Analyze your classroom management system. Include the following elements of classroom management in your analysis
The interpersonal environment of the classroom, i.e. how you establish and maintain positive teacher-student relationships and a positive learning climate
Considering interpersonal environment an important component of the learning process, I put effort into maintaining psychological comfort and a positive learning climate in the classroom. My approach is based on three components:
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- respect: I support children’s tolerance and respectful attitude towards each other. No discrimination, no laughingstock – these are the principles followed in our class. I offer children discussions on interpersonal relations and illustrate these principles by personal example.
- attention: I pay attention to the events and changes that take place in children’s lives. A student who demonstrates progress in academic performance is “rewarded” with congratulations from the teacher and the classmates. I try not to miss details – children enjoy a teacher’s attention towards such things as a new haircut, beautiful shoes, etc.
- fun: children enjoy jokes and innovations. We have a morning greeting “ceremony”: I say, “Good morning”, and the students answer, “Good morning, Ms. Lewis, I am here and ready to learn”, then I say, “Good morning, I am here and ready to teach”. Sometimes I change my greeting and say something interesting or funny: being surprised, children get energized, and we start the lessons.
Consideration of the age and special needs of the young learner, the family, the management goals, and strategies
Our class consists of 6 African Americans and 9 Hispanics, 8 girls and 7 boys. Thus, the important task for our team is maintaining mutual understanding, interaction, and respect. We learn interesting details about both cultures; children work on creative assignments devoted to African American and Hispanic cultural traditions. Children of both cultures are not isolated from each other: they cooperate at the lessons and get on well during their free time.
I take the age of my young learners into account and vary the intensity of the learning process: when I see they become less concentrated and feel tired, I offer them to have rest for a minute or organize a short game.
I pay significant attention to communication with parents, as the family’s attitude towards school and learning has a strong impact on a child’s motivation. I keep parents aware of the children’s success and problems (using discussion and in written) and try to involve them in maintaining children’s interest in studying.
use of the physical environment to support classroom management goals
Using physical space in classroom activities is very important for young learners. I use it to diversify assignments in class and make the learning process more interesting and effective. In class, we have the following elements:
- Regular expositions of the students’ drawings and other creative works. Children devote their works to the topics we are studying or to the important holidays.
- The “compliment place”: the students can write positive things about each other on a special sheet of paper on the wall.
- The word wall. This element helps students improve their vocabulary. I renew the words weekly, students also can add the words they consider to be useful.
- Artifacts. We have artifacts and visual materials on different topics, especially in reading, math, and science.
- The wall newspaper. Students write about events in the life of the class or their own lives. I help children to prepare the articles, help them with topics, grammar, and style.
Establishment and maintenance of rules and routines in the classroom
The rules are displayed on the wall so that children memorize them visually. The following rules work in our classroom:
- We raise our hand to speak
- We keep respectful behavior and understand each other’s needs
- We do not run in the halls and do not frolic inside the classroom
- No fighting at school
- We come to school on time and do not miss classes without a serious reason
- We submit classwork and homework on time, etc.
Knowing that understanding rules is the way to following rules, I explain classroom rules to children and demonstrate that following them is for their good.
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Classroom communication including listening strategies and facilitating conflict resolution
I follow a range of communication principles in the classroom:
- I always use a soft voice when speaking to my students. Even I have to criticize or reprimand a child, I do not show negative emotions because children are very sensitive to a teacher’s intonation.
- I rarely criticize. I prefer using positive thinking principles and complement criticism with praise. A student needs to feel he/she is successful to succeed in the future.
- I teach students to be attentive listeners. We do not interrupt a speaker and listen attentively to ask interesting questions. This is especially important for discussions and teamwork where children need to hear each other and avoid disorder.
Fortunately, we rarely have conflicts in the classroom. In case the situation emerges, I choose the strategy of an active listener; I try to hear both parts of the conflict and make them also hear each other. This helps us define the core of the conflict and then develop a way to solve it.
Dealing with challenging behaviors, including strategies used in assisting students in learning new behaviors
I rarely face challenging behaviors when working with my students. However, I have had an opportunity to develop my approach to managing them. To deal with challenging behavior, I need to understand its cause. My experience shows that children rarely misbehave simply due to inappropriate upbringing, aggression, etc. In most cases, a child demonstrates challenging behavior because he/she feels bad: he/she might be afraid, embarrassed, offended, exhausted, etc. In these cases, I demonstrate to a child that I understand him/her and try to help. Thus, instead of raising my voice, I prefer to talk softly and listen attentively, which works very effectively.
I think that the best strategy for avoiding challenging behavior is to keep students involved in the learning process. When they are busy and interested in what they do, they forget about misbehaving.
Implementation of the effective curriculum as a means of classroom management
Curriculum for young learners should contain the activities and assignments that are: 1) useful 2) interesting 3) diverse. In this case, children get the necessary knowledge and develop important skills. On the other hand, the curriculum is a means of managing the classroom environment. Diverse and interesting activities create a positive learning climate: students have a strong motivation for learning and work on their assignments with pleasure. I offer my students creative assignments, projects, games. Curriculum also should include activities that imply teamwork, which makes children learn to cooperate and respect each other.
Relate each element of your classroom management system to the theories and research on classroom management covered in this course
My classroom management system is based on the theoretical background taken from the works of scholars and practitioners who work in pedagogy: Tauber (2007), Konza, Grainger, and Bradshaw (2003), Ming-tak and Li (2008), Waterhouse and Dickinson (2001), Stone (2005).
My approach to managing misbehavior (element f) coincides with that described in Konza, Grainger, and Bradshaw (2003, pp. 61-65): the authors recommend keep students “academically engaged” and use “highly structured” teaching. The teaching-directed style nevertheless does not mean that only a teacher is talking all the time: interactive teaching with diverse interesting assignments helps to get students interested in learning (element g). My efforts in understanding the causes of misbehavior are consonant with Ming-takes and Li’s approach (2008, pp. 95-97). Stone (2005, pp. 25-28) emphasizes the importance of written communication with parents, which is also the element of my classroom management system (element b).
Tauber (2007, pp.17-33) offers a very interesting approach to classroom management that can be summarized as “democracy and discipline”. These principles are the background of my classroom management system. On the one hand, I support children’s initiative and let them be heard (elements a, e). On the other hand, students should remember about appropriate behavior and discipline (element d). Waterhouse and Dickinson (2001, pp. 25-32) talk about the appropriate organization of classroom space that makes the learning process interesting and effective (element c).
Create a lesson plan including a detailed reflection on how it worked out
5 senses: studying sight and hearing
|Objectives & NJCCCS: |
Students are expected to have a general understanding of the anatomy of human organs of senses (eye, tongue, ear) and their functioning. They will have an opportunity to test and discuss the abilities of a human’s senses.
The lesson is aimed at awakening students’ interest in anatomy, demonstrating that the knowledge got at the lessons can be applied to real life.
Visual aids: models and pictures of an eye and an ear; pictures with optical illusions; paper and pencils.
|Procedures and Activity: |
Explain the anatomy of a human eye and ear demonstrating visual aids and briefly describe how they function; demonstrate pictures with optical illusions to make students interested in the abilities of our site (15 minutes).Practice:
A teacher explains home assignment (5 minutes): a scheme of sight or hearing. A student is to draw a simplified scheme of how an eye or an ear receives information from outside.
The teacher assesses the teams’ presentations. In the next lesson, the assignment on scheme drawing is assessed. Testing is carried out after students have studied all 5 senses.
After implementing the lesson, write a reflection in which you evaluate your planning and implementation of each element of classroom management. Describe what you have learned from this experience and how you will modify your approach to classroom management as a result of it.
The science lesson on sight and hearing allowed me to test my classroom management system. I followed the teacher-directed approach and developed an intensive lesson plan where each minute was devoted to learning. Applying the principle of democracy and discipline, I managed to allow students to share ideas and communicate, and at the same time maintain appropriate discipline (elements a, d). I used the classroom space for teamwork and a game (element c). I took children’s age into account and offered them a game knowing that they would be tired after hard work (element b). After brainstorming in teams, we practiced attentive listening to each other when both teams presented their ideas (element e). The lesson was very intensive so that children stayed academically engaged; they had no time for being distracted and misbehaving (element f). Various assignments offered to the students during the lesson made them interested and allowed them to learn new information with pleasure (element g).
At the same time, I have made some conclusions after the lesson. I think it could be reasonable to divide children into three teams, as the teams they formed were too big for discussion. I saw that not all children participated in the discussion equally. I also learned that it is difficult to continue working with children after offering them a game. After they played “broken telephone”, it was difficult for me to explain the home assignment. I might explain it after the teamwork and finish the lesson with a game.
Konza, D. M., Grainger, J. & Bradshaw, K. A. (2003). Classroom management: a survival guide. Katoomba, NSW : Social Science Press.
Ming-tak, H. & Li, W.-S. (2008). Classroom management : creating a positive learning environment. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Stone, R. (2005). Best classroom management practices for reaching all learners : what award-winning classroom teachers do. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press.
Tauber, R. T. (2007). Classroom management: sound theory and effective practice. Praeger Publishers.
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Waterhouse, P. & Dickinson, C. (2001). Classroom management. Stafford : Network Educational Press.