Both teacher and student success can often be traced back to the ability of the teacher to effectively manage the classroom. Research shows that effective classroom management and organization during the first few weeks of class are crucial in determining expectations, behavior patterns, and procedures that will set the tone for the rest of the year. Effective classroom management is essential in maintaining an organized, and civil classroom. You want students’ to develop an understanding of mutual respect by making expectations clear, and providing written ideas of how the classroom should be managed.
The keys to effective classroom management are; organization of procedures and resources, a well arranged classroom environment, monitoring student progress, anticipating and handling classroom problems, and designing an effective learning center. By providing these management skills in the classroom you will clearly and effectively manage any classroom, and go above and beyond expectations. Organizing procedures and resources is the first management skill to focus on when developing an effective classroom management plan. From day one it is important to go through daily procedures with students by offering an example of daily activities.
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Create an example of a daily schedule for the students’ to read over and ask any questions that they may have. Let the students know what, if anything, on the schedule is subject to change. For example if your classroom participates in elective courses, make sure your students’ understand that everyday they will not have Art from 1:30-2:15. The key is to have your students prepared. Prior to the first day of class your classroom should be properly organized with teaching aids and resources organized and put away in areas that can create the most effective use of these resources.
For example if you have worksheets that correlate with certain math lesions, you want to make sure that these worksheets are labeled and ready to be copied and handed out to your students’, so that they can take advantage of these helpful worksheets. Also, it is important to have resources scheduled and available when needed. For example if your classroom is doing research on a certain animal that each student must research and present to the classroom, a helpful resource during this research would be, the Internet.
With this being said it is important to schedule research time in the computer lab so that students can use resources on the Internet to expand there research limitations, while also allowing students’ to ask questions and become more computer savvy. A well arranged classroom environment is the next key in effective classroom management. Successful teachers understand that classrooms must be both stimulating and inviting. Room arrangements must be both attractive and functional. It is important to catch the students’ eye but to also allowing students to use the classroom to learn.
Some things that you must consider before designing your classroom are traffic flow for the teacher and students, proximity of the desks to other areas, desks must be arranged to promote maximum visibility, and limit distractibility, and also create a room environment that allows for flexibility for classroom activities that may require movement. Prior to the first day of class it is important to have a seating chart designed, but this chart may also be revised due to unknown circumstances.
Another important aspect of classroom environment to consider is to keep materials in designated areas readily available for students’ to use during activities and lesions. It is important to also have all equipment checked and ready to go before students arrive. You waste valuable classroom learning time if you have to check equipment during class. Classroom bulletin boards are important because they provide visual stimulation for the classroom while also being informative, relevant, and related to classroom activities. You can also get students involved in creating classroom bulletin boards.
Every month you can assign two or three students to be in charge of creating and maintaining a classroom bulletin board about something relevant to a topic you are studying. This is a learning tool, while also promoting group interaction. The next key to managing an effective classroom is monitoring student progress. There are many things that you can do to monitor student progress outside of test and worksheet scores. Make sure every student understands the topic being studied. Walk around the classroom and peek over student’s shoulders to make sure they are completing worksheets and activities correctly.
Communication is also important in monitoring student progress. Make sure assignments and lesions are clearly discussed and students’ understand expectations. An obvious way to monitor students progress is by grading assignments and tests, and also make sure students’ are turning in assignments on time and accurately according to assignment guidelines. As a teacher it is important that you provide timely feedback to make sure that students understand what areas they need improve in, and what they are doing correctly.
Also make sure students’ understand the rules, if you are going to allow make up work, then make sure the students’ understand the make up work policy. For example if you give a test, and you allow students’ to correct their errors for half points, then make sure students understand there is a time limit and any other rules that you implement. Another way to monitor student progress is by making sure that your grading system correlates with the schools grading system, so that grades remain fair and balanced.
Make sure that you record grades and attendance on a daily basis; this allows you to visually see who is struggling and who is not attending class on a regular basis. Also, make sure that students are involved in monitoring their own progress. Hand out grade sheets where students can write down the grades they receive so they understand where they stand in the class, and what they need to work on to raise their grades. Something else to think about when trying to avoid bad behavior is to promote and maintain high expectations. When students are actively engaged in the classroom they are less likely to get involved in bad behavior.
Announce and post statements and communicate expectations in the classroom about homework and tests and worksheets. Make sure you reinforce high expectations through consistency. Be consistent in both enforcing rules on bad behavior, and promoting good behavior. Also, it is important to promote good behavior by celebrating success. Positive reinforcement is key in the promotion good behavior. When students feel secure they are more likely to be engaged in the classroom, when they feel threatened or unchallenged, learning decreases and misbehavior rises.
Another way to effectively manage the classroom is by anticipating and handling problems that may arise in the classroom. One key to handling problems is to be proactive. Identify causes of problems in the classroom and take steps to avoid these situations. Utilize proximity in the classroom to manage and control student behavior and involvement in the classroom. Another way to be proactive with behavior in the classroom is by modeling appropriate behaviors, and also communicate and reinforce classroom rules and procedures.
It is important that students understand the rules and expectations because they will be more to understand what is needed out of them in the classroom, and also helping students’ avoid questionable situations. Utilize verbal and non-verbal cues to redirect bad behavior. Another key handling problems that may arise in the classroom is to be consistent. Follow through with infractions by following school discipline guidelines. This is important because if you do not enforce rules then students’ are not going to take you seriously. Communicate all positive and negative behaviors to both students’ and parents.
For example if you have student who is struggling in the classroom because they are talking to other students’ often, discuss this problem with parents and students’ and develop a way for students’ to change this behavior. Maybe sending a home a smiley face or a frowning face to show how the student did that day. Another way to show a student what is appropriate and inappropriate in the classroom is by having visual enforcements of positive and negative behavior. Creating a calendar with stars can show students what is appropriate and inappropriate.
Also creating incentives to keep students’ on the right track, like a weekly prize, or an extra recess is important. Use appropriate consequences in the classroom, it is important not to over or under react in the classroom. Immediately correct all bad behaviors in the classroom, this will make the student aware of what they are doing wrong and the consequences of their behaviors. Another way to manage classroom behavior is by helping students understand and recognize inappropriate behaviors and the consequences of these behaviors.
When correcting bad behavior in the classroom keep your voice calm and neutral. It is important that students do not feel like you are attacking them, you want the students to know that you want them to succeed and a way to succeed is by correcting these behaviors. The last thing to consider in effective classroom management is designing a learning center. When students are actively engaged in learning fewer problems arise, and make it easier to manage the classroom. When designing a learning center consider the purpose of the lesion, prerequisite learning hat must take place for the students to understand what you are going to teach, and procedures that need to be followed by students to achieve expectations. It is also important to utilize resources that can help engage the students in the learning center. Some examples of effective resources are curriculum guides, textbooks, and worksheets. Something important to consider when designing an effective learning center is to evaluate all students strengths and weaknesses, this way you can help each student individually.
It is important to know all students strengths and weaknesses to make sure they are understanding the material. Also, providing refreshers during new learning sessions is a good way to make sure that students understand the topics, and use prior learning to help in the new lesions. It is also important to provide materials and activities for students according to their needs, interests, and abilities at the appropriate level of difficulty. It is also important to evaluate students on prior expectations. It is important not to place expectations that were not discussed prior to completing the assignment.
In conclusion there are many steps in creating effective classroom management. It is important to remain organized, communicate with your students, arranging an effective classroom that caters to your students and expectations that you place on them, monitor student progress, be proactive and handle problems as they arise, and design an effective learning center. All of these functions are essential in running an effective classroom. Without these steps the classroom will not run smoothly and the learning environment created will not promote effective learning.