Classroom management plans are written guides for how to operate a classroom. Students might refer to them as "The Rules." One key to implementing a classroom management plan is to post the rules in a visible location, and rules should be kept simple. Another important part of classroom management is assigning responsibilities among class members. This is to make sure the students feel like part of the classroom. Also of importance is keeping a routine. Routine allows children to know what is expected and helps the day run smoothly. Classroom management plans will run smoothly with good, consistent instruction.
Post rules where students can see them. This acts as a reminder for expected behavior.
Present the rules to the students. Students should be given the consequences for breaking rules as well as the benefits of following the rules. It is a good idea to send a copy of this or the entire classroom management plan home with students so parents can see expectations and consequences as well.
Tour the classroom with the students. Depending on class and classroom size, there may or may not be a need to actually get out of seats and tour the room. The teacher can go over each area of importance in the classroom. For example, one area might be used for students' bags, another is the place to turn in papers and another is the location of the pencil sharpener. It is important to share all the details of how to handle daily life in the classroom. The younger the children, the more importance there is in explaining the purpose of each area. Big signs or posters may help remind students of the purpose of each area of the classroom.
Give students jobs in the classroom. Responsibility can never start too soon, and many students welcome it. Jobs should be assigned as age appropriate, but simple jobs like cleaning tables, passing out papers and stapling words to word walls make children feel like they are an important part of the classroom. Younger children love job titles such as "Classroom Vet" for feeding the fish.
Stay consistent. The key to making a classroom management plan work is to keep it in place daily, and if things seem to be going wrong, back up and go back over the plan with the students. It is OK to tweak the plan and make changes and adjustments as you go, but the overall class rules should be maintained.
Some classroom management plans allow students to help identify and form the classroom rules at the beginning of the school year. This is good for older students (middle grades and high school). Teachers have to lead this discussion and help the students choose appropriate rules.
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