The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify and compile a continuum of classroom management techniques for at-risk elementary students. As a result of this study, information on identifying the at-risk student and resources available to teachers has also been compiled. The methodology included 55 total hours of observation and ten interviews. Observation occurred in two locations; in a mainstream elementary classroom and a classroom at The Center for Children, a therapeutic, educational center with a focus on behavioral modification. The variance of focus between the two places provided a wide spectrum of ideas for management in the classroom for not just at-risk, but all students.
The following questions were addressed:
1) What are contemporary definitions of at-risk today?
2) What are common behavioral characteristics of an at-risk student?
3) What teaching interventions facilitate effective classroom management?
4) What outside resources are available to teachers?
From teen pregnancy to substance abuse, schools are facing challenges that originate outside the walls of the classroom. In many cases, the classroom is the only stable, predictable environment for these youths. In addition, classroom activities encourage prevention, build self-esteem and arm students with the tools they need to break out of their at-risk situations. This study demonstrated that successful classroom management is a vital aspect of teaching that promotes and exemplifies safety and a constructive learning environment for all.
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