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Classroom Management Techniques (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Progress Reports

A progress report is a synopsis of the child's work and behavior in the classroom sent home to the parents in order to keep them updated on the child's strengths and weaknesses over a period of time (e.g., every day, each week, biweekly, or once a month). Sometimes, a child who has fallen behind academically will "hide" from the real issues by avoiding reality. Daily progress reports for a week or two at first and then weekly reports may provide the child with the kinds of immediate gratification and positive feedback necessary to get back on track. They offer the child a greater sense of hope and control in getting back to a more normal academic pattern.

Disciplinary Action

This recommendation is usually made when the child in question needs a structured boundary set involving inappropriate behavior. If a child demonstrates a pattern of inappropriate behavior, disciplinary action is usually used in conjunction with other recommendations because such patterned behavior may be symptomatic of a more serious problem. The appropriate disciplinary actions necessary should be discussed with the school psychologist, and how it should be implemented must be carefully considered before it begins.

Change of Program

A change of program involves examining the child's program and making adjustments to his or her schedule based on the presenting problem. This recommendation usually occurs when a student has been placed in a course that is not suited to his or her ability or needs. If a student is failing in an advanced class, then the student's program should be changed to include more modified classes.

Consolidation of Program

There are times when reducing a student's course load is necessary. Consolidation of a program involves taking the student's program and modifying it so that the workload is decreased. If a child is "drowning in school," then that child's available energy level may be extremely limited. In such cases, you may find that he or she is failing many courses. Temporarily consolidating or condensing the program allows for the possibility of salvaging some courses, because the student's available energy will not have to be spread so thin.

Referral to Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services is a state agency designed to investigate cases of possible neglect and abuse of children. A referral to Child Protective Services (CPS; name can vary by state) is mandated for all educators if there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect. The school official or staff does not have a choice as to referral if such a suspicion is present. Referrals to this service may result from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and/or educational, environmental, or medical neglect.

Screening

If the CST feels the prereferral strategies are not working after a realistic period of time, team members may recommend a screening for a suspected disability. The source of this suspicion may emanate from the team, a staff member, or the parent. Keep in mind that the team does not have to diagnose a specific disability, but only suspect one in order to begin the referral for a more comprehensive assessment to a multidisciplinary team. This team will administer a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a multitude of professionals to decrease the possibility of subjective and discriminatory assessment.

Screening measures may include a variety of tests and procedures that can be sensitive enough to allow team members the opportunity to determine the presence of a suspected disability. Other than the very obvious cases involving attempted suicide, neglect, abuse and so on, which must be dealt with immediately, a child with a suspected disability is defined as a child who exhibits one or more of the following symptoms for more than six months:

  • Serious inconsistencies in intellectual, emotional, academic, or social performance
  • Inconsistency between ability and achievement and/or ability and classroom performance
  • Impairment in one or more life functions, that is, socialization, academic performance, or adaptive behavior

In order to accomplish this screening, team members utilize

  • Abbreviated intelligence tests
  • Selected subtests or screening versions of individual achievement tests
  • Informal reading inventories
  • Checklists
  • Observation scales
  • Rating scales
  • Prereferral data already discussed

If the screening determines the possibility of a suspected disability, then the CST must make a more formal referral to the district's multidisciplinary team for a comprehensive assessment.

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