Monday, December 17, 2012

The secret to Positive Behavior!

I finished my intern I with Pre-K. I have learned so much from these kiddos and I will miss being there. I have not been able to meet my new mentor, but I have emailed her. I GOT THIRD GRADE!! YES!! The Reading Buddies went over so well with the students and my mentor loved hers. I am so happy.
My mentor told me she hoped that I learned from interning with her and that I was able to take something from being there. I did and it was an amazing experience. I learned discipline and classroom management. I completely changed my speech in her class, but it was a huge adjustment. I had to practice at it constantly. I want to give the secret to great classroom management.

My mentor did not use the happy/sad faces for discipline or stickers or even conduct marks. She uses positive reinforcement. That is it! That is the secret! It seemed at first to be weird and it was hard for me to change my speech, but I saw the pay off quickly. A plus to using positive reinforcement is it does not stress you out and the bad behaviors of the students do not get to you as much. You know that feeling of exhaustion and just wanting to give up is gone.

So, what is positive reinforcement? Positive reinforcement or positive punishment, I sometimes like to call it, is not saying “NO.” These kids hear “NO” at home every day and all day. I know because that is what I tell me own kids at home. When a student does something he/she is not supposed to do, don’t yell no or even tell them you are disappointed in them. Telling a child you are disappointed in them is like cutting their little hearts in half. These students look at you as if you are their older sister, mother, grandma, or an idol. As silly as that sounds it is true. They look up to you!

Important part of positive reinforcement is to make sure to give the students the choice to make the right behavior.  It is letting the students know they are responsible for their own self and actions. This brings in the key words “Right/Good Choice” and “Wrong/Bad Choice.” No one wants to feel like they do not have options and neither do students. This vocabulary is not learned over night and takes repetition repetition.

This leads me into, Modeling. As the teacher you need to model everything that you teach and this includes the behavior you want to the students to follow. Demonstrate the behavior you want them follow such as when you ring the bell show them what you want them to do. You can also use the students as the model. “Look at Danny, he is not talking and is listening. This is a good choice Danny. Thank you!” I find this seems to work very well. The student is getting recognition for his behavior and the others kids want the recognition too. Some bad behavior occurs because the student wants the attention so only give attention for doing good behavior.

Again, this not something that is learned over night and needs to be repeated constantly. You have to be consistent. I am not expert and this is what I have observed and implemented myself. I do like the happy/sad face and other discipline methods as well. I could implement those with positive reinforcement easily and I just might. Now that I am going to third grade I can see what type of classroom management the teacher will use. I just feel not being negative with the student is a good thing and it helps them stay positive. I want to prevent the student from shutting down or making the behavior worse. I want the students to recognize the bad behavior in a positive way and know that it is unacceptable.

This blog turned out longer than I expected. I plan to write more on it as I go through my teaching career. Perhaps make a how to book for positive reinforcement. We will see. I am also going to upload a template I am making for quick take home notes soon. I think every student should get recognized for their behavior good or bad. I do like the smiley face stamp in the take home folders, but I would love to know exactly what my child did that day. I will also explain how to use it because how do we find the time to write notes home on every child every day.

Until next time,

Monday, December 10, 2012

End of the semester!

 It’s coming to an end! The last day of my internship is coming to an end this Wednesday. I am sad to say that I will not be with my little Pre-K students anymore. I will continue to do my internship II with third grade. I am extremely excited about this. To end my last day with my Pre-K students I will be giving them reading buddies. These are teddy bears the students will get and they are to read to them. My Mommaw made them for me. I was supposed to help but she gladly did them. It helped me out since I was bombarded with the semester. In addition, I bought foam door hangers with foam Christmas stickers for an afternoon activity. I got them from Mardel for $8 and some change. What a deal!

This semester I also half made a quilt for my future classroom.  I am really happy with it. I will be adding 5 guided values (top classroom rules) for my students to always follow. That will go into the yellow blocks. I have to hand sew cut out letters for my values. I am extremely excited about finishing it.

I also went to Disney World for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun. I had a blast.

In addition, I made a book for my last lesson for my Pre-K students called “Monster Appetite.” It is so cute. It is about a monster that makes unhealthy snack choices. I am so proud of it.

I am not sure how I did all this in November. I was exhausted and I am glad I am at the end. I just need to write two papers (for intern I) and take an online final exam for my science methods class.

Until next time,