Holly A. Toops
May 12, 2007
Classroom Management Plan
For this current semester, I am in an eighth grade Language Arts classroom. Mrs.
Self-Gross has been teaching for seven years now, and her classroom is large and very
decorative. She takes a lot of pride in having a clean, orderly learning space, but she has
also added a little flair by putting up encouragement posters, patriotic banners, and a
quote of the day everyday. Also, there is a guinea pig in her room, and occasionally, she
lets it have the run of the classroom. Of course, the children love this, and as a result of
her efforts, the classroom situation is very relaxed. The children know that the
atmosphere can be playful at times, and the students are allowed to have fun. However,
the children also know when to get serious and to get down to work. Most of the children
are very bright and strive to learn as much as they can. However, like a typical school,
there are some students who are bright but just don’t want to do anything. Also, the
classes have quite a few students with IEPs; I think we have around twenty-six total.
There is one child in particular who can create a challenge. She is not labeled with a
disability, but she can be labeled as the “attention seeker.” She loves the spotlight in the
classroom, and she enjoys it when the other students look to her for humor. Even though
she does occasionally do her work, this student would rather cause trouble to get a laugh
from her neighbor than concentrate on the task at hand. Overall, however, we try not to
let her cause too many disturbances, but she does seem to always be looking for the
attention of someone close to her.
Because these students are getting ready to go the high school, one of my main
focuses, like my cooperating teacher’s, would be to prepare the students for the
curriculum at the next level. High school can be such a scary and troubling time for a
young fourteen or fifteen-year-old. I remember being at that age, and I was scared to
death of going to the high school. So, I would want to help them prepare for the journey
ahead. The high school teachers don’t baby anyone because their job is to get students
ready for the outside world. I might make them accountable for getting homework in
without constantly hovering over them, and I will try and get the students prepared by
making them take responsibility of their actions and behavior. Another one of my goals
will be to teach materials that may come up on the ISTEP. Even though I don’t like the
idea of teaching to a test, standardized testing is a crucial part of our school systems these
days. So, I will attempt to teach ISTEP material while making it interesting because I
want my students to be prepared when they get to their sophomore year and take the
Even though my goals are fairly realistic, they will not be obtained if I don’t have
a good classroom management plan mapped out. At the beginning of the year, I will
make sure to have some of my most important rules posted. For example, I will list rule
such as “Respect me, your classmates, and yourself,” “Be prepared for class—this means
bring a pencil, paper, and books everyday unless notified,” “Raise your hand before
speaking,” and “Homework and assignments are to be turned in on time.” Also, at the
beginning of the school year, I will send home a copy of all my rules and all my
procedures to be signed by the student and parent/guardian so that I know that both
individuals have seen and reviewed the way I will run my classroom.
In order to manage my classroom, I will have my desks arranged in a fashion in
which I can have easy access to all students. If a student is special needs and requires
close proximity to me or another instructor, I will place them in the proper location. But,
I like the idea of having several small clusters of desks with a row of desks in the middle.
For example: DD D DD
DD D DD
Blackboard DD D DD
DD D DD
DD D DD
DD D DD
This example shows how I will be able to have control over the small groups
while keeping the single row of desks from having too much socialization because of the
limited classmate contact. Also, it is very easy to walk around the small clusters of desks
and in front and behind the row of desks.
In order to keep my classroom running smoothly, I will have a certain set of steps
the students should follow when they enter the room each morning. All of these
procedures will be in my rules sheet at the beginning of the year, and I will also state
what the students are to do at the beginning of each day the first week of school. Like my
Winter Term teacher did, I will have Popsicle sticks with each student’s name on one,
and each morning, I will sit an attendance sticks and bowl in the back of the room.
Whenever the student enters, he or she will put his or her stick in the attendance bowl.
The attendance stick policy will allow me to take attendance without wasting a lot of
class time trying to figure out who is here and who is missing. If a student comes in late,
he or she will be counted tardy and will have to go to the back of the room and sign a
piece of paper stating that he or she was late on a certain day and time and the reason for
being tardy. If the student has a pass, this can be put in a basket next to the tardy sign-in
so the tardy won’t count against him or her. I will record the tardies after that period is
over. This will all be at the back of the room on a table or desk so that the student doesn’t
block the bell work assignment or interrupt the lesson when he or she comes in.
After the students put their attendance sticks in the bowl, the students will need to
get their journals out of the designated crate, sit in their assigned seats, and start working
on their bell work/daily journals. The bell work will allow students to get busy working
on something, and this will also help with writing skills since they will be writing almost
every day. In terms of the kind of topics, I will have the students write either a reflective
journal or opinion-based response in their designated bell work notebooks, or they might
have to answer a riddle or write ten sentences using similes or metaphors. The bell work
could also be practice ISTEP questions that will give some students practice if they
haven’t passed the test yet and give the others reinforcement if they have passed it.
Whatever the bell work is, students need to be in their seats doing the assignment or
getting ready to do the work before the bell rings. If they have any questions, they may
ask by raising their hands. Whenever the students are finished, they can put their
notebooks in the crate/box with their period number on the front of it. This bell work
procedure will help with the consistency of the classroom, and it will also help with
autistic children who, if they are in the classroom, can stick with a schedule that they can
get used to in their daily schedule.
Because this is an English class, I will definitely grade on the grammar, cohesion,
and spelling in the students’ assignments. High school teachers expect their students to
be able to write long research papers and reports with correct mechanics, and I want my
students to get those things down. So, in the bell work, homework, tests, essays, etc., I
will grade the students on proper writing skills. Also, in order to keep assignments from
being overly difficult, the students can write in pencil or pen, as long as it is legible. This
will keep students from worrying if they don’t have a pencil and will eliminate wasted
class time from students trying to find a pencil.
If a student is absent, he or she will know to get any work he or she missed in the
“pick-up” tray on my desk. If the student has work to turn in or completes that missed
work, he or she will need to turn it into the “completed” tray beside the pick-up tray.
Students will learn this procedure at the beginning of the year, and it will be their
responsibility to get and make up any work that they miss. In high school and college,
professors don’t really worry about a student getting their assignments if he or she
misses. This type of system will allow students to get some experience in relying on
themselves. Also, since students will know what to do if they are absent ahead of time,
they will not have to ask me what they missed and hold up the rest of the class. This will
keep the class running smoothly and allow me to continue on with a lesson. If a student
misses class for an extended amount of time, then he or she can speak to me after class
and we can set up something for him or her to make up the work.
When teaching a lesson, I really want to make sure that I have “withitness.” I
love that term, and I have seen many teachers have this while they teach. My own
withitness would allow me to have control over the class while I am leading an activity or
having a group discussion. For example, I will have all my materials, handouts,
transparencies, etc., ready ahead of time. I don’t like disorganization or messiness, and
having all my lesson materials ready before I teach will allow me to concentrate on what
is going on in my classroom with my students. I won’t have to worry about making
copies or finding a page number at the last minute. Also, this will show to the students
(and my principal when he/she observes me) that I am on top of things, and the students
should be also. I don’t like when people mess around and act lazy, and my organization
skills will come in handy here.
Another example of this is while I am teaching my lesson or leading a discussion,
I will make sure to “watch” the room. Eye contact is so important in an educational
setting, and I want to make sure my students know this. If a student is speaking to me, I
will make eye contact with him or her to let him or her know that I am engaged and
listening. Also, if I am speaking, I will make eye contact with students while I scan the
entire room. Making eye contact with all the students will allow each student to feel a
part of the class and also let them know that I see everything!
If students have good behavior, I want to give them rewards to reinforce that
behavior. I know that many schools don’t like having food in classrooms, but I don’t see
anything wrong with a class party every now and then. If my class has behaved well and
have not had to have any write-ups or office visits, a pizza or ice cream party could
reinforce this good behavior. Also, I love telling students what they are doing right. In
high school, I always sought praise because I thought praise was the greatest of rewards.
If a student is doing something positive, then I will tell them so. I will make sure to
praise the specific action, not a trait or characteristic of the student. But, if students see
that I give positive feedback, hopefully they will strive to get this reward. Like Lee
Canter’s video explained, if I verbally praise a group of students for getting their books
out and getting quiet, this may catch the attention of those students who are being
disruptive. I don’t want to just attack a few students who don’t get their books out right
away, but I don’t want them taking their sweet time. If these students see me rewarding
some other students for getting ready for the lesson, then they might also seek this
However, in case of behavior that isn’t acceptable in my classroom, I will have
rules and consequences. My rules will be stated around my classroom and also in the
rules sheet that is passed out at the beginning of the year. If a student does cause trouble
in class like excessive talking, refusal to work, fighting, unacceptable language, etc., I
will briefly mention that student’s name in the middle of a sentence, so that they know I
am aware of the situation. After this, if the negative behavior persists, I will only
verbally warn twice to stop the behavior. If he or she continues with the behavior, I
won’t say anything; I will just hand a slip (like below) to the student and he or she will
have to sign it, proving that he or she were acting inappropriately. I will record to whom
I give a slip so that I won’t forget that I did give one out or accuse someone of not turning
in a slip when I didn’t give him or her one.
The following is a WARNING. Please print your Name, today’s Date, and the Period.
Circle all the offences that apply. IF YOU FAIL TO TURN THIS INTO ME, YOU
WILL RECEIVE AN AUTOMATIC DETENTION. Upon receiving the 3rd warning,
you will receive a detention or trip to the office.
Circle all that apply: Rude Excessive Talking Refusal to Work
Fighting Insubordination Disruptive
Unacceptable Language Destructive to Property/Supplies
I know that eighth graders are very social beings, and I want them to feel free to
express themselves in class. However, after the reach a certain point, they are out of line,
and this is where I start handing out warnings. Students will know that after the third
paper warning, they will have to deal with the consequences. I feel that after briefly
mentioning their name, two verbal warnings, and then three other warnings, the student
should have some kind of negative reinforcement or punishment.
The terms of consequences depends on the transgression. If a student does cause
trouble and they get three paper warnings, they will be able to choose their own
consequence. The list of consequences will be writing a 1,500-2,000 word essay, setting
up his or her own parent/student/teacher conference after school, having an in-school
detention, or cleaning the school’s hallways every day for a week after school. I believe
that if a student chooses the behavior, he or she should choose the consequence
afterwards. However, if these consequences do not work, more extreme measures will be
taken. If a student is constantly causing trouble, he or she will see the principal or vice-
principal, and they could work out the situation together. Also, I will be in contact with
the all students’ parents/guardians. Staying in contact with the parents will give me
insight into why the students act they way they do and how they can help their own
children. If a student has been causing trouble one week, I will call or email the
parents/guardians to let them know what is going on. On the other hand, I also want to
call parents for good behavior. If I’m always contacting the parents about bad behavior,
then this seems like I might be constantly picking on the students, which is not my
intention. So, every week, I will call three students’ parents and let them know that their
children did something right one week, either academically or behaviorally.
Even though I think my classroom management plan seems impenetrable, I might
need a contingency, or back-up, plan. The parts of my plan that deals with rewards and
consequences might not work in a real classroom setting, and so I need to be prepared for
For my reward system, I might need to change a few things. I would like to give
pizza, ice cream, or cake parties in my classroom for good behavior. However, some
schools don’t allow food in any classroom other than the FACS classes. At my high
school, we were allowed to have food in our classrooms, but I think this was because the
floors were tile, not carpet like most classrooms are today. Custer Baker, where I was
placed this semester, had carpeted floors, and they didn’t have parties like we did when I
was in school. Many administrators don’t approve of food in classrooms, and so I would
have to follow their rules. Also, some of my student’s might be diabetic or have food
allergies. I don’t want my students to feel left out if they can’t participate in the
classroom fun. In cases like these, instead of food parties, I could give the students a day
of games. The students could play “Seven-Up,” “Four Corners,” or “Catch Phrase.” We
could also play “BINGO,” and the words could be vocabulary words that we are studying
that week. This would allow the students to still have fun and be rewarded for good
behavior, and then no one has to be left out.
Another part of this plan that might need a back-up is my consequences. Even
though I like having the student pick the consequences in the case of bad behavior, my
administrators and my students’ parents may not agree with my policy. In this case, I
will have to just administer the consequences as I see fit, and if a student misbehaves, the
seriousness of the behavior will determine the consequence. Also, some parents might
not like having their children cleaning my room as a choice. I believe this consequence
will allow the students to learn that cleaning a school everyday isn’t easy work, and so
this will teach them to appreciate their surroundings and the janitorial staff. However, if
a parent doesn’t like it, I will have to change this consequence into a different one or just
eliminate that option.
Even though some of my plans are my own ideas, I have been in school for nearly
fifteen years and have observed at other schools too. Mrs. Nancy Durham, Ms. Erin
Tracy, and Mrs. Lisa Self-Gross may not be famous experts but they do have experience
with teaching, and I wanted to give them the credit they deserve. I had Mrs. Durham in
school and have observed Ms. Tracy and Mrs. Self-Gross, and I incorporated some of
their own classroom management ideas into my plan. However, I have also used some of
Lee Canter’s ideas involving rewards and consequences. We have seen several videos of
Canter’s policies, and I have used and adapted these into my plan.
I used several of Will Weber’s approaches to classroom management, and these
include Behavior Management/Modification Approach, Instructional Approach, some
Authoritarian Approach, and Social/Emotional Approach, which all combines into my
own “Cookbook Approach.” In terms of the Behavior approach, I borrowed a lot of the
ideas. For example, I applied the power levels of rewards, the “Catch them being good”
reward, written contracts (rules and procedures), individual punishments and whole class
rewards, and designing my plan so I get input from the home. I used several ideas from
the Instructional Approach, such as arranging classroom to ensure proximity to each
student, identifying efficient housekeeping procedures, quickly scanning the room,
posting five rules of behavior, practicing “withitness,” and communicating with parents.
I really like that approach and its ideas. However, I also used some authoritarian tips like
making eye-contact with students, posting rules, sending rules home to be signed, and
communicating with parents of troubled children. From the Social/Emotional Approach,
I applied ideas like the students having some choice in consequences, many ego-boosting
activities such as rewards, and student-led parent conferences. All of these professionals,
ideas, and approaches contributed to my classroom management plan, and I believe that
this plan will be beneficial in my own classroom someday.
Authoritarian Approach to Classroom Management.
Classroom Management Via the Behavior Management Approach.
Holly Toops, Franklin College Student.
Instructional Approach to Classroom Management.
Lee Canter’s Assertive Discipline Videos.
Ms. Erin Tracy, Language Arts Teacher, Whiteland High School, 9th & 10th Grades.
Mrs. Lori Self-Gross, Language Arts Teacher, Custer Baker Middle School, 8th Grade.
Mrs. Nancy Durham, Language Arts/Speech/Yearbook Teacher, South Ripley Jr.-Sr.
High School, 7-12 Grades.
Social/Emotional Approach to Classroom Management.
Will Weber’s Categories of Approaches to Classroom Management.