Teacher Induction: Building Digital Community

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Top 5 Tips for Classroom Management by Dr. Amber Brown

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Definition of Classroom Management:
Dr. Amber Brown, UT Arlington
All the methods and strategies a teacher uses to maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to student success and learning.

Top 5 Tips for Classroom Management

5. Set up the physical space of your classroom in a way that minimizes problem behaviors. For example, if want children to work independently and not talk- don’t place their desks facing each other in groups.

4. Be sure children know the rules and expectations for their behavior up front and state them in a positive manner. What I mean is tell them what want them to do – not all the things they can’t do. For example, if the expectation is that they walk down the hall, don’t say to them, “don’t run.” That leaves skipping, hopping, rolling, etc. open as options. You will need to remind children of your expectations often. Sometimes just reminding them of the rule will allow them to self-correct their behavior without your intervention.

3. Be consistent. Your rules and consequences need to be the same every day – no matter how you personally feel. For example, if the rule is that it is OK for children to talk to each other during center time, but you have a head ache that day so you punish them by having them turn their card, move a clip, or sign the book – that is confusing and unfair. That is not a child misbehaving – that is you having a bad day.

2. Have age-appropriate expectations. Don’t expect a 5 –year old to be able to sit still and listen to a book for 30 minutes. When they start fidgeting and misbehaving after 5 to 7 minutes- it’s not their fault, it’s normal behavior for a 5 year-old.

1. Strive to get to the underlying cause of a child’s misbehavior. Several underlying causes of misbehavior might include:
a. misunderstanding expectations – having children repeat your expectations to you in their own words will help you make sure they understand.
b. immaturity – not all children develop at the same rate so while a typically developing 5 year old should be able to sit and listen to a story for 5 minutes, a less mature 5 year old may only be able to sit for 3 minutes.
c. gleeful abandon/group contagion – this is how most food fights occur.
d. boredom – making sure your lessons are engaging and differentiated based on students’ ability will help minimize this
e. fatigue or discomfort –
f. desire for attention – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that negative attention is better than no attention.
g. discouragement – can cause anger, resentment, and low self-esteem
h. frustration – can lead to aggressive behavior
i. rebellion – children often test the boundaries to see if you are going to be consistent. It also happens when you are too strict or authoritarian.

Written by Peggy Semingson

January 31, 2014 at 12:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Podcast version (audio-only) of Webinar 4: Paul Gorski on “Reaching and Teaching Students of Poverty” 

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UTA Webinar 4: Paul Gorski on “Reaching and Teaching Students of Poverty” by Uta New Teachers on Mixcloud

Written by Peggy Semingson

January 30, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Recording for Jan. 25 webinar with Paul Gorski “Reaching and Teaching Students of Poverty”

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Here is the link to the recording of the Jan. 25 webinar with Paul Gorski “Reading and Teaching Students in Poverty”. It’s about an hour in length. Paul had great ideas about advocacy and how to counter deficit thinking. I hope people can view this and share this!

Click the link or cut and paste it to view it. You must have Java installed to view it.


[I am working on converting to Podcast and YouTube for mobile access.]

Sponsored by the UTA New Teacher Project http://blog.uta.edu/utanewteachers/

Written by Peggy Semingson

January 29, 2014 at 3:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Links to Recordings Below!

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Webinar 1 (guest panel of teachers): about 1 hour, 15 minutes [If it won’t open, cut and paste the link into a browser window and hit enter.]

NOTE: Fast forward webinar 1 to the 2:41 time point to where it really starts.

Webinar 2: (Building Classroom Community) about 1 hour, 20 minutes
Link to recording:[If it won’t open, cut and paste the link into a browser window and hit enter.]

Webinar 3 (Behavior Management), about 1 hour

Written by Peggy Semingson

November 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

November 16 Webinar–FREE! Open-Access: ALL are welcome. Topic: Behavior management

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Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UT Arlington
New Teacher Webinar Series
Open-Access: FREE for EVERYONE!

Webinar 3: Saturday, November 16, 2013 1:00-2:15 pm, CST


*Please see attached flyer for more details

Guest speakers: Dr. Diane Galloway and Dr. Jon Leffingwell. Also presenting are Tracy Smith (UTA graduate), Dr. Peggy Semingson, and Dr. Leisa Martin.
The link to join Webinar 3 on 11/16 is here. You can join up to 60 minutes prior to the session: https://elearn.uta.edu/webapps/bb-collaborate-bb_bb60/external.guest.session.launch.event?uid=ce0b074d-1cdd-4ecf-9885-f5d2b1fba3ca

Please stay tuned to New Teacher Events and informational media on the New Teacher Blog! http://blog.uta.edu/utanewteachers/

• Recordings of previous webinars
• PowerPoints of previous webinars
• Podcast series with useful advice for new teachers!
• Post comments on the blog!

Become a better teacher. Get tips. Connect with UTA faculty and other teachers.

Open-Access: This webinar series is FREE and open to EVERYONE. Tell a friend!

Convenience: Join by a mobile device!

There is an option to join by mobile device for your convenience:
• Use the free mobile app “Blackboard Collaborate” to join the session!
• Open the app, then enter the URL to join the session.

Email Peggy Semingson for questions: peggys@uta.edu

Written by Peggy Semingson

November 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Expect Good Things”: Podcast on Behavior Management with Tips from Dr. Jon Leffingwell

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In this first podcast of our series for new teachers, Dr. Jon Leffingwell, licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor of Education shares tips on behavior management for new teachers, including creating positive expectations for students.

Stay tuned for upcoming podcasts from Dr. Amber Brown, Dr. Marc Schwartz, Dr. Peggy Semingson, and others!

To our followers of this blog: What do you think about the idea of creating positive expectations? How do you do so in your classroom and what works?

The transcript of this Podcast is below

“Expect Good Things”: Podcast on Behavior Management with Tips from Dr. Jon Leffingwell with Dr. Peggy Semingson

*Views are the perspective of individual faculty members and not necessarily the views of UT Arlington.

It’s Friday October 25 and we are talking to Dr. Jon Leffingwell about behavior management. Dr. Leffingwell can you tell us your title and any tips for new teachers?

Dr. Leffingwell: Yes, I am a licensed psychologist and I am an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. My first tip is to expect good things—in yourself and in your students because this will translate into behaviors that you project to them and that they mirror back. For example, if you expect them to be cooperative and enthusiastic they will because you mirror those behaviors. The other thing I would suggest is that you have a system of behavior management that we teach at the university. It gives you a concrete way to deal with positive and negative behaviors and increase the positive and decrease the negative. But, it’s a system that will help you to not worry about being out of touch or Overrun with-by your students.

Peggy Semingson: Oh, good. Is there anything else, like humor that you want to add.  Tips for teachers?

Dr. Leffingwell: Yes. Laugh at yourself. You make mistakes. I make mistakes.  We all make mistakes. IT’s ok. You go on. The other thing, a tip I have is that every hour of every day someone’s going to frown at you and it’s not because you caused it. It’s because of a headache or because someone didn’t speak to them the way they wanted to or…some other reason. Don’t internalize other people’s behaviors.

Peggy Semingson: That’s good advice for all of us.

Dr. Leffingwell: I hope so.

Peggy Semingson: I like it. Well good, that’s really helpful. Thank you.

Dr. Leffingwell: Thank you.

For a copy of this transcript, click here: Expect Good Things 10_25_13 Podcast Transcript

Stay tuned for future episode of our New Teacher Podcast Series!

-Dr. Peggy Semingson

Written by Peggy Semingson

October 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Webinar 3, November 16, 1:00 pm, CST “Behavior Management”

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Come participate in Webinar 3 on November 16 (Topic: “Behavior Management” with guests Diane Galloway and Jon Leffingwell!).
The link to join Webinar 3 on 11/16 is here. You can join up to 60 minutes prior to the session: https://elearn.uta.edu/webapps/bb-collaborate-bb_bb60/external.guest.session.launch.event?uid=ce0b074d-1cdd-4ecf-9885-f5d2b1fba3ca
Please stay tuned to New Teacher Events on the New Teacher Blog!

Written by Peggy Semingson

October 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Link to recording and PowerPoint for New Teacher Webinar 2 (October 19)!


If you were not able to attend New Teacher Webinar 2 on Saturday, the Recording and PowerPoint from October 19 can be accessed below. Please share these links with students! 🙂 Feedback and comments are most welcome! Come participate in Webinar 3 on November 16 (Topic: “Behavior Management” with guests Diane Galloway and Jon Leffingwell!).

PowerPoint:  https://mavspace.uta.edu/peggys/New%20Teacher%20Webinar_October%2019 [cut and paste link into browser, if needed]

Link to recording: https://elearn.uta.edu/webapps/bb-collaborate-bb_bb60/guest.recording.launch.event?uid=bed560fd-9825-412a-96db-3c05c98bef46

Questions: email Peggy Semingson peggys@uta.edu

Written by Peggy Semingson

October 22, 2013 at 4:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

October 19 webinar!

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New Teacher Webinar-FREE-October 19 (1:00 pm)

No registration required!

Please join us on Saturday, October 19 for our New Teacher Webinar Series. It is open to everyone! Learn tips on creating community in your future classroom! Presenters: Dr. Brown, Dr. Semingson, Dr. Martin, and Professor Curtis. The webinar can be accessed through your mobile device (see below)!

If anyone has questions, contact me at : peggys@uta.edu 🙂


New Teacher Induction FREE Webinar Series

Open to Everyone!

Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Arlington

*EASY TO JOIN: Access the webinar on a mobile device using the FREE Blackboard Collaborate app!

Join Webinar 2:  Building Classroom Community

Date:  Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time:  1:00—2:30, Central Standard Time

No Registration Required!

Click the link to join the FREE webinar within 60 minutes of the start time.

https://elearn.uta.edu/webapps/bb-collaborate-bb_bb60/external.guest.session.launch.event?uid=9484c396-3ef3-4943-92d3-24c433b02f3c [cut and paste link, if needed]

Learning is best facilitated in a positive, welcoming environment.  Join us to learn more about tips & suggestions for building classroom community and rapport with your students. Panelists: Dr. Amber Brown, Dr. Peggy Semingson, Dr. Leisa Martin, & Professor Mary Curtis.  Participants are encouraged to ask questions & engage in a dialogue with panelists and other participants.

(Tech Support) Questions: Contact Peggy Semingson: peggys@uta.edu

Tech support link: http://tinyurl.com/webinartechsupport

*The recording for Webinar 1 (Sep 28) will soon be posted to the UTA New Teacher Blog. Stay tuned! http://blog.uta.edu/UTAnewteachers

Written by Peggy Semingson

October 19, 2013 at 3:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Teacher Time Management: Getting the Most from Your Minutes


Ashley Grinnan, a UT Arlington graduate in the online Literacy Studies Master’s degree program is currently teaching in Texas.  She has also been an online teaching assistant and academic coach for Literacy Studies graduate courses at UT Arlington. Her tips below are geared for new teachers but can benefit us all. Thanks, Ashley! Comments are welcome. What are your own time management challenges and success stories? What works best for you?-Dr. Semingson

Ashley Grinnan is in her 9th year teaching 4th grade, 6th year as a UTA TA, and her 5th year as a foster/adoptive mom. She earned her Bachelor of Science from UMHB, and her M.Ed. from UTA. In her spare time, she enjoys sleeping, baking, traveling, scrapbooking, and photography.

Teachers need resources, and one of the most precious resources they have is TIME. It seems like there are not enough hours in the day to plan, prepare, teach, reteach, copy, replan, meet, fill out paperwork, meet, fill out paperwork…did I mention fill out paperwork? In fact a great gift for a teacher would be a stamp with their signature! How do we fit it all in? How do we fit it all in effectively? How do we get some sleep?! Being a new teacher is overwhelming at best. To get beyond just surviving, teachers need strategies to thrive.

Planning: Teachers have so many items on their to-do list. It is essential to have a planner or calendar of some kind. I have a giant desk calendar that I mark duties, special programs, and meetings. I look at it every day. You could also keep a digital calendar, that you color code for home and school activities.

To Do Lists: Whatever you need to get done, write it down! Over the years, I have even built “base” to do lists. I have one for the beginning of school, end of school, field trips, etc. Don’t put these on random sticky notes, but rather have a dedicated notebook or digital checklist. Take care of things as they come up, so you don’t get buried by papers at your desk

Grading/Paperwork: Take advantage of any bit of time you have. While monitoring the room, carry around a clipboard with papers you are grading or forms to fill out. Even if you only get a few graded, it is something you don’t have to do later. If at all possible, use computer programs that grade for you, like eInstruction.

Files: If you do a lesson and love it, save it! Make files on your computer (or in a file cabinet) on different topics. Purge periodically.

Conference Time: Your conference time is precious. It may be your only chance to use the restroom after all! Many people get sucked into conversations and internet surfing, and before you know it, your time is gone. You may have to close your door to keep out unwanted interruptions. Prioritize and get things done quickly. Grade, copy, email, fill out paperwork. This is not the time to browse the internet looking for new lessons, nor is it the time to complain about the students. If you are planning with your team, stay on topic. Speak up if the conversation turns to gossip or whining.

Lessons: Plan ahead, copy ahead. I try to stay at least 2 weeks ahead. At first, you may be doing well to stay one day ahead, but as the bumps smooth out, you’ll have more time to get ahead. Also be sure to have sub plans ready to go. You may want to use folders or trays to organize subjects and days, so you can grab and go!

Routine: Establish a routine for yourself, just like you do your students. Stick with it, and you will be more productive.

“Beg, Borrow, and Steal”: Do not reinvent the wheel. Find what others use and do and copy what will work for you.

After school: Go home! Get what you can get done, then leave work at work. You will be a better teacher and person if you take care of yourself. Plus, you can always use Pinterest at home!

Written by Peggy Semingson

September 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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