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Running head: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT PLAN

Katherine Brou

Classroom Management Plan HUEC 3382, Section 1 Dr. Michelle Fillastrie November 10, 2010

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Classroom Management Plan Introduction The idea that children are constantly growing and learning is nothing new. It is evident in their bodies and the development of their knowledge in certain subject areas. A child’s social development is just as evident if one the child’s growth over time. Learning the social rules of different environments is key to surviving in the world today. Different environments contain different rules and ways of doing things. When young children begin attending school or daycare, they usually only know one environment, the home. This is important to remember because teaching the children in our classes these “social rules,” or self-regulation, is part of an early childhood educator’s job. As Kostelnik says, “self regulation is the voluntary, internal control of behavior. It involves acting in socially acceptable ways based on reasoning, concern for others, and an understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behavior” (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 162). This definition helps one to understand that self-regulation does not just involve right and wrong in an environment, but also the social aspect of concern for others and the reasoning of a situation. It is much more complex than just listening to the rules. Self-regulation is a skill that must be learned. Children are not born knowing the right and wrong ways to act in a situation or environment. The people around the child help him/her form the ideas or right and wrong and what to do in certain situations. As a child grows older, their ability to regulate themselves also grows because of development in other areas including emotional, cognitive, language, and memory (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 165). All of these areas contain many different developments within them that greatly affect the development of self-regulation in young children from different emotions and ways of thinking to vocabulary, communication, and memory.


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There is a developmental process of reaching full self-regulation, or internalization. The first stage is called adherence. This is when children rely heavily and the people around them to dictate their actions of what should and should not happen in a situation or environment (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 163). Babies, for example, do not know what to do in any given situation. They put everything in their mouths and pull on pets’ tails because they do not know it is inappropriate or going to hurt the dog. The adults around an infant cannot tell them to stop and expect the baby to do so because the baby does not understand language. Therefore, adults start by giving children physical cues or redirections. This can, and should, eventually evolve into giving children solely verbal cues as to appropriate behaviors (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 163). Adherence also occurs when children act a certain way to gain rewards or avoid punishments. The Behaviorist model of teaching relies heavily on this technique under this stage of regulation for classroom management. While this is a necessary stage for children to go through, relying solely on this technique under the adherence stage does not help children progress to fully understanding correct behavior of their own accord. Instead, children only look for the reward or to avoid a negative consequence and not the reason why it is right or wrong in the first place. This does not help children develop to reach that point where they can voluntarily control their choices from thinking about what consequences their actions might bring onto themselves and others and why it is right or wrong (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 164). The second stage that precedes internalization is called identification. This stage involves a child adhering to rules to mimic someone they look up to (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 164). This stage in and of itself is a perfect example of why teachers should always be modeling the correct behaviors and actions. Children often rely on their teacher to be this role model of right and wrong behavior. When in this stage children do not really understand the reason why the actions


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they are imitating is the correct behavior. They have not thought through the action but instead do it, or do not do it, because it is something they know their model approves or disapproves of (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 164). Children are very dependent on this external source to determine their actions. Without knowledge of what their mentor thinks, children would not know how to act in a situation. In this stage children still have not developed the ability to internally way the actions and consequences in a situation and determine the correct behavior. Finally, children reach the stage of internalization, or full self-regulation. Children in this stage are concerned with how their actions affect others and have developed some sort of personal moral code that guides them in their efforts to act on this inner sense of right and wrong (Kostelnik, 2011, p. 164). Teachers can help preschoolers develop self-regulation by helping to learn and express emotions, using scaffolding throughout play, and involving children in planning and decision-making (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009, p. 13). We as teachers need to encourage the development of self-regulation through guidance. Unlike punishments and rewards, “guidance prevents problems, it does not just react to them” (Gartrell, 2004, p. 28). Teacher’s Classroom Management Plan My mentor teacher uses a mix of different techniques to manage her classroom. On one hand, my teacher still uses time out as a punishment for bad behavior and skittles/m&m’s as rewards for good/correct behavior. This is a behaviorist technique of positive and negative reinforcement and as we know the behaviorist approach does not fully support the development of self-regulation. What does support the development of self-regulation is guidance. The biggest guidance technique my mentor teacher uses is encouragement. She happily greets each child daily and is always available to listen to something a child has to say. She also is very comforting to the children and will hug and hold the ones that need it. Both of these are great


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examples of how my mentor teacher promotes and encouraging classroom and form a strong relationship with the children so they feel safe and comfortable (Gartrell, 2004, p. 74). This bond and relationship that my mentor teacher forms with the children in our class is her strongest aspect of her classroom management plan. The children have already come to love her and respect the things she says. She also attempts to teach children democratic life skills such as talking through problems and conflicts, respecting others, expressing emotions and working cooperatively (Gartrell, 2004, p. 21). However, when this becomes too long of a process, or as I see it, too hard, she resorts back to her old ways of just telling children what to do instead of helping them see what to do. My teacher uses a mix of different strategies in her classroom management plan some of which are developmentally appropriate and some of which are not. One example of a classroom management technique I notice in my classroom is only allowing a certain number of children in each center. She has signs designated by each center showing the number of people allowed in the center. She did this to prevent too many children in one center and therefore not enough toys in the center to be played with. If this happens, children will begin to argue and fight for the toys, something that should definitely be prevented. Something that I have never seen in my classroom that is an excellent guidance technique is a class meeting. My mentor teacher has never used this technique in a few situations that I think it would have been helpful in. Class meetings help reinforce the democratic life skills necessary to fully develop self-regulation, and they “teach and review the guidelines necessary to keep classrooms encouraging” (Gartrell, 2004, p. 93). My mentor teacher is always reminding the children to make good choices. This way of phrasing things lets the children think about their actions and the situation before acting on it which will hopefully cause them to make the “right” choice of how they are supposed to act/what


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they are supposed to say etc. Overall, I think my teacher classroom management plan works for her. I am not sure that it is the best for the children to help them attain internalization, but it is not harming them in any way. If my teacher were to tweak a few of her practices, and really make it a habit to become a teacher of guidance that I know she can be, her classroom management plan would be one to look up to. Personal Classroom Management Plan Guidance, respect, understanding, and relationships will be the core of my future classroom management plan. Of course, each year with each new class I will re-examine my classroom management plan and the different techniques I use. The children in my class will change each year and so will my classroom management plan. With that as an understanding, the main ideas and principles that I will always hold in my classroom management plan are guidance, respect, understanding, and relationships. Guidance is something I know that I want to use in my future classroom. I am trying to get myself in the mode of being a guiding teacher now in my mentor classroom, but I will say it is hard to be that way when some people around you are not practicing guiding techniques at all. I want my future classroom management plan to also center around the six principles of DAP guidance. The first one is teaching democratic life skills such as respect, cooperation, and all things involved in self-regulation. The second is recognizing classroom conflicts as mistaken behavior and valuable teaching opportunities. Next is understanding the reasons behind a child’s behavior; knowing it is a mistaken behavior and not misbehavior. The fourth principle is to have an engaging and encouraging classroom because this will prevent misbehavior. Lastly, preventing mistaken behavior that can be caused by developmentally inappropriate practice and lastly, as the teacher, I want to function as a model so that children have a great example of how


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to act (Gartrell, 2004, p. 172). If I can have myself really learn and live these principles through in my classroom, I will gain respect from not only my students, but my peers and administrators as well because the classroom will be a much more inviting and encouraging place. I want to speak in a positive manner and learn how to guide and not discipline. I want to remember all the great strategies I have read about such as acknowledging what children have to say, encouraging children, giving feedback, being a good model, scaffolding and challenging my children. I also need to also assistance in the correct manner, provide the right information and give directions to children in a way that they understand (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009, p. 37). These strategies will help me, as a teacher, “enhance development and learning” and “create a caring community of learners” (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009, pp. 36-37). Along with those important strategies, comes understanding and relationships. Gartrell said in the beginning of his book that to be a teacher does not mean you have patience, it just means you understand the children (Gartrell, 2004, pp. 2-3). That is something I pride myself on, always trying to understand where people are coming from and what they are thinking and feeling. If you do this, you do not need as much patience as people think you do. I want to understand what the young children in my class are thinking and feeling so that I can better help them build a strong foundation for the rest of their life. The beginning of this understanding is the classes I am taking now, and the rest of it will rely on the relationship I have with the class as a whole, each child individually and each child’s parents and family. An idea I have had for a while is to have 5 minutes with the teacher time. In my schedule, I want to include a time for each child to have at least five minutes to talk with me. I would like to meet with each child at least once a week for five minutes, if not more. This is something that I definitely want in my future classroom because I think it is very important for every child to feel important and loved


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by me. I want to give each child a time for he/she to talk to me about anything they want. It does not have to be problems or concerns, it can be anything that they want to share such as a conversation about a toy they want or something silly that happened to them yesterday or it can incorporate many different things. I want to set aside time for this so that I can be fully and actively engaged in the conversation with the child. This will help us form a strong bond and relationship. It will also help me keep up with what is going on in a child’s life and it will help me really get to know each child in my class so that I can therefore understand them better. The last main goal I want to have in my classroom management is respect. Respecting others and respecting oneself is a valuable life lesson I want to instill in the children I have in my future classes. Weekly class meetings are a great way of exemplifying respect for one another, and a great learning experience for children who are still developing in self-regulation. I would like to have a box in the class where children can write their concerns that will be discussed at the weekly class meeting. I also would like to have a talking stick to use during these meetings to ensure that everyone who wants a turn to speak gets a chance, and others are respectfully waiting and listening. I think having this kind of opportunity in the class will really help the young children to understand respect and the benefits it has. It will give children an opportunity to not only learn how to respect others, but what it feels like to be respected. Moreover, when that happens, hopefully they will make that connection through self-regulation and reach a state of internalization when it comes to respect. Learning Environment I think that the learning environment of the classroom I am in is something that my teacher does really well. She has all the centers incorporated in the layout of the room and the atmosphere of the classroom is very free so the children may explore and learn in their own way.


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The layout of the room is exemplary. There is no room for running but still enough room to move and get around. My mentor teacher has taken into consideration the walkways and pathways of the room and followed accordingly with her layout. This prevents problems that could occur such as running or knocked over block structures or even messing up someone’s artwork because of the pathways intersecting with the centers (Brewer, 2007, p. 182). The layout also allows the teacher to see what is going on in every center when she stands at any place in the room. The children can explore many different things throughout the time they spend in centers most of the day. The art/writing center is one center in and of itself and is stocked with lots of materials that children can explore writing with or use their artistic skills to create. My only critique of this area is that she does not allow the children to paint freely. There are markers, crayons, and many other materials available, but paint freely available for use is something that I strongly feel is necessary. I know my teacher is trying to prevent having a mess, but if she never lets the children explore with the paint and learn how to use it correctly, then it will always be just that, a mess. The dramatic play center is, at the moment, a restaurant, and a kitchen. There are so many props, costumes, and toys for children to play with in this center it is not surprising that the children never tire of this center. She even has included items from an actual restaurant such as a guest check tablet and a book to give the customer his/her check in. I find that this connects children to the real life experiences they are imitating The block center is very well set up in the corner of the room where children can work without distractions or people constantly walking by their structures. The science center is set up right by the block center. I feel like the science center is just a shelf full of things for children to


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look at or manipulate. I think my teacher would do better to have the science center near a table so children really have a good space to explore the different manipulatives she has to offer. The math center has great materials and games for the children to play with. This is a very popular center in my classroom, as children always want to do puzzles, play with the dominoes, or play the math board games. I would not change much. The library center is a cozy quiet place for children to relax and read books. I find that the children really enjoy going here when they want to be alone or have one-on-one time with an adult. It is also a nice place to send a child to calm down when he/she has been worked up. Lastly, the computer center is not always available. I find that this is best because when it is available children tend to flock to the computers and they all stand there waiting for a turn on the computer regardless of being asked to go find something else to do. My teacher makes the computer centers available enough so that they are a regular part of the everyday classroom, just not all the time so as to prevent children from not exploring other options. Routines/Schedules My mentor teacher has changed her routine and schedule a number of times since the beginning of the school year. The children have adapted well to each change and it has improved their behavior since then because of the decrease in transitions. My mentor teacher also finally added in an hour long center time so children can fully explore the things they might need that long of a time to explore. Before she had this hour-long center time, children were going back and forth between teacher directed time, center time, meals, and outside time. They had to clean up things for a good portion of the day and there was difficulty getting them to clean up because they had not been able to fully explore during the shorter center time. She eliminated some of the transition time from the jumping back and forth and because of that the children have less of a


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chance to misbehave, or mistakenly behave, as they are bored. This impacted the classroom management greatly, and it is something all the adults in the classroom have noticed in the few weeks since its implementation.

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References Brewer, J. (2007). Introduction to early childhood education: Preschool through primary grades (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson. Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (Eds.) (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs: Serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, DC: NAEYC. Gartrell, D. (2004). The power of guidance: Teaching social-emotional skills in early childhood classrooms. Washington, DC: NAEYC. Kostelnik, M.J., Soderman, A.K., & Whiren, A.P. (2011). Developmentally appropriate curriculum: Best practices in early childhood education (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Classroom Management Plan - PK.K  

November 10, 2010 HUEC 3382, Section 1 Katherine Brou Dr. Michelle Fillastrie 1

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