A comprehensive classroom management plan is an essential element for maintaining a successful classroom. There are many components within a classroom management plan that are vital for teachers to establish in their classroom. Components such as behavioral expectations, classroom procedures, rules, and grading policies in the classroom that promote an environment which cultivates positive and safe learning for all students. Wong et. al (2014) notes that “Good classroom management doesn’t just happen; effective teachers plan good classroom management” (p. 6). As a future teacher, these practices and procedures can prepare me to create a setting where instruction and learning can occur effectively.
The foundation of a classroom management plan derives from procedures, techniques, and strategies planned accordingly from an effective teacher. When a classroom management plan is developed and practiced in the classroom, students are aware of the rules and know what is expected from them. According to Wong et. al (2014), “Effective teachers who have smooth running classrooms have a classroom management plan in place and teach procedures that become routines for students to follow” (p. 9). It is crucial that rules and procedures have consistent reinforcement and are clear in order for students to understand. Rules in the classroom are generally focused on behavior while as procedures tend to be more specific steps on completing a task.
Rules and Expectations
For my classroom, I have created five clear and concise rules for behavior expectations I expect from my students to perform in my classroom. First, I would create a statement of purpose that would say the following, “We, the students of Miss Moreno’s class will listen, learn, and lead with respect”. The statement of purpose assures that all students, teachers, and parents are aware of the expected behaviors in the classroom. The first rule that I expect from my students is to treat classmates and teachers with respect. This rule is the most important rule because it covers a wide-range of behaviors. The second rule is students should be prepared when coming to class and ready to learn. It is imperative that all students are aware that they will be held accountable for all assignments and coming to class with the appropriate materials. Third, students should raise their hand if they have an idea, question, or answer they would like to share. This is a crucial rule to enforce right away to prevent call-out answers and unnecessary talking. The fourth rule states that all students must listen and follow directions. As a student, being a good listener is essential to academic success and makes the life of a teacher much easier. The fifth and last rule for my classroom states that all students are expected to be honest and helpful to everyone.
Since there are many behavior expectations for my students it is important to give daily feedback to students and parents on their behavior at school. For example, I would create a daily behavior chart that would be used to represent students’ personal behavior for each day. If a student had excellent behavior they would receive a stamp on that specific day on their chart. Students who did not display good behavior will receive a number mark. The behavior chart will indicate what each number represents in order for parents to reference to. The behavior scoring will be numbered from 1-7, each number specifying a behavior. The behavior scoring starting with one is talking while the teacher is talking, two is excessive talking, three is inappropriate contact, four is off task, five is not listening or following directions, six is disruptive behavior, and seven would be a behavior that is not listed above. The establishment of rules for my classroom are fundamental in creating an effective and manageable classroom, however it is important to emphasize to students that if necessary, rules will be added.
Rules are essential for a classroom, but procedures are crucial on establishing a structured classroom. Wong et. al (2014) explains, “A well-managed, smooth running class depends on the teacher’s ability to teach procedures” (p. 47). I will emphasize to my students that procedures are just as important as rules and should be followed and respected. It is important that all procedures that plan to be established in the classroom are taught, practiced, and reinforced (Wong et. al, 2014, p. 48). This three-step approach will be easy to do as rules will be explained through a PowerPoint presentation, demonstrated, and will be visually posted in the classroom for all students to refer to when needed. If necessary, new procedures will be addressed and incorporated with other lessons and tasks.
A classroom requires many procedures, but there are a handful of key procedures that are necessary for daily classroom tasks. These procedures are designed to help the teacher keep the classroom organized and manageable. For example, an “entering the class” procedure is crucial for a successful start of the day. My students would be expected to enter the classroom by walking in quietly to their assigned seat. They will copy their agenda for the day from the board, which will be presented through a PowerPoint slide. Students will place their homework folder out on their desk in order for me to come around and check for completion. As soon as this task is completed, students will begin their morning warm-up work. Another important procedure that I would use every day is a checking in and taking attendance procedure. For example, on the first day of school each student will be assigned a student number for the school year. In the morning, while students are doing their morning warm-up work, I will call five students at a time by their student number to be “checked-in”. Students will bring their homework folder and agenda to be checked for completion. While I have this one to one interaction with each student, I will ask them how they are currently feeling. This allows me to take roll, get a lunch head count, and get a feel for how each student is feeling because their current mood may reflect their behavior for the day. As a future educator, I believe that this personal interaction with each student builds a relationship and promotes a comfortable learning environment for students.
One of the most essential procedures that every teacher needs for their classroom is a bathroom procedure. In my classroom, I will explain to students that they may go to the bathroom when necessary, but always try to go during recess and lunch in order to prevent missing classroom instruction time. For my bathroom procedure, I will have only one girl and one boy leave to the bathroom at a time. Each student must sign out with the time and sign back in when they return from the bathroom on the bathroom sign out sheet. Students will also be required to take a bathroom pass with them that will be placed next to the sign out sheet. Lastly, I would implement an “end of the day” procedure. For instance, I will play a specific tune that indicates the day is coming to an end. Students will know to start to clean up and put their supplies in their designated spot. Once everything is cleaned up, students’ homework folders are expected to be on their desk indicating they are ready to pack up their backpacks. Once the tune is finished playing and students are sitting silently, I will start dismissing students to pack up their homework folders in their backpacks and line up quietly outside the door in number order. These procedures are just basic fundamental ones that I know I will consistently use in my classroom, however I know that I may have to establish new procedures as the school year continues.
Grading Policies and Procedures
Along with rules and procedures in a classroom, a teacher is responsible for providing feedback and assessments on students’ progress. It is important to keep in mind that different districts may have various methods of grading policies and forms of assessments that teachers must abide by. The most common grading system I have seen in elementary schools is criterion-referenced test. According to Borich (2014), it is a test that measures a “student’s level of proficiency or mastery of a skill or set of skills” (p. 376). This test helps give insight to teachers on what a student may need more instruction on in order to develop certain skills. In my classroom, a grading system I would implement would be through a number system that indicates a student’s mastery in specific standards. The number one indicating little or no mastery, two representing partial mastery, three represents meeting expectations, and four representing advanced mastery of standard. This grading method is very effective because it is a thorough analysis of a student’s expected standards as well as their mastery of each one (E. Davis, personal communication, January 12, 2018).
For assessments in my classroom, I will use multiple forms when assessing students’ progress: informative, formative, and summative assessments. It is crucial that informal and formal assessments are used during students learning process in order to modify instruction and learning activities to improve students’ success (Borich, 2017, p. 396). Informal and formal assessments will not always be graded, yet very beneficial when developing an understanding on each students’ progress and determining if any necessary strategies or accommodations are needed. For example, homework will not be graded but checked for completion and if students are understanding subject matter. An important aspect in my grading and assessment process is communicating with parents. Information that I receive from parents provides a great deal of information to me when assessing and understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses (E. Davis, personal communication, January 12, 2018). Lastly, summative assessments will be used as a form of a standardized test in order to evaluate students’ results and provide a sum total of each students’ progress (Borich, 2017, p. 396). Generally, grading policies and assessments may vary from district, however through a careful valuation of students’ progress I can easily adjust my methods to reach district expectations as well as students’ individual goals.
A successful classroom management plan requires strategic planning and organization. A manageable classroom is the result of an effective teacher using proper procedures and practices. With the implementation of behavioral expectations, classroom procedures, rules, and grading policies a teacher can develop a successful comprehensive classroom management plan. As a future educator, I plan to apply these practices and procedures in my classroom management in order to create a positive environment where instruction and learning can effectively take place