Classroom Management in District 11 Received Improvements

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Thursday, November 20th, 2014 at 12:33pm.

Schools at Coon Rapids are using a classroom management strategy called ENVoY to keep classrooms in order, less noisy and more engaged in learning. ENVoY stands for Educational Non-Verbal Yardsticks which is a strategy for communicating without words. It’s working great in elementary schools. Teachers that have become certified in it call it “purposeful talk“ and say its bringing consistency into the classroom. Here is a look at the classroom management and the improvements being made.

All About ENVoY

There are eight demonstration teachers in the district that have allowed educators to observe the seven gems associated with ENVoY. The gems are used for making classroom management easier, helping with relationship building and bringing that consistency into the classroom. This gives teachers more time to actually teach the content.

A few of the techniques include “Freeze Body” and “ABOVE (pause).” Freeze Body means that a teacher picks a spot in the classroom and the teacher gives directions from that location. This trains students to know that spot means it’s time to give attention. It establishes a pattern with the kids just by choosing a spot and freezing there. “ABOVE (pause)” means that a teacher uses an ABOVE whisper to ensure students are listening because vocal variety helps keep them engaged.

Other Gems

Some of the other gems used in this system is using hand signals to show students they need to raise their hands rather than speaking out of turn. This is great for chattering students. This teaches kids to use their voices for the material rather than for chit chat.

Going from groups to individual seatwork, the teacher can use the gem of giving visual exit directions. This makes them feel more independent and doesn’t interrupt the content on their minds. Teachers also use the gem of “Most Important Twenty Seconds” where teachers stand still and don’t walk around to help students once they’ve returned to seatwork until they’ve had time to engage. Pausing is one of the main strategies to non-verbal management that teachers are using.     

Why it works so well

When teachers give so many directions, students eventually tune out. These non-verbal cues help kids know when something is important. Teachers tend to overuse their power so this strategy gives students a sense of independence. There is a balance in power and influence from the adults. Rather than eye contact on the student, eyes are on the work.

Discipline referrals are down with the use of ENVoY and all but three district’s 24 elementary schools are using these strategies.

Kris Lindahl
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