hall pass (no).

Participation: How do students participate in this activity? Independently? With partners? Success: When students meet CHAMPS expectations, they will be successful. …

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