Classroom Management Plan
Throughout my varied experiences of working with children I have developed many philosophies and beliefs about children and how best to work with them. A mantra I learned at one of my earlier jobs is simple, but succinct, “Believe in Children.” Believe that they can learn, that they can teach, that they can grow and thrive. If we truly believe that children are capable of doing great things, then they will do great things.
I believe that classrooms should be democratic and safe environments where every child feels as though they have a voice and the freedom to learn. I believe that my classroom management plan will reflect this ideal.
Climate and Expectations:
The classroom will be organized and neat. All materials will have specific places and these places should all be labeled with text and a visual cue. The classroom should include lots of different types of spaces and be very open. There should be a large area in which the children can move around with their bodies, there should be an area in which children can play dress up and dramatic place. Another area will be dedicated to meetings, another area for arts and crafts, another for resting and relaxing. There should also be designated places within the classroom for students who are having a hard time to go and calm down and self regulate until they feel ready to join the class again.
All of these things are important because they enable students to be in control of the classroom and feel as though the classroom is theirs. The students should be able to know where to find materials and feel empowered to move around the room. This set-up is meant to empower students and turn the power in to classroom over to them.
I believe that classroom rules should be determined by students and should be change-able throughout the year depending on the particular needs of each group of students. The biggest rules that are non-negotiable are that students cannot do anything that makes it hard for other students to learn or for the teachers to teach. Another non-negotiable is surrounding safety in the classroom; if something is not safe, it is not allowed. Students may come up with specific examples like no pushing, no shoving, no talking when someone else is talking, no calling out, no distracting students when learning is going on.
Other rules will be made up by the kids as the year goes on that are more classroom-specific; such as if its ok to save your spot on the choice board, if its ok to sit in someone’s assigned seat, etc.
I think that building a transparent community is vital to building social skills in the elementary school grades. If an incident occurs in the classroom between students, then the entire class should be involved in a discussion of the events and get to have a voice.
All students are expected to eventually know how to treat one another with respect, take pride in their work, and know how to regulate their emotions and ways to handle negative emotions and situations with grace.
It’s expected that students follow directions and do their work. That being said there should always be an understanding when students are unable to follow directions or do work.
Rules, Routines, and Procedures
I believe that routines and structures are of the utmost importance. I believe that children require strict guidelines and frameworks to feel safe and to be able to thrive. I think consistency is absolutely vital for children to build relationships and feel knowledgeable about how the classroom operates.
Classroom routines will be established the very first day of school. Students will learn how to take attendance, use a choice board to show where the will be in the room, how to do daily cleanup, transition between lunches/recesses/specials. I want routines to be very clear and structured so that students can be confident and will feel as though the room is their own personal space.
Everyday the students will come in, put their things away in their cubbies, and pick out a book to read or puzzle to work on. When school starts we will do attendance and greetings with students running the meeting on a rotating schedule. Students will take attendance with a stack of cards so we can add them at the end and introduce basic addition and subtraction and also concepts like double-checking.
At the end of meeting the choice board will be introduced with the days choices and how many students are allowed at each of the choices around the classroom. If there is something that all students must do, such as handwriting, writing, or a specific project, that will also be made clear. Students will then receive their name cards one at a time so they can make choices on the choice board. Students are able to make new choices on their own throughout the whole of choice time. This teaches students independence and gives them the ability to learn in the ways that most interest them.
Between choice times and lunch/recess/specials students will always reconvene back on the rug so students can get used to coming back together before moving in or out of the room. Students will be called one at a time to line up to leave the room.
After lunch and recess students will know to come into the room and find a comfortable place in the meeting area or in the pillows for a quiet read-aloud. This will allow students an opportunity to relax and reset themselves before the academics in the afternoon.
Behavioral Intervention Strategies:
To begin, I believe that strong classroom structure, consistent routines, and engaging materials work to prevent behavioral situations and class disruptions. That being said, there will be behavioral disruptions regardless of how seamless the day might be planned and structured. In the event of these disruptions it is important to be prepared to deal with student behavior.
I believe that there is not a single correct way to deal with student behavior since the reasons for the behavior differ from child to child and the reason for the behavior determines how to approach it. For attention-seeking behaviors it is important to acknowledge to the class that the student’s behavior is not acceptable, but to ignore it as much as possible. If possible if a student’s behavior does not stop after simply ignoring it and it is becoming disruptive to the classes ability to learn; the student should be removed from that area, either to an area in a different part of the classroom or directly outside the door in the hallway where they will not be given any attention for their behavior. They will be told that they can join the class when they feel they are ready.
Students who act out because they don’t understand the material or feel as though they are “not a learner” should be given one-on-one attention to work on whatever assignment seems to be giving them the most trouble. They should feel encouraged and work should be scaffolded to the point where they can accomplish the task and gain confidence in their abilities.