Classroom Management is the key component in creating a productive learning environment. In many ways, the classroom management plan proactively prevents many possible behavior problems. Since behavior problems may still occur in the classroom, the classroom management plan must address both meeting an individual's needs while meeting the needs of the other students in the classroom as well. There are several elements within the classroom management plan that will promote a more successful learning environment. Quality use of time and transition between activities, the use of engaging activities, the use of routines and predictable schedules, appropriate use of rewards in the classroom, and success on task and ability level will ensure a smooth running classroom management plan. The following research will introduce a probable student common in many fifth grade classrooms who will further be addressed as Johnny.
Time Management and transition: Time management is a vital key element to the success of an effective classroom. It is important to evaluate how interruptions can be kept to a minimum. Finding blocks of uninterrupted instruction time should be created by discovering the unavoidable interruptions that are in the control of the administration (i.e. Physical Education, Lunch, and Recess). Having this uninterrupted instruction time will allow Johnny to better focus on the task requirements without having his attention pulled in other directions. When it is time to transition to a different block of instruction, it will be become not only more beneficial to Johnny but to the rest of the class for a warning a few minutes prior to the transition. This will afford students like Johnny who require closure of the current activity before moving on to the next. Once it is time for the transition it is highly advantageous if the instructor has students put away the current task materials before beginning the new activity. While students are engaged in the task of transitioning the instructor should have the materials necessary for the new task prepared and ready to be used immediately. Unnecessary wait time will quickly give Johnny an opportunity to find ways to keep himself entertained that might not be rather conducive to desired peaceful environment (Scholastic, Inc., 2010).
Scholastic, Inc. (2010). Time Management. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from Scholastic:
Management Activities: Today's children, have a wide variety of entertainment options that keep their minds busy. We as teachers have to compete with high technology graphics in today's video games and more, to grab their attention. The best way to avoid a behavior problem is to keep a child's mind engaged in something that will keep their interest. Besides setting up classroom rules, and explaining what you expect from your students, having interesting and fun activities that will keep your students mind on the task at hand, will keep order and allow you to have a manageable classroom that offers fun options for keeping with the curriculum (Dowling 1999).
Activity to calm down: Subject language-"Who am I" Poem. This is a fifteen minute project. Hand out paper and tell students, that they are going to write a short poem about themselves. The only rule is that each line should start with: I am â€¦â€¦ (Dowling 1999).
Self management-Peer collaborate activity. Good for after lunch or in afternoon when energy levels are dwindling. Subject: math- blind square. Have a good length of rope say 15-20 feet long, and some lengths of cloth for blindfolding. Divide class in to two groups, then half each group. One half of group A will have blindfolds on while the other will not. When you say begin, all will try to make the rope into a square while the student with blindfolds will rely on their peers for directions. You can then switch side or give the other team a try at making the square (Dowling 1999).
Beginning of the year activity: getting to know you. Pair up children in groups of two and have them interview each other. As a whole group, the class can come up with say 20 questions to ask, then the next day after everyone has been asked questions and all information is written down, they share the information about each other. (Porter 1992).
Morning journal writing activity: subject -science. In a Science centered classroom where a teacher has a class pet; an albino bearded dragon named Ivory, a lighted ant farm, and constellations on the ceiling. The teacher can divide the class into three groups and rotate them on weekly bases to write in their journals on: one- What Ivory is doing in the morning, how he looks and so on. Two- what the ants are doing and three the section of the constellations that is lit up from the globe.( this is one of my plans. I already have Ivory and glow in dark constellations'. Our science teacher on campus has many reptiles, in his classroom and is a district fav teacher).
Dowling,.E. (1999). Classroom Management Activities. Retrieved on June 8, 2010 from: HYPERLINK "http://www.ehow.com/way_5437249_classroom-management-activities.html" www.ehow.com/way_5437249_classroom-management-activities.html .
Porter,.K.(1992) Classroom plans, retrieved on June 6, 2010 from phone conversation with K.Porter.
Schedules and Routines: Schedules are like goals in that they represent the main daily activities, more specifically, who will do what and when they will do it. Whereas routines are like objectives in that they represent the steps necessary in completing the schedule, for instance, how to enter and leave the classroom, where to turn in assignments, how to move about the classroom, when to talk, when to sharpen pencils, how to treat others, etc. The key to an effective classroom management plan is consistency. Consistent schedules and routines help students' emotional, cognitive, and social development, together with helping them feel secure and comfortable and understand what is expected of them in the classroom; thus, making the classroom a predictable environment. In addition, consistent schedules and routines reduce the frequency of behavior problems and increases student engagement in classroom activities. (Ormrod, 2010).
Schedules and routines create a predictable environment that is conductive to learning; however, a student may behave in undesirable ways, such as continually talking in class and refusing to stop. When excessive talking in class disrupts learning and planned classroom activities, teachers must find a strategy to reduce the student's counterproductive behavior. Sometimes it is necessary to ignore a behavior because "drawing peers' attention to a particular student's behavior, we may unintentionally be reinforcing it" (Ormrod, 2010, p. 486).
When a student is unwilling or unable to change their counterproductive behavior, another strategy might be to discuss the behavior privately with the student. A private discussion is important so that disruption for other students is minimal. The private conversation will give teachers an opportunity to explain why such behavior must stop and will give students an opportunity to explain their behavior, which explanation will also provide the teacher with clues in dealing with the behavior. A strategy that might be helpful during the conversation is setting up cues (a brief signal) to communicate when a misbehavior should stop (i.e., placing index finger over lips for a "shhh signal").
Other strategies to use in maintaining an environment conductive to learning for all students are providing guidelines for how students should behave in the classroom, using transition activities between activities, using engaging activities, and using reward or acknowledgment for positive behaviors so that all students are productive learners. The goal in dealing with a misbehaving student is to minimize distractions for the rest of the class to prevent other students from off-task behaviors.