Improving classroom behavior and social skills is pertaining to an over-all impact on the child’s learning abilities. This strategy is particularly aimed when there are students who have disabilities. The teacher directly affects children’s appropriateness and inappropriateness and the classroom set up. It is a must to gauge the structure and reliability of daily activities and the rules of conduct set by teachers in assessing classroom variables.
Proactive measures or guidelines have been established in sustaining an atmosphere of positive learning and appropriate behavior for children free or with disabilities. “Interventions delivered in a regular classroom have the greatest potential to enhance prosocial competencies by altering the classroom social system to support all students, including rejected and isolated students, students with disabilities, and low-performing students, all of whom are at risk for social difficulties” (Rathvon, 2008, p. 321).
The Council for Exceptional Children has founded the eight behavioral management measures: Arrange classroom to meet social/emotional needs as well as instructional and organizational needs; adjust schedules to provide a balance between highly structured periods and more stimulating activities; establish a group behavior management plan that incorporates individual needs;
Provide direct instruction, programmed learning, and precision teaching lessons; provide group-building opportunities that move students from an “I” to a “We” orientation; be aware of how individual needs affect group dynamics; attend to students’ physiological as well as psychological needs; much of the acting out behavior reflects a need for power or attention; and attempt to give as little emotional response as possible to inappropriate behavior (Council for Exceptional Children 2006-2007).
The classroom, consists of twenty students, four of them have impairments, is organized but still conducive for playful learning. I have observed the following routines: drawing time, playtime with materials (e.g clay), reading time with teacher and a short recitation after that. These routines are very functional since they don’t only learn skills like creativity and imagination, they also get to mingle and interact with fellow students and unconsciously learn and brainstorm their thoughts and ideas.
The four most challenging behaviors during my observation are inability to focus or display of inadequacy, petty fights between pupils, some inappropriate behaviors like noise, which is unavoidable at their age, and loitering around the classroom. The teacher has handled everything with grace. Yelling was never an alternative for her. Though her voice was not as soothing as it should be, she managed to pull out superiority in the softest possible way. She also gives rewards when pupils get satisfactory remarks and this is one of the best strategies at this stage of learning. Noise is one of the most challenging behaviors she had to face.
Since children at this stage are very hard to control, judgment can never be made in accordance. But overall, her behavioral techniques and strategies are effective. The students had used the typical verbal and non verbal expressions most of us do. Nodding of head and hand gestures as non verbal communications and answering by yes or no and brief explanation during recitation as verbal. When the teacher says something that they totally agree on, students tend to nod their head repetitively and it goes as well by saying yes or no when the teacher asks them. As preschoolers, their thoughts are not yet firmly constructed.
I would prioritize using a soothing tone of voice as a behavioral management technique. This is one of the most significant techniques the teacher overlooked. Reassurances or giving out positive comments is also an important way of appreciating the students’ works. However, criticisms should be given constructively and not degradingly. Well organization of classroom, like cleanliness and things properly placed on their shelves, should also be observed all the time for safety policies.
Rewards and punishment is a very effective behavioral management. When a student gets a remark higher than the average, the teacher gives rewards, otherwise, punishment is given. But most of the times, punishment are just given in forms of assignments or projects.
Kelley, M. K., Noell, G., & Reitman, D. (2003). Practitioners Guide to empirically based
measures of school behaviour. 18,
Rathvon, R. (Ed.) (2008). Effective School Interventions. Guilford Press.
Council for Exceptional Children. 2006-2007.