May 5, 2014

Current Classroom Management Win: SLANT

My giveaway for the Haiku Sprint Duffle ends tomorrow--what are you waiting for??  Go enter--it's as easy as leaving a comment.

I love being part of my school's PBIS universal/tier 1 team.  Developing school-wide behavior goals, implementing action plans, and planning celebrations for when we meet those goals is something I really enjoy doing.  Back in March, we tried a new goal that was hands-down my favorite to date.  One thing that several of us on the PBIS team had noticed we were struggling with was attention and eye contact during instruction.  Ever since hearing about it during my Quantum Learning training a few years ago, I've practiced SLANT with my kids:
S: Sit Up
L: Lean Forward
A: Ask Questions
N: Nod your Head
T: Track the Speaker

Every fall, I teach my kids what it means to "SLANT" during instruction and turn and talks.  We practice nodding (appropriately...), sitting so that our body sends a message to the speaker that we are listening, and holding eye contact with the speaker.  When we're learning the skill, I will walk around the whole room talking, encouraging the kids to turn in their chair and follow me with their eyes.  This is my favorite element of SLANT--while I know that eye contact expectations differ across cultures, I let the kids know that in our classroom, eyes on the speaker sends the message that we are engaged, listening, and interested.  
Anyways, back to our PBIS team.  After talking about our attention struggles, we decided to set SLANT as our school-wide goal for March.  Every day for three weeks, classrooms worked to earn a letter to spell the word SLANT, with the end goal being to earn enough letters to participate in our school community celebration.  I loved this goal SO MUCH!  We were already practicing SLANT, but this goal lit a fire under my kids to send the speaker--whether it's me or a student--that they are ready to listen and learn.  Loved the difference I saw in my class, especially during the "Spring Slump" that happens so often in classrooms come March!

What are some of your slam dunk management strategies this year?

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