- Classroom Management Planms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio Allocation
- Classroom Management Planms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolios
My Classroom Management Plan
Classroom management is about my ability to create a highly structured and well run classroom. In my estimation, classroom management determines a teacher’s capacity to establish classroom routines that will enable all students to perform to the best of their abilities. A well implemented and organized management plan will not only help facilitate student learning, but it will also enable me to teach to the best of my abilities. Being that teaching is more art than science, I know that adjustments to this plan will be necessary. I also expect to have to grow and adapt as it is implemented, or as I find problems within its rather broad scope of ideas. As a disciple of Sprick, Garrison, and Howard (1998), I will use their book CHAMPs: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management to adapt this plan as needed.
When making any kind of classroom management plan, whether it’s a high school classroom management plan or some other kind, think about it well. When teaching older students, allow them to discuss their behavioral, cognitive and humanistic theories. This is essential to the student’s educational growth. Having a clear plan for how to handle classroom management is essential in order to be an effective teacher. There is no perfect way to manage a classroom, and the management techniques and strategies will change depending on the students and the class.
As a point of reference, this plan is specifically pointed at the primary grades, but it could easily be adapted for most elementary classrooms. With these thoughts in place, I put before you the comprehensive details of my management plan.
Classroom Management Planms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio Allocation
My management strategy begins by communicating with students and their parents/guardians. First I will first inform the students in a classroom meeting, so they know the rules, expectations, and consequences of this plan. I will then send a letter home to the parents/guardians communicating an open door classroom policy, student expectations, and the values of this plan. I want families to know and understand that my classroom is a community for learning. As the teacher, it is my responsibility to invite participation just as it is their responsibility to help their son or daughter reach their full potential. Once the lines of communication have been established, I will begin teaching other critical classroom routines.
Establishing Critical Routines
While I was unable to implement my own classroom routines during my student teaching, I utilized all or portions of the routines in this table (ROUTINE TABLE LINK). These routines are critical to any good management plan. First and foremost, I consider learning student interests as being essential to a successful learning community. Building community will always be my primary focus and concern. Once I have launched the process by encouraging the sharing of some teacher and student interests, I will use this as a stepping stone for teaching additional routines. The first formal routine I will teach is lining up. This routine will be preparatory and a standard for teaching other routines. For instance, responding to signal quickly will be taught next, and it will eventually become part of our classroom constitution. Likewise, transitions in and out of the classroom will be day one priorities. However, these routines are not enough by themselves to manage a classroom. Many other routines are essential for establishing a stable learning environment.
Some of the other routines that I have taught, managed, and have a plan for include supplying materials, beginning and ending the day, managing and posting student work, trips to the drinking fountain and restroom, classroom pullouts, turning in homework, group and class merit systems, and student leadership roles. These routines and directions to these routines will not be written per se; they will be internalized by verbal instruction and through practice as they are implemented during the first weeks of school.
High expectations are starting points for classroom management that should never be compromised. Your students will only reach as high as you ask them to. My Cooperating Teacher stressed high expectations as a key to helping students succeed. This was wonderful advice. Every time I struggled with classroom issues or student production, I reflected on what I was doing wrong. Most of the time, it came down to the fact that I had slacked off and had not held myself or my students to high standards. After refocusing on this objective, I was always able to get better production out of my students.
I believe that teaching student boundaries for good behavior and high expectations in the classroom will not be difficult. By word and example, I teach them that I expect them to do their best work, respect one another, cooperate while working together, and respond to signal quickly. These values will be essential pieces of our classroom constitution. Evertson et al indicates that it is useful for students to generate their own rules and responsibilities for their own behaviors because it gives them ownership and encourages them to act according to the plan (2006).
With guidance during classroom meetings, I will allow my students to generate their own values and rules for a classroom constitution. These ideas and objectives will then be organized and posted on a wall for regular revue and discussion. We will then use them as a cause for celebration when things go well or as a source of spotlighting, cueing, and discussion when issues arise.
Self-Discipline and Self-Managing Sls download centerdownloads.
As another foundational element for my management plan, self-discipline begins with each student learning how to manage their own behavior. If this is understood and accomplished, then classroom management is simplified.
After experiencing the rewards of self-managing, I strongly advocate its use. Prior to my student teaching, I had not previously thought of teaching students how to self-manage. I had primarily concentrated my thoughts and energies on a whole class picture of management. However, I have learned that the whole class is only as strong as its individual members. I will expend a good deal of class meeting time modeling, discussing, and reinforcing self-managing strategies with my students. I have learned that with practice, persistence, and attention to responsibility every student is capable of becoming a self-manager. When students learn to be self-managers, the classroom becomes an ordered system for learning.
Responsibility and Building Self-Esteem
Good teachers look for opportunities to give all students the chance to be a role model. If everyone gets to shine and stand tall, this becomes an avenue for building community and self-esteem. This is always my objective. If facilitated properly being a student leader, teacher’s helper, class leader, or demonstrating a problem on the whiteboard often becomes an opportunity for growth. Almost every student craves some kind of responsibility. For a teacher, it does not get any better than seeing a student’s proud smile when they are told they have done well or are setting a good example for the rest of the class. As a consequence, I look for ways for even my most distracting students to model good behavior.
Classroom Management Planms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolios
During my student teaching, we had a teacher’s helper everyday, and I will also use this approach in my classroom. This leadership position was eagerly anticipated. When students knew that the next day was going to be their turn, they made sure their name was written on the whiteboard so that everyone knew tomorrow was going to be their day.
Every teacher’s dilemma is that students learn and mature at different rates and times. For this reason, I employ positive reinforcement and rewards. I also offer frequent feedback and provide repeated modeling and cueing of student behavior to give my students confidence in their abilities. With clear expectations, consistent routines, and positive reinforcement, students are better able to self-manage their behaviors.
As an example, the youngest and most immature student in my student teaching class was rarely on task. I made it a point to offer him rewards and frequent feedback. One day, I received a wonderful gift from this student when I least expected it. He had been offered a small trinket (a contract of sorts) if he completed his assignment on time and to the best of his ability. After it was finished, he happily gave it to me as a gift. He got his reward, and I got mine.
Normally a scribbler, I was shocked at how well he had colored this picture. It was far better than any product he had created all year (PICTURE LINK). When I showed the picture to my Cooperating Teacher, she was also amazed at how well he had completed this project. The potential this student demonstrated that day was beyond any of my expectations. He demonstrated a willingness to stay on task, attention to detail, and sense of color selection. He also made great use of the time allotted for this assignment.
Time is the most valuable commodity in the classroom. As a teacher, it is one of my goals to waste little of it. Even seconds are too precious to waste, so I try to maximize the little time I do have with my students. Careful preparation, detailed planning, and being highly organized are traits that I have developed to help me make the most of each day of instruction. Indeed, time management is critical for successful classroom management.
I follow the advice of Sprick et al. and try not tot engage in any particular task for too long because students become restless when instruction, independent work, or group activities become tediously time consuming (1998). I will admit that I had to learn this the hard way, but learn it I did. One of my first few second grade lessons was almost 50 minutes long. And consequently, many of the class members became restless and inattentive. This was my fault, not theirs. I learned! The length of a lesson should be determined by the maturity of your students. Looking back on my student teaching experience with second graders, my most successful lessons were the ones that I kept close to a 25-30 minute time objective. Anything longer, and their behavior would let me know they had tired of the task.
Behavioral ExpectationsCueing Good and Bad Behavior
Good and bad behaviors are a part of every classroom—stuff happens. Students speak out, cause distractions, and among many other issues they may have difficulty staying on task. My response, then, is to support all behaviors with positive reinforcement and cueing. I find it is always best, if possible, to make the students feel good about the situation that is being addressed. With cueing, it can be done at an almost subconscious level. However, this may mean ignoring some minor behavior concerns and supporting them or cueing them later when the opportunity arises.
I quickly came to realize that some behaviors could be ignored for a more opportune time for modeling. If a behavior was ignored, it would be cued later by the modeling of another student during the school day or role played at the next class meeting. It is amazing how powerful this strategy is. When behaviors are cued and spotlighted well, cueing has little or no psychological impact on the targeted student(s). Cueing influences students to not resort to unacceptable behavior in the classroom.
Behaviors that were not acceptable in my classroom included: swearing, speaking out, running, teasing, or any form of striking another student. While I did not have any serious violations of these boundaries, I had to deal with all of them as minor incidents. Some of these incidents I could simply ignore, but many were serious enough that I had to deal with them immediately. One of the most common occurrences was teasing. After many recesses students would complain that someone had teased them.
The most common type of resolution I employed for teasing was to get all of the individuals involved together for a discussion (often role reversal) and a resolution of the problem (always empathy and an apology). Teasing during recess was such a large issue that I had numerous class meetings to talk about it. During these class meetings, we used role playing to build empathy for teasing victims. While teasing at recess did not completely stop, my students came to understand the impact of teasing on it victims. To go along with this, they knew what the consequences would be if they continued to participate in this type of behavior.
Choices and Consequences
Discipline is multifaceted. It is about my ability to build a classroom based behavior system that is consistent, fair, and reasonable. It is also about giving students the confidence to act within the principles set forth in that plan. Discipline then becomes a student’s ability to exist under a set of directives, and the student’s ability to self-govern behaviors as set forth in that system. Under such an arrangement, teacher and student must be consistent, adapt, or suffer the consequences of their choices.
The purpose of having consequences is to assure that all students clearly understand that they are responsible for their own actions. In other words, they have choices. If a student chooses to break a school or classroom rule, then I make it very clear to them what the consequence are and why they now have to live up to the choices they had made. What are my consequences? (MR. NOBLE’S CONSEQUENCES TABLE LINK)
How have I used these consequences? One day during winter quarter, I had a student decide that he was going to ignore me, act defiantly, and in general do the opposite of what he was asked. Knowing some of the issues this child faces at home, I was not overly concerned. My first thoughts were that he just needed some attention. I let him know with a smile, my body language, and proximity that I was on to him. I also knew that I could not let this act of defiance become a bigger problem. Subsequently after setting the class on task, I approached him to find out what the problem was. We had a brief chat and agreed to talk during recess. During recess, I gave him a listening ear, some positive feedback, a pat on the back, and sent him on his way. He came in after recess and went to work and was not a problem for the remainder of the day. I learned from this and other incidents with this child that he had a high need for attention and friendship. From this day on, I made it one of my daily tasks to check in with him often. I wanted him to know that I cared.
A Time for Laughter, Play, and Work
I have a high tolerance for noise and activity, and so my classroom is lively and busy. What I stress with my students about this tolerance level is that there is a time for laughter, a time being noisy, and a time when they can expect to work and work very quietly.
I have the patience of a father and grandfather. I have, in fact, lived the life of a rambunctious child, and I would not take this away from any student. It is who they are. However, I want my students to know that they can learn to control their energy when it is time for work and save their vigor for times when it is appropriate to play and have fun.
Conversation, Help, Assignment, Movement, Participation: CHAMPs
To help my students achieve within these parameters, I make five directives very clear to them before each assignment or project. I explain to them what level of conversation is acceptable during the activity or assignment, how they can get help if needed, what the expected product of the activity or assignment should be and what it should look like, what level of movement will be tolerated, and I also explain what behaviors will demonstrate that they were participating responsibly (Sprick et al, 1998).
The above classroom management plan involves appropriate standards for behavior, a positive classroom environment, and effective goals for managing routines, transitions, and time. This plan will be intertwined into my instruction and everything that I say or do. However, it is limited and in no way a complete picture of my plans or intentions. As I have mentioned earlier, I am an advocate of CHAMPs by Sprick et al. This book is a wonderful classroom management resource, and I will continue to reference and rely on it as inspiration for adapting and improving my management strategies.
As this plan is implemented in my own classroom, it will go a long way toward establishing my objectives of meeting the needs of all of my students. The ideal management plan establishes roles for the teacher and the students. It is based in love, trust, respect, responsibility, and understanding that both student and teacher are learning. As yet, I have not perfected the plan because this will only be approached by practice. Additionally, I know that every classroom is different, and every year I will face the uncertainties of how my students will behave and react under this plan. Hence, my intentions are to treat this plan as something that is flexible and a work in progress. With this in mind, I believe this plan is solidly based and the foundation for making my classroom a successful learning environment.
Reference ListEvertson, C. M., Emmer, E. T., & Worsham, M. E. (2006). Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers. Boston: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon. Sprick, R., Garrison, M., & Howard, L.M. (1998). CHAMPs: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management. Pacific Northwest Publishing: Eugene, OR
“Classroom management is broader in scope than discipline. It includes everything teachers do to increase student involvement and cooperation and to establish a healthy, caring, productive working environment for students” (Grant & Sleeter, 2011,pg.106).
In the past year, I have experienced and learned more about classroom management and management in general than I ever learned as a manger in a store. As a product of gold stars, free time, and color-coded slips related to behavior I once believed that this way was the only way to discipline students. However, I have come to see classroom management as something that is far beyond the aforementioned basics; something that is beyond the belief that students will simply fall in line for a piece of candy on Friday.
Thus, my classroom management plan has evolved into the following core beliefs and values that I believe are important: a positive teacher-student relationship, a positive relationship with the school community, a supportive and democratic classroom environment, a set of clear procedures that enable students to be successful and know exactly what is happening in the classroom, and lesson plans that faithfully engage students and provoke student interests.
I believe that for any classroom to be successful and run smoothly it must be a supportive, nurturing, and democratic environment where students feel that their opinions and voices are valued. Such a classroom management plan must start on day one of school by allowing students to learn about one another openly and in a safe environment so that students feel safe as the school year continues. Such a process will create positive peer relationship, which will help students feel safe and provide a sense of belongingness. In such an environment, Jones & Jones states, “developing peer acceptance and support can be expected to significantly reduce disruptive classroom behavior” (pg. 100).
Students should also feel nurtured in the classroom. This can take place in a number of ways: students receiving positive feedback from teacher and classmates, students being allowed to express themselves in a way acceptable for them, and students being supported in extra-curricular activities. The classroom should be a place where they feel that they can grow as individuals and students and freely express themselves. “Students are already grappling with ways to express and understand themselves. When such things are put into place students feel welcomed and comfortable which can alleviate most student behavioral problems.
Furthermore, I firmly believe in the effectiveness of a democratic classroom as a classroom management plan. As a student, I did not care about the rules that had been posted on the wall for us to see. Hence, I believe that students have a right to participate in the making of classroom rules and consequences, but they also deserve to receive a concise understanding of what those rules and consequences will be. “The key is that students understand why these standards [rules] must exist and that students have role in discussing these behavioral expectations ” (Jones & Jones, pg. 174). Once students are apart of the creation process, getting them to buy in to the rules will be easier. While, many schools may have “school rules” these will not speak to the diversity in the classroom. When students have participated in the making of rules and consequences they care more about them and the rules become more personal and not so removed from the students.
Nothing can help the management of my classroom more than a lesson plan built to meet the needs of the diverse learners of the classroom. Students need to be engaged in their learning so that they can give the lesson their full attention and not what Suzie is saying or doing to distract them. I believe that most discipline problems will occur because the lesson plan was not built to reach the diverse students in that classroom. According to Jones & Jones, “effective classroom management is closely related to effective classroom instruction” (p.213). I have firsthand seen over the past year the different results a teacher can receive with a lesson plan built to meet teacher need versus one built to meet student need. When the lesson plan is built around the needs of the teacher most students get lost and eventually drift into behaviors that can distract the entire class and waste precious class time. On the other hand, when it is built for students to meet their needs and interests they are more likely to be engaged in their learning. Thus, when creating lesson plans I will not only take into account the standards that I must teach but also how my lessons need to be differentiated in order to keep students engaged and on-task.
Teacher-student relationships will be another supporting piece in my classroom management plan. Teachers must know their students beyond the grades that the student makes or how well they study for a test. Furthermore, students need to know and feel that teachers care about them as a person and not merely as a number. As Bell stated, “establishing caring relationships with every student may be the most important thing a teacher can do to begin teaching to high achievement and closing the “achievement gap”’(Grant & Sleeter, pg. 95). Students come from a mixture of backgrounds and home life’s that teachers must acknowledge as it can affect students learning or focus in the classroom. Teachers must have these relationships to not only know their students but their students lives and how they can be the most help to these students achieving success no matter their circumstances. By knowing my students I will be able to tailor lessons and activities that can help them get to their specified goals. Again, here we see how a nurturing and safe environment can come into play when students need someone to confide in or trust.
Furthermore, the relationship that I will establish with the community will be a major part of my classroom management plan. This community will include people from the school, such as, coaches, other teachers, and administrators. However, this community will also include parents, siblings, and people in the community. Because students have these extensive networks it is important for the teacher to have the same extensive networks. For example, reaching out to a coach that that the student has can help you reach that student in a different way, especially if they are fond of the sports. In addition, teachers must have parents that are willing to cooperate with them for the success of the student. Teachers must actively work to reach out to parents when necessary and seek their help in keeping the student focused on what is important.
I believe that nothing more will lead to the complete disintegration of a classroom than not having clear procedures in place for students. I have noticed in the past year as I have spent time in my field experience, that teacher must have in place every step the students must take and without them they completely flounder.
Teachers can have as many procedures as they need and in some cases may even receive input from students so that once again students feel a part of the process and buy-in to what the teacher needs or wants them to do. Even with the best lesson plan, without procedures for students to follow the lesson plan will be lost in the uncontrolled chaos that will ensue. Thus, procedures are a major part of my classroom management plan. Some examples of procedures I will have in my class are: how to come in to the classroom and what to do when you get in, where to turn in homework, when/if you can get up, what to do when you are finished with your work, when students should talk, and how dismissal of classes will work and this is just to make a few.
Everything discussed above will work together to make my classroom management plan. While I believe that no classroom can function completely with no discipline problems, I believe that it is up to the teacher to create an environment where discipline and behavior problems become less of an issue and on-task behavior becomes the norm for the classroom. Each of these important considerations will help manage the classroom in different but effective ways that will help students develop their own motivation for learning in the classroom.
Grant, C.A., & Sleeter, C.E. (2011). Doing Multicultural Education for Achievement and
Equity. (2nd ed). New York, NY: Routledge
Jones, V., & Jones, L. (2010). Comprehensive Classroom Management. (10th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.