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Friday, March 5, 2010

Visual Cueing as a Teacher Intervention to Prevent and Manage Student Disruptive Behavior. Step Four: Referral to an Administrator

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 third 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 four, Referral to an Administrator.

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 onThink-Trix, the Q-Matrix and Six Types of Questions/Information.

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, Referral to an Administrator.

"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. 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. If the behavior continues, I make the peace sign displaying two fingers, the index finger and the middle finger making a letter V, and point those two fingers at her. This tells the student to go to the time-out seat in the back of the room, and complete the time-out form. This form asks the student to record the answer to these three questions: (1)What were you doing that disrupted instruction? (2) What classroom rule or expectation did you violate? (3) What's your plan to change your behavior? If in my judgment the student (a) understands what she has done, (b) understands what expectation/s she's violated, and (c) has a thoughtful plan to change her behavior, I give her permission to return to her assigned seat."

"If she continues to disrupt instruction from the time-out chair or her assigned seat, I display three fingers; the index, the middle and the ring finger. This means that I'll contact her parents or guardians that evening to set up a time, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes, before or after school for me to resolve the conflict with the student. I believe that parents or guardians need to know if their child is misbehaving in religious school, and that as the teacher I want to work out the problem with their child first though using a procedure called the CRM, the Conflict Resolution Method. Please note that I'm not asking the parents or guardians to participate in the conference at this time; I just need them to support me by providing their child with the transportation from our school to their home.”

“If the CRM does not result in the elimination of that student’s disruptive behavior, that student must be referred to an administrator (i.e. signal number four).”

It is the responsibility of the administrator to then take the appropriate measures to terminate the student’s disruptive classroom behavior such as:

· calling for and conducting a parent conference

· setting up and conducting a parent, student and teacher conference

· creating a behavioral contract with the student stipulating what the student must do in order to return to class

· suspending the student from school

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.

On the next post we will begin a discussion on the application of behavioral management strategies to prevent or reduce student disruptive behavior in the Judaic classroom.

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