Take Control of the Noisy Class: From Chaos to Calm in 15 Seconds by Rob Pelvin

6. Positive Reinforcement

  • Teachers who find it hardest to manage student behavior seem to be focused almost exclusively on what is going wrong in the classroom. Avoid saying the same weak, cheap statements over and over. Giving thoughtful, specific recognition demonstrates that you are taking real notice in what they are doing. Praise effort rather than achievement. (Doug: This appears a lot in the research.) Praise needs to be sincere and may be more effective when given in private. Praise can also encourage self-reflection. Using students as peer mentors is indirect praise. Give written praise when you can that can be shared with parents. Try to get students in the habit of praising each other. Rob warns against extrinsic rewards but likes the idea of surprise rewards. The chapter ends with many specific ideas on rewards.

7. Taking Control at the Door

  • If you want students to enter the room in a controlled manner, you need to meet them a the door. Consider having them line up in the hallway and lead them in when they are quiet. When Rob started teaching he either yelled or yelled louder until he realized that yelling often makes things worse. Be sure to make general, non-confrontational statements as to the behavior you want to see rather than confrontational rants about things you don’t want to see. Try to insert yourself in the students’ world as you chat informally with individuals and small groups of students.

8. Seating Charts

  • Seating charts are important so don’t give up the privilege of telling students where to sit. When you introduce a new seating plan there will probably be uproar at first so be ready for it and stick to your guns. You should aim to group your students in what we can call ‘cooperative learning teams’. Generally, a cooperative learning team is made up of four students – a high achiever, a low achiever and two middle achievers. Also mix the groups by gender and ethnicity when you can. Benefits to seating your students in cooperative learning teams include: 1. Positive peer relationships are developed. 2. Lower achieving students gain confidence and motivation. 3. Once students get used to the cooperative learning framework they effectively teach themselves and assist each other. 4. Social skills are naturally developed.
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One Response to “Take Control of the Noisy Class: From Chaos to Calm in 15 Seconds by Rob Pelvin”

  1. Sandra says:

    A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this arielct.

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