Educator Book Club discussion

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Classroom Management

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message 1: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments I am a pre-service teacher and have been avidly looking for a good classroom management book for about a year. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks!


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey U | 1 comments First Days of School by Harry Wong is an excellent choice for organzation and discipline. Also you might want to check out the Responsive Classroom series- The First Six Weeks of School. An easy read, depending on the grade level youre wanting to teach is 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers (I think it's best for younger students.)

Let me know if you need good choices for teacher books in other areas, like reading. I have lots of ideas for you!

Stacey


message 3: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) I second The First Days of School by Harry Wong. Additionally, the Faber & Mazlish books, especially How to Talk So Students Will ListeN and Listen So Students Will Talk is another helpful book.


message 4: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments Stacey wrote: "First Days of School by Harry Wong is an excellent choice for organzation and discipline. Also you might want to check out the Responsive Classroom series- The First Six Weeks of School. An easy ..."
Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback!! I would like to teach younger grades 1st through 3rd or maybe even 4th. :0)


message 5: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments Stacy wrote: "I second The First Days of School by Harry Wong. Additionally, the Faber & Mazlish books, especially How to Talk So Students Will ListeN and Listen So Students Will Talk is another helpful book."

Thank you for the ideas, I will absolutely go check these out asap! :0)


message 6: by Cameron (new)

Cameron | 7 comments I was really happy with Peter Johnston's Choice Words. It's maybe not exactly management, but it gives us a glimpse into how important our words are when we deal with management issues.

It stresses the ideology of empathy and understanding, and reminds us that words matter. There are practical suggestions in the book, but is really strong philosophically. In my opinion, having a really strong philosophy makes management much easier. Otherwise, you're carrying around hundreds of thousands of specific strategies, rather than having the internalized framework of beliefs upon which to build a personalized management style.

Great book, not too long or dense. He's also a good speaker if you ever get the chance.


message 7: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments Cameron wrote: "I was really happy with Peter Johnston's Choice Words. It's maybe not exactly management, but it gives us a glimpse into how important our words are when we deal with management issues.

It st..."


Wonderful! Thank you so much for the suggestion, sounds like a great book! :0)


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) | 1 comments I just finished reading Sahara Specialyesterday. Although it's juvenile fiction, it's quite a picture of a teacher managing what I perceive to be an inner city class full of very special children. "Miss Pointy" has a special gift which I'm sure expresses a philosophy of classroom management. It gripped me, and I wish I'd read it before I started teaching -- or maybe after my first year. The books of theory are helpful, but there's always something that the books don't cover that will happen in a classroom. Some teachers seem to have a special gift that is instinctive, and I had the advantage of watching a master teacher who had it. Unfortunately, I didn't have it, and no college class ever fully prepared me for teaching inner city sophomores.


message 9: by Dana (new)

Dana (dseaborg) | 1 comments Nina wrote: "I am a pre-service teacher and have been avidly looking for a good classroom management book for about a year. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks! "


Nina wrote: "I am a pre-service teacher and have been avidly looking for a good classroom management book for about a year. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks! "


Nina, I actually have that 'first days of school book' I will bring it to you to look at. I really like it.


message 10: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments Dana wrote: "Nina wrote: "I am a pre-service teacher and have been avidly looking for a good classroom management book for about a year. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks! "

Nina wrote: "I am a pre-..."

oh awesome! i ordered the letters to a young teacher and other peoples children book, they both seem really good so far. :0) thanks for bringing that other one, i appreciate it!



message 11: by Nina (new)

Nina (tinyelf) | 7 comments Barbara wrote: "I just finished reading Sahara Specialyesterday. Although it's juvenile fiction, it's quit..."

awesome! thanks for the suggestion!


message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie Verhaeren | 2 comments I've checked out Teaching with Love and Logic, it has some interesting ideas that seem to have worked with my students.


message 13: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) Teaching with Love and Logic is great and, I think, quite similar to the Faber Mazlish books.


message 14: by Jared (new)

Jared Newswanger | 6 comments I think it is important to think about what the goal of class management is. I woud recommend Kohn's Beyond Discipline. But in my opinion all reading on any subject having to do with education should begin with Dewey's Democracy and Education.


message 15: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) Although I support the ideas discussed by Kohn, Dewey, Friere and the like, I don't know how applicable those ideas are if the teacher does not have good management skills.


message 16: by Jared (new)

Jared Newswanger | 6 comments Stacy wrote: "Although I support the ideas discussed by Kohn, Dewey, Friere and the like, I don't know how applicable those ideas are if the teacher does not have good management skills. "

I think a sound understanding of what the goals of education shoudl be is essential. IMO classroom management is not a single thing that a teacher either has or does not have. The first question a teacher should ask is, "What type of classroom management do I want to have." There are kinds that help to develop a colaborative environment and there are kinds that only seek to control kids (Success for All). Obviously if the kids are running around the room, being mean to each other or even fighting there is little learning taking place, but the absence of those behaviors does not necessarily mean learning is taking place or that the classroom management strategy is productive. Dewey and Friere are important for clarifying that vision. And I thought Beyond Discipline had a lot of specifics.


message 17: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) Jared wrote: "Stacy wrote: "Although I support the ideas discussed by Kohn, Dewey, Friere and the like, I don't know how applicable those ideas are if the teacher does not have good management skills. "

I th..."


Certainly "what type of classroom management do I want to have?" is an essential question. Nonetheless, it takes most teachers a few years to get to that point. Does a collaborative environment work in your classroom? I find that the classrooms where students learn and feel comfortable are structured, rigorous, and focused on curriculum. The teacher is usually authoritative (not authoritarian.(

I'd truly like to know how the theories of Dewey, Friere, and Kohn have helped you shape the environment of your classroom.




message 18: by Jared (new)

Jared Newswanger | 6 comments Stacy wrote: "Jared wrote: "Stacy wrote: "Although I support the ideas discussed by Kohn, Dewey, Friere and the like, I don't know how applicable those ideas are if the teacher does not have good management skil..."

I think if you wait a few years to think about these "essential questions" you lose any ability to scrutinize practices you are undoubtedly going to be pressured to adopt. As for the "hows" it depends on who your students are thier cultural identities and struggles. As to your question about collaboration, let's be clear (and there are people who are silly in this topic). Obviously I know more about the topic than my students and hopefully they will learn somethings directly from me, Locke is not completely dismissed here, but the basic idea is that would my students describe teaching and learning as something I do to them or something we do together. If that is what you mean by authoritative, then we are on the same page. Two questions to think about:

If there are no disruptive behaviors in a classroom, does that necessarily mean the teacher has good classroom management skills?

Are there not times when conforming to a socially normative or "good" rule or expectation is emotionally harmful to that student?


message 19: by Madison (new)

Madison Paine (madisonpaine) This may surprise you Nina, but I am not going to recommend a how to book. Instead I am going to suggest you read Who Moved by Cheese by Spencer Johnson. Excellent Classroom Management is something that is developed over time. One class will need one strategy, the next maybe something completely different. The veteran teacher has learned how to adapt over the years. You are wise to seek wisdom before starting out. Good for you.


message 20: by Cameron (new)

Cameron | 7 comments Stacy wrote: "Although I support the ideas discussed by Kohn, Dewey, Friere and the like, I don't know how applicable those ideas are if the teacher does not have good management skills. "

For me, the ideas of those you mentioned, along with thoughts from Rousseau, Henry Giroux, bell hooks, for example, help in a very specific way; a way, unfortunately, that is not desired by many teachers. There are many teachers looking for manuals, complete with specific activities and management strategies for use in the classroom.

What Freire and the others do is provide a theoretical framework which can be internalized critically by the teacher. In having internalized an ideology that becomes personal, teachers are more easily able to be natural in their approach to management, and are also afforded the comfort in knowing that the decisions they make are in line with what they believe on a macrocosmic, theoretical level.

On the other hand, there are some that find specific methods that they enjoy, or that might work with one classroom, and they become enamored with said methods or activities. In doing so, they haven´t taken the step to realize why said method worked with that specific group of kiddos. What ends up happening, especially if teachers change grade levels, is that they are not equipped with a strong ideology of Management (which is what Freire and others offer), but rather a number (perhaps a few dozen) specific activities or methods that might only successfully apply to one group of kiddos, in one grade, and for one situation.

If you can develop the ideological framework, you´ll be able to critically investigate millions of ways to allow that ideology to manifest itself in good classroom management. This is because you believe in it, not because you expect it to produce results, but because you believe in the theoretical underpinnings thereof.


message 21: by Jared (new)

Jared Newswanger | 6 comments Great post Cameron. I often wonder how teachers who have not spent time thinking about these big picture questions are able to sort through the drifting sea of specific rules and techniques offered by the many commentators in our field. How do they seperate the wheat from the chaff?

As Nel Noddings said, "How much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world?"




message 22: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Blake | 3 comments I taught inner-city high school and dealt with gangs, drugs, riots, abusive principals, shootings, murders. It was rough. But I loved my job and my students!! Lots of obstacles. Some I overcame. Some I couldn't. If you like reading dramatic and inspirational teacher memoirs, you might like my book I wrote about these experiences. It's helped many teachers. No Child Left Behind? The True Story of a Teacher's Quest


message 23: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 4 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I taught inner-city high school and dealt with gangs, drugs, riots, abusive principals, shootings, murders. It was rough. But I loved my job and my students!! Lots of obstacles. Some I overcame. So..."
Sounds like a great book. Is it on ebook? I worked in a difficult school for 5 years, it was hard but rewarding. My work there gave me a lot of the material for my book, You Can't Shatter Me. It has a 'solutions for bullying theme.'
The best thing for classroom management is really caring for the kids and developing a good relationship with them.


message 24: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 4 comments Jared wrote: "Great post Cameron. I often wonder how teachers who have not spent time thinking about these big picture questions are able to sort through the drifting sea of specific rules and techniques offere..."
Nice quote Jared. I totally agree. I find that if I stay centered and keep my focus on what's best for the kids, the 'techniques' take care of themselves. Mind you, it's really good to have specific strategies for things like when someone has taken another kids belongings. It took me ages to work out something that worked to get the object back or at least the information from a class to indicate who was responsible.


message 25: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 3 comments I like and have used Teach Like A Champion. It has great strategies and ideas. Also Marzano wries some good books on management, differentiating instruction and justmgood teaching skills.


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard Williams (rwilliams98) | 1 comments Im working on two books now that are good for understanding behaviors. Conflict in the Classroom by Nicholas Long and William Morse, and Discipline with dignity for challenging youth by Allen Mendler and Richard Curwin. They are geared towards at-risk and students with an EBD but they work well with 'typical' students.


message 27: by Education (new)


message 28: by Kailey (new)

Kailey Storey (kailey_storey) I know this is an old thread but I'm currently reading "Classroom management for elementary school teachers" by Carolyn Evertson. I would highly recommend this book for first year or future elementary educators.


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