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How-To: Manage Your Classroom
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Implementing a Student Self-Management Program Marianne Francone

Self-management refers to the ability of individuals to take on responsibilities for changing personal behaviors or acquiring skills. It involves the personal systematic application of strategies that result in the desired modifications in one's behavior, or the acquisition and practice of skills.

Self-management has several values. First, it minimizes dependence on reinforcement and encourages intrinsic reward. The need for adult supervision is reduced and student empowerment is increased. Self-management leads to long-term behavioral and academic success.

In order to implement a self-management program, a desired behavior or academic skill must be selected, described, and taught or modeled. The student should participate in as much of the program planning as possible. Proceed with the following steps:

  1. Begin to introduce self-management soon after the behavior or skill has reached an acceptable level with the teacher managing it.
  2. Specifically define the behavior or skill the student will monitor and evaluate. The teacher must explain exactly what the recording and evaluation process will entail. Give examples and non-examples of the behavior or skill. Role playing can be a useful strategy.
  3. Design a simple means of counting and recording the behavior or skill.
  4. Set time limits. Predetermine periods of 10, 15, or 30 minutes during which the student will count and record behavior. As the student becomes more proficient, increase the time period.
  5. Check the student's accuracy on a random basis. Rewards should be built-in for students who are counting and recording their behavior or skill accurately.
  6. Give the student ample opportunity to practice the process of self-management. Provide positive and corrective feedback.

*Resource: The Tough Kid Book Sopris West Publishers

 

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