Behavior Management Tips for a Summer School Classroom

Psychologists say teaching is one of the most stressful jobs. 1 in 5 teachers feels tense all the time. Summer school programs are no exception.

With the excitement of warm weather and a break from formal studies, students can be tough to manage. There is nothing worse than balancing your high workload with an unruly classroom.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is your solution to save yourself the headaches and get back to teaching as it should be.

Read on to learn about how ABA can help you. We’ll also cover some foundational techniques for classroom management.

Positive Reinforcement

Instead of reproving your students for poor behaviors, praise positive behaviors. Tell your students how terrific their work was. Praise students who arrive on time at your summer school programs.

Positive reinforcement works because it avoids conflict. Young students can be competitive with their peers. When you praise a group of students, others will want to earn some praise too.

A fun exercise for positive reinforcement is to create a scoreboard game. Group students into teams and put a chart on the board with stars. Add points for good behaviors and remove points for poor behaviors.

At the end of the week, month, or term, the winning team gets a prize.

Create a Positive Learning Environment

First, assign a seating plan. When students sit where they want, you invite chatter and other misbehaviors. Alternate seating until you find the optimal layout.

Draw up a class contract with your students. You can elicit ideas from your class about the rules. Students may add rules: be respectful, arrive on time, or listen when the teacher speaks.

You can put up education-focused decorations in your classroom. Give your students a say in what you put up. This involvement gives them responsibility and encourages them to abide by the rules.

Applied Behavioral Analysis

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) provides insight into students’ motivation and issues. Focused on K12 schools, ABA defines behaviors, highlights causes, and offers interventions.

Track student progress using ABA and base classroom management on data. This lets you adjust your approach with an intelligent strategy. Tracking using ABA is far superior to basing decisions on intuition alone.

For students with special needs, ADHD for example, ABA lets you teach them in the most practical way possible. You will have insights into their behaviors, and you will know how to make them comfortable and set to learn.

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Stay Student-Centered

One of the best classroom management techniques lies in your lesson content. Design lesson plans that are student-centered. This means activities should focus on the student groups, and the teacher only assists them.

You may need longer to prepare class materials for student-centered lessons, but the results are worth it. There is less pressure on you to lead them, and you can focus on monitoring the class.

In teacher training, you can judge your Teacher Talk Time (TTT). Your students should do most of the task-focused talking. You give clear instructions at the start, then offer prompts and help.

Monitor and Assist

Move around the room. Listen to what students are doing. Are they on task?

Be a guiding presence and offer help when needed, but avoid interrupting your students. You can place a chair in the center of the room or walk around as students complete their tasks.

This lets you analyze their progress without being intrusive. Students should see you as a learning assistant, not a strict boss.

Use non-verbal cues like smiles, nods, and gestures to communicate. You can introduce cues like sounds, actions, or visuals to guide your students.

Build Student-Teacher Relationships and Maintain Them

Students learn best from teachers they like. This advice has lasted through the decades, and it remains true today.

When you know your students, you can apply social-emotional learning to your lessons.

Seek to understand your students. Treat them as friends but maintain your position as the leader of activities. 

Take time to talk with students before and after class. Let them see you as a trusted guide they can come to for help. Do this, and you will see their behavior in your classroom improve; they will want to work for you.

Virtual Classroom Management

Virtual learning became the norm over the last 2 years. Virtual classroom management is tricky, and it takes a special approach to stay on track. 

At home, students have distractions all around them. You need to apply rules about phones, gadgets, pets; anything that draws attention. Use the same positive reinforcement you would in a normal lesson.

Use text dialogue to engage students. Ask students questions and get them to reply in writing. This engages all students, even quieter students get a chance to participate.

Visual cues are essential for virtual learning. Put up posters behind you, and play videos or animations if possible. Make the experience as multisensory as possible. 

Line-Up and Greet at the Door

Set up a degree of authority before students enter the room. Create a routine and be consistent. You can take the register at the door, introduce a game or ask a question based on the previous lesson.

Students enter only when you say they can. Then when they are inside, they are primed to accept your instructions.

Smile, be positive, and praise students who arrive on time. If you let an unruly class barge into the room, they will carry this behavior into your lesson. Line-ups and greeting techniques spare you from this stress, so you can get on with helping your students achieve their goals.

Try Our 30-Minute Demo of Applied Behavioral Analysis Today!

ABA can take your teaching to the next level. Your students with benefit. You will enjoy your role to the highest degree, and your results will thrive.

Insights to Behavior offers applied behavioral analysis tools to help you. Our team has made it into the Inc 5000 list 2 years in a row. Our ABA strategies have helped vast amounts of teachers teach their best lessons.

Build research-backed behavior strategies. Apply them to your classroom management. Keep up to date with cutting-edge professional development for teaching.

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