Friday Focus

JSE Staff January 29th


Thank you for the soup and breakfast. We all needed our JSE family this week! Nick's prayer was a precious reminder of what we mean to "our" people.

We will enjoy a short learning week, ending with an all staff meeting Thursday morning in Matt's room and classroom valentine exchanges in the afternoon.

We are down to our final chapters of Teach Like A Champion. Which technique could you fine-tune, tighten-up, and strengthen in your classroom?

Have a good weekend,


Professional Development

  • Wednesday: Mike STAR data-all teachers in Diana's Lab
  • Math Focus : Classroom Discussions in Math Book
  • Ren Learn Data Meetings: Meetings are underway, check to make sure you know your morning with the Data Coach.

Teach Like a Champion refresher... "Setting and Maintaining High Behavior Expectations"

Which technique could you fine-tune, tighten-up, and strengthen in your classroom?

Technique 36: 100 PERCENT* – When giving a direction, you need to require that 100 PERCENT of your students comply. While that may sound draconian, if you accept anything less, you are sending the message that it’s optional to follow the direction. Furthermore, champion teachers get 100 PERCENT compliance with warmth and a positive tone. In the long run, discipline that is positive and invisible (a matter of habit) is the only kind that is sustainable. In a typical class, a teacher asks for silence and about three-quarters of the class follows through. When the teacher moves on anyway, she sends the message that any direction is optional. Three principles are important in getting 100 PERCENT compliance so you can teach.

1. Use the least invasive form of intervention – You want everyone to follow your directions in the quickest and least disruptive way, so choose an intervention that is as close to the top of the list below as possible.

a. Nonverbal intervention – Use eye contact with off-task students without interrupting instruction.

b. Positive group correction – Quick verbal reminder to all, “We’re following along in our books.”

c. Anonymous individual correction – Sends the message that there are individuals not following, “We need two people.”

d. Private individual correction – Correct individuals privately and quietly by leaning down next to the student and in a quiet voice telling the student what he should do, “Quentin, I need you to track me so you can learn.”

e. Lightening-quick public correction – When you need to correct an individual publicly, make sure to minimize her time“onstage.” Something like, “Quentin, I need your eyes,” tells the student what to do and is efficient and effective.

f. Consequence – It’s best to solve noncompliance quickly and save consequences for occasional use. If you must use one, see the suggestions in Technique 42 NO WARNINGS for possible quick, calm, and noninvasive consequences. Some people mistakenly believe that ignoring misbehavior is the least invasive response, but unchecked behavior will only persist and intensify.

2. Rely on firm, calm finesse – Remember that gaining 100 PERCENT compliance is not about power, but about achieving an important purpose – that students will succeed. Take yourself out of the equation and focus on the goal. Rather than saying, “I

asked for your eyes on me because when I ask you for something I expect you to do it,” try “I need your eyes on me so you can learn.”

3. Emphasize compliance you can see – Asking for pencils down is better than asking for attention because you can see if it has been done. Then make sure students know you are looking, “Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Marissa.”

Technique 37: WHAT TO DO – Sometimes noncompliance is not due to defiance, but because students do not understand or know how to follow a direction. To remedy this, teachers must give clear and useful directions. It is not helpful to tell students, “Don’t get

distracted” or “Pay attention.” Has anyone ever taught them what the specific expectations are (eyes on the speaker, pencil down, for example)? Directions are most useful if they are specific, give students something to do (“Put your feet under the desk”), are sequential (“John, put your feet under your desk, put your pencil down, and put your eyes on me”), and observable (to assess it).

Technique 38: STRONG VOICE* – Some teachers have “it” – the ability to walk into a classroom and be in command. They know how to earn respect and credibility, and exude confidence and poise. While this may seem impossible to replicate, there are five basic principles that STRONG VOICE teachers do when interacting with students to establish control that you can use.

1. Economy of Language – It’s stronger to use fewer words. When teachers become chatty this signals nervousness. Focus on what is important and make just one point.

2. Do Not Talk Over – When you need students to listen, your words are the most important and should not compete for attention. Wait until there is no talking or rustling. One technique is to cut off your instructions and wait completely still, “Sixth grade,

I need your...” Nothing continues until you have everyone’s attention.

3. Do Not Engage – Do not let students distract you from the topic at hand. For example, if you say, “Please take your foot off Margaret’s chair.” David might say, “But she’s pushing me!” Don’t fall into the trap of engaging David by saying, “Margaret, is that true?” or “I’m not concerned with what Margaret was doing.” Instead say, “I asked you to take your foot off Margaret’s chair.”

4. Square Up/Stand Still – When giving directions, stop moving and doing other tasks. To convey the seriousness of your directions, turn with two feet and two shoulders to face the object of your directions directly.

5. Quiet Power – When you feel you are losing control, your instincts may be to speak louder and faster. Fight those instincts and get slower and quieter to maintain control. Exude calm and drop your voice so students strain to listen.

Reminders and Important Dates

  • Progress Reports Thursday
  • Tuesday Grades 3-5 Money Matters after-school program Room 105
  • Reading and Math Goals for main hallway bulletin boards to Lisa by Wednesday.
  • Teach/Model/Instill/Emphasize CSL: Act Responsibly and Bucket-filling Trait: Kindness
  • Turn in your random acts of kindness hearts to Lisa.
  • Review the techniques above!
  • Turn in 100% Effort Work.
  • Spirit Fridays, wear your orange and green!