________________________________________________________________ Journal of Classroom Management Discipline Theory Translated into Practice by Practitioners ________________________________________________________________ Year: 1992-93 Volume: 2, Number: 5 February, 1993 Edited by Robert T. Tauber Published by Management Development Associates P.O. Box 9328 Winter Haven, Florida 33883-9328 ________________________________________________________________ ERIC ABSTRACT: EJ 438 176 Managing the Early Childhood Classroom. Crosser, Sandra. Young Children; v47 n2 p23-29 Jan 1992 Descriptors: Classroom Environment; Classroom Techniques; Conflict Resolution: Early Childhood Education; Physical Environment; Scheduling; Teacher Role: Teacher Student Relationship; Time Management; Young Children Classroom management can have a direct effect on the kinds of behaviors students exhibit and make the difference between chaos and an orderly environment that facilitates learning. Suggestions for teachers involve planning for physical space, arrival and departure times, the scheduling of transitions, children’s interactions with equipment and materials, and conflict resolution. (LB) ________________________________________________________________ PRACTITIONER REACTION EJ 438 176 Janice Repasky, Principal, Nicholson Elementary School, Marietta, GA. Crosser’s approach to early childhood classroom management, appropriately named BASIC, promotes the concept of preventative classroom management through emphasis on comprehensive planning for every detail of the school day. The practice of thoroughly attending to the physical, social and learning environment before a child enters the classroom, is and has been (for generations as Crosser reminds us) the basic ingredient in managing behavior. Effective teachers have consistently created an atmosphere and surroundings that are conducive to learning. Creative, relevant and effective delivery of curricula must work in concert with an organized and age-appropriate classroom. The amount of time needed to handle organizational details has long been underestimated, especially in the early childhood classroom. However, the premise of detailed planning and organization could and should be applied to any educator at any level. The attitude of a teacher thinking, “Thee students are wild and uncontrollable!” can be changed by substituting the focus to, “If students are misbehaving, what area of the learning experience do I need to change?” Crosser suggests a reflection on these five areas: Before school begins, Arrival and departure times, Schedule transition, Interactions with equipment and materials, and Conflict management. Crosser addresses the issue of classroom management with the same, obvious thoroughness with which she created a classroom. Explicit details and suggestions are shared and explained. The complete array of questions provided could be used by early childhood educator to assess the preparedness of a classroom. The article reiterates the consistent and logical theme of avoiding misbehavior through sound planning that can only be done if, in fact, the nature of the young child is truly understood and accommodated. True understanding of the nature of the learner is certainly a mandatory ingredient to preface the planning of an appropriate classroom. So many areas of education lose effectiveness because the focus has been placed on the curriculum and the book rather than the learner. Understanding the personality, characteristics, wants and needs of a child of a particular age can be accomplished through reading and through observing children in different developmental stages. Although each topic addressed was thoroughly discussed, the relationship between teacher and student was not presented. This element is much too influential to ignore. In addition to a teacher’s understanding of the importance of the affective domain there is an almost innate quality in effective teachers that connects the teacher and the student. That connection will be manifested in a teacher’s empathetic and accommodating attitude. The teacher’s rapport with students, coupled with Crosser’s practical suggestions for managing an early childhood classroom are essential interlocking components in that classroom. In summary, the concept of BASIC preventive classroom management has been, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of effective teaching and successful classrooms. One might say that attention to the logistics of the school day, paired with the power of the teacher/student connection, makes for a dynamic behavior management system.
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