It is extremely important to have a classroom management plan for a group of diverse learners because students want and deserve a safe and nurturing environment. To have this environment it is imperative that you have a classroom management plan. Students will only learn if they feel comfortable in the classroom and they will only feel comfortable if there are procedures and rules that diminish behavioral issues and make the class run smoothly and easily. It is a proven fact that the most important factor governing student learning is Classroom Management (Wong & Wong, 2009).
It is first and foremost important to prevent academic and behavioral problems. To prevent these problems it is important to establish classroom procedures and rules. It is also important to support your students academically and behaviorally. Let them know that they can ask you any question. No question should go unanswered. Also let them know that you are always open to talking to your students about anything. You need to be sure to correct academic and behavioral issues if they do occur. You need to help the student individually to correct the problem (Wong & Wong, 2009).
Whole Group Prevention Plan:
You should prevent problems from happening in your classroom by establishing clear rules and procedures and making sure that the students understand these rules and procedures. You should have a procedure planned out for everything that will or may happen in the classroom (Wong & Wong, 2009).
To prepare before the first day of school it is important to have your classroom and materials ready and organized, have the desks arranged facing the front of the room, and make sure you are prepared for the students. It would also be a good idea to send a letter or postcard home to introduce yourself to your students so they feel more comfortable coming to school on the first day. On the first day of school, it is important to teach your students basic procedures for a well-managed classroom. Teach your students how you are going to gain their attention. Think of a signal that you will do that will let the students know that it is time to be quiet and listen. Also, teach your students how to enter the classroom and what to do when they arrive. It is important to teach students where to find assignments and what will be expected of them each day. In the first week of school you should teach your students what the procedure is if they were to be absent. Show them where they will find their makeup work and when it should be turned in. Also, teach them procedures for fire drills and weather emergencies. It is important for students to know these drills to make sure that everyone is safe in an emergency. In the first month of school you need to teach the students things like what to do when visitors are in the classroom, what the procedure is for when they have a substitute teacher, what to do for field trips or assemblies, and specific group work procedures. You need to teach students all of these procedures and practice them over and over again until it is like second nature to the students. It also may be a good idea to learn a little about your students before the first day of school. You could talk to previous teachers to learn about the students and you can also review their files. Just be careful not to develop any preconceived notions about the child that may not hold true in your classroom (Wong & Wong, 2009).
It is important to establish classroom rules. You can generate a list of general rules which will address numerous concepts in broad terms, or you can make a list of specific rules, which will clearly state what is expected of the students. It is important to state the rules in a positive manner. Choosing a general list of rules will keep the list shorter. Then the teacher and the students can discuss specific examples of each general rule. A few rule examples could be respect others and be polite, keep the room clean, follow directions, and always put forth your best effort.
As I said before it is important to generate specific routines and procedures to be followed at school. These include things like entering the classroom, doing morning work, where to find assignments, how to turn in assignments, what you can do when you finish an assignment early, how to clean up, and how to line up (Wong & Wong, 2011).
It is important to create lessons that are challenging and engaging for students. You need to make sure that the lessons are not too easy or slow for the students or to hard or fast paced for the students. You need to make sure to differentiate your instruction to make sure that every student is learning to their full potential.
You must put forth an extreme amount of effort to get to know your students. Getting to know them and their families on a personal level will increase their trust in you as a teacher. It will also make them feel more comfortable with you, in your classroom.
To support children’s good behavior and academic gains, rewards are imperative. It is extremely important that every child has intrinsic rewards. That means that the student is excited to learn out of pure enjoyment, curiosity, or interest. Most children also need extrinsic rewards in order to reach being satisfied with intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards can be a tangible item like a sticker, they can also be a rewarding activity like having lunch with the teacher, or it can be a role, like being the classroom helper. I feel that both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are important in order to support children in their academic gains and behavior (Wong & Wong, 2009).
It is extremely important to support your students in lessons and instruction. It is imperative to use differentiated instruction. You must teach on several different levels to ensure that every child understands the lesson and learns the material presented. It is also very important to give your students positive feedback. Let them know what a good job they have done. Also, when the child may not have done so well, it is important to tell them what they did well and encourage them to work a little harder to get the rest of the material or assignment that good. You must let your students know that you are pleased with their work. If you do so, they will pride themselves in impressing you as the teacher (Wong & Wong, 2009).
If a child in your classroom is misbehaving, it is probably for a reason. One reason that children misbehave is because their basic needs are not being met. If this is the case it is important for you as a teacher to make the child feel cared for. You should provide them with the needs that are not being met by giving them food or clothing. Another reason that children are misbehaving may be because they are seeking attention. For this child, you should minimize attention (Rieg, 2011). You may want to implement a strategy called “Planned Ignoring and Catch them being good. To implement this strategy you should ignore the student who is not following the rules, as long as the behavior is not compromising the safety of the student or others. You should then praise that student when he does follow the set rules. Eventually the student will realize that he is not going to get your attention by misbehaving, but he will get your attention by following the rules. It is important to know that often the behavior worsens before it improves. It is important to be patient with this strategy for it to work (Payne, Mancil, & Landers, 2005). Another reason children may be misbehaving is because they are seeking power. Some corrective strategies for these students could be to give students class responsibilities. This will make them feel like they have some power in the class. Another reason children are misbehaving could be because they are seeking revenge. For these students, it is important to form a positive relationship with the students as soon as possible. You can also provide some way for the students to release their emotions and provide them with appropriate conflict resolution skills. A final reason why students may be misbehaving is because they are trying to avoid failure. For these students, it is important to make sure that they understand that making mistakes is ok. You could also teach these children to set academic goals for themselves and encourage the students. It is also a good idea to modify your instruction for these students and give them individual help so that they can better understand the materials (Rieg, 2011).
A least intrusive consequence for students who are misbehaving is to simply give them “the look.” Give the students a stern look that lets them know that you see what they are doing and are not happy about it. For some students this will work. Simply knowing that they are disappointing you will make them change their behavior. For other students, more serious consequences may be required (Rieg, 2011).
There needs to be a hierarchy of consequences implemented into the classroom management plan. You must make sure that your students are aware of the hierarchy of consequences and you must also make sure that you are dedicated to sticking to the hierarchy. When students misbehave, they must first receive a verbal warning. This is you as the teacher simply telling them what they have done wrong and asking them to change the behavior. If the behavior continues, then you would implement a punishment like time out or a loss of a privilege. If the behavior is still persistent then you would lengthen the time out or have them lose another privilege or make the time longer that they have lost that privilege. If the behavior still continues after that then it is time to make a phone call home to the child’s parents. If the behavior continues after that then you must send the child to the principal. It is very important to remember that you must call home before the child is sent to the principal. It is also very important to note that if a behavior involves drugs, alcohol, weapons, or threats, you should notify the principal immediately (Rieg, 2011).
Individual Behavior Plan:
If a specific child has a behavior that is not being affected by any other part of the behavior plan, then you must implement an individual behavior plan. You must first identify the target behavior. This is the behavior that you are trying to change or decrease. It is important to decrease the target behavior while increasing the replacement behavior. For a child who calls out in class instead of raising his hand, calling out would be the target behavior and raising his hand to speak would be the replacement behavior. It is important to find out the function of the behavior. This is the reason that the child is exhibiting the behavior. For the child who calls out, he is probably doing it to gain the teachers attention. You must observe the behavior by using a system like making tally marks each time the behavior is exhibited. You should do this before the intervention is implemented to form baseline data. You should graph your baseline data on a chart. Then you should describe the intervention to the child. For the child who has been calling out in class, you should have a discussion with him, explaining that it is more appropriate to raise his hand to gain your attention and wait until he is called on to speak. It may even be a good idea to write up a contract saying that the child will raise his hand a specific number of times (when appropriate) during a specific time period. In the contract, you should add an objective; for example, the student will raise his hand at least 5 times during a one hour time period. Add in the contract the reinforcement that the child will receive if he reaches his goal. This could be something like more computer time or lunch with the teacher. It could also be something like immediate praise and positive reinforcement. Have the student sign the contract along with the teacher to make it concrete. After the student knows what he needs to do, it is time to begin taking intervention data. Let the student know the specific time period you will be observing and make tally marks for each time the child engages in the replacement behavior, like raising his hand. This type of observation is called progress monitoring, you observe during a specific time period for a specific number of behaviors. Once you have your data, you must graph it. Graph the data on the same chart that you have the baseline data on. Draw a line to separate the baseline from the intervention. You can eyeball the data to analyze the change in trend to decide if the student met the objective. You can also use trend analysis to analyze the data. This is done by drawing a line separating the baseline data from the intervention data. You then draw a line horizontally in the middle of the points on both the baseline data and the intervention data. You then should draw a line diagonally where both lines intersect to see if the replacement behavior increases or decreases and how much it increases or decreases. It is important to slowly fade out the positive reinforcement and follow with a more natural positive reinforcement using an intermittent schedule (Baker, 2011).
When designing a classroom management plan, it is very important to address each and every plan individually. Your whole group prevention plan should be where you will describe how to prevent problems before they even occur. You should do this by getting to know your students and their families on a more personal level. You should also implement daily routines and procedures to make sure that the class and transitions run smoothly. It is also important to generate a list of classroom rules and design lessons that interest the students as well as challenge and engage them. The supportive plan is designed to support your students. you should, again, get to know your students. You should also implement intrinsic rewards along with extrinsic rewards as well. It is very important to support your instruction and be there to help the students when they are having trouble understanding a lesson. You should be supportive when doing this and be sure to always compliment their hard work. The corrective plan is designed to correct behaviors. You should first identify the function of behavior. There are usually two reasons that students misbehave, either they want to get something or they are trying to avoid something. It is also extremely important to follow a specific hierarchy of consequences from least intrusive to most intrusive. If the behavior is still persistent, then you must implement an individual behavior plan. For this, you must first identify the target behavior, find out the function of behavior, and think of a replacement behavior. You should then implement intervention procedures and take your data. You must then analyze your data and decide whether or not the student met the objective.
This plan has the potential to change based on the individual needs of the students.