Last week, when I was observed by the first year teacher that I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, she mentioned something to me. She said, "I noticed that you only publicly recognize positive behaviors in the students. Why is that?"
I teach 84 children in a classroom at one time, that is why! :)
But seriously....I thought about that. What had I done that day?
That day, I remembered saying things like: "Great tall mouth position Sarah!", "Wonderful posture, Niko!" and a few other things. I did it because, right next to Niko was a child using terrible posture for singing, and next to Sarah was a child who was barely opening her mouth! Immediately, the children next to them improved! Works like a charm.
I use the positive reinforcement to help get other children on task. I carefully reward them with praise. It is one of my major classroom management techniques...and with 320 total students in my program, I need a lot of things in my bag of tricks.
I also use stickers with the children. I prefer that my students come into the room, sit down and immediately begin working silently on their short, quick, written warm up activity. When I see them doing it, I walk over and place a sticker on their paper. Three stickers=a free Starburst! I usually focus on giving a sticker to a child who is sitting next to another child who isn't doing what he is supposed to do. I don't say anything negative to the child who isn't doing the right thing. I just reward the right behaviors.
If I need to have a negative conversation with a child, I do it once everyone is gone. I always want to maintain their dignity.
Everyone wants to feel valued. Always.
We all deserve it!
It works for me! If you aren't doing it, give it a try. It feels good for the teacher. It encourages students to do the right thing.
I just posted Lesson 13 in my Sight Singing program! Check it out! Share it with your friends who teach choral music.
Thanks for your support! Have a great weekend!