Sunday, April 6, 2014

Classroom Management Plan

Below you'll find our philosophy, classroom management plan and a couple pictures: 
Philosophical Statement

We believe the purpose of education is to help children develop, grow, and learn. We believe each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, loving, and stimulating environment in which they can grow, mature, and reach their goals. We believe children learn best when they are taught under certain environmental conditions and in certain ways. Some of these are direct guidance, indirect guidance, redirection, limit setting, and encouragement.
All children have certain primary needs that must be met if they are to grow and learn at their best. There are five basic needs: Physical, Intellectual, Language, Emotional, and Social. They can be remembered by the use of the acronym “PILES.”  We will meet these needs by planning appropriate activities, providing appropriate materials, a safe and comfortable environment, and being flexible to children’s learning needs. It is our desires as educators to help children meet their full potential. We will incorporate themes, projects, integrated units, group and individual work, and hands-on learning in order to make children active learners.

Technology plays a big role in today’s learning and while we will use technology in our classroom, it will not replace hands on teaching.  As a good educator it is our responsibility to teach students how to use technology positively and effectively. We will use every resource in hand such as the Smart Board, computers, digital cameras, Internet, handheld and wireless devices to include technology in our classroom.

Our goal as educators is to make a difference in the world by teaching young children. We will provide the tools needed to help children become successful in life, reach their goals, and to believe in themselves. Children are our future and they need help and guidance to reach their full potential and become productive members in society. They also have needs and those needs must be met in order for them to reach their full educational potential. We, Allison and Liz, as effective educators, hope to meet these needs and help our students reach their full potential.

Room Arrangement 

When entering the classroom, students will find a well-organized classroom. Natural lightning from the windows will illuminate our classroom; the vibrant colors on the walls and decorations will make the children feel welcome and comfortable; there will be a weather book section where students can learn about weather by reading a variety of books; a Water Cycle bulletin board will create curiosity. Students’ desks will be arranged in a semicircle. They will be able to see their classmates as well as their teachers. The carpet on the floor will be comforting to the students and will allow them to be closer to the teachers. The teachers’ desk will be placed in front of the class so the teachers have a better view of the classroom and the students.

We believe that the set-up of a classroom has a big effect on student learning and we hope that our classroom will be an environment that will engage all students in critical thinking, discussion and reflection. Arranging the students’ desks in a semicircle will create an environment rich in discussion. We think that it is very important to engage students in discussion to try to draw out and challenge ideas and let the class learn from each other. No one will sit behind the semicircle or on the sides of the room outside the semicircle. The class will enjoy the eye contact and facial expressions of everyone as they share ideas.  

By arranging the students where they are facing each other, we believe this leads to a more intimate environment as well as a space where we can get to every student easily. We like to walk around the room while teaching, rather than staying in one stationary place in the front. If the desks are arranged as so, we can walk around, engage more students, and hopefully create an environment where students can talk and share ideas freely and comfortably.

We believe that students should be constantly challenged and provoked to think critically. A variety of materials will be provided to students, they can use these materials to study, practice their writing, reading or learn more about weather. Our desk will be in the corner of the room, but will be used mostly for administrative tasks. A computer and Smartboard will be used to make learning fun and interesting. 

Classroom Rules

We believe in keeping a safe environment where put-downs and name calling is not allowed – this also falls under respect. Is we can have respect for our students as well as having them respecting each other, we believe this will lead to a safe environment where learning can take place. We don’t mind if students bring food to the classroom, as long as they eat it during snack or free play. We also don’t mind if students wear hats or necklaces in class, as long as the hat or necklace doesn’t interfere with learning. If it gets out of control and students start eating during a lesson or they start playing with their hats or necklaces, we will let them know that these privileges will be taken away, right from the beginning.

We want to create an environment with positive and numerous student-teacher relationships. Especially in diverse classrooms where many students are from different backgrounds, we want to create an environment where students are not and do not feel that they are being treated unfairly. We do not want to label students or assume their academic ability on the way they look or arc. We do not want the diverse settings to lead to situations where communication is not happening. We feel this is where behavior problems may arise. We will accept students as individuals with unique and cultural difference; to respect, relate and like them; to listen and communicate openly; and understand and honor their family, culture, language, and race. In order to create an environment like this we have created a list of classroom rules and morning meeting rules:

Class Rules

1.     Be nice and kind.

2.     Be honest.

3.     Listen and follow directions.

4.     Take care of our things.

5.     Respect the rights and property of others.

6.     Do your best and have fun learning!

Morning Meeting Rules

1.     Come to morning meeting with empty hands.

2.     Cooperate and participate.

3.     Raise your hand when you want to talk.

4.     Respect others and their thoughts.

5.     Learn from each other and have fun!

We will discuss these rules with the students on the first day of class and have them sign a copy. By signing a copy of the classroom rules and morning meeting rules, the students are accepting the rules and their consequences.

Logical Consequences

Students are expected to be respectful and responsible throughout the school day. If a student is having difficulty following a rule they are given a warning and reminded of what a good choice would be. If a student continues to misbehave they will have a consequence. We will try to make each child's consequence as logical as possible; therefore, consequences will vary depending on the situation. For instance, if a child continues running and talking in the hallway after a warning is given, they would have to come in during part of their recess to practice safe and respectful ways to walk in the hallways. However, if a child continues to be distracted by a bracelet or necklace, instead of coming in for recess, they would have to keep the bracelet in their locker for the rest of the day.
        Students will be rarely sent to the principal's office in our classroom; however, the safety of all the students is very important to us. If a student hits or pushes another child they are automatically sent to the office. We want all of the students to feel safe and secure in our classroom.

Classroom Procedures

We want to be consistent with our students in terms of Classroom Procedures. To get students attention we will use clapping, counting down from 10, Whole Body Listening, and Show 5. 

Beginning the Day – When entering the classroom, students must put away their coats, backpacks, snacks and lunches. We plan to have the agenda on the board so students can look at it as they walk in. Students should turn in any homework and then start their morning seat-work.

Entering and Leaving the Room – Students should enter and exit the classroom quietly. If they are coming in late or leaving early, they should not disturb the other students. This procedure will be used for all situations throughout the day.

Lunch Count – Students will need to find their name and move it to the right column. If they brought lunch, they need to place their name tag under the “bringing” column. If they are buying lunch, they must place it under the “buying” column.

Using the Restroom – Students need to ask for permission to use the restroom. Only one student at a time can go to the bathroom, unless there is an emergency or the teachers are okay with it. They must return to the classroom after using the restroom, this means they cannot go to other classrooms or any other place in the building.

Fire Drill – When hearing the alarm, students must stop what they are doing, leave everything, and quietly walk directly to the door. One of the teachers can hold the door open for the students and the other teacher can lead the students to the nearest exit. Once outside, everyone is expected to stand quietly and wait for the announcement to come back into the building. 

Lining Up – Students must wait until they hear their name or their row is called, then, quietly stand up, push in their chair, and line up facing forward. They will need to bring all the necessary items they may need with them.

Ending the Day – Students must clear off their desks, place papers to go home in their folder or backpack and wait to be called. Once they are called, they can gather their belongings and quietly sit on their desks or carpet and wait to be dismissed.

Encouraging All Students and Positive Reinforcement

We will praise students in ways big and small. We will recognize work in class, display good work in the classroom and send positive notes home to parents.

We will get to know our students. Getting to know your students is about more than just memorizing their names. Students need to know that their teacher has a genuine interest in them and cares about them and their success. When students feel appreciated it creates a safe learning environment and motivates them to work harder, as they want to get praise and good feedback from someone they feel knows and respects them as individuals.

We will set high, yet realistic expectations. We will make sure to voice those expectations. We will set short-term goals and celebrate when they are achieved.

We will relate lessons to students’ lives. Whether it is budgeting for family Christmas gifts, choosing short stories about your town, rapping about the Water Cycle, or pretending to be Pilgrim’s and Indian’s in the Thanksgiving story, students will care more if the identify themselves or their everyday lives in what they’re learning.

We will create a threat-free environment. While students do need to understand that there are consequences to their actions, far more motivating for students than threats are positive reinforcements. When teachers create a safe, supportive environment for students, affirming their belief in a student’s abilities rather than laying out the consequences of not doing things, students are much more likely to get and stay motivated to do their work. At the end of the day, students will fulfill the expectations that the adults around them communicate.

We will offer varied experiences. We know and recognize that not all students respond to lessons in the same way. For some, hands-on experiences may be the best. Others may love to read books quietly or to work in groups. In order to keep all students motivated, we will mix up our lessons so that students with different preferences will each get time to focus on the things they like best. Doing so will help our students stay engaged and pay attention.

We will give students responsibility. Assigning students classroom jobs is a great way to build a community and to give students a sense of motivation. Most students will see classroom jobs as a privilege rather than a burden and will work hard to ensure that they, and other students, are meeting expectations.

We will allow students to work together. While not all students will jump at the chance to work in groups, many will find it fun to try to solve problems, do experiments, and work on projects with other students. The social interaction can get them excited about things in the classroom and students can motivate one another to reach a goal.

We will provide opportunities for success. We know that students can become frustrated and unmotivated when they feel like they’re struggling or not getting the recognition that other students are. We will make sure that all students get a chance to play to their strengths and feel included and valued. It can make a world of difference in their motivation.

We will be excited! We believe one of the best ways to get our students motivated is to share our enthusiasm. When we’re excited about teaching, we know our students will be much more excited about learning. 

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