Thursday, December 4, 2008

Classroom Management Ideas from My Glen Alpine 5th Grade Classroom

I really enjoyed my time in Mrs. Revilla's fifth grade classroom at Glen Alpine Elementary. I had a lot of fun with the students, and I learned more than I thought through teaching, helping, and observing. When I first got to the school, I wasn't sure how I felt about the teacher that I was placed with, but as I got to know her things got a lot better. Mrs. Revilla is an amazing teacher, and I think our first day was probably not the best behavioral day for the class. An idea I learned about for classroom management has to deal with daily behavior and walking laps. Around the outside playground area there is a track. Each day, each fifth grade class starts out with eight laps. If they behave well during transitions and certain parts during the day, then they can erase a lap. The students have eight chances to remove a lap, so if they behave then they will have their full recess time to play. If they don't behave, then they may have to walk laps around the track before getting to play. This type of classroom management worked pretty well. Students were able to line themselves up and stay quiet, most of the time. It seemed that the students made a clear, conscious effort to transition smoothly and quickly. When it was time to switch for math class from reading class, all the students put away their reading books and got out their math supplies and lined up in the hallway waiting to enter Mrs. Osborne's classroom. Some days the students were too excited, and the most laps I ever saw them walk in one day was four. I would definitely consider this type of classroom management if it was evident that it would have an effect on my class. Each group of students is different, and I think that I may have to use different classroom management techniques depending on the likes and dislikes of the current class. Another form of classroom management that the teachers use is signing the students planners. Every day the students write in their homework and important information into their planners. If a student gets in trouble, then the teacher will sign their planner and give he/she an extra lap to walk at recess. The parents have to look at the planner every night, and if your planner gets signed during the day, then your parents have to also sign that they read why you go in trouble. I do like the idea of signing the student's planner and writing what the student did wrong so that the parents can be informed. Sometimes I felt as though the teachers were a little harsh with their planner signing though. It seemed that if the teacher was in a poor mood that certain students were almost watched until they did something wrong. I'm really glad that I saw this type of behavior from a teacher who overall I respect because it makes me realize how hard it must be to control your subconsciousness. I want to be making a conscious effort to be fair to all my students even if they rub me the wrong way sometimes. I also realize that when I am in a bad mood in the classroom, I need to try and let some things roll off my shoulder. Teachers are human and bound to over-react sometimes. As a teacher, I will need to try my hardest to leave my personal baggage at the door because it isn't beneficial to my future students. I've done a lot of researching on many different types of classroom management ideas, and I think that classroom management is the key to a productive classroom. If the students are in order and managed, then as a whole we will be able to accomplish more in the time we are given. A well-behaved classroom can also participate in more hands-on activities, which I think can truly make a difference in a student's comprehension level. A few websites with classroom management ideas are listed below:

ProTeacher's Classroom Management
The Really Big List of Classroom Management Resources
The Teacher's Corner - Classroom Management
SMARTeacher - Classroom Management: Elementary

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