Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Unit 2: Chapter 9

How would you define successful mastery of your lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning? Consider your CSEL intervention case study. Are there tools from a behaviorist view for either encouraging productive behaviors or discouraging undesirable behaviors that you could apply to the case? What are they?

First and foremost I believe in positivity, whether it be within the classroom or outside the classroom environment. Their are usually always negative connotations associated with misbehavior/dealing with behavioral issues, but their does not have to be. With every lesson I would expect my students to be listening to me, or any of their peers, while talking. Lesson objectives also include staying seated, looking at the teacher, and completing their work during the class. I am not against students talking while working, getting up to sharpen pencils, going to the bathroom, etc. However, if I allow those things I must monitor my students and how they are handling the privileges. I recently heard the saying, "Don't smile till Christmas." Meaning that if I can get my students on the right track, constantly tell them the rules, enforce them, stay structured and organized, then after the break, I can allow them to have more fun and be more lax in my classroom. Once they have learned what I want them to, then why not allow them to enjoy the rest of the year without so many rules to follow.

On the other hand, I have been talking about the importance of critiques within my classroom environment for weeks. In art, they are so essential to understanding students' works and getting them to express their reason for creating it. Critiques can be a good tool for both encouraging productive behavior and discouraging undesirable behaviors because it lends itself to students learning how to articulate themselves with skills that will go far beyond the art classroom, as well it also is very subjective and if not done correctly or with structure, can be something students use as a way to get out of participating.

In the Middle School Case Study, Cherie is acting up by trying to be funny and bully her classmates. While she thinks it is funny, her peers are getting hurt. I would pull Cherie aside and have a private, positive conversation with her about why she thinks it is funny to trip her classmates. Chances are their is an even greater motive for her acting up and seeking attention. It may be that she does not receive the attention she needs at home. As for her pretending to battle and shoot a gun at her classmates, I have no tolerance for violence, even if it is only pretend. I could suggest Cherie come speak with me after class whenever she is feeling like she wants to interrupt, act out, or hurt a classmate. She can self-regulate her feelings, behaviors, and actions by understanding that she has control over them. It could also be that she needs more activities in the class for her to act things out and be creative with her imagination. As for tools to manage behavior, extrinsic reinforcement (allowing her to have opportunities to receive attention from me and her classmates in an appropriate and productive setting) could really help Cherie (p. 295). Removal punishment would be taking an extreme route to dealing with her behavior, however, I have seen this work within a middle school classroom setting (p. 297). Students often like to misbehave and disrupt the class but once you ask them to step outside or move to a desk where they will be sitting alone, the student no longer wants to create mischief. No one will be there anymore for them to get attention from of they are int he hall or sitting alone. Usually the student will choose to act accordingly with classroom rules instead of moving or leaving the classroom.

Also, the developmental trends listed in the textbook, specifically focusing on middle school grade levels, appear to be very informative with suggested strategies for effective reinforcers (p. 298). The table suggests that students are allowed about five minutes to mingle with each other contingent upon them getting work done, spend one-on-one time with students throughout the class period, and provide explicit feedback to students about what things they have done well in the class that day. Taking the time to assess and help students assess their own behaviors in the classroom, telling them what they have done well, and getting to know them on a more personal level will all help the students know what you want and how you expect them to act and behave within your classroom.


  1. Good post Rachel! I love the way you add the links. So helpful! I love your idea of encouraging positivity! It seems like you will conduct your classroom in a way that makes students feel comfortable and able to express themselves, which is so important in art!

  2. Rachel,

    I like what you said about positivity in the classroom. It reminded me of our skype session with Josh on Thursday. Even though a child was misbehaving, he continued to be calm and positive in his attitude. According to his outcome, this was a great solution to the child's behavior.