2011-2012 Classroom Management Plan


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2011-2012 Classroom Management Plan

  1. 1. Amy JohnsonClassroom Management Plan8/2/2011 Classroom Management Plan: Middle School In my classroom, classroom management is the key to a positive learning environment. My educationalphilosophy relies heavily upon playful creative exploration; as such, I want my students to have the independentfreedom in my classroom to create and reflect upon their work and their selves. Such an open atmosphererequires strong classroom management in order for quality learning to occur. Additionally, I would rather avoid negative behavioral situations and prefer prevention to redirection. Inorder to prevent negative behavior, strong classroom management must be in place and utilized at all times. Istrive to maintain a positive caring environment wherein my students are excited to visit and find it easy tolearn.Room ArrangementSeating Students are seated four to a table in a staggered design with the tables facing the white boardhorizontally. Each table is numbered 1-8, and the seats at each tabled are numbered A-D. Each student isassigned a seat (1b, 9c etc. etc.) according to the enclosed seating charts. Students may change seats withteacher approval. Utilizing this seating arrangement, I am always able to identify students.Rule Display Classroom rules are prominently displayed on a large poster-board on the bulletin board at the front ofthe classroom. Next to the rules are the consequences. Should a student break a rule s/he is issued a warning inthe form of his/her name on the board. Should the student break another or the same rule s/he will receive acheck next to his/her name. One check means the student must fill out the “conduct reflection” form, twochecks means a student must fill out the “conduct reflection” form and will have his/her parents called, threechecks means all of the above-mentioned occur along with a personal detention. There are always extenuating circumstances and/or behaviors that require immediate attention fromschool administrators; it the teacher’s discretion to identify such circumstances and/or behaviors. Behaviorsthat require immediate administrative attention are (but not limited to) physical altercations and verbal assaultsusing dangerous language (guns, bombs, killing etc.) against the teacher and/or other students.Classroom Rules and Consequences While I enjoy an open, playful atmosphere in my classroom, I find rules to be an essential part of mylearning environment. Rules allow my students to know that not only do limits exist; it also allows them toknow exactly what these limits are. My rules are a result of my cumulative time inside the art classroom. Someof them are derived from students, and some are based on my personal observations. I try to keep the languageof my rules simplistic so they are clear and easy for students to understand. ** see end of this document forrules.Classroom Procedures Consistency is something I find integral to good classroom management. When students know what isexpected of them daily, their actions and behaviors reflect this in a positive manner. While my projects andpresentations change frequently, the essential procedural workings of my classroom do not. Overall, this makesmy class a very efficient and orderly place.
  2. 2. Entrance to the Classroom I meet students at the door of my classroom. Students are to enter my room and silently go to theirassigned table and seat. Their backs and/or personal materials are to go on the floor next to their seats. I alwaysremind students to go silently to their tables, and if a student forgets, I have him or her walk back to theclassroom door and re-enter the correct way. If a majority of the class forgets to do this correctly, we all goback outside the classroom and line-up and begin the entire process again. I gently remind everyone during thisprocess that this is time they could be enjoying class, but instead are having to line up and re-enter theclassroom.Beginning the Class Students begin class by participating and completing a small warm-up assignment that is on theprojector as they enter. This activity is timed and takes 5 minutes. Students arriving after the end of the warm-up are considered tardy. The materials needed for the warm-up are available and/or are explained on theprojector. After the timer for the warm-up, I outline the class activities of the day. I try to make this outline aslively and interesting as possible so as to engage students in the class. I find that if I seem excited to teach thestudents about a subject, they are excited to learn about it. Following my outline, I ask leading question about the day’s current lesson. These questions aredesigned to gauge what students already know about a subject and/or to determine how much material thestudents have retained from a previous class. This practice also allows for students to scaffold moreinformation onto a lesson, and to add their own knowledge to a lesson. I have found it to be a very positivepractice, and as such, utilize it daily.General Dispensation of Materials Student responsibility is crucial in my classroom. As I wish for my students to be independent, and liketo give them as much creative rein as possible, they need to be able to obtain their own materials from time totime. I teach students where items can be found in my classroom, and which items are always open for theiruse. This saves a lot of time about material questions in my class, and it also gives the students the empoweringresponsibility to obtain materials on their own. For special items for specific projects students are assigned tasks by tables. For example, I might say:“All of the A students are to gather paintbrushes for your table,” and students 1A, 2A, 3A etc. would gatherthese materials. There are identified cupboards in the room with labeled “free” materials. These are materials thatare always open to student use. At the front of the classroom is a table. During a project, I place all necessary materials to complete aproject on the center table. As students work, they are able to go to and from their seat to the center table to getnecessary items that may not have already been dispensed. This system works especially well for situationswherein there is not enough of an item for everyone to have their own, such as certain colored markers forinstance. Instead of a shortage item sitting unused at a student table, the item waits for usage at the centertable. Obviously, when the class initially begins to work, there could be some issues with everyone visiting thecenter table at the same time. I avoid this by calling out table numbers and instructing that table to get theirneeded materials while I pass out artwork and/or take attendance. This ensures four or fewer students arevisiting the center table for their initial (and usually longest) center table visit. My students enjoy being able to stand up and get what they need for their artworks. I often observe themmaking calculated choices about their material selections, and it isn’t unusual for them to ask to use a materialnot at the center table. Whenever I am met with such a request, I ask the student to explain, and based on theirreply I will allow them to go to the cubby unit and remove another material cubby for usage. This practice hasprovided me with some unique insights into the student thinking process and it has also led to stronger studentwork.Dispensation of Sharps and Other Potentially Harmful Materials
  3. 3. Using sharp and/or potential dangerous materials is a common practice in the art room. These sharpscan range from such common tools as scissors, to more uncommon materials such as lino-cutters, etchingneedles, sewing needles, and sharp clay carving tools. In today’s modern world wherein school-based sharpscould be used to harm the self and/or others the dispensation of such materials cannot be taken lightly for safety,protection and ethical purposes. I use scissors with handles that match the color of the number of student tables in order to quickly assesshow many scissors are used, and how many are returned. Scissors are dispensed to students in small cups ingroups of four. I have a red scissor cup, an orange scissor cup, a yellow scissor cup, a green scissor cup, a bluescissor cup, and a purple scissor cup. At the end of class if all four scissors aren’t in a cup, I am able to quicklydetermine this and take the next steps necessary for recovery. When using sewing needles, which my classes do during some sculpture projects, I use a similarmethod. I made six bottle-cap sized cupcake pincushions a few years ago. Each table has their own cupcakepincushion, and each pincushion contains four needles. At the end of class, one student is assigned to return thecupcake pincushion to me; if there are any needles missing, I am again able to quickly ascertain this and followthe necessary steps to recovery. When using other sharp or potentially harmful materials, I use a different approach. When the sharpitem is dispensed, I hand the item out individually to each student and count the total number of items out. If anitem is lost or broken during class I add it to my total tally. At the end of class I assign one student at each tableto collect the sharps, and to hold on to them until I tell them otherwise. At the end of clean-up I ask the fourstudents to come to me at the front of the class, and as a group, we count the items. This encourages classparticipation in safety practice and gives me time to make sure that all sharps are accounted for and if some aremissing, to take the next steps necessary for recovery.Procedures During Work-Time It is essential to me that my students have as much working time during class as possible. However,many students find it difficult to stay on-task for any length of time and this can lead to their need forredirection. I prefer prevention to redirection, so I try to organize the working time in such a way that studentsare as wholly absorbed in an activity as possible. One way I do this is by designed consistently challenging projects that not only engage the student butalso require a lot of thinking. When students are thinking it doesn’t leave much time or room for them to beoff-task. My projects are always just at the top edge of student abilities and typically take two to three classesto complete. Another method I use to keep students on-task is story-telling. I love to tell stories, and I’venoticed my students like to hear my stories. So, often, while I am circulating the classroom, I will tell thestudents either an appropriate story from my own life, a fairy story, a tall tale, a story from my childhood, or agreat story that happened to someone else. When possible, I tie these stories to the in-class work. Most often during working time, I play music for my students. I need time to circulate the help studentsand to observe their process. So, for my most engaging projects I do not tell stories and instead play music toallow myself more time for my students. This music ranges anywhere from golden oldies, classical music,electronica, pop, and bluegrass. All of my music is pre-approved by me as appropriate for the classroom anddevoid of crass language and sexual and/or criminal innuendo. Much of current pop and rap music containinappropriate language and/or innuendo, and as such, I do not play much of those genres in class. Additionally,I have found that when I play current music it encourages students to argue amongst themselves about their owntastes in music and leads to redirection. Since I prefer prevention to redirection, this arguing is easily avoidedby playing older genres of music in class.Gaining Class Attention Quickly There are often moments wherein I need to gain the attention of the entire class very quickly. When theclass is quiet and I need to get their attention I say: “Red Yellow Blue!” and the students respond with theappropriate response of “We Hear You.” Students are instructed and practice this method during the first day ofclass and are told that when they say “We Hear You,” they need to turn their eyes so they can see me. Sometimes the class is too busy and/or too noisy for the “Red Yellow Blue!” method to work quickly. Ido not like to shout over my students to garner their attention. This only leads to the loss of my voice both
  4. 4. physically and metaphorically. Physically, I am not capable of shouting for long without losing my voice.Metaphorically, when I have to shout and make loud noises to get my student’s attention, it lets them know thatit is okay to not pay attention until I do something that merits their attention. I am their teacher; when I requesttheir attention it should be granted to me no questions asked. So, when my class is too noisy and/or too busy for“Red Yellow Blue!” to work, I use the Talk-Clap method. In a very quiet voice I say: “If you can hear thesound of my voice clap once.” Then, I repeat this phrase, removing one for two and so on and so on until theentire class is clapping. Usually, this takes only three to four claps. When I use the Talk-Clap method, I amable to quiet a class quickly and gain their attention without the loss of my voice.Bathroom and Water-Fountain Students are not permitted to visit the water-fountain during class, as I have found most use this as anexcuse to wander the halls. Students are permitted to bring a water bottle (not sports drinks or fruit juice) toclass. This can be re-canted in the event of a student obviously in need of water. Students are permitted to usethe bathroom when requested and with a pass. There are pre-prepared caddies available for male and femalestudents. The caddies contain aerosol deodorants for general use. These caddies serve as bathroom passes.Should a student begin to abuse the bathroom usage, they will lose his/her privileges.Clean Up Procedures Clean up is critical in my classroom, and it is the one time during my class that I am extremely strict.This is primarily due to the fact that this is when the most classroom movement occurs and as such, is the timewhen anything unfortunate that is going to happen will happen. I take safety seriously, and I expect mystudents to do the same. For this reason, on the first day of class, I talk very sternly to my students about myexpectations during clean-up. Clean-Up begins with my gaining the entire class’s attention through either “Red Yellow Blue!” or theTalk-Clap method. Once I gain the class’s attention, I ask they either place both hands in the air or on theirheads. This request allows me to ensure that everyone has stopped working and is listening. I assign studentsto specific clean-up activities using a number system. For instance, I count off students in fours at their tables,and then might say: “All the threes must collect and put away the permanent markers.” By giving studentsindependent jobs I can keep an even traffic flow during this high-movement time of class. While student’shands are still on their heads, I will tell them they can let me know they are ready to leave by being seated attheir clean table. By requesting students sit at the end of clean up, I am able to gain a quiet, student-ledresolution to the clean-up process. Whenever, tables must be wiped down and/or cleaned, I assign certain students to grab paper towels andI spray down the tables with cleaner which they wipe away. I have found that if you give students a sprayerthey will spray each other, and if you allow them to use sponges they will over-saturate the tables. When Icontrol the spray, I am able to ensure only enough product is used. I have discovered when using the sink some students need more supervision than others. As I can’t standby the sink for safety reasons for the duration of clean-up, I assign sink monitors in each class. Sink monitorsare usually selected from the bossiest students in a group, and their job is to make sure everyone cleans up at thesink properly. Students love having this job, and I change it out frequently to give everyone who wants this joba chance. Since students in younger grades have all of their necessary materials in an organizational bin, theirclean-up is different. I gain their attention in the same manner, but instead will ask they return all theirmaterials to their bin and place all of their artwork (unless wet, in which case I ask they leave it where it is) in apile. Sometimes, if we used an unusual material, I will ask for a volunteer and will ask that volunteer to collectthat item. Younger students love to help.Rewards I don’t like to give my students candy or stickers individually because I find they think doing what isexpected merits an award. Instead, I recognize the class as a group. For each day the entire class has a “good”day that class will receive a sticker on the “chatter chart.” After 7 stickers are received that class will receive an
  5. 5. award. This award is pre-chosen and can be something like choosing the music for an entire class (pre-approved by the teacher), to a lollipop.Lining Up Students sit quietly at their assigned table at the end of clean-up. I stand at my door and ask the quietesttable to line up first and continue until everyone is lined up. Once the entire class is lined up, they aredismissed.Class Rules 1. Respond to adults. 2. Always make eye contact when speaking with someone. 3. Congratulate classmates when they succeed. 4. Respect classmates’ comments, opinions, ideas, and property. 5. If you win, do not brag; if you lose, do not show anger. 6. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and say “excuse me.” 7. Do not show disrespect with gestures. 8. Always say “Thank-you” when given something. 9. When grading classmates’ papers give only the correct grade. 10. Answer all written questions with a complete sentence. 11. Do not ask for or remind adults to give you a reward. 12. When assigned homework, do not moan or complain. 13. When a substitute teacher is present, all class rules still apply. 14. Follow all instructions for each project and class. 15. You may bring a bottle of water to class, you may not visit the water fountain. 16. Keep yourself and the bathroom as germ-free as possible. 17. Greet visitors and make them feel welcome. 18. Do not stare or comment when a student is being reprimanded. 19. You are responsible for your entire table, not just your own mess. 20. If someone drops something and you are close, pick it up. 21. Hold the door open for people. 22. If you bump into someone, say “excuse me,” even if it wasn’t your fault. 23. During assemblies do not speak out or shout out to friends. 24. Never cut in line. 25. No matter the circumstances, always be honest. 26. Have Fun!Consequences 1. Warning: name on the board 2. 1 Check: name on the board and fill out a “conduct reflection” form 3. 2 Checks: name on the board, fill out a “conduct reflection” form and a parent call. 4. 3 Checks/2 “conduct reflection” forms: name on the board, fill out a “conduct reflection” form, parent call, and personal detention. 5. 4 Checks/3 “conduction reflection” forms: Principal referral Automatic Referral: physical altercations and combative (bombs, kill, shoot, stab etc.) comments.