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Hi there

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about teaching difficulties in the classroom?  I don't know if I am loosing my grip or if the students are becoming more difficult, but I am really having trouble keeping control and getting the content across.  Any suggestions?  Chris Heath

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Chris,

I highly recommend reading the book Love & Logic, it is the foundation I use for classroom management.
At this point in the year it's really too late to start anything new, keeping it simple, give those difficult students more leadership roles in the end might help. Trade students for a few hours with another teacher if you can. Select difficult students to do a special project that keeps them physically occupied (packing? organizing?)
I really believe that building relationships with your students will prevent major problems in your classroom - find what they're interested in, get to know them on a somewhat personal level, attend sporting events, plays, etc. You also have to have very clear expectations and procedures set up from day one. I buy into a bit of what Harry Wong says with the first days of school being the most important.
Chris

Maybe the means of communication needs a little revamp. The next generation kids are quite gizmo savvy and are hooked to iPod Touches and iPhones big-time, and maybe you should consider new educational platforms like Mobl21(www.mobl21.com), where you can create content with ease and push it on mobile devices.

I was referred to Mobl21 by my colleague, and some schools have started adopting it as well.

Cheers

L
Thanks for the recommendation for the site! I'm going to try this out!
Do you use flash cards for teaching?
If its learning that is more in the lines of review and 'refresh' i would assume that you will find that site useful. especially for creating flash cards, publish and share them.

I definitely agree, students are very different from 10 - 15 years ago, we are now teaching the WWW generation. That stands for whatever, whenever, wherever, the students have digital sensory input at their fingertips - the internet, facebook, youtube, everything comes in bite size chucks of sensory stimulation. This is shaping their brains - their connections are quite different from students of the past... no worse, not better, just different. We need to to cater for the modes that these students learn with, use the tools of the internet - show them youtubes, use web 2.0 apps like bubbl.us, tag galaxy. Teach through narrative, tell them stories, students relate to personal stories that pertain to concepts you are teaching. As Linda suggested flash cards, take a look at quizlet. Feel free to visit my blog where I have blogged about tools I have used or found.

http://cyberspaced.blogspot.com/

Personally i think the easiest best tool ever for getting concepts across is youtube... don't talk about it - show them! If it is blocked then download them.

Hi Chris,

 

I'm not sure how old your students are, and obviously that has a large effect on how you would implement a classroom management system, but I'll give you a first grade teacher's perspective.

 

Simply put, I would say that there are 3, basic ingredients to a "healthy" classroom:

  • High behavioral and academic expectations
  • Constant validation of positive behavior
  • 100% follow-through with consequences (positive and negative) for students, based on their choices of action

I outline what I do in much greater detail at http://www.educatedexchange.com/topic/12/Dealing-with-Difficult-Beh.... I hope it's helpful for you. Good luck!

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