A detailed, workable, effective classroom management plan

This video about sums up the effectiveness of a parent phone call with my students. In case you can’t understand what the people are saying:

(In elementary school)
Teacher: I’m calling your parents.
Student: No! Pleeeeeeaaasssseee!

(In high school)
Teacher: I’m calling your parents.
Student: Home, cell, work – with extension!

Students aren’t phased anymore by the threat (or follow-through) of calling their parents. That’s why I’ve found that relying on the phone call home as a key part of a classroom management plan is a bad idea.

I’ve also noticed that a quick websearch for a workable classroom management plan turns up many results saying that a teacher should have one, but few results that actually detail what a good plan is. I’m going to give you the plan that I’ve spent six months developing. It works.

Expectations:
During a lecture, students may freely shout out answers to the teacher’s questions. Any other comments or questions (including conversations with a neighbor) should not be made until the student has raised his/her hand and waited to be called upon by the teacher.

During work time (warm-ups, practice, homework time), students should be actively working on the assigned problems.

Reward:
Students who work within the stated expectations will be awarded with a daily grade of 100 (it’s an easy A).

Consequences:
If the teacher has to remind the student of the expectations once, the daily grade drops to 70.
Two reminders, and the daily grade drops to 50.
Three reminders, and the daily grade goes to 0, and the student receives a discipline referral (sent to the principal).
(I just make tick marks next to the students’ names on a Post-It note to keep track of how many reminders a student has received.)

I’ve been using this plan for about two weeks, now, and I’ve seen great improvement in the participation levels among my students. They like getting free 100s with extremely little effort. They also hate seeing their grade drop for easily-preventable reasons.

The key thing here is for the teacher to not be angry as she enforces consequences to the plan. The teacher must issue the consequences simply and dispassionately. I’ve found that students do not respond to anger; usually they buck it. They do respond, however, to easy-to-understand rules that are carried out logically.

Do I ever call parents? Of course. But it’s an added bonus to help guide students to the right path, not a weak backbone of my entire plan.

I hope this helps anyone who is looking for a workable plan! It’s easy to implement (which is critical to a good plan) and seems to be effective.

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