1 Kelly 1 Classroom Behavioral Management Plan Phylicia Kelly EDUC 360 November 22, 2010
2 Kelly 2 Descriptive Statement The purpose of this document is to present my thoughts and beliefs concerning the best management practices to implement in a classroom so that students are given as many learning experiences as possible. This document notes my individual teaching style and how I plan to apply these different beliefs in my classroom, I have already established a foundation toward a positive learning environment. With the guidance of several theorists, I have organized my classroom management philosophy and my top ten beliefs/practices that I believe to be essential for any classroom. Philosophy of Classroom Management My Philosophy of Classroom Management is organized through the incorporation of several classroom behavioral management theorists, such as Fred Jones, Harry and Rosemary Wong, Jacob Kounin, Richard Curwin, Allen Mendler, Spencer Kagan, Michele Borba, and Ronald Morrish. As I thought about my individual philosophy and how I intend to manage my own classroom, each and every one of my thoughts was centered around which management practices will provide numerous learning experiences for all of my students, which manage practices will create a positive learning environment, and which practices will help me to organize the classroom so that all students are given an equal opportunity to learn to the best of their ability. As a teacher responsible for many students, I want students to engage in the best possible learning experiences I have to offer. In my mind, these learning opportunities will prevail by incorporating the following Top Ten Beliefs into my own classroom.
3 Kelly 3 My Top Ten Beliefs 1. I believe that teachers should incorporate Fred Jones s theory of Say, See, Do Teaching in their everyday lessons. This theory suggested that teachers involve the students during the teaching of a lesson. Often times, teachers spend a large portion of their lessons presenting information to their students while the students are simply sitting at their desks quietly and listening. Usually, the students are not asked to participate or do anything until the end of the lesson. By teaching in this manner, it is very likely that students will become disengaged from the lesson. Students may begin to feel like there is too much information to retain, therefore, they start letting their minds drift to other places. Also, because the students tend to sit passively for too long, they acquire the urgency to do something. When this happens, these are the most opportune times for misbehavior to occur. If teachers try to think preventively, they will realize that this form of teaching is not effective for a classroom full of students; therefore, I believe that teachers should practice Say, See, Do Teaching in the classroom. Say, See, Do Teaching is when teachers put students to work from the beginning (Charles, p. 127, 2011). The teacher quickly presents some information, engages the students, presents more information, and then engages the students once more. During the lesson, students are more likely to maintain interest if they are actively participating. Since my main goal as an elementary teacher is to increase student learning, Jones s theory of Say, See, Do Teaching seems to be a positive approach to incorporate in the classroom. 2. In a typical classroom, teachers are likely to experience the effects of Helpless Handraisers. For instance, when teaching a whole group lesson, often times, students seem to understand the concept that is being taught; however, when the students are asked to begin
4 Kelly 4 working independently, there is no doubt that several hands go up with questions beyond questions. At this point in time, the teacher proceeds to maneuver around the classroom answering questions and often times, re-teaching the lesson that was just taught. By the time the teacher has answered all questions or re-taught the lesson, more than likely, the lesson has taken more time than originally planned. Therefore, more time throughout the day has been wasted (Charles, p. 127, 2011). As a teacher, I believe in conserving time, not wasting it. I want the students to leave class everyday with as many learning experiences as possible. To do this, I plan to incorporate Fred Jones s technique of using Visual Instruction Plans (VIPs). VIPs are displays that the teacher creates to post around the room, explaining the steps or process for an assignment. For instance, if a teacher has taught the students how to do a division problem, he/she may want to create a display with each step labeled so that the students have a diagram to follow. With this type of visual display, the teacher is not constantly reteaching the same lesson over and over again. The teacher can quickly take a glance at a student s work and simply direct that student to the correct step he/she needs to alter. Also, with this type of instruction provided, it is unlikely that the students will need the teacher to repeat their individual tasks when they do not remember (Charles, p. 127, 2011). 3. When students come into my classroom every morning, I believe in having some form of morning work on each student s desk. Harry and Rosemary Wong say that having morning work eliminates 90 percent of discipline problems that otherwise arise (Charles, p. 113, 2011). I agree with that statement; if students know that they are required to come in the classroom, take care of their morning procedures, and then begin the morning work on their desk, they will most likely remain in their seats and continue working. If they are not
5 Kelly 5 presented with this task every morning, the students will think that they are given free reign to get out of their seats, wander around the room, and chat with other classmates. By not giving the students an exact task at the beginning of each day, the students will take advantage of this free time and inevitably misbehavior will occur. If a teacher manages this procedure from the very beginning of the school year, the teacher will deal with fewer instances of misbehavior. Also, by incorporating morning work into the morning procedures, the teacher will be able to make an easier transition into the lessons for the day. A classroom will be much more productive if the teacher is able to move into learning very smoothly at the start of every day. As the teacher, I know that my responsibility will be to make sure that the morning work for every day is prepared. Even though this will be a bit time-consuming, I feel that it is absolutely necessary. A productive and positive learning environment occurs when the teacher has a well-managed classroom; to have a well-managed classroom, I believe that it all begins with the first 5 minutes of everyday, as soon as the students walk through that door. 4. The key to having a well-managed classroom is also by incorporating classroom rules and expectations. Just as Harry and Rosemary Wong suggested, I also believe that teachers should limit the number of rules to a maximum of five, which should be stated in a positive manner (Charles, p. 105, 2011). I believe that a maximum of five rules/expectations is a great idea because a classroom with too many rules can be overwhelming to students. Yes, children should have limits and expectations, but several of these limits and expectations can fall under certain categories. For instance, one rule could be to follow directions the first time they are given (Charles, p. 105, 2011). This rule applies during several activities
6 Kelly 6 throughout the school day: following the directions for morning procedures, following the directions to complete a homework assignment, following the directions for sitting on the floor during whole group, etc. This is a simple rule that students can understand and the teacher can implement it throughout the entire day. As previously stated, I also believe that these rules should be stated in a positive manner. Students are more likely to react positively when the words are phrased positively as well. When the rules are written in this form, they are encouraging good behavior, rather than focusing on the misbehavior that can occur. Classroom rules should be there as a guide for students to follow so that they know what is required to act as a well-behaved, responsible student. 5. I believe that teachers should apply Jacob Kounin s principal teaching of With-itness in their classrooms. This term means that teachers are able to be in one location in the room and still know what is happening in all other corners of the room. Teachers need to be visibly aware of everything that goes on in a classroom because they are responsible for each individual under their supervision. To be sure that misbehavior does not arouse, teachers need to be with-it, so to speak; they need to see and hear everything that is happening throughout the room to make sure that students are following procedures and staying on task. To prevent classroom disruptions, it is up to the teacher to see where problems are transpiring and handle them immediately without causing more disturbances to those students who are working hard. By being actively aware of the students behaviors in the classroom, teachers can prevent further distractions and misbehaviors before they occur. 6. The theorists, Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler, have stated that student responsibility is more important than obedience in a classroom (Discipline with Dignity).
7 Kelly 7 For my own classroom, I also believe that students should be taught that they are the ones responsible for their own choices and behavior. If my classroom is to be a student-centered environment, then it would only be right that the students control their own actions and know that no one else is to blame, but themselves for the choices they choose to make. By focusing on the concept that each individual student is responsible for his/her own choices, the classroom is less likely to focus on student obedience. I do not want to stand up in front of a classroom of elementary-aged students and lecture them on following the rules; I do not want the students to feel that their ultimate job is to obey the teacher. The students will be in charge of themselves, and I will merely enforce the consequences when poor choices are made. In my classroom, I believe that good behaviors should be shared and discussed with the students and then encouraged. By encouraging these good behaviors and reminding students that they have a choice every day, I feel that misbehavior will be less likely to occur. When the students know that they are held responsible for their own choices and behavior, I believe that they will do their best to make the right choice. 7. Another belief of Curwin and Mendler s that I truly agree with is the idea that teachers should handle misbehavior privately so as not to embarrass the student. When a student does choose to make a poor choice, the misbehavior issue concerns only the teacher and the student involved; the rest of the class does not need to know, hear, or see how you handle the situation. Therefore, the teacher should pull the misbehaving student aside and have a one-on-one conversation discussing the appropriate manner in which the student should have acted. By handling the situation in this fashion, the student will not be humiliated in front of his/her peers, and to be sure that he/she does not get embarrassed in front of everyone, the student will most likely try harder the next time to behave more
8 Kelly 8 appropriately. However, if a student is embarrassed in front of his/her peers, more than likely the misbehavior will only persist. As a teacher with the ultimate goal of providing the students with the best possible learning environment, I will try to prevent misbehaviors before they occur, or stop them before they get out of hand. Therefore, handling behavior issues privately is a great tactic; it not only brings about a quick solution by speaking directly to the student, but it does not contribute to disruptions in the classroom for the other students. 8. To have a well-behaved and well-managed classroom, I also believe that lessons need to be motivating to the students. Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler have also stated that the reason misbehavior occurs is because students are bored in school. If teachers try to prevent this boredom by making the lessons and activities engaging, the students will not have the time nor the will to misbehave. They will be preoccupied and interested in what they are learning; therefore, there will be fewer disruptions and misbehaviors in the classroom. Just as I previously stated, my ultimate goal as a teacher is to provide the best possible learning environment for all students. When there is very little misbehavior, students are given the opportunity to learn without distractions. Then, when students are engaged in the lessons and motivated to learn, I feel that they will be able to truly walk away from the lesson and retain the new schema they just added to their filing cabinets. Therefore, to create these motivating and engaging lessons, teachers need to try to make the lessons personal and relevant to the students. Motivation is key to increasing learning and decreasing misbehavior. 9. After misbehavior has occurred, I believe that teacher should work together with the misbehaving student to find an appropriate solution. This belief actually comes from a combination of the two theorists, Spencer Kagan and Michele Borba. Kagan believed that
9 Kelly 9 that there are three pillars that set the foundation for a classroom, and that the concept of shared responsibilities between the teacher and student is one of them. However, Borba had a very similar belief except she suggested that a teacher should work with the student every time misbehavior occurs by involving the student in the 4 Rs: responding, reviewing, reflecting, and making right. To do this the teacher first needs to have a conversation with the student in which he/she should ask why the student chose to behave that way, meanwhile listening to what the student has to say (responding). Then, the teacher needs to help the student(s) review the classroom rules so that they understand why they are in trouble (reviewing). Next, the teacher needs to ask questions that cause the student(s) to think about the effects of their behavior (reflecting). Finally, the teacher needs to assist the student(s) in making the situation right. During this entire process, the teacher and student are working together to find an appropriate solution to the problem. By walking the student through these steps after the misbehavior has occurred, the student is able to discuss the situation, review why the behavior was inappropriate, and be a part of the solving process. I believe that a misbehaving student is more likely to learn from his/her mistake if he/she is asked to move through this process afterwards. If the student is the bearer of a teacher-directed punishment with no conversation about the situation, I believe that the misbehavior will reoccur again. In order to provide a safe and positive learning environment for all students, the teacher needs to do whatever is necessary to prevent future misbehaviors, even if it means practicing this intervention process as often as necessary. 10. My final belief about classroom behavioral management comes from Ronald Morrish, who believed that consequences should be applied to help the students learn. One particular type of consequence that he suggested was compensation. This means that the misbehaving
10 Kelly 10 student should do something positive to make up for the negative (Charles, p. 95, 2011). For instance, the student could write a letter to the victim he/she was teasing; or, the student could make an improvement plan indicating how he/she would handle the situation in the future; or, the student could write a story that illustrates the problem and lesson learned to read to younger children. Basically, Morrish thought that misbehaving students should do something that showed they were learning from their poorly made choice. I believe that this is a great technique to prevent future misbehaviors and for students to learn from their mistakes. By having a student write a letter to a victim of teasing, the misbehaving student may realize that he/she truly could have hurt the victim s feelings. Children will not come to this realization by being told they just have to stay in for recess or give up some of their free choice time. I believe that students need to compensate for their misbehavior; they need to do something that will help them learn from their mistake to prevent the behavior from occurring again. Therefore, I would use the loss of recess or free choice time as a consequence, but during that time, I want the misbehaving student to do something that compensates for their negative behavior. These are the Top Ten Beliefs that I deem to be essential to create a well-managed and well-behaved classroom. Overall, I believe in doing whatever is necessary to prevent misbehavior before it occurs, but it does not always work that way. There are just some behaviors that will inevitably happen and they cannot be prevented. However, the key to keeping a well-managed classroom is to work through those misbehaviors by supporting the students through the reflection process, guiding them to the appropriate decisions, acknowledging student responsibility in the classroom, devising a compensating consequence plan, and engaging students in interesting lessons. Along with my Top Ten Beliefs, I also
11 Kelly 11 believe that a teacher should have several procedures and routines organized and ready to be implemented every day in the classroom. The specific procedure and routines that I plan to incorporate are as follows: Procedures and Routines 1. Beginning of the Day: When the students come into the classroom in the morning, it is very important that the students have specific morning procedures to follow. Without these morning procedures, the school day will most likely not begin on time and the morning will seem chaotic. Upon entering the classroom, the students can take a brief second to say hello to the teacher and classmates. Then, the students must go directly to their cubbies, take out their homework and communication folders, and put their backpacks away. After putting their backpacks away, the students must proceed to the basket on the back table in which they must leave their communication folder and then place their homework in the proper homework tray. After turning in all necessary items, the students need to go directly to the attendance and lunch count and indicate whether they are having hot or cold lunch by moving their designated magnet to the proper section on the front board. Then, they need to make sure that they have 2 sharpened pencils to begin the day by sharpening any pencils if needed. After returning to their seats with sharpened pencils, the students must take a seat and read the directions on the front board displaying what is to be done for morning work. Morning work may consist of a journal response, a worksheet, or an individual activity that can be done alone and quietly. The purpose of morning work is to get the students on task right away so that they are prepared to begin learning once the morning bell rings.
12 Kelly 12 Since this is a long list of procedures to follow in the morning, the teacher will type up a Word document that displays each step for this procedure. The teacher will display this laminated document on the wall next to the classroom door so that the students can see them as they enter the classroom. Then, the teacher will create smaller versions of this document to put on the corner of each child s desk so that he/she can have them in an easily accessible place. To begin the day, the teacher will make sure that the directions for the morning work are written on the front board so that the students can begin right away. Also, the teacher must make sure that the attendance/lunch count magnets are ready to be maneuvered appropriately. With these procedures in place, the students should be able to get on task right away at the beginning of every day. 2. Attendance/Lunch Count: Rather than taking time out of every morning to orally call each student by name to see if they are at school and what they are having for lunch, it would be more appropriate to have the students take care of the attendance and lunch count during their morning procedures. To check attendance and the lunch count easily, the teacher will have a prepared magnet for each student in the classroom (they will be cutouts of lunchboxes that will be laminated with a magnet glued on the back). On the corner of the front board, there will be a section labeled Hot Lunch and another labeled Cold Lunch. The students will be responsible for moving their individual lunchbox magnets to the proper section, depending on what they are having for lunch. As the teacher, I will explain the fact that it is against the rules to move anyone else s magnet except your own; each student is responsible for him/herself. By carrying out this procedure during the morning procedures, the teacher will not have to distract the entire class as they are quietly and individually working on their morning work.
13 Kelly 13 As the teacher, I will need to be sure that the magnets and the lunch chart are prepared before the very first day of school. The students will need to practice this procedure the first day so that they can keep up with it throughout the rest of the school year. Then, on a daily basis, I will need to make sure that each magnet is moved to a designated area, not in the Hot Lunch or Cold Lunch sections, so that the counts will be accurate every day. This will be a routine that I will be sure to get organized at the end of every school day for the following day. 3. Pencil Sharpening: At the beginning of each school day, the students are required to make sure that they have two sharpened pencils to begin the day. I want the students to have two pencils ready just in case one pencil breaks; it is always better to have a backup so that students do not constantly want to get out of their seats to sharpen another pencil. Being at the pencil sharpener only distracts the rest of the class because of the noise it provides, and it is just another opportunity for misbehavior to occur. However, as a teacher, it is important to realize that even though students will have two sharpened pencils in the morning, they still may need to re-sharpen the pencil throughout the day for whatever reason. Knowing that this may occur, I will also have an area set aside with two cans for pencils: one can will be labeled Sharpened Pencils and the other can will be labeled Unsharpened Pencils. If the student has an unsharpened pencil, he/she will quickly and quietly get out of their seats, go over to the can-pencil area, leave the unsharpened pencil in the correct can, and take a sharpened pencil out of the other can. By doing this, the whole class and I do not have to hear the pencil sharpener throughout the day since it provides a distraction. This technique will also limit the misbehavior because students will not be in one area for long periods of time, waiting to use the pencil sharpener.
14 Kelly 14 As the teacher, it will be my job to make sure that all of the unsharpened pencils from the Unsharpened Pencil Can will be re-sharpened and put into the other container. In order for this procedure to be a success, I need to make sure that these pencils are sharpened before the students get to school. This will be another task that I will get organized at the end of every school day for the following day so that it is ready the next morning. 4. Communication with Parents: Communication with the students parents is very important. It is the teacher s responsibility to keep the parents updated with the current happenings at school and what will be occurring in the future. Also, as a teacher, it is very important to keep those parents involved with the everyday activities of their children. Teachers play a major role in providing students with the necessary information they need to grow and learn, but reinforcement at home is most certainly beneficial. We are only with the students for about 7 hours every day, and we try to provide the students with as many learning opportunities as possible. Since it is sometimes difficult to accomplish everything that is necessary, teachers become very dependent on those parents to review, study, and practice with their own children. Therefore, in my classroom, I will provide every student with a Moose (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday) Book. This item will be in the form of a binder and will house everything necessary pertaining to school. For instance, there will be an inside pocket labeled, Important Papers from School. Then, there will be a file folder in the binding section labeled, Super Duper Work to Keep. Any of the work that is done at school that needs to go home will go in this area. Then, another file folder will be labeled, Returned Homework in which the student s homework for the day will go home in that section and come back in that section. Following homework section will be a labeled section titled, Parent/Teacher Communication.
15 Kelly 15 This is where I will supply blank sheets of notebook paper for the parent to write a note to the teacher or vice versa. Then, I will have a final section labeled, Newsletters in which a weekly newsletter will be sent home at the end of every week to share what has been happening in class. In order for the Moose Books to be a success in my classroom, I will have to prepare these binders before the first day of school. I will need to be sure that I have a binder for each student and that each one contains the correct sections. Then, I will definitely need to explain how the Moose Books work to the parents so that they can participate in this organizational process. This Moose Book will be beneficial to the teacher, student, and parents because it contains all the necessary items for school. It is also very important because it provides a fast and easy communication process for the teacher and parent if a note needs to go home or to school any day of the week. Also, by using this binder, the parents will know exactly where the daily homework will be and what the student needs to accomplish. The only issue that I may have with these Moose Books would be the cost. Not every school will provide all of the necessary materials for these books so I definitely need to be ready and willing to support this out of my own pocket. However, with the organization that these Moose Books will provide, I will definitely do whatever is necessary to get the funds. 5. Getting Attention/Signaling for Quiet: When a classroom of students are working together in groups, participating in free choice time, transitioning from one subject/activity to the next, or during any time in which the students have gone above the appropriate noise level, I plan to obtain the students attention by using the technique of Give Me Five by Harry and Rosemary Wong. To teach this technique to my students, I will definitely need to rehearse it during the first week of class. First, when I want to quiet the class and get their attention, I need to start by simply raising my hand and saying out
16 Kelly 16 loud, Give me five. At this point in time, the students should be going through the five steps in their mind that they should be doing during this procedure. The five steps are: 1) Eyes on the speaker, 2) Quiet, 3) Be Still, 4) Hands Free, and 5) Listen. As the students are thinking through these 5 steps in their mind, the teacher will gradually put up all 5 fingers, indicating that they have almost completed all 5 steps. Once all 5 fingers are up and my hand is open, I should have the students full attention. In order for this procedure to be successful, I will need to create a chart that lists these 5 steps and hang it somewhere in the classroom so that is easy for all students to see. Then, during the first week of school, I will need to teach this procedure and practice, practice, practice it over and over with the students. By the end of the first week, the students should have this procedure nearly memorized. 6. Transition to Specials: When it is time for the students to leave the classroom and transition to their specials, lunch, or recess, I believe that there should be a specific procedure in which the students are quiet so as not to disturb any other classes in progress. For my students, I will use the Flip and Zip technique. This is a very interesting procedure that I witnessed in another school corporation and I find that it is very successful. During these transitioning times, the students are all required to line up in two lines, a boy and girl line. Then, before we leave the classroom, I will simply say to students, Flip and Zip. At this point in time, the students should cross their arms across their chest and zip their lips. Then, when we are walking through the hallway, all voices are off because their mouths are zipped, and no one is touching the walls or each other because their arms are crossed. This is a very simple procedure, but it will definitely need to be rehearsed with the students repeatedly.
17 Kelly 17 As the teacher, my responsibility will be to teach this procedure to the students starting the very first day of school. Then, I will need to ensure that all of my students are following this procedure by reminding them as often as necessary. It may even be beneficial to create a small sign near the doorway that reminds the students to Flip and Zip every time they leave the room. Implementation of Classroom Management Plan Classroom Rules/Expectations: I believe that the students should be involved in the process of creating our classroom rules and that these should be established on the very first day of school. My reasoning for having student involvement in this process is because I believe that the children are more apt to follow the rules if they were part of the rule making. As I previously mentioned in my Top Ten Beliefs, I want my classroom to be centered around student responsibility rather than teacher obedience. If I just stand up in front of the classroom and explain my rules to all of the students, it is likely that they will not realize the importance of following these rules, and I will simply be enforcing obedience. However, if the students are involved in this rule-creating process, they will have to think about what is most important, why it is most important, and overall they may try harder to follow the rules if they are their own rules; the students would realize that it is their responsibility to follow these rules, especially since they chose them. When we begin creating these rules as a whole class, I will start by explaining that we will only 5 rules for our classroom; we do not want too many that will be hard to follow and too few that do not cover all of the necessary areas. Therefore, when the students start thinking about the rules for the class, they will need to decide on what is most important. However, since this is my classroom, I will have some rules/expectations that I believe will be very important to
18 Kelly 18 have in a classroom. For instance, I believe that students should follow directions the first time they are given. Before I begin creating these rules with my students, I will have a plan of the 5 most important rules to me. Then, when we start deciding on the rules, I will guide the students using my plan. I want the students to share their opinions and I want them to have a say in our classroom rules since they will be responsible for following them. If I find that one of their ideas is more important than one from my plan, I will be willing to acknowledge that. However, I will do my best to guide the students to appropriate rules. Given this responsibility, I believe that the students will try their best to create a good set of rules and expectations for the class. After the rules have been created, I will transfer the information from chart paper to a poster board and laminate it. I want to hang this poster board in front of the classroom so that it can be viewed by all of the students during any time of the day. Then, after creating a Rules/Expectations Poster, I will explain the consequences to the students if they choose to break any of these rules. These consequences will be the standard ones used in nearly every classroom: first offense being a warning, second offense -losing half of recess, third offenselosing all of recess and sending a note home/calling the parents, and fourth offense- referral to the principal s office. If a student reaches his/her third offense, this is where I will implement the idea of compensation from my Top Ten Beliefs. By the time a student reaches the third offense, he/she has repeated some form of misbehavior. Therefore, I believe that the student should stay in for recess and compensate for this misbehavior. For instance, the student could write a letter to the teacher explaining his/her wrongdoing and how he/she plans to fix it in the future. I will list some compensation ideas under the third and fourth offense because that is where these ideas will be implemented. After explaining the consequences, I will have them written on a laminated poster board to be displayed in the front of the classroom as well. The
19 Kelly 19 students need to see exactly what their expectations are and what the consequences are if they choose not to follow them. After discussing the rules and consequences for the classroom, I feel that the students definitely need to know about the reward s system. I believe that there should be incentives for the students to motivate good behavior. As I have previously stated several times, a wellmanaged and well-behaved classroom creates a positive learning environment for all students to continue growing and learning. If incentives will motivate the students to be on their best behavior so that learning can occur, I will definitely provide these rewards. Some rewards will just be simple, easy rewards that merely show praise. For instance, when a student is displaying good behavior by sitting quietly at his/her own seat waiting to go to lunch, I may verbally praise this student and let him/her be the first in line. However, I also believe that there should be some special rewards, such as Preferred Activity Time (PAT) in which the students are given a specific amount of time to do whatever they choose to do within reason. For example, the students can choose to play board games, play math games, play computer games, work on homework, read a book, draw a picture, etc. At the end of every day, I plan to re-evaluate each student s behavior; every student who was not subject to any of the previous consequences for misbehavior will receive a sticker. At the end of the week, all of the students who received 5 stickers (one sticker each day) for good behavior will be given 20 minutes of PAT. For any students who were given only 4 stickers, they will only receive 15 minutes of PAT. Then, any students with 3 stickers will receive 10 minutes, 2 stickers will be 5 minutes, and 1 sticker or less will be a loss of all PAT at the end of the week. The ultimate goal is that the students will want this extra 20 minutes of Preferred Activity Time so they will try their best to behave appropriately throughout the week. For the students who do not receive any PAT at the end of the week, I will have them
20 Kelly 20 work through an Improvement Plan in which they need to explain how they intend to improve their behavior for the following week. During the PAT, I want the student(s) to realize why they are missing out on this reward, and then explain what they need to fix to be a part of it the following week. My overall goal of using this compensation technique is not to provide the students with busy work; I simply want the students to learn from their mistakes and devise a plan in which they explain how they can improve. The object is for all students to behave appropriately throughout the entire week so that they are gaining as much as they can from our learning opportunities. Curriculum and Instruction: In my Top Ten Beliefs, I stated that motivation is the key to increasing learning and decreasing misbehavior. I truly believe that the students need to be engaged in my instruction if I really want learning to occur. In order for the students to be motivated about learning, I first believe that I, the teacher, need to be motivated about every aspect that I am teaching. If I am not excited about student learning, how can I expect my students to be excited? Therefore, I intend on showing my enthusiasm for learning during every lesson. Then, I also believe that the lessons that I teach need to be relevant and authentic to the students; these lessons/activities need to spark their interests. If I cannot gain their interest, it is very likely that the students will not retain the new information. After school begins, I will spend time getting to know my students, their different learning styles, and what I can do to get them interested in learning. Then, I will take that knowledge and do my best to incorporate these aspects into my teaching. If I know that several of my students are visual learners and then others are bodily/kinesthetic (hands on) learners, then I would try to create lessons for these
21 Kelly 21 multiple intelligences. I want my students to continue to grow and learn, and I want to provide them with the best learning opportunities possible; therefore, I will definitely plan for the types of learners in my classroom. Classroom Management Style: Preventive: A preventive classroom management style is when the teacher uses proactive management strategies that work toward preventing misbehavior before it occurs. In order to have a preventive classroom management style, I believe that a teacher needs to have an organized set of routines, rules, and consequences so that students know what is expected of them. If these management systems are in place, the students will know that they are responsible for following these procedures and that they will be held accountable for the choices they make. One of the management techniques that I intend to use in my classroom that will support a preventive management style is the idea of allowing students to be a part of the rule-making process. By allowing the students to be a part of this decision, we will already be talking about the importance of the rules in the classroom. They will also gain an understanding of what each of these rules mean because they will need to defend why they believe that a particular rule is essential in a classroom. I strongly believe that this is a great preventive technique because the teacher is definitely making the rules known to every student in the classroom. Another preventive management strategy that I believe should be taken into account is the physical proximity of the teacher to the students. Students are less likely to misbehave if they know they are in the sight of the authoritative figure. Therefore, I will be sure to position my desk in sight of all of the students desks so that I can see every student. If I notice that a student is getting off task during a lesson, small group work, or individual work, I will bring
22 Kelly 22 myself closer to this student. Often times, the off-task student will re-evaluate their behavior and make the correct choice if he/she knows that the teacher is watching. Supportive: A supportive classroom management style is when certain measures are taken to assist students by helping them get back on task. For instance, one way to redirect a student s behavior is through the use of appropriate body language. When a student becomes distracted and stops working through an assignment, the teacher can simply make eye contact with the student, give a hand signal, or show the appropriate facial expression, such as a frown (aka, the teacher look). I believe that my body language will quickly and quietly redirect that off-task student. Another way of creating a supportive classroom environment would be to instill humor into a lesson that has become uninteresting. Often times, misbehavior occurs when students are bored and no longer engaged in what they are learning. If I try to keep the students engaged in the lesson by incorporating some interesting or humorous points, I believe that the students are more likely to stay on task with the lesson at hand. This will also be a way to ensure that learning will continue to take place since the students will be focused on the excitement of the lesson. Often times in elementary school, students are likely to get off task when they have a particular object, toy, or belonging that distracts them from their responsibilities. As a teacher, my goal would be to prevent the distractions and misbehaviors that could occur with this particular object. To support the student(s) and redirect their attention to the main lesson, I believe that it would be beneficial to remove any of these distractive objects. It is very easy for a student to get off task when this object is in their hands waiting to be toyed with. At the end of the school day, I would then return the object to the owner and ask him/her to leave it at home.
23 Kelly 23 Corrective: A corrective classroom management style would be the measures that a teacher takes when students choose not to follow the classroom or school rules. For instance, these would be the consequences that I have previously mentioned. When a student breaks a rule the first time, he/she is given a warning. After the warning, the student will lose half of their recess. Once a student reaches his/her third offense, the student then is in charge of compensating for the negative behavior. The student will lose all of their recess, but that time will be spent wisely. That time will be spent writing a letter of apology and explanation or writing an improvement plan for their behavior. Also, when a student has chosen not to follow a particular classroom or school rule, it is very important that the teacher makes sure that the consequences are consistent. If I do not follow through with the consequences that were discussed at the very beginning of the school year, the students will recognize this and they will take advantage of it. The students will learn what they can get away with and what is unacceptable. My overall goal is to show students that I will be consistent, misbehavior will not be tolerated in any fashion, and every student will be responsible for the consequence of their own decisions. Another corrective management strategy would be to speak to the student privately about the issue at hand. When a student chooses to misbehave, it is the responsibility of the teacher to keep this matter private and between the teacher, student, and/or principal and parents. If a student is misbehaving, I believe that the teacher should not embarrass the student; this may only make matters worse. The situation is likely to be solved in a quicker and quieter form if the teacher directly speaks to the student in private.
24 Kelly 24 Miss Kelly s Classroom Arrangement Computers Rocking Chair Window Teacher s Desk Whole Group Rug White Board Bulletin Board Students Desks Guided Reading Table Cubbies Storage Cabinets White Board Entrance This would be the way that I would arrange my elementary school classroom. I chose to have the Teacher s Desk in the corner across from the entrance because it is in the back of the classroom, out of the learning area. I chose to put the students desks in groups of six in which their backs would face the window and the entrance. I would prefer that none of the students backs would be to the front of the room, which is where I would be teaching. I also chose to provide enough walking areas through the groups of desks so that I could be within a close proximity of all of the students. Then, I also provided a designated area for whole group time and a designated area for guided reading groups. These are important areas because they are essential to the elementary school curriculum.
25 Kelly 25 Parent Letter Dear Parent/Guardian, Welcome back to another school year! I am very excited to have your child in my class this year and I know that it will be a great year for learning. I just thought that I would send a letter home on this first day of school to share a little bit about our classroom and the way that I have it structured so that the students are provided with the best possible learning environment. Today, we discussed our classroom rules/expectations and the consequence and reward system. My belief is that the students in the classroom should have a say in the rules that they will be responsible for following. As a class, we had a discussion and narrowed our rules to the 5 most important ones: 1) Follow directions the first time they are given, 2) Raise your hand and wait for permission to speak, 3) Stay in your seat unless you have permission to do otherwise, 4) Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself, and 5) Always use kind words. The students have agreed that these rules are very important to our classroom so that everyone is at ease everyday and ready to learn. If by some chance any of the students choose to break any of these rules, there are consequences already in place: 1 st offense: Warning, 2 nd offense: Lose half of recess, 3 rd offense: Lose all of recess, compensate for negative behavior by writing an apology letter or improvement plan, and note home to parent, and 4 th offense: Referral to principal s office. These consequences were explained to every student in the classroom and they know what is expected of them. However, I also feel that good behavior should be rewarded and it will. At the end of every school day, I will re-evaluate each child s behavior. Anyone who was not subject to any of these previously stated consequences will receive a sticker on their daily sticker chart. At the end of every week, the students will receive Preferred Activity Time in which they can do anything of their choosing within reason. The students who received all 5 stickers throughout the week will receive the full 20 minutes of PAT, 4 stickers results in 15 minutes, 3 stickers results in 10 minutes and so on down the line. My ultimate goal is that every student will be on their best behavior everyday to enjoy this time at the end of the week. In order to keep you updated about the happenings in school, I have this Moose Book system in which every student will be provided with a binder with all the important items for school. In this binder, I have provided a pocket folder for important papers from school, work that needs to stay home, homework that needs to be done and returned to school, and newsletters. Also, toward the back there is a section with blank sheets of notebook paper for any point in time in which you may need to write me a note or vice versa. Please, do not hesitate to write me a note about anything concerning your child. I will use this section to do the same. Also, please be sure that your child brings this binder to school every day. I will ensure that it is taken home every day so that you can have all the necessary updates. Thank you so much for your time! I am looking forward to this school year and I hope that you and your child are too! Sincerely, Miss Kelly
26 Kelly 26 Works Cited Charles, C.M. (2011). Building classroom discipline. Boston: Pearson. (2007) Discipline with dignity. Retrieved from with_dignity.
Classroom Management Plan Nicole Short EDUC 360 The purpose of this classroom management plan is to address my philosophy and beliefs about discipline, state classroom procedures, and the implementation
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