Throughout these posts, I have noticed significant growth in my content, conventions, and though each step of the R2P process. As far as my growth in Observations, I feel that I went from simply completing the tasks being asked of me to drafting an observation that is engaging and detailed, such as the cohesive story. My growth in the Question step of the process is not as obvious due to the fact that I worked with the same question throughout the project. However, my growth for the Research step is more obvious as I found more quality and more recent publications to reference, with my last post including an article from 2014. Furthermore, my growth in the Reflection aspect can be seen through my analyses in each post, each one having more thought and depth behind it the more I got used to it. My growth in technology skills is evident in the hyperlinks I used throughout the posts. in addition to hyperlinks, I also completed a podcast post for the first time with my group; this was a new form of media to me.
If I were to do this project again, I think I would try to incorporate more podcasts and even possibly include my peers in them to create a cohesive story/conversation. This project taught me how to look more closely at my own observations and identify a core question to focus and conduct more research on. I would advise those who complete this project in the future to use a different question for each post, unlike what I did.
During my placement, I noted that some of the children in my class were typically misbehaving during instruction. More specifically, these children were (for the most part) talking when the teacher was talking or not listening to instructions. With this situation in mind, I decided to think back on some of my past field experiences and recall the behavior management tactics utilized by these cooperating teachers. On one occasion, while in a kindergarten classroom observing my future student teaching co-op and her current student teacher, I witnessed the student teacher’s behavior management skills. At the end of the day, a rambunctious time for most students, the student teacher was able to gain control with a simple “One…two…three…” On three, students were all silently listening to her, sitting on their assigned spots on the floor. When I prompted the cooperating teacher about her behavior management philosophies, which mostly aligned with that of the student teacher’s, she replied that she starts off the year by directly stating the classroom rules and scaffolding these rules for the students until they are second nature. From these comparative experiences, i was able to form the question “How can we better use positive reinforcement rather than consequence and punishment to manage classroom behavior?”
With this question in mind, I began my research. I came across a journal publication titled “A Demonstration of the Universal Problem-Solving Approach to Address Children’s Inappropriate Behavior in Head Start Classrooms.” This article discusses the use of an antecedent–behavior–consequence problem-solving process, which refers to the identification of the cause of the behavior, the behavior itself, and the consequence of the behavior. This followed by an action plan developed by the students and teacher successfully minimized student interruptions.
In reflecting on my field experience as well as the article I found, I came to the conclusion that I believe helping students understand the root of their own behaviors will help eventually minimize such behaviors in the future. In order to understand and correct an undesired behavior, one must first identify and take responsibility slitty for the behavior, something that is not possible if the adult in charge of instruction skips straight to consequence and punishment based on that behavior. By having the student identify and better understand their behavior, they can in theory use this information to stop and question these same behaviors moving forward as they arise. I would suggest that any teacher dealing with a student who presents unideal behaviors should first have an open conversation with their student as soon as possible in order to try and remedy the undesired behavior before it becomes more of a problem. openness and honesty goes a long way with young kids without them even realizing it, giving them a sense of responsibility and respect.
On a rainy Monday morning, the start of all of my hectic weeks, I arrived at my placement to a room with order; a calm during the storm of my busy schedule. Already I felt relaxed and at peace, as if I was where I belonged. The more I observed, the more I wondered: How is it that these rules have been enforced to the point where they are nearly second nature to my class of four-year-olds? As a pre-service teacher, oftentimes myself and my colleagues in my program wonder this same thing in hopes of learning the secret recipe for perfect classroom management to someday implement in our own classroom.
Throughout the morning, I observed and searched for my answer. It almost seemed as though these students were following the rules so well because they had been conditioned to in some way, however this conditioning was based on their concern of getting in trouble or being given consequences for not following the rules. This begs the question “How can we better use positive reinforcement rather than consequence and punishment to manage classroom behavior?” As I ponder this question and continue to research, I come across various articles, studies, etc. outlining different behavior management methods based on positive reinforcement. One study that I came across is called “Implementing Positive Behavior Support in Preschools: An Exploratory Study of CW-FIT Tier 1,” which outlines the use of PBIS in preschool settings. This results of this study indicated that the use of PBIS interventions influenced student on-task behavior during group work with a positive trend.
Following my days of questioning and research on this matter, I noticed a shift in the classroom management style of the classroom. One day, the teachers started using a more positive way to enforce and reward good behavior rather than reprimand poor behavior. This positive reinforcement took place in the form of the class Prize Box. Any time a student showed exemplary behavior or any behavior worth noting, they were allowed to pick a prize from the box to reward their behavior as a way to set an example for the rest of the class that this is model behavior. While this is not necessarily a specific PBIS intervention, I do pinpoint it as an improvement from the former behavior management model in that it was a more positive way to exemplify student behavior for the rest of the class to observe and take note of in order to hopefully be able to adopt the same types of positive behaviors.
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