“The purpose of education is to produce not just good learners, but also good people” – . C.J. Hardin (2008) Effective classroom management
This section of my teaching portfolio is dedicated to my beliefs and strategies for classroom management. Classroom management is one of the most imperative components of a prolific classroom- for both teacher and student. With this in mind, I have created an organized management plan that I believe reduces distractions through structure and rules. My primary goal during the creation of this plan was to support student-centered instruction and management, for it is through such a method that students develop a sense of responsibility for their actions and become active participants in the classroom community. I have high behavior standards for my students, however, I am very conscious to tailor such standards to be developmentally appropriate for the target age group. I am very aware that this management plan is a work in progress, which will change from year-to-year depending on student’s needs.
The following strategies are crucial to my classroom management style:
- Positive reinforcement
- Being consistent!
- Routines and Procedures
- Differentiated curriculum
- Parent/Teacher communication
- Rules and Consequences
- Multiple Intelligence Styles
Ms. Mabery’s classroom only has five simple rules! Each of these rules are incredibly important to the prosperity of the classroom community.
- Be responsible
- Be respectful of others and their property.
- Listen carefully and follow directions.
- Have a positive attitude.
- Do your best!
Each of these rules will be discussed during the beginning of the school year, and recorded on chart paper to be displayed in the classroom. Each student will sign the chart paper as a pledge to the teacher, their classmates, and themselves to obey the classroom rules.
For individual behavior management, I choose to use a behavior chart like the one pictured below. Each student will have a clothespin with their name on it and begin the day at “Ready To Learn.” As they make behavior choices throughout the day-both good and bad, they will move up or down the chart. I would like to stress that praising positive behavior is imperative to the success of this management system. I am a huge advocate of positive reinforcement and praise, therefore so I do not use this system to only focus on the negative behaviors in my classroom.
1st Offense: Student’s clip will move down a space to Yellow. The student will also be given a verbal warning to STOP and THINK about his/her behavior! I chose to only give on verbal warning to children. After one is issued, and disruptive and/or disrespectful behavior continues, the student is making a conscious decision and must be met with more stringent consequences. I will simply move their clip down, rather than interrupt class with continual reminders.
2nd Offence: Student’s clip will move down to Orange. The student will loss either part or all of his/her recess, depending on the severity of the offence.
3rd Offence: Student’s clip will move down to Red. If the student has continued his or her behavior and has reached this level, parent contact will be initiated via a phone call home or a note.
During the beginning of the school year, while students are still becoming accustomed to the classroom rules and procedures, I find it very important to keep parents in the loop on how their student is behaving during the school day. For this reason, I will send a behavior chart home at the end of each week. The students will fill in the color they finished the day on at the end of each school day. A sample of this chart is below:
- Lunch with the teacher in the classroom.
- Preferred Activity Time (P.A.T)- Every Friday afternoon the whole class will get free time in the afternoon, about half an hour, for an activity of their choice. If a student fails to finish an assigned task to the best of their ability in a reasonable amount of time because of behavior issues, the assignment may go into the “P.A.T. work tray”
- Marble Jar- Students will be working together to fill a marble jar with marbles for a prize. When students have the marble jar full, they may vote on a reward. Reward examples may include: Extra free time on Friday, movie party, game day, etc. The picture below more fully illustrates the choices students may have.
- “Classroom bucks” tickets- The students will receive a buck ticket when exhibiting on task or exemplary behavior. The students place their bucks in a plastic container they keep inside their desks. When a child has collected 10 bucks, they cash them in for a trip to the class treasure box. I also take “ Bucks” as well; students may have to give the teacher a buck for excessive talking, misconduct, etc.
It has been said that good classroom management is the glue that holds everything together, and it is important to take advantage of the limited time in the school day to focus on educating students, not disciplining them (Pittaro, 2012). This is an opinion that I whole-heartedly agree with. It is for this reason that I am passionate about incorporating non-verbal signals into my classroom routine. Students will receive explicit instruction on what this signals are and how they are used during the beginning of the school year. The signals that I have used successfully in the past are summarized below.
1. “Give me Five:” When I say “Give me 5” and put a hand up, the students will understand that this is a signal for their undivided attention and follow by raising each of their hands, with eyes on the teacher.
2. “Eyes on Me”- When I chant “One, Two, Three, Eyes on Me,” the students will then reply, “One, Two, Eyes on You!” This is a signal to stop, look, and listen.
3. Classroom bell or chime
4. Classroom Sign Language- I plan on implementing a couple of the non-verbal signs developed by Rick Morris- the sign for using the bathroom and getting a drink of water. I believe the utilization of these signs will minimize distractions and interruptions greatly during the school day.
Other examples of classroom management:
Use of a “Noise-O-Meter” illustrated to students what noise level is acceptable at any given point of the school day.
“Today’s Agenda” will be very prominently displayed in the classroom, complete with beginning and ending times of each activity. I believe that this technique supports student’s involvement in their learning experience.
Informing students of what the “Daily Objectives” for the day is a great way to keep students on task, focused on learning, and involved in their learning goals.
Classroom job chart for students to be active participants in the classroom community, complete with responsibilities.
This is what you do when you……
1. Enter the classroom: Line up outside the classroom door and prepare to be greeted by the teacher. Enter the classroom respectfully and quietly; follow the appropriate procedures for the time of day.
– In the morning: Put your personal items in your locker/cubby before lining up. After being greeted by teacher, enter the classroom and place homework folder in homework bin and sit at your desk.
– After recess: Enter the classroom and immediately sit at desk.
– After lunch: Enter the classroom and place your head on desk. Take a “chill pill” (some needed calm and relaxing time) while your teacher reads aloud.
2. Lining up: After being dismissed, stand up quietly and push in your chair. Respect others personal space and keep your hands to yourself. If you are line leader for the week, you will be dismissed first so that you may take your place at the head of the line.
3. Preparing for Lunch: Wait quietly at your desk until the teacher asks for students having cold lunch to get their things. Silently go out to your locker/cubby, get your lunch, and line up. If you have hot lunch, wait quietly at your desk until you are dismissed. Collect your lunch ticket and line up.
4. Sitting on the carpet: Sit “criss-cross applesauce”, hands in lap, and eyes on the teacher. Leave personal space between yourself and your neighbors.
5. Need to use the bathroom: You may not use the restroom during class discussions and lectures. If you need to use the restroom during other times of the day, use the appropriate bathroom signal (see signals) to ask permission. After the teacher acknowledges you with a nod or shake of the head, you may quietly get up from your seat, and then take the bathroom pass. There is only one boy and one girl bathroom pass.
6. Need a pencil: You will begin each day with two sharpened pencils. If you for some reason need a new one during the day, patiently raise your hand and request to get up and retrieve one from the pencil box.
7. Have a question: Respectfully raise your hand and wait for the teacher to call on you.
8. Handing in finished work: Make sure your first and last name is on paper, as well as the date. Place it in the “finished work” basket.
9. Handing in unfinished work: If you have not completed your assignment during the time allowed, place work with your first and last name, as well as date, in the “Unfinished Work” basket. It will be sent home with you as homework that night.
10. Finish your work early: Chose a “must-do” or a book and work quietly. Do not disturb your classmates.
11. Need a drink from water fountain: You will not get drinks during class discussions and lectures. During other times of the school day, use appropriate hand signal and wait for dismissal from teacher. Take only a three second drink and return back to your seat.
12. Attendance and pledge: Quietly sit in your desk while attendance and lunch count is taken for the day. Once the teacher has competed these tasks, you will be prompted to stand silently behind your desk, facing the flag, with your right hand over your heart while reciting the pledge. Once finished, sit at your desk and wait for dismissal from your teacher. Once dismissed, walk quietly down to the classroom carpet for morning routines.
13. Fire bell rings: When you hear the fire drill, immediately STOP what you are doing. Silently line up at the appropriate exit. Wait for teacher to do a headcount of students. Walk quietly to a designated safe area. Sit “criss-cross applesauce” with your hands in your lap. You may talk quietly with your neighbor until the fire drill is over.
1.Pittaro, Tammi. (2012) Non-Verbal Classroom Management Tips. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/2012/08/non-verbal-classroom-management-tips.html
Please note that many of the images in this section were taken from Pinterest. For complete viewing of the ideas and techniques I have become interested in from this site, please visit my boards. Links are below: