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Monday, March 1, 2010

Visual Cueing as a Teacher Intervention to Prevent and Manage Student Disruptive Behavior. Step One: You Have My Attention

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices.Accordingly, this is the first of several posts on how to manage the disruptive behavior of certain students in the Judaic classroom. These particular teacher interventions have been clinically tested in Judaic and secular classrooms and schools over the past 30 years. In this particular post, we will explain step one, You Have My Attention.

As a teaching candidate, teacher or mentor teacher we want to reduce or eliminate disruptive classroom behavior. One clinical practice to achieve the objective (i.e. to reduce or eliminate classroom disruptive behavior) is to use visual cueing or prompts to notify students of what is expected of them. In previous posts we have discussed the efficacy of visual cueing for focusing student thinking. Refer to these posts on Think-Trix, the Q-Matrix and Six Types of Information/Questions.

At this time we are going to use visual cueing as a vehicle to prevent and manage anticipated student disruptive behavior.

I will directly copy the narrative contained in Toolbox for Teachers and Mentors: Moving Madrichim to Mentor Teachers and Beyond on this teacher intervention, You Have My Attention.

"At the beginning of the year, I tell my students that I don't appreciate it when students disrupt instruction. So instead of stopping the lesson when a student is behaving inappropriately, (e.g. talking to a neighbor, passing a note, doing off-task behavior), I give her a visual cue. I simply point my index finger at her, and I move toward her[1]. This means that whatever she is doing at that time has my attention, and she needs to correct her behavior immediately. If the inappropriate behavior stops, the problem is solved.”

Thus, Disciplining By the Numbers requires the teacher to first explain the four visual signals or cues on managing student behavior, and then implement those teacher interventions when the need arises. In this case, we have described how the teacher might explain step one, You Have My Attention. If step one does not produce the desired result, you proceed to step two, Time-Out.

On the next post we will explain step two, Time-Out, in Disciplining by the Numbers.

[1] Physically moving toward a student to modify behavior is also referred to as proximity control.

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