How To Stop Classroom Misbehavior And Disruption: Teachers Must Teach Students Classroom Discussion Skills
We expect children and youth to have essential behavior skills for school, but we don't necessarily thoroughly teach them the specific skills. Many kids will not be able to perform specific skills that they were never taught. Here are the basic class or group discussion skills that will be needed in nearly any school or agency. These important methods are taken from our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops and books like our popular All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Maximum-Strength Motivation-Makers, which are detailed at our web site, http://www.youthchg.com.
Manage the Mind and Body
Example strategy: Use a rag doll to have students show you the do's and don'ts of managing the mind and body in class or group.
Raise the Hand
Example strategy: To teach hand raising skills, tell students that waving your arm all over is called "helicopter arms," then ask them to have "flagpole arm." Have students demonstrate flagpole arm.
Know What to Say
Example strategy: Teach students to get an answer ready just in case they are called on, then practice this by giving a topic and calling on each group member to speak.
Moderate How Long and Often You Talk
Example strategy: Have your group establish a recommended number of times to talk per hour or class. Without a specific guide, it may be unfair to expect a "reasonable" amount of input.
Be Ready to Be Called On By Surprise
Example Strategy: It's especially valuable to give students sentences to use when called on in class, as that's when many students can freeze and become mute if scared or nervous. Consider giving students a sentence or two like this: "Yes, I want to answer but I need need time to think. Could you come back to me in a minute?"
Watch Out for "Red Flag" Problem Times
Example strategy: Use a red flag to alert your group that problematic behavior is occurring or might occur, then prep the group members how to minimize the problems rather than exacerbate the difficulties that happen. For example, when someone makes an inappropriate comment, you can stay quiet rather than make an even more inappropriate contribution.
You should teach these skills one skill at a time, with plenty of repetition to be sure that the concepts are mastered. You should also vary the way you teach the skills so that you teach each skill a bit differently each time. Our books and workshop have thousands of strategies for that. To learn more about our books and workshops, visit our site, link below. The strategies in our books and workshops use cartoons, pictures, quizzes, contests, demonstrations, and just about any innovative method that can be used to teach youngsters. There are hundreds of these creative, compelling devices on our web site (link below) if you want to see more of our terrific tools for problem and difficult students.
About the Author: Get much more information on this topic at http://www.youthchg.com. Author Ruth Herman Wells MS is the director of Youth Change, (http://www.youthchg.com.) Sign up for her free Problem-Kid Problem-Solver magazine at the site and see hundreds more of her innovative methods. Ruth is the author of dozens of books and provides workshops and training.