Classroom management is the foundation for student learning and effective teaching. It is essential that teachers have or develop efficient classroom management skills. In my review of literature, there were some important themes that were visible. These themes include: establishing those rules and procedures, monitoring and adjusting, having clear consequences, and the classroom environment.
Establishing and teaching rules and procedures in your classroom is the foundation for learning and classroom management. “Establishing expectations includes identifying and defining a small number of positively stated expectations, or rules, that are broad enough to include all desired behavior and are mutually exclusive. The identified expectations are posted and are explicitly and systematically taught to students” (Simonsen et. al., 2008, p.358). These statements sum up the importance of having and teaching clear rules and expectations. Teachers should start their year out with a set of expectations for behavior (Odom-LaCaze, McCormick, & Meyer, 2012, p. 1). It is not possible for teachers to instruct or for students to be productive if there are no guidelines for behavior (Marzano, 2003). Teachers need to have rules and procedures in place at the beginning of the year and teach them effectively.
Once rules and procedures have been set in place, teachers need to monitor student behaviors and what is working in their class and with their group of students. Monitoring refers to checking the effectiveness of school policies on discipline and pastoral care (Smith & Laslett, 1993). We need to be sure that our classroom policies match school policies and that we are monitoring them and being supported by administration. Monitoring could include signals in the classroom such as a finder to the lips, headshake, or eye contact until the student complies with the behavioral expectation (Bala). If students have learned the expectations and rules sometimes simple cues could get them back on task. Monitoring and adjusting are essential to making your behavior plan effective throughout the year.
Teachers’ response to inappropriate behavior is essential to management plan. Some consequences might include: brief, contingent, and specific error corrections, performance feedback, differential reinforcement, planned ignoring, response cost, and time out from reinforcement (Simonsen et. al., 2008, p.364). Sometimes one response works for the whole class other times you need to differentiate responses. Consequences should be posted and not only should students understand the rules but they need to understand the consequences as well, it improves cooperation and achievement among students (Odom-LaCaze, McCormick, & Meyer, 2012, p. 3). At times, we establish rules and teach them but forget about teaching the consequences.
The set up and classroom environment effect classroom management. “Structure refers to the amount of teacher or adult-directed activity, the extent to which routines are explicitly defined, and the design or physical arrangement of the classroom” (Simonsen et. al., 2008, p.353). Physical arrangement and instruction play a vital role in behaviors of students. According to a study by Worseham (2006) there are four keys to good room arrangement including: keeping high traffic areas free of congestion, be sure students can easily see the teacher, frequently used materials and supplies are accessible to students, and have small groups (Bala). In setting up your room or adjusting your room arrangement, these are important to keep in mind.
Classroom management is at the heart of teaching and learning. If we don’t have well managed classes, instruction time is lost and you are not being an effective teacher. In research, there are 4 key ideas that came up and those include: establishing rules and procedures, monitoring, teacher’s response to behavior, and physical environment of the classroom.
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Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Meyers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-
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