Creating a Productive Learning Environment
Classroom Organization and Management
Fall 2014 9/9/2014
Creating a Productive Learning Environment
Or Classroom Management Plan
Designing an effective classroom management plan is a complex task and something that should evolve with your students. Much of the design will be dependent upon the teacher’s instructional style(s) that are implemented. The profession as a whole is making a significant swing to a “coaching or conductor’ methods of instruction. Archival thoughts are about the teacher are viewed as the “sole dictator’ within the classroom is becoming a method of the past. Hopefully, we are moving from the Silo Teacher methods to collaborative efforts between professional approaches of delivering instruction to students.
In my classroom, the students, instructional aides, parent, principal all played a role in designing our classroom environment program. The first few weeks, we all worked on different components of our classroom community. Students and teachers would work out their standards and behavior expectations as a group. Coming to an understanding on how behavior would be expected by all students supporting a positive learning environment. We would compose our classroom rules together and publish the listing for all to see and review when needed. Communication to parents of the classroom expectations would be letters written by the students to their parents sharing our expectations.
Procedures to help students to become and maintain a independent and productive student would be established as our class community culture develops. How to get paper, pencils or supplies, turn in assignments, pick up missed work, to be designed as a group.
Safety protocols (fire drills, lock-down etc.) were always practiced until they became routine.
Having a ‘time-out’ area is a good way to allow students take a few minutes to recollect their thoughts and prepare to re-enter the class in a productive manner.
Disruptions to instruction are first met with a “look’ from the teacher and a silent moment. If the disruption continues, then the student is given a hand signal (sign language) to think and change. If that does not change the behavior, then the student is not ready to learn and needs to excuse themselves from the instruction area and into our “time-out’ spot. If that does not help, then moving the student outside of the classroom with our instructional aide to either the counselor’s office or front office assistant principal is warrented. Follow-up with a phone call to the parent that same day or evening will occur. Our conversation will always end on a positive message to the student.
I meet my students every morning at the door. Inside the classroom are starting activities and every student comes into the room, knowing what to do to get the day started in a positive manner.
I use music as my transition signal to end one activity into another. It’s a music clip of three minutes and I will change it through out the year.
Lining up at the door, I give each an exit-ticket question. Students need to answer it correctly to exit the room. Incorrect responses, they go to the back of the line and try again. Correct responses are always given a verbal positive comment.
I’m rarely at my desk when students are in the classroom. I am constantly making the rounds checking on progress. I’m sure I clock about 6 miles a day in the classroom.
Instruction is given with a variety of technology tools and methods. I use the overhead projector for the Daily Oral Language sentences. The Elmo projector is great for the student textbook display for all to follow along and demonstrate resources. The computer projector for on-line learning opportunities such as webinar’s or recorded events. There’s teacher read-aloud everyday where I or another student read a chapter in our reading program. Teacher lecturing is rarely over 15 or 20 minutes in duration.
Supported individual learning is with choice reading, write or draw during transition times in between academic core areas. Students on computers are guided to resources relevant to their learning.
My class is always busy, often times louder than other classrooms and you can witness several things happening at the same time. My goal is that students leave for the day, challenged and tired. More importantly, they leave the day with a desire of returning the following day.
Classroom management is a forever-changing event in productive classrooms. It has to have solid foundation of high expectations for all students and a safe environment to be a part of.