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PositiveIf you have attended a district training on classroom management with our amazing behavior specialists, you have most likely heard the phrase: "Where attention goes, behavior grows."

What does this mean though? The Tough Kid Book, by Rhode, Jensen, and Reavis, says: "If more teacher attention is given for inappropriate student behavior than for appropriate behavior, the inappropriate behavior will increase. With Tough Kids' teachers, this attention very often takes the form of excessive prompting, reminding, threatening, reprimanding, and verbal abuse, because these reactions seem to come naturally when teachers attempt 'pain control' of their own"  (43).

Where is your attention going in your classroom? Are you feeding the negative actions of students and reinforcing the behaviors you don't want to see? What is your attention growing?

If you are feeling that some of these natural management tendencies (excessive prompting, reminding, threatening, reprimanding, and verbal abuse) are emerging in your teaching, maybe it is time to re-evaluate how you look at the Tough Kids' behavior. The Tough Kid Book has various strategies to try. You can access The Tough Kid Book in all JSD schools by checking with your school psychologist.

Strategies from The Tough Kid Book:

  • Positive Reinforcement (45): occurs when something a student desires is presented after appropriate behavior has been exhibited. All students and adults need legitimate and appropriate reinforcement.
    • Example: Calvin can earn up to ten points for completing his reading assignment correctly. The points can be exchanged for dinosaur stickers. Because Calvin enjoys the stickers he can earn, the accuracy of his reading assignments has increased.
  • Motivation and Encouragement (48): motivating and encouraging desired performance is  much the same in the classroom as it is in the business world.
    • Step 1. Tell students what you want them to do (and make sure they understand it).
    • Step 2. Tell them what will happen if they do what you want them to do
    • Step 3. When students do what you want them to do, give them immediate positive feedback in ways that are directed and meaningful to them.
  • Natural Positive Reinforcement (50): Natural (activities or things that students already find rewarding) forms of reinforcement are found in schools if you look for them. Some tips for selecting positive reinforcement:
    • Select age-appropriate reinforcement.
    • Use natural reinforcement whenever it is effective.
    • Use reinforcement appropriate to the student's level of functioning.
    • Make certain you have parental and administrative support for the reinforcement you plan to use.
    • Avoid partial praise statements, such as "I'm glad you finished your work--finally!"
    • Always make the most of opportunities to reinforce appropriate behavior.
    • Be genuinely polite and courteous to Tough Kids at all times and demonstrate concern and interest toward them. Always stay calm.
    • Do not confuse positive reinforcement or privileges with a student's basic rights.

For more tips and ideas, see:
Rhodes, Ginger, William R. Jenson, and H. Kenton Reavis. The Tough Kid Book. Eugene: Pacific Northwest Publishing, 2010.

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How Do I Spend My Legislative Money?
Have you ever wondered what is best to buy with your legislative money?

Rules Regarding the Use of Legislative Money

  1. The money should be spent PRIMARILY on consumables that you cannot purchase through the district warehouse, or that you wish to buy above and beyond what other funding allows
  2. Non-consumable items you purchase will follow you through the school district.  However, if you pool your money and purchase items with a colleague or team, the items should stay at the school where they were purchased.
  3. If you leave the school district, any items purchased with legislative money will remain at the school you leave.  Remember, this is only if you leave the district.
  4. Be sure to turn in receipts ONLY for the total amount you are given.  Anything spent over that total amount belongs to you and can go with you if you move districts.
  5. It can be helpful to write "purchased with legislative funds" or "purchased with personal money" on non-consumable items you buy.
  6. Check with your secretary for the final due date and protocol for submitting receipts,  as procedures will vary by school.

Purchasing Ideas

markers giant sticky notes
colored pencils dry erase markers
glue vis-a-vis makers
scissors mini white boards
crayons class sets of approved books
organization tubs books for classroom library
candy (for incentives and rewards/activities) picture books for teaching
pens bookshelves
pencils wire baskets
class sets of highlighters technology tools
post-it notes paper
jump drives notepads
classroom posters teacher guides
dry erase paper workbooks
rubber bands stapler
3 ring binders electric pencil sharpener
3 x 5 note cards 3-hole punch
classroom set of calculators storage crates
binder clips name badges
push pins awards

 

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Why should teachers have students practice routines? If you have ever had the chance to observe kindergarten, especially at the beginning of the year, you may see a lot of repetition of directions. Kindergarten teachers know that their students need to  practice basic skills a lot: sitting in their seats, moving to the carpet, raising their hands to talk, sharpening pencils, lining up... you name it. Kindergarten teachers are pros at establishing routines.

Routines should be established and built in all levels of teaching. It is important for teachers to set these expectations and practice them with their students, even with older grades and students in secondary schools.

In this TED Talk, How To Use A Paper Towel, Joe Smith teaches adults how to help the environment by using paper towels more effectively. Watch the video and see what techniques he uses to help his audience remember the directions.

When we give directions, we should try to follow these basic ideas:

  1. Get the student's attention and make sure you have it!
  2. Give clear, positive directions with high expectations.
  3. Limit the number of directions and steps to the directions. 
  4. Vary the way directions are given (teacher modeled, student modeled, using phrases like, "When I say go...", students repeating directions). 
  5. Be consistent and follow through.
  6. Give students time to process.
  7. Repeat directions if needed.

If you find you are struggling to have students follow directions or they struggle to do routine tasks, try using some of these ideas to help your students remember the routines and procedures for your classroom. It is never to late to polish up routines and procedures to help students be successful!

 

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Some thoughts about the first days of school:

  • 1st day of school will make or break a teacher
  • Effective teachers manage the classroom more than discipline the classroom
  •  Establish a well-managed classroom
    • Students deeply involved with their work
    • Students know expectations
    • Students are generally successful
    • Little wasted time, confusion, or disruptions
    • Climate of class is task-oriented but relaxed and pleasant
    • You as the teacher will be happier
  • Main problem in classroom is lack of procedures & routines
    • Explain, rehearse, reinforce
    • Effective teachers spend time rehearsing routines
  • Design a Successful Start
    • Have room ready--be at the door and smile
    • You have assigned seats—Project on screen
    • 1st assignment on the board—short, interesting, easy
    • Have students start work immediately
    • If student enters room inappropriately, have the student return to door and enter again appropriately
    • Learn students’ names
  • Plan Routines and Procedures
    • Have room ready
    • You are at the door
    • You have assigned seats—Project on screen
    • 1st assignment on the board—short, interesting, easy
    • Students start work immediately
    • If student enters room inappropriate, have student return to door and enter again appropriately
  • Classroom Management Plan
    • 3-5 measurable, specific, positive rules
    • Examples: a compliance rule, a preparation rule, a talking rule, a classroom behavior rule
    • Plan appropriate rewards; have a hierarchy of consequences
  • Be Professional 
  • Adhere to contract hours
  • Dress professionally
  • Computer belongs to school; do not use inappropriately
  • Start Student Learning on Day One
    • Make sure students understand this is a learning environment   
    • Go through routines, rules, and procedures
    • Go over “I Can” statement (objective) every day
  • Curriculum Map/Lesson Plan
  • Develop a yearlong curriculum map based on core standards
  • Develop lesson plans that navigate through the class and reflect on map                    
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Take care of your heath; better to prevent than to treat
  • Know how to call for a substitute
  • Develop an emergency substitute plan and leave on desk every night
  • A happy teacher smiles more and makes better choices

 

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One of the most challenging components of teaching a quality lesson is the ability to format and ask questions.  Below are listed some areas in the lesson when questions can be used to promote student learning and understanding.

WHEN TO ASK QUESTIONS

We use questions at the beginning of learning experiences:

  • To initiate a discussion
  • To pique student curiosity
  • To focus students on a new concept or a different aspect of a concept
  • To access prior knowledge and experience
  • To consolidate previous learning
  • To surface misconceptions

We use questions during and following learning experiences:

  • To break down complex tasks and issues
  • To promote transfer and retention
  • To control shifts in discussion
  • To keep discussions on track
  • To invite student questions
  • To elicit student opinions
  • To promote student interaction
  • To facilitate flexible thinking
  • To challenge the obvious
  • To check for student understanding
  • To help students confront their misconceptions and reframe their thinking
  • To focus on process
  • To promote student evaluation of credibility of sources and strength of evidence
  • To cause students to consider alternative viewpoints
  • To help students make connections

 

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Welcome Back to School!

Top Dozen To-Do

Before School Starts by Leslie McCourt-Nussman

  1. Plan seating assignments (i.e. random, numbered, and alphabetical).
  2. Determine essential procedures for a smooth-running classroom.
  3. Over plan!
  4. Gather lots of teambuilding activities to be used early & during the year. This creates the warm at home feeling of your classroom.
  5. Post your discipline plan, including rules and consequences. Create these with your class. The students will buy into the classroom rules if you do this in the beginning.
  6. Identify a location in your classroom to post your daily agenda, and bell ringer.
  7. Create a daily routine for the first five minutes of class.
  8. Anticipate and prepare all supplies needed (dry erase markers, corridor passes, stapler, etc.).
  9. Organize and prepare your classroom so it is ready for learning.
  10. Think of ways to learn your student's names quickly (i.e. mnemonics, pictures, etc.).
  11. Introduce yourself to the teachers next door and across the hail.
  12. Commit to connecting with each student on a daily basis (eye contact, greetings, acknowledgements, quick notes, high fives).
  13. Create the warm atmosphere in your room with important getting to know you activities that engage your students. I am including a couple for you to use in your classroom this week.

Remember if your first day was not the way you wanted it to go. Re-evaluate and start again with some of these items in mind. Students will respond with some guidance in place and knowing that you care about them. Resources here in Jordan School District- you may want to participate in Classroom Management Courses taught by Buddy Alger and Brian King. You may sign up through JPLS.

Here are more "getting started" ideas and activities.

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We finished another week of school! If you have questions regarding the mentor program, please contact one of our district mentor specialist.


Secondary
Judy Jackman (801) 567-8171

judy.jackman@jordandistrict.org

Leslie Mccourt Nussman (801)567-8134
leslie.mccourtnussman@jordandistrict.org

Elementary

Leslie Mccourt Nussman (801)567-8134
leslie.mccourt-nussman@jordandistrict.org

Patricia Benett(801) 567-8123

patricia.bennett@jordandistrict.org

Special Education:

Michelle Stewart-Chavez (801)567-8295

michelle.chavez@jordandistict.org

 

Upcoming Mentor Training Dates

September 7th and 8th 4:30-7:30

September 14th 8:00-3:00 - School pays the cost of sub

October 11th and 13th 4:30- 7:30

Online class is also available

All classes are held at the ASB room #103. Sign up on JPLS

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This is a suggested guide to help new teachers know how to map out their provisional years.

1st Year Teachers:
*Collaborate with your mentor
*JPAS Training
*Effective Teacher Training
*District Professional Development Classes (based on departments)
*Pass the Praxis PLT (if you feel ready!)

 

2nd Year Teachers:
*Pass the Praxis PLT (all level teachers--recommended to be done by this year)
*District Professional Development Classes (based on departments)
*UEN Classes/Endorsements (all level teachers--if you feel ready)
*ESL, Reading, Math, STEM, Ed Tech, Gifted and Talented

 

3rd Year Teachers
*Pass the Praxis PLT (should be completed by this year for license purposes)
*2 Hour Suicide Prevention Training (can be completed any time during the 3 years)
*Upgrade to Level 2 License (see http://mentor.jordandistrict.org/eye/licensing/)
*UEN Courses/Endorsements (all level teachers)
*ESL, Reading, Math, STEM, Ed Tech, Gifted and Talented
*University learning opportunities (BYU (CITES), UVU, USU, UofU, etc.)

For extra help with licensing, check out the EYE Brochure through USOE.

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As we approach the last quarter of the year and students are registering for classes, some teachers are beginning to look forward to next year. This seems natural to wonder what next year holds in store for us.  Some predictions are not too tricky.  We know the students will be there. We know the papers will be there.  Other predictions are a bit more challenging. What will the new IPhone look like?  OK, maybe that might not be the most important question; however, it does lead to an important point.

If we project the question of what is waiting for us in education beyond just next year, a world of possible uncertainty opens to us.  While there are many things we cannot predict, we are not left completely unaware.  In a recent article, one author suggests that there are, in fact, several points about which we can be certain.  Beginning with these as a starting point, we can begin to plan for a future education regardless of what the latest shape the IPhone might be.

fourpredictions
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Planning for Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences can sometimes cause stress and anxiety. We know that to be effective teachers, we need to provide “documentation of student progress and descriptive feedback to students and parents” (Utah Effective Teaching Standards; Standard 5).

Teachers will find that conferences will go smoother when doors of communication are opened at the beginning of the year. As they get to know their students and begin making notes of things they observe students do, teachers can keep parents in the know of any unusual behaviors or concerns before conferences. Then, conference time can be better spent focusing on the student’s learning and how to help each student achieve success.

Harvard Family Research Project has compiled information to help you prepare and be successful in your Parent-Teacher Conference experience. They have included before conference ideas, thought processes, during conference ideas, and after conference ideas. Check out their list here: Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents

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