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You Can’t Teach Until Everyone Is Listening

You Can’t Teach Until Everyone Is Listening
Six Simple Steps to Preventing Disorder, Disruption, and General Mayhem

Foreword by Bruce A. Marlowe

May 2008 | 168 pages | Corwin

"Page's book is a jewel. Her advice is wise, sound, realistic, and very practical, and the book's main thesis should serve as a focal point of teacher preparation programs."
—Robert Di Giulio, Professor of Education, Johnson State College
Author, Positive Classroom Management, Third Edition

Six simple, practical, and doable steps for managing your classroom!

In this remarkably clear and concise guide, teacher-educator Marilyn L. Page distills years of research, data, and the experiences of hundreds of teachers into six powerful steps to attaining classroom harmony. The result is an easy-to-use handbook that teachers at every level can reference daily for proactive strategies to establish a positive classroom environment.

The author demonstrates how teachers can employ a simple, no-nonsense approach to preventing and responding to classroom disruptions and student misbehaviors. Using vignettes from a cross-section of schools—inner city, rural, diverse, large, and small—this resource illustrates six steps for:

  • Establishing your role as a proactive classroom facilitator
  • Creating a safe environment conducive to learning
  • Building a relationship of trust with your students

Field-tested by novice and veteran teachers in classrooms across the country, these proven steps will help you create a positive and productive classroom from the very first day of school.

Foreword by Bruce A. Marlowe
About the Author
1. The Critical Beginning: Knowing and Using Students' Names
Knowing and Using Students' Names  
Your Number 1 Classroom Management Tool  
Student Teachers and Interns  
Novice and Experienced Elementary Teachers  
An Easy Strategy  
Other Approaches  
Back to Barry  
Summary: Step 1  
What Comes Next?  
2. Avoiding Anonymous and Dangling Questions
Types of Questions Teachers Ask  
Levels of Questions Teachers Ask  
Dangling Questions: What Are They and What Was Dave Doing Wrong?  
Students Left in the Dark  
Worse Consequences  
What Can You Do?  
The Problems With Hand Raising  
A Better Way  
An Old Teacher's (or Is It Researcher's) Tale  
The Results of These Better Strategies  
Anonymous Questions: What Are They?  
What's Wrong With These Questions?  
How Can a Teacher Fix This?  
Did Dave Recover?  
The Experiment  
The Results  
Summary: Step 2  
What's Next?  
3. Choosing and Using Words Wisely
Mariah's Goal  
What's in a Word?  
The Importance of Tight and Professional Language  
What Are Filler Words?  
What Happens When You Use Filler Words?  
An Unprofessional Word  
Mariah's Transformation  
And Danae  
Using Words of Civility in the Classroom  
The Common Thread  
Three Other Powerful Hints About Language  
Making These Language and Tone Changes in Your Classroom  
Summary: Step 3  
Coming Attractions  
4. Avoiding Confusion When Giving Directions
Clarifying Directions  
The Results  
A Pilot Project: A Different Story  
What Are We Supposed to Do?  
Giving Instructions That Don't Lead to Disruption  
Why It's Important for Students to Re-explain  
Back Up! We Are Missing Two Preliminary Steps  
Chris' Plan  
The Results  
Summary: Step 4  
What's Next?  
5. Attending to Civility With Reminders and Cues
Seventh Period: A Special Ninth-Grade Class  
The First Day of School  
What Happened With This Class?  
Mrs. Watkins' Advice  
The Problem With Classroom Rules  
Simple Expectations of Civility  
Reminders and Cues  
How Often Do You Have to Give Reminders or Cues?  
Jeannie's Approach  
The Results  
The Bottom Line  
Summary: Step 5  
Coming Next  
6. Upgrading Interactions: Can You Feel the Heartbeat?
The Title  
Moving to a Higher Level  
Challenging Julia  
The Results  
Two Challenges for You  
How to Begin  
What Can Go Wrong Here?  
Subtle Classroom Disorder  
Shy Students  
Detached Students  
National History Day  
The Contest  
The Points of This Story  
The Results  
The Ultimate Goal  
Summary: Step 6  
Now What?  
7. Harry and Clara Reclaim Their Classes
Harry's Mistake: An Ultimatum  
Harry's Meltdown and Recovery  
The Letter  
The Students' Responses  
The Results  
Streamlining Harry's Format  
Clara's Approach  
The Results  
A Bonus: You Learn More Than You Think From Student Letters or Student Drawings  
Your Turn  
8. Making This Happen
Teacher Preparation Courses and Preservice Teachers  
University Professors  
Student Teachers  
Novice Teachers  
Experienced Teachers  
Bon Voyage  
Appendix: Handling Unwanted and Inappropriate Responses

"Page's book is a jewel and of real benefit to the experienced or beginning teacher. Her advice is wise, sound, realistic, and very practical, and the book's main thesis should serve as a focal point of teacher preparation programs."

Robert Di Giulio, Professor of Education, Johnson State College
Author, Positive Classroom Management, Third Edition

"Management isn't magic—it can be mastered. Page's commonsense strategies are sound in practice and needed by teachers in the field."

Marsha Alibrandi, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
Fairfield University

"Discusses the practical and easy steps to classroom discipline. This wonderful book distills much of what I spend time trying to teach the new teachers I mentor."

Devona Rowe, Teacher
Mandarin High School, Jacksonville, FL

"Covers the fundamentals sometimes overlooked or learned the hard way. Although it is great for student teachers and mentoring of beginning teachers, it is also appropriate for seasoned teachers."

Gail McGoogan, Third-Grade Teacher
Narcoossee Community School, St. Cloud, FL

"A lot of books about classroom management exist, but many of those just offer utopian solutions that do not work in real classrooms. This book provides very solid examples and detailed practices that will not only inspire and prepare new teachers, but also help veteran teachers increase their effectiveness. A must-have reference for all teachers.”

Alper Kesten, Assistant Professor of Education
Ondokuz Mayýs University, Turkey

"Page is a breath of fresh air, reminding us that the soul of teaching is working with kids. This handbook provides a perfect blend of practical advice, research, modeling, and examples to rethink what happens and what needs to happen in classrooms."

Daniel K. Thompson, Assistant Professor
Pennsylvania State University

"Offers six steps for more effecitve classroom management and comes from a teacher who uses years of research and experience to support the presentation of these steps. From establishing a foundation as a classroom leader to building student trust and encouraging cooperative behavior patterns, this book is a top pick."

California Bookwatch, August 2008
Midwest Book Review
Key features
  • The author's credentials and research bring authenticity to the fundamental concepts distilled into the Six Simple Steps
  • The six steps present a no-nonsense, accessible plan to help novice and veteran teachers prevent chaos in their classrooms
  • This how-to book is based on extensive research from K-12 classrooms across the country and fills a gap in teacher preparation programs

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