“Do This and Then Do That” Classroom Management Hack [Interactive]

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This podcast emphasizes the importance of sound classroom and behavior management. It gives a simple, specific example of how to decrease transitional management time and increase physical activity using the “do this and then do that hack”.

[0:02] Classroom and behavior management is the key to creating a thriving learning environment for our students. Without great classroom and behavior management, we cannot give our students what they need to become physically literate. An engaging student learning environment is a byproduct of a physical educator’s investment and commitment to becoming a master manager and never settling for anything less than their best.

[0:45] My name is Colin Brooks, and I’m an assistant professor of health and physical education at the University of West Georgia. I had the opportunity to spend 10 years grinding it out as an elementary physical education teacher before pursuing my doctorate, and I will always be an elementary physical education teacher at heart. Now as a mentor for future teachers, I frequently asked my students what they believe to be the most critical aspect of teaching physical education. This is a loaded question which I realize, but I think it’s an important one to convey not only to future teachers but also to teachers in general. I believe the answer to the question can be summed up in four words, “classroom and behavior management”.

Classroom and Behavior Management

[1:28] Without sound classroom and behavior management practices, student learning simply cannot occur. Out of the classroom and behavior management and we think specifically about transitional time in physical education. This can be an absolute time killer and as we all know, it can lead to various preventable behavior issues. It can also be really draining for us as physical education teachers and it can wear us out. Often when I teach and I have that feeling, the draining feeling, it is really easy for me to blame my students. But if I’m really honest with myself, most behavior and management issues are self-inflicted by myself.

An Easy Tweak for Big-Time Change

[2:10] One of my favorite all-time football players is pain manning and it has to do with his attention to detail and the little tweaks that he would make that would set his team up for huge success. I’d like to share an easy classroom management tweak that could potentially lead to big-time changes in success in your student’s on-task behavior and also decrease that pesky transitional time period. I like to call this tweak that “do this and do that hack”.

The “Do This and Then Do That” Hack

[2:40] Whenever we give students instruction, we commonly tell them to grab a piece of equipment or tell them to stand next to a partner. I believe that we need to add an additional piece of direction to this instruction. When we asked students to stand next to each other when preparing to do partner work and during transitional time, and we do not give them another piece of instruction, we may be setting them up for failure. We all know that our students are very creative and will develop their own way to use this transitional time, leading to potential behavior issues.

[3:12] This is where the do this and then do that hack comes into play. It’s really simple, but I think it can be pretty effective for you. Let’s quickly circle back to the getting a partner example, I suggest you instruct your students to get with a partner and then give them an easy-to-complete fitness task. For example, you could say, when I say go, please stand back to back with a partner and do jumping jacks. Students can complete the physical activity while they wait for all other groups to be ready. This will set students up for success during a transitional episode in class and also provides them with an increased opportunity for physical activity in class. I suggest that this transitional episode is practiced regularly and completed very quickly by your students. That way, they will constantly be reminded of how important it is to stay on task and always move of a sense of urgency.

[4:07] All right, everyone. That’s it from me. I appreciate you listening today and happy teaching.


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