Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back To School Basics

One key to a successful school year is effective classroom management. Research has verified what good classroom managers have discovered through experience. Every successful school year begins with the following keys to creating a great place to learn.

1. Arrange and organize classrooms to support instructional goals.

A. Check your traffic flow-patterns throughout the room and keep high traffic areas, such as those near your desk, pencil sharpener, and wastebasket, free from congestion.

B. Make sure you have a clear view of all students at all times. Walk around the room before students arrive to check your room from various angles.

C. Ensure that students can easily see instructional displays and presentations. Sit in the student seats before they arrive and look around the room to get a "student-view" of learning areas.

D. Make storage space and materials readily accessible. Places signs and plaque cards around the room to designate locations where students should return or store work, get supplies and easily locate learning areas.

2. Establish procedures for conducting routine activities and rules to govern student behavior.

A. Think about the number of procedures you may require for any given day. You may be surprised to find as many as 30 to 60 procedures. These classroom routines may change throughout the school year and tend to be modified, depending on the task. Consider the procedures you will want followed for the first week of school and make a list. Examples of such routines include...  
·         getting the teacher's attention  
·         moving within and outside the classroom  
·         storing personal belongings  
·         using learning centers  
·         turning in assignments  
B. Write and post your classroom rules. Effective managers establish only three to six "umbrella" rules that remain consistent throughout the year. Most rules are stated positively and are written in broad, general terms. Consider these rules that our teacher trainers use...

·         Prompt (be on time) 
·         Polite (be respectful)  
·         Participate (engage in the learning tasks)   

3. Teach your classroom rules and procedures on the first day of school. 

Rules and procedures are like any other content area. In order for students to demonstrate the skills, they need information, modeling and guided practice. Make the lessons fun, engaging and motivating. Monitor your students and give them lots of positive feedback for successfully completing the task of creating a safe, healthy and fun learning environment.

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