SAVE OUR WATER! Students display advertisements about preventing water pollution and increasing water conservation.

Classroom Management is another important facet of effective teaching. The expert classroom manager uses instructional time efficiently, arranges his/her classroom for optimal student learning and safety, has clear guidelines for student behavior, and can response to inappropriate behavior quickly, fairly, and with little disruption to the class. During my student teaching, I have had an opportunity to improve my classroom management skills. I have also has the opportunity to develop my own classroom management plan, which can be found below. This plan addresses the behavior management plan for my future class, how I will use time effectively, group students, and arrange my future classroom.

Organizing for effective instruction

The desks were arranged in clusters to facilitate social contact
Designing a classroom is an important task to promote the success of students. The classroom must work with the type of instruction being done, and must be a safe place for students. In my 6th grade classroom, students completed a jigsaw activity, which required students to work in groups. The classroom was rearranged to increase social contact among students. This picture to the left showed the way the class was arranged. This arrangement was chosen to maximize discussion and student learning. The following link shows how I will create a safe classroom that promotes learning. Organizing for Instruction.pdf

Use of effective routines and procedures

The use of routines and procedures is important in the classroom, as they provide structure for students, and help them know what behavior is expected of
Bookmarks for independent reading
them. There are 3 types of routines that are used in the classroom. Class-running routines are set to keep a classroom running smoothly. These are not connected to academics, and can be connected to administrative duties, housekeeping routines, and procedures for student movement. Lesson-running routines give students information about behaviors that are expected of them during instruction, which saves time in giving directions. Interaction routines dictate how communication should occur among students, and between students and the teacher.

One of the lesson running routines that I developed with my 3rd grade student teaching class was Royal Reading Time. Reading time happened immediately after recess. As we walked in from the playground, I would tell the students to get ready for royal reading time. When I said that, students knew that they needed to go to the bathroom, get a drink, fill out their reading logs, and sit on the carpet. The first student that was ready knew to pull up "The Royal Throne" (a rolling chair), for me to sit on. Students also knew that they had to sit on the carpet like royal ladies and gentlemen, which meant that they sat quietly. While waiting for the rest of the class, I reviewed the previous day's lesson with students on the carpet. These were usually the students who were pulled for special services, and missed part of the lesson. While students were getting ready, they were still able to listen to the review and participate. After the reading mini-lesson was complete, I would ask students to return to their individual thrones, which meant that they were to begin their independent reading. When I would tell students that Royal Reading Time was over, students immediately knew that they needed to log their reading, put their reading log into their desk, and pack their bags for the end of the day. I found that this routine saved me from giving directions all of the time, and students found it exciting and motivating.

A lesson running routine that I developed in my 5th grade class is called, "I'm Ready." When I need the students' attention, I say, "Show me that you're ready." The students immediately know that they need to do 4 things: sit up/face forward, stop fidgeting with objects, be quiet, and wait for my directions.

Please read more about effective use of routines, procedures, and time by clicking on the following link. Use of time.pdf

Behavior management and responses to inappropriate behavior

My theory of discipline is related to Positive Discipline. I believe that teachers can be both firm and kind at the same time. Showing care and concern for students, and interest in their lives is important for creative a positive, caring environment in the classroom. Respect will be part of my classroom rules. I explain that I expect them to give respect, and they should expect me to respect them. My goal is for students to feel that they can be open, and that I can be someone that they can talk to if they need it. While kindness is a big factor in this, so are discipline and firmness. Students will never feel safe in a place where other students are infringing on their ability to learn, and hurting their self-esteem. This is why enforcing rules is so important in creating a safe environment for students.

In my teaching experiences, I worked very hard to ensure that I create a positive, nurturing environment where students can learn. On my 2009-2010 final teaching evaluation, I received a rating of Exceeds Expectations for creating a positive classroom climate.

Please click on the following link to view my plan to manage behavior in the classroom. Behavior management.pdf

The use of non-verbal cues (thumbs-up) helped me to gain students' attention.