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Classroom Management at the Primary Level


Terms
Behavior Management: Classroom Management is a term used by educators to decribe the procedure, rules ad room arrangment used by teachers to minimize and prevent studnet misbehaviors.

Room Arrangement: Room arrangement is an important part of how a teacher manages his or her classroom.The design and layout of a classroom directly relates to the management of the students. Some classroom designs are more conducive to minimizing misbehaviors and supporting acadenic success. The layout of furniture, instructional space, seating arrangements, windows, computer placement, open classrooms, fish tanks and other fixtures in the classroom can all have an impact on student behavior.

Behavior Charts: A chart that rewards studenst for positive behavior and effort by giving them points. Behavior Charts are a simple way for teachers, parents, and students to track and monitor the behaviors of a student. This gives students concrete ways to earn points and rewards for their positive behaviors. Behavior Charts are not to be used ina punative nature.The goal is to recognize and reward students for positive behaviors in an attempt to minimize misbehaviors.

Extrinsic Motivation/Rewards: These are external forms of motivation. Grades, money, and any type of reward are forms of extrinsic motivation. These are frequently used by educators to promote and reward positive behabior.

Intrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from inside an individual. Challenging work, completion of a goal or project, and the enjoyment of a task are all forms of intrinsic motivation.

Consequences: Consequences are what occur when a student misbehaves. A consequence can be a loss of a privlage, a phone call or letter home, detention, or a parent/administration conference. The type of consequence often depends on the severity of the misbehavior.


Links:
Power Points

Fred+Jones Class Discipline Model.pptx
Classroom Management Power Point.pptx

Websites

Behavior Charts
sun_and_sail.pdf
http://www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com/
Good Behavior Game:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311049/
http://www.edprevcenter.org/media/NIHStaSciCon2004.pdf

Classroom Architect Programs (Create a Blueprint for Your Classroom):
Isaac_Clark's_Classroom_design.jpgHere is an example of a Classroom Blueprint that I created using
http://classroom.4teachers.org/
Here is a second site with another Classroom Blueprint Generator.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/tools/class_setup/

NEA website has lots of articles and tips on classroom management: http://www.nea.org/tools/ClassroomManagement.html
This webpage has tips for using technology to help classroom management:
http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Classroom_Management_&_Technology


Example Discipline Plans:

Isaac Clark’s Classroom Discipline Plan

I like to allow my students to help with the creation of the classroom rules. The class brainstorms ideas and I make a list that we refer to later to come up with four class rules. I work with the class to narrow down the ideas into four broad rules that everyone can live with. They usually look something like this:
1. We will work quietly.
2. We will get out of our seats with permission.
3. We will treat others with respect.
4. We will follow directions.
These four rules are extremely broad and encompass almost all behaviors. The students also feel invested in the classroom environment, which makes them more likely to contribute in a positive manner. I also post the rules on index cards on every student’s desk and on the front and back walls of the classroom. We also discuss the class rules, incidents that occurred during the week, possible solutions and ways to prevent them from reoccurring on Friday Class Meetings. These are 15-20 minute long meetings that are held at the end of the day on Fridays.

The class Consequences are also posted next to the rules on the front and back walls of the classroom.
Unlike the class rules, the students do not have any input in creating the consequences. The class consequences are as follows:
1. Verbal Reminder and/or a Hand Signal that Coincides with the rule that they are breaking (I will hold up the number of fingers that coincide with the number of the rule that they are breaking).
3. Loss of a Team Point
2. The Student is sent to a Buddy Teacher.
3. The student will write a letter to his/her parents explaining the misbehavior. The note needs to be returned the next day signed by the parent.
4. Parent teacher conference
5. Second parent conference with Administrator

I work extremely hard at trying not to send students to the office. It is my belief that a teacher loses the respect and control over their classroom if they relinquish the responsibilities of discipline to the administration.

I like to group my students into 4-5 teams. The students get to decide their team names. I post the team names on a Behavior Bar Graph (I use a large Dry Erase board). The teams get points/bars shaded in on their graph for demonstrating positive behaviors. Students can also lose team points for breaking the a rule two times during a learning block (Language Arts, Math, Science…). I encourage the students to respectfully show the number of fingers that corresponds to the rule that is being broken to other students on their team that are misbehaving. If a student has gotten out of their seat without permission the other students on his/her table should show them two fingers. This creates a classroom where everyone is responsible for the environment. Students are also more likely to respond to their peers then they are to the instructor.

I find room arrangement to be an extremely important part of my discipline plan. I usually have 20-25 students in my class, which I break up into 4-5 groups. Each group will have no more than 5 students in it. The teams are arranged using 6 desks. The extra desk is the materials desk, which houses the teams journals, writing utensils, crayons, and writing paper. Each week a captain is chosen for each team. The captain is responsible for getting and returning the materials as needed. I found that this helps to limit the amount of movement in the room and cut down on misbehaviors. The teams tables are spread out so that I can easily circulate around the classroom. This also helps to cut down on misbehaviors occurring. By moving around the room I am able to identify the early signs of misbehaviors and prevent them before they occur.

Many of the class procedures are carried out as teams. This allows activities to be done in more manageable way than calling the whole class at once. Teams are called one at a time to line up, come to the carpet, go to centers and various other activities.

When we are working on the carpet in a large group I will use the above non-verbal hand signals to remind students to correct misbehaviors. I also use a count down when I need to get the whole classes attention. “Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Everything Down!” and the students respond, “Eyes on you!”. This lets me know that I have all of the students attention. I use this chant before transitions or when I need the class to settle down.

In order to reinforce the classroom rules, the class will play “The Good Behavior Game” for 10-20 minutes a day during individual work time. The goal of the game is to teach the students how to work independently.

The class is given an assignment that they should be able to work on independently and follow up work that they can start if they finish before the completion of the game (Must Dos and May Dos). Work can also be modified for students that are unable to complete the activity on their own. The class will review the 4 class rules and I will ask if there are any questions before we start. I will remind the class that I am unable to help them, with the activity until the game is over. (This also works on diminishing the unnecessary hand raising and reliance on the teacher that some students have). I will then say, “The Good Behavior Game starts now!” If a student breaks one of the four class rules his/her team will get a check. If a team gets more than 4 checks the team loses The Good Behavior Game. Every team has an opportunity to win the game. When the game is over we have a quick discussion and pass out the rewards (stickers, coupons for additional center time,…). I then ask the team captains to grab the teams Good Behavior Game calendar. I then walk around and give a stamp on their calendar for every team that won the Good Behavior Game. At the end of the month the team/s with the most stamps wins a Lunch Bunch Celebration.

Even though The Good Behavior Game is only played for small increments at a time, the positive behaviors continue throughout the day. .Much like the rest of my behavior management plan, it puts the responsibility largely in the hands of the students. This is especially seen during center time, where the students go to assigned learning centers while I work with a small group. The students know that I am not to be disrupted while working in small group. Many of the misbehaviors that do arise are quickly ended by a non-verbal peer reminder.

Another large part of my discipline plan is communication with the students and their parents. I like to find reasons to call every student’s parent or guardian with a positive message early in the school year. This starts the correspondence off on a positive note, and usually helps with later correspondence that may not be as positive. Parents are accustomed to hearing something negative when a teacher calls or writes a letter home. This lets parents know that I am just as concerned, if not more so, about the positive achievements. I also like to sit down with parents and students when they voice concerns, so that the concerns don’t grow into problems. I think being proactive about communication with parents and students can cut down on many unnecessary issues.

I am a huge advocate of positive peer reinforced behavior. I believe that students are much more likely to respond to the rules and procedures of the class if they feel invested in the class. Students need to feel that they are part of the classroom environment in order for them to want to contribute to it in a positive way. All of these strategies in tandem work together to create an environment that fosters academic success, conflict resolution, peer collaboration, leadership, and a community that is void of violence.