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Component E: Classroom Management

Throughout my time here at West I was able to observe and then


implement an effective management system. I began by observing the
classroom from the beginning of the school year all the way into the first few
weeks of my student teaching experience. I realized that the dynamic
between the student and the teacher is what helps make a management
system so effective. If there are good relationships with the student and the
teacher than their willingness to follow directions and do what they are told
are much higher. I make sure that each student knows that I care for them
and want to see them succeed, that the only reason that I may discipline
them at times is because I expect a lot out of them, that these expectations
are attainable. I made sure that I established myself as an authority figure
very early on so when it came time to completely take over there would not
be any problems with seeing me as their teacher. It was a very smooth
transition.
Another important aspect of an effective management system that it is
not solely run by the teacher. That the students take leadership in the
responsibilities and expectations. What this means in a classroom setting is
that each student knows that they can lead by example. A way in showing
this is giving positive praise to those students who are doing what they are
told or following their CATS expectations. When a public acknowledgement
of this behavior is made students notice and may strive to receive that
praise. I also made sure that students work in groups so that they can work

on being in a group and taking leadership of what role each student needs to
play. This way students have an opportunity to lead in a positive light.
As my student teaching approached I discussed with my CE possible
students that I could create a behavioral plan on. We discussed two students
in particular and decided to go with the student that does not necessarily
cause any sort of disturbance within the classroom but does not have the
ability to focus. He is not you normal student with ADHD or ADD. He is not
bouncing off the walls not being able to sit still, but instead he is the exact
opposite. He cannot focus because he continually stares off into space or
starts picking at something in his desk. When he is continually redirected to
focus he is able to comprehend a lot more than without these cues. He was
on the verge at being held back a year at this point. We decided that he
would benefit the most from a behavioral plan.
So I collaborated with my CE, and our title one specialist to create a
Tier II behavioral plan. What we decided is to take a pre survey of how many
times I had to redirect him within a certain time period (we used our blocks
as our time periods). From the data I collected the first few days I had to
redirect him an average of 9 times per time period. What we decided to do
was create a behavior report card that is set up in time chunks. If I had to re
direct him more than 5 times the first week he would receive a 1 which
means poor. If he received less than 4 redirection cues then he would earn a
3 which means good or 2, which means fair. If he gets at least two a day at
the beginning of implementing this behavioral plan he gets a piece of candy.

If he gets this reward three times a week he gets baseball time with either
my CE, our P.E. teacher or me. After we created a rough draft my CE and I
showed it to our Title 1 specialist and we decided to meet with the students
mother. She was very receptive and asked us to let us know of any results
that we get on the interest survey. We then went to the student and told us
our idea, and he absolutely loved it. We also decided to have a component
where he can evaluate himself. So on the back of the page we have him
write what he thinks he should receive and then we discuss the reasons why
he did or did not receive those points.
The reason that we came up with this reward was a combination of an
interest survey and just simply talking to the student about his interests and
hobbies. We found from talking to him that he loves baseball. I also found
something interesting from the interest survey. The main thing that showed
up was that he is desperate for teacher and adult approval. At first this
made no sense, what if figured out is that this student has an older sister
who is great at sports and academically gifted. One theory is that he may
not get the attention from his parents so he needs all the adult approval
while he is still at school.
At fist I thought this child only cared about the outdoors and sports.
However conversations and interactions lead me to believe otherwise. My
CE and I had discusses that we needed to find an interest survey that would
pinpoint exactly what motivates him. The one that we found together had a
point system and various questions that all stemmed from one statement

which is stated at the top of the interest survey. Basically what this did was
have a letter system if he chose one choice it would get a letter if he chose
the other choice he would get different letters. These letters then correlated
to telling us what he was motivated by. The options were Adult Approval,
Competitive Approval, Peer Approval, Independent Rewards, and
Consumable Rewards. His two highest scores were for Adult Approval and
Competitive Approval. So we decided to switch the rewards around a little
bit. For every small thing that he did correct, even homework we would
make sure that he knew we were proud of him. We then tied in the baseball
time as well to reach his competitive approval. He has absolutely loved it so
far. He has been able to reach his weekly goal 3 out of the 6 weeks that we
have implemented this. This tells me that I need to bump up his goal. This
way he can strive for even less redirection cues and eventually not have to
have them by the end of the year.
I have learned over the past 10 weeks that this student really strives
for attention but not by acting out. It is so obvious that he loves adult
approval because he gets so excited when he does well or when we have
told him he does well. This surprised me so much, at the beginning of the
year I never would of known this until I began to really get to know him.
Which I have learned when developing and implementing a management
plan knowing your students is crucial. This will help the teacher get the
biggest impact. Overall this plan has worked greatly, his grades have gone

up, his involvement has been more and more apparent and the amount of
times I have to redirect him has decreased greatly.
As for the class as a whole I have also implemented two systems of
management. I began with what I call the Chatter Challenge. The
students began being very disruptive about halfway into my student
teaching experience so I created a challenge for them. I told my students
that if they were able to follow directions and follow our CATS expectations
then they would get a point on our Chatter Challenge board. However if they
did not follow directions and did not follow our expectations than my CE and I
would get a point. At the end of the week whoever had more points would
win. If they won then they would get to choose something such as free time,
iPod time, outside time, etc. If we won then they would give us something
such as homework, or silent lunch. This worked for the first 4 weeks that it
was implemented, then I realized it was not working as well as it did when
we first started it. What I did was raise the stakes. There was one week
where there were so many behavioral problems that I had to. A student at
the beginning of the year had created tangible dojo points. What my CE and
I decided was that each student would have their 3-dojo points on their desk
throughout the whole day. It was their responsibility to keep track of them.
If they lost them then until they found them that is how many dojo points
that they would get. This week was the first full week that this plan was
implemented and the students behavior has drastically become well. We

still use the Chatter Challenge as an incentive however the combination of


the two has really helped.
What I learned form all of this was not only do I have to know my
students I must know how to deal with each individual student. Some work
well with physical rewards, some do better with words of approval, some
enjoy consumable rewards. It all varies on the individual students. For the
future in my own classroom I will make sure possibly give out an interest to
the whole class. This way not only can I gain an average of what the class as
a whole likes form this data but I will have it on file if a student every
becomes a behavioral problem. By doing this the plan can be implemented
much quicker. However in order for these interest surveys to be relevant and
meaningful, they should be given once ever 4 or so months incase the
students interests change.