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Kristin Sarboukh Professor Garrett Context of Schooling 11 April 2012 Observation and Reflection Paper Classroom Management StylesKounins Behaviors Kounin has created very specific key behaviors that teachers should demonstrate so that they can achieve effective classroom management. The three behaviors he describes are withitness, overlapping, and lesson momentum. While these behaviors all may seem to relate to each other, there are very precise differences between the three. Withitness is the ability to be aware of what is going on in the classroom and being able to communicate that with the student or students who are misbehaving. I witnessed a few examples of this in my classroom with the student teacher. Two girls were talking when one student was explaining his answer to the homework assignment. As the student was explaining, the teacher walked over and simply stood by the two girls who were talking. They immediately looked up at the teacher and stopped their conversation, realizing that the she had known they were talking. The lesson continued with no more interruptions. This example really show withitness because the teacher was able to observe the behavior, communicate that to the students, and stop the behavior without disrupting the classroom or making a scene. Kounins second key behavior, overlapping, was also demonstrated in my cooperating classroom. Overlapping is the ability to do two things at once or handle two situations at the same time while continuing to teach the students. One example of how this was done in my cooperating classroom is when the class was reading a passage out loud while one student was in the back of the room taking a test. The student taking the test has a question and raised his hand. The teacher nodded at him so that he knew she had seen him and then called on the next person

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to continue reading. As the new student began reading, the teacher went over to the back of the classroom and helped the boy with his question. When the student that was reading had finished, she went back to the front of the room and then had a discussion with the students about what they had just read. This is overlapping because she continued the momentum of the class and was able to continue teaching the lesson while being able to help the boy taking the test. She did not have to stop the lesson or give the children any down time in which they could misbehave. The last key behavior, lesson momentum, is probably one of the most prominent in my cooperating classroom. This is where the teacher is able to keep the lesson going at a steady pace, without interruptions where the students are kept busy even when they have finished their work. My cooperating teacher does this by always having everything ready ahead of time. She is able to do this by preparing work for the students early so they know what she wants them to do next. A good example of this is when the children are working on their writing. As each child is finished, they are told to work on their spelling homework. If they finish their spelling homework, they can work on anything else they have that is unfinished. If everything is done, each student has an independent book so they can sit and read quietly. This is lesson momentum because she can continue her writing lesson while keeping the students busy that are finished. They do not have time to cause a disruption because they always have more work to do which keeps the lesson going for the rest of the students who still need to finish. Classroom Management StylesRules and Routines In my cooperating classroom, they use the responsive classroom model for behavior management with logical consequences. This means that the students actually make up the rules themselves to match what they would like to see happen in their classroom. The students spend the first twenty days of school establishing a routine, creating rules, creating signs with the rules

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on them to post around the classroom, and then signing these rules so that they are held accountable. These rules are all communicated ahead of time to lessen disruption as well as to create a community amongst the students. The students really seem to follow them because they had a say in creating them. The rules that the class came up with this year are based on the schools rules of being a star cubed student and they are be respectful, be reasonable, and be ready to learn. Besides the rules, there are also specific routines that the students follow each day. One example of a routine is during the WIN period. Each student knows at the beginning of the day to come in, unpack their backpacks, and then head to whatever classroom they need help in. Some students go to visit the math teacher, social studies teacher, and some stay in their homeroom class to work independently on either homework or reading. This is very important because it allows the students to get the help they need on assignments while those who do not need help can have a chance to get ahead. Another routine the children have is their classroom job system where they know that if their job must be done, they must do it. For example, they have folder helpers who pass out folders and supply helpers to organize and put back all the supplies used in class. This is important because it helps keep the classroom organized and much less chaotic. It also teaches the children responsibility because they must do their job or the whole class suffers. Lastly, they have a routine where every time the homework is given out, the teacher goes around making sure the students have written it down in their assignment books. This helps them stay organized and focused on what they need to do for homework or when they have time to work independently. Effective Relationships Interpersonal relationships are very important to my cooperating teacher. To develop an effective student to student relationship, my teacher uses sticks to randomly match partners to

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work together. This way, they are able to meet and get to know other student in the class outside of their group of friends. They also are able to work with students of different ability levels so it is not always homogeneous or heterogeneous grouping. The teacher also changes the seating and desk arrangements once a month. This allows the student to be able to socialize with others not only on schoolwork bases. Finally, to get the students familiar with the different cultures and differences they each have, she tries to celebrate as many different cultural celebrations and share the different foods, costumes, and customs with everyone. I got to watch this firsthand during St. Patricks Day because the children watched one of the student preform an Irish step dance. My cooperating teacher also works very hard to build a strong student to teacher relationship. To do this, she tries to keep up with some of the things her students are doing such as reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. With this, she set up a book blog so they she can discuss the books with her students. My teacher also attends all the students basketball games, which is a huge deal at Stony Brook; also she went into their science class to look at their projects even though she does not teach science. This shows the students that she cares about them inside and outside the classroom. She says that she always tries to welcome her students into her personal life by telling them narratives and that if they want to talk about their lives, they can come before school, after school, during lunch, or even email her with questions, comments, or concerns. Teachers Instructional Style My cooperating teacher uses a combination between teacher centered and student centered styles of teaching; staying more on the student centered end of the continuum. She uses many individual and group projects, such as their most recent project on the Holocaust. They each had their own individual topic where they had to research it and then present it to the class. Then, the teacher used demonstrations to ask the student presenters a question and allowed the

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rest of the class to ask questions to help assess what the students presentation. They also use cooperative groups in their spelling class. The class is split into small groups to do work due to their being two different spelling levels. If they have any questions, they are welcome to go up to ask the teacher for help. Sometimes, the teacher also has the students come up to her desk so she can explain specific things while the other groups continue to work. Incorporating these many different styles really engages the students and helps them get the most out of the lesson. Self-Reflection Overall, my field visits have left me a little perplexed. While they have not discouraged my desire to teach, they left me still very confused about what to expect as a teacher. Due to the time of day we are observing, the students are participating in the WIN period for the first hour where no lessons are being taught; the students are simply getting extra help or working independently. Also, because this is a 5th grade classroom, many times the students have D.A.R.E, the drugs and alcohol class, during the second hour we are observing. This makes it very difficult to observe our teachers and any of the lessons she has prepared. On occasion, we are also asked to stay in the classroom to help with paperwork while the students leave and go to the computer lab. I wish there was more of a chance to observe our teacher and really see the classroom during more of the normal times. I think this experience may have discouraged me from teaching a high grade level like 5th grade because there is a lot of individual student work that needs to be done. If I could do it again, I would have liked to opportunity to experience a younger grade such as second. It would be interesting to see how different the grades are, even in the same school. However, my heart is still set on teaching and I would love to influence so many children and get them excited about education. This experience has definitely been a learning process and has made me eager for the education classes to come!