Proactive Classroom Strategies

Proactive Classroom Strategies

Ashford University: ESE 601

Behavior Category:

The Chatterbox- The behavior of the chatterbox is that of a student talking during instructions, and times as such when the class is trying to listen. It is natural for children to talk, and as teacher’s, we appreciate the students who want to join a discussion in our classroom, but there is a difference between discussing the topic at hand and constantly talking to your neighbor about your new shoes. The chatterbox is a social butterfly whose verbal behavior is disrupting their peer’s opportunity to hear, and learn the lesson or task. At times when the teacher is addressing the class as a whole, or anytime when eye and ears need to be on task the chatterbox is more than likely talking out of turn. There may be moments when the student is able to contain his or herself when prompted by the teacher, but usually, the containment does not last long. As an educator, you will need to set rules, reinforce, remind, and often reward your students for remembering the respect of the classroom rules and others.

Behavior Management Technique:

The first step in my classroom strategy for all students is to define the classroom rules. It is important that all students and the teacher understand that respect is essential when one person is talking. As an educator, I like to make it clear that I need to give instructions, and everyone needs to be able to hear them. I also want my students to know that each one of them have an individual voice, and their voice has a right to be heard as well. I would invite my students for a more in-depth discussion of the rules of communication in the classroom to prevent disruption from teaching and learning.

This is where I would take suggestions from my students on classroom rules, and hand gestures for quiet signals. Rogers (1995) suggests, “To reinforce or sometimes replace verbal directions, hand signals can be very effective — particularly if you’ve established them at the beginning of the year” (#2, chatterbox). Examples of hand gestures: If students need, a bathroom break- raise had with 1finger question or help- raise a hand with all fingers. Give the students a chance to let you know at the beginning of the year what they may come up with. In the article “How to Develop Positive Classroom Management,” Schibsted (2009) stated that “Experienced educators suggest engaging students actively in the process of determining a set of class rules” (para. 8). The rules should also be discussed how they should or should not apply during group activities. The classroom does not always need to be completely silent with one person talking. Social interaction is a key component to growing and cognitive development.

It is very important to remember not to shut down all communication between the students, especially during group time. According to Algozzine, Henley, & Ramsey (2009) as cited in (Johnson & Johnson, 1986; Putnam et al., 1989; Salvin, Madden, & Leavey, 1984; and Smith, 1987) “Benefits from cooperative learning include; increased student motivation, higher test scores and enhanced social skills” (chap. 6.5, para. 12). At the end of the discussion, there needs to be an agreement, on what happens when the following the rules rather than when they are not followed. Give the students something to look forward to for their group effort of making a plan, setting a goal, and following through. Ask your students, “At the end of each week if we have a good week what would be a good reward?” Suggest ideas like doing an assignment outside under the trees or an extra five minutes for group activities.

Continue to maintain the rules of your classroom by reinforcing positive behavior. Roger (1995), states “Focus on the desired behavior, rather than the behavior you don’t want” (#1, chatterbox). Manners and respect are just as important for the Teacher as they are for the students. We as educators need to model the behavior we want our students to have. When correcting a behavior that needs to be addressed Rogers explains to say thank you after directions, rather than say please beforehand. When you say, “please” you are asking the student to do what you are actually instructing them to do. Rogers continues to say mind your tone, a teacher is in control and if their tone is frustrated the students feel that, then the teacher is no longer in control. When the teacher is no longer in control two things happen, the rules get broken, and the teacher and entire classroom loses its respect.

Effective for the selected behavior category:

The effectiveness of this strategy is based on a group effort. The strategy brings the “Chatterbox” or social butterfly into what they desire most, attention in conversation. The conversation about the classroom communication is labeled as a set of rules in the posted form you desire. However, during the discussion, the student may view this as an opportunity to share what they desire, and agree on what they want. For Example, during the discussion, Lisa may want to suggest, “If we raise our hand with four fingers that means that my desk neighbor and I have a concern about the teacher instruction.” With the hand gestures, the students have a say when they raise their hands without interrupting. At the same time, they raise their hands, I as the teacher can judge how important it is for me to call on the students. Knowing my student’s well I can judge when to call upon their gestures. I will also know how long my chatterbox will be able to control their outburst. The strategy gives the teacher control and order in the classroom while giving the students a sense voice without verbally disrupting the class. I believe the strategy will take some time and effort but will work. The strategy has great potential to work with the entire class involved, the teacher and other students will model the desired behavior. The desired behavior is modeled and seen by the chatterbox, and/or the chatterbox may follow through with the actions on her own.

Proactively in the future:

The best way to describe how or even why the strategy will be used in the future proactively is with a statement by Algozzine, Henley, & Ramsey (2009), “Teachers who believe students need to learn to be responsible for their own behavior work to help students to develop inner controls. These classrooms are characterized by a respect for student differences” (chap. 9.2, para. 13). There will always be diversity in the classroom, and there will always be good teachers in search of strategies to help their students. As educators, we search for ways to encourage social skills whether it is helping our shy student speak up or our chatterbox has more self-control. The strategy above will proactively help in the future when I use it in my classroom, or when any of my peer educators are in search of an idea to help their chatterbox. There will always be a need for proactive strategies for teachers, and any strategy is worth trying if you are a good teacher and willing to help your students.

Story from your experience that is related to the ideas you have learned thus far in the course:

There are many topics in this course thus far that I have already researched and experienced. I must say that I have had several refreshers and extensions to the knowledge that I already have. I really enjoyed the popplet and I am currently adding it to my blog. I appreciate this course at a higher level due to the legalities that I have been wanting to learn for a while now. I knew that issues such as the IDEA existed; however, I did not know the specific cases and backgrounds. When I teach I feel that I will be able to have a binder full of research and history that is easy to understand and explain not only to the students but also more importantly to the parents who are learning of their child is newly found SLD. When my husband and I were called into a meeting with our oldest son’s second-grade teacher, we were very frustrated, confused, and honestly a bit angry. The teacher was not only straightforward and rude; she was heartless and insistent with no real information, just her word. Our son’s teacher spoke as if her word was the truth, we as his parents had to believe her, and that was all there was to it. I have over fourteen years of personal experience with ADD, and I have always thought about being on the other end of that conversation. In the short four weeks of this course has made me more confident and ready when I need to be on the other side of that conversation.


Henley, M., Ramsey, R. S., & Algozzine, R. (2009). Characteristics of and strategies for teaching students with mild disabilities. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson

Rogers, B. (1995). Five persistent behavior problems and how to handle them (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from

Schibsted, E. (2009, May 13). How to develop positive classroom management (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from

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