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Reg No: 1998/025276/08    PBO No: 130002420

Behaviour and Culture: Getting Learners Ready to Learn

  1. Threshold

  2. Entry and Exit Routine

  3. STAR

  4. 100%

  5. Strong Voice

  6. Joy Factor

Academic Ethos: Getting Teachers Ready to Teach

Academic Ethos: Getting Teachers Ready to Teach

Academic Ethos: Getting Teachers Ready to Teach

7. Objectives – Begin with the End in Mind

8. Exit Ticket

9. Double Plan – I/We/You

10. Do Now

11. Name the Steps

Culture of Error and Checking for Understanding

12. Culture of Error

13. Cold-Calling

14. No Opt-Out

15. Circulate

16. 3:30:30

17.Affirmative Checking

18. Targeted Questioning

19. Standardise the Format

Threshold (this goes hand-in-hand with the Entry Routine)

Meet and greet each learner before the lesson starts (either at the door or in the classroom). Make sure every individual knows that he/she has been seen and welcomed (by name, if possible).

Learners behave better and work harder when they believe their teacher notices (and likes) them. 

If possible, stand in the doorway and greet learners as they enter the classroom. This shows that the teacher is in charge. It is also an opportunity to check homework and give attention to learners who need it.

Entry/Starting Routine (this goes hand-in-hand with threshold)

Begin each lesson with a set routine, and insist that this is followed. 

Example 1:

Learners line up outside. When they come in they immediately take out their exercise books, textbooks and DBE workbooks, and their stationery. They write the date in their exercise books and indicate that they are ready to begin the lesson. This has a set time limit.

Example 2:

If learners are already in the classroom when the lesson starts, they put away their books from the previous lesson, and take out what they need for this lesson. They complete the Do Now (see #10) and indicate that they are ready to begin the lesson. This has a set time limit.

EXIT ROUTINE

End each lesson with a set routine. This lets learners know that the teacher is in charge right up until the lesson ends.  

Example:

After completing the Exit Ticket (see #8), get 100% attention. Give instructions for the homework and check that learners know what to do. Learners pack away their books and take out what they need for the next lesson.             All borrowed stationery is handed back. Once the classroom is tidy, learners are dismissed.

STAR (also called a Listening Cue)

S   Sit Up Straight                           S   Sit Up Straight

T   Track the Speaker .                    L   Look and Listen

A   Arms Folded. Ask and Answer Questions .               A   Ask and Answer Questions

R   Respect                              N   Nod your Head

T   Track the Speaker

This is used to get 100% attention. Only speak when every learner is looking up and sitting still.

If learners do not comply, use Strong Voice (see #5).

STAR/SLANT can be a word or an action (eg. the teacher raising a hand). It lets learners know that they must stop whatever they are doing and pay attention to the teacher. 

Choose your listening cue and teach your learners how to respond. Then follow these steps to use it effectively:

  1. When you need learners to pay attention, give the listening cue ONCE.

  2. Give them a short time to notice the cue, sit up, fold their arms and look at the speaker.

  3. Praise those who respond quickly (‘This group is listening beautifully. Which other group is ready?’)

  4. Use Strong Voice (see #5) if necessary.

  5. Only speak when EVERYONE is looking up and sitting still (100%).

100%

Every learner pays attention. Every learner follows instructions. Every learner participates in lessons. Every learner works hard and does his/her best. Every learner hands in work. Every learner learns. The teacher only accepts 100% compliance. This is non-negotiable.

This means the teacher must have very clear expectations, and communicate these to learners. Make it as easy as possible for learners to do what you are asking. Do not move on until you have 100%.

STAR (see #3) and Strong Voice (see #5) can be used very effectively to achieve 100% compliance.

Strong Voice

Use quiet power to establish authority and manage learner behaviour. 

How to GAIN Authority, Control and Respect How to LOSE Authority, Control and Respect

DO:

  • Only speak when all learners are paying attention

  • Keep emotions under control

  • Speak simply and clearly – and sometimes quietly 

  • Use facial expressions and body language

  • Set clear boundaries and reinforce them consistently

  • Address problems subtly and quickly

DON'T:

  • Keep focused on the lesson Speak when learners are not listening

  • Lose your temper

  • Shout

  • Hit

  • Ignore bad behaviour

  • Turn discipline into a conversation

  • Draw attention away from the lesson by focusing on learner misbehaviour

Use subtle methods first:

  • Look – Make it obvious to learners that you are watching them (all of them!)

  • Wait – Stand still and say nothing until the behaviour is corrected.

  • Positive Praise – Praise positive behaviour. This encourages other learners to do the same thing.

  • Facial Expressions – Use your eyes, eyebrows etc. to let learners know they need to correct their behaviour.

  • Body Language – Use hand gestures to correct behaviour, move closer to the learner or tap on his/her desk.

  • Square Up – Use your full height. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders and raise your chin slightly. 

If this doesn’t work, use words sparingly (Economy of Language):

  • Short Statements – “I’m waiting.”  “Eyes on me.”  

  • Quick Correction – “Mbali, eyes on me.”  “Linda, focus.”  “That’s not how we behave.”

  • Simple Instructions – “Put that magazine away. Open your book and do activity 3.” 

If behaviour is serious, address it away from the rest of the class. Make sure everyone has work to do, then take the learner/learners aside and speak privately. Keep the conversation short and focused. Deal with the problem (only talk about what is most important). Make it clear what behaviour is expected instead, and what the consequences will be if the problem continues.

Joy Factor

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.

Objectives-begin with the End in Mind (this goes hand-in-hand with the Exit Ticket)

Each lesson should have a clear, observable OBJECTIVE. This is a statement of what learners must be able to do (SKILL) and how they should do it (METHOD). 

A good Objective can be ‘tested’ with an Exit Ticket (see #8). This means that there is visible EVIDENCE of what learners can do.

Use the same words you would use in a test or exam (solve, answer, match, name, explain, draw, give reasons etc.)

Examples: 

  • By the end of the lesson learners will be able to multiply any two digit numbers  using the given steps.

  • By the end of the lesson LWBAT retell/summarise a simple story  using a frame.

Exit Ticket (this goes hand-in-hand with the Objective)

This is a short ‘test’ to see which learners achieved the Objective. It is written evidence of learning. The results are used to plan for the next lesson.

  • The activity matches the Objective.

  • It is done 5 minutes before the end of the lesson. No extra time is given, even if some learners have not finished.

  • Answers can be written on pieces of paper (this makes ‘marking’ much easier), or in books.

  • Learners work on their own (like they would for a test).

  • Everyone hands in a paper/book (even if the answers are wrong/incomplete/not done).

  • Papers/books are ‘marked’ by dividing them into three piles:                                                                                                                                   

       1. Those who understood      2. Those who did not understand       3. Those who need more practice 

  • The results are analysed and used to plan for the next lesson.

 

Examples:

Objective: LWBAT multiply any two digit numbers using the given steps. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objective: LWBAT retell/summarise a simple story using a frame.

Double Plan

When planning a lesson, think about the teacher AND learner activities. Ask yourself, “What will they do while I am doing this?” (See the extra notes on Lesson Planning and the Lesson Planning Template.)

Plan all activities for both the teacher AND the learner. Structure these activities as follows:

Do Now (use as part of  the Entry Routine)

This is a short individual written activity that learners do as soon as they come into the classroom (part of the Entry Routine). It gets them thinking about something they will need to know for the lesson.

Examples:

Lesson Topic: Measurement

Objective: LWBAT find the mass of different household objects using a kitchen and bathroom scale.

 

 

 

 

Lesson Topic: Animals

Objective: LWBAT categorise wild and domestic animals using a table.

Name The Steps (Break it Down)

Complex tasks are broken down into smaller steps. Learners master each step before moving on to the next.

Examples:

  • Addition of 3 Digit Numbers Using Expanded Notation:  

  1. Break down (simplify) the numbers using number values.

  2. Group all the Hundreds, Tens and Ones (Units) together.

  3. Add the Hundreds, Add the Tens and Add the Ones (Units).

  4. Add all these totals together.

  • Summarising a Story:

  1. Identify the MAIN CHARACTER and the SETTING of the story.

  2. Identify the FIRST event, the LAST event and the MAIN event,                                                              and plot these on the graph.

  3. Identify the one or two things that lead up to the main event, and one or two things that happen afterwards, and plot these              b v on the graph.

  4. Identify the MESSAGE (theme) of the story.

Culture of Error

Learners must feel comfortable making mistakes. This is how they learn. 

Encourage learners to take risks in class by praising real effort and using errors as a useful learning tool. When a classroom has a positive Culture of Error learners feel comfortable asking questions, seeking help and admitting when they do not understand something.

To build a Culture of Error:

  • Normalise Error - Make it clear that mistakes are a normal, acceptable, necessary part of learning.

  • Praise Risk-Taking - Even if an answer is incorrect, praise the learner for trying.

  • Hold the Answer - Don’t be too quick to give away an answer – make learners think for themselves.

  • Manage Your Tell - Always respond positively to learners, no matter how frustrated you might feel.

Check for Understanding (getting immediate feedback from learners)

Use CFU techniques to see how much learners understand during the lesson (do not wait until you have marked their books/assessments to realise that they did not understand the work).

There are many different ways to do this. See nos.13-19.

Cold-Calling (this goes hand-in-hand with No Opt-Out)

The teacher calls on a specific learner to answer a question, even if his/her hand is not up.

Individual voices are heard rather than having the whole class ‘chorus’ together.

If learners do not know who will be called on, they are more likely to keep paying attention. 

Cold-Calling can be random or targeted.

Joy Factor

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.

Objectives- Begin with the End in Mind (this goes hand-in-hand with the Exit Ticket)

Each lesson should have a clear, observable OBJECTIVE. This is a statement of what learners must be able to do (SKILL) and how they should do it (METHOD). 

 

A good Objective can be ‘tested’ with an Exit Ticket (see #8). This means that there is visible EVIDENCE of what learners can do.

 

Use the same words you would use in a test or exam (solve, answer, match, name, explain, draw,

 

give reasons etc.)

Examples: 

  • By the end of the lesson learners will be able to multiply any two digit numbers  using the given steps.

  • By the end of the lesson LWBAT retell/summarise a simple story  using a frame.

Exit Ticket (this goes hand-in-hand with the Objective)

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.

Joy Factor

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.

Joy Factor

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.

Joy Factor

We learn best through play, so plan to have some fun. Enjoyable lessons are memorable lessons (and they are much less stressful).

If you really want a concept to stick, make it fun. Use a song, dance, story, rhyme, picture or joke. Colours, actions and funny sounds also make things easier to learn and remember.