Table of Contents 1.

Classroom Organization o Physical Organization  Aesthetics  Desk Arrangement  Learning centers  Bulletin boards  Small group areas  Teacher work area  Storage  Bookshelves o Operational  Record keeping  New students  Student work  Housekeeping  Procedures 2. Disciplinary Policies o Classroom rules o Tardiness o Late homework/no homework o Disrespect o Conflict o Lack of motivation o Cheating o Administration o Parent/Guardian involvement o Hallway behavior o Playground behavior 3. Classroom Routines o Expectations o Field Trips o Homework o Free time o Handing in papers/passing back papers o Specials o Restroom/drink/locker policy o Differentiation o Parent communication o Parent conferences 4. Professional Ethics o Student behavior

o Professional on-duty o Professional off-duty o Disagreements 5. Appendix o Classroom layout “I believe that the brain has evolved over millions of years to be responsive to different kind of content in the world. Language content, musical content, spatial content, numerical content, etc.” –Howard Gardner 1. Classroom Organization Classroom organization is important for a well-run classroom, and without solid, well thought out organization the classroom will not run as smoothly and there is more of a chance that the adults in the room will be stressed and not serving the students as well as they could. a. Physical i. Aesthetics: On the first day of school there will be a huge sign that says, “Welcome, Students!” and will be hanging across the windows, which are visible from the door when walking into the room (place sign in the most prominent spot for students to see as they enter). The room will have a book theme that encourages a “love for reading that lasts a lifetime.” Books will be a huge part of the room and there will be several bookshelves filled with classroom books. Above the student work and high up on the wall will be posters with sayings such as: Where will a book take you today? Wild about READING! Reading is for EVERYONE! Reading is to the mind, what Exercise is to the body Read! Light up your Imagination The walls will be mostly bare, but throughout the year students and teacher will create the anchor charts that students can refer back to for content assistance. The ceiling lights will be off most of the time and the room will be filled with lamps to create a softer light and a more home like atmosphere. Next to each floor lamp will be a large majestic palm plant, and on Ms. Johnson’s desk will be another








small plant. Small touches like this bring even more life into the room and again, make students feel welcome and at home. Desk arrangement: The desks will be organized into groups so students will easily be able to work in teams. The desks will be arranged into groups of four and can easily be moved to accommodate individual work or testing. Learning centers: the room will have a “Reading Nook” which is two sofas and one large rug. Teams will take turns using the nook and two teams can use it each day during free reading time. Bulletin boards: above the couch will be a bulletin board displaying notable books to read (Newberry, Caldecott, etc.). Along the other wall above the bookshelves will be more bulletin boards that will be empty at the beginning of the year, but will quickly be filled with student work and anchor charts. Other bulletin boards in the room will include information such as: 1. Classroom news 2. School news 3. Local and world news 4. Calendar 5. PBIS/Reward systems for the classroom Small group areas: The reading nook is where students may go to get comfortable and read or work on group assignments (if it is their turn to use the area). The desks will be arranged to accommodate group work and behind the teacher’s desk will be a moon shaped table for the teacher to work with small groups. Teacher work area: Along the southeast corner of the room is one of Ms. Johnson’s desks. At this desk she will plan her lessons and work here where there are not students in the room. At this desk there will also be the phone and a sign up the phone denoting how students should answer: “Ms. Johnson’s room, student speaking.” At the entrance to the room there will be a large round desk where Ms. Johnson will work while students are in the room. At this desk Ms. Johnson will grade papers, model activities, read, etc. On the desk will be a file folder for each block/period and students will turn in work there. Storage: Ms. Johnson will have a storage closet along the south wall where she can keep anything she is not currently using. Inside the storage closet will be a shelf for each subject so supplies can be found quickly and easily. Bookshelves: Shelves of books will be along the east and west walls. The books will be organized by genre and labeled with what Lexile level and letter level they are.

b. Operational i. Record keeping: Record keeping will be kept online and in a binder. In one binder Ms. Johnson will have a tab for each subject and will record grades for certain skills periodically. ii. New students: Being new is stressful for anyone, especially in middle school. Hopefully I will be aware of the new student and can greet them at the office or at the classroom door. Upon showing the new student where to sit and discussing their prior coursework in their old school, I will then introduce the new student to the class and go around and have each student introduce themselves and tell the new student one thing about themselves. iii. Student work: Students will turn in work at Ms. Johnson’s work area in a basket. Student work can be turned in at anytime, even late, as long as it is turned in. Consequences for each day homework is turned in late, will be a reduced recess time or detention. iv. Housekeeping: Teams will have tasks (such as turning off lamps or watering plants) and the tasks will rotate among teams each week. v. Procedures: 1. Attendance: Attendance will be taken once students have begun working and recorded in the grade book then completed online. 2. Reading nook: Rotation for nook will occur each day and two teams may use it each day. 3. Passing/class dismissal: Ms. Johnson will dismiss students, despite the bell ringing. Students will be made aware that time wasted must be made up. 4. Supplies: Extra pencils and loose-leaf paper will be kept on Ms. Johnson’s desk. There will be a cup for sharpened and unsharpened pencils. Students that borrow a pencil need to “trade” something of theirs so all pencils are returned each day. 5. Substitute behavior: students will be instructed to be on even better behavior with the sub, then with Ms. Johnson. A full report of positive and negative behavior from the students will be expected from the substitute teacher. “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carol Buchner 2. Disciplinary Policies

Perhaps the most important aspect of teaching is classroom management and that undoubtedly involves discipline. A classroom needs structure to function properly and smoothly. Although, in my classroom I do not plan on disciplining and teaching like a dictator and I feel that by the time students are in upper elementary school they should be expected to behave a certain way and with a certain amount of maturity. Below, A-K outlines how I expect students to behave and procedures for specific infractions. My classroom will function simply with a “three strikes, you’re out” policy. Everyday I will have three smiley faces on the board. When the class as a whole becomes insubordinate, I will erase a smiley. The same will follow suit for each student individually. After all three smiley’s are erased (three strikes), it is up to me to decide what to do, whether that be keeping them after the bell, or reducing the amount of recess time. For individual students the same will follow suit, and if the infractions is severe enough, the student will be sent to the office (see section h). a. Classroom rules: Rules will be determined together with each class at the beginning of the year. Once the class has contributed to the classroom rules, they will be posted for everyone to see. I will contribute a few important rules that I feel are necessary. b. Tardiness: Tardiness will be documented in the attendance spreadsheet with a “T” under the date. Tardiness procedure depends on the school’s policy, but I prefer a school that does not allow students in the room without a pass if it is after the bell. Students without a pass will be recorded. c. Late work/No homework: No homework will result in a zero until the student turns it in. Once the student turns it in, full points will be possible. All work will be accepted at any time, although students are encouraged to turn in work on time and penalties are issued if work is late (such as reduced recess time). d. Disrespect: Disrespect will not be tolerated, but as a teacher I feel there are some battles you have to pick and choose. I will not tolerate name-calling, use of derogatory words (such as the “r” or “n” word) or “shut-up.” Disrespect towards the teacher or other adult in the room will not be tolerated and students will be immediately disciplined by losing a smiley, sitting at the back of the room or having to go to the office. e. Conflicts: Conflicts are inevitable and clearly going to happen at times. I do not believe that you should make people talk about things right away when they are angry. I plan on letting students cool off, then taking them out into the hall to talk through it and hopefully turn the conflict into a teachable moment. To handle these moments I will:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Take both students into the hall Have both students explain their side of the story Not take sides Determine a solution together Agree on a plan of action to determine how to not let the conflict arise again

f. Lack of motivation: To keep students motivated, I believe that teachers should have appealing assignments and incorporate a students interest into assignments and tasks whenever possible. Responding to what motivates a student and differentiating your lessons according to those preferences is a key to a learner’s motivation. g. Cheating: In my room cheating will not be tolerated, and if caught their work will be taken away and they will be given a blank copy, then they will be moved to another area of the room. The second time they are caught they will be issued a referral and sent to the office. h. Administration: I plan on having a list of reasons when to involve administration in disciplinary issues and when not to. I plan on making every attempt to handle the infraction myself and leave sending them to the office as a last resort. Below is a guideline. i. Administration Issue: 1. Physical fights 2. Sexual or physical harassment 3. Severe insubordination 4. Profanity 5. Bomb threats 6. Pulling the fire alarm 7. Drug related infractions 8. Theft ii. Classroom Management Issue: 1. Tardiness 2. Absences 3. Use of devices in the classroom 4. Basic insubordination 5. Student not prepared 6. Student not in dress code (hoods, backpacks, baggy pants, etc) 7. Plagiarism 8. Horsing around i. Parent/Guardian Involvement: Involving parents, as much as the parent wants to be involved is the rule of thumb I plan to follow. If parents would prefer to be very involved, I believe that I should involve them as much as possible.


Hallway behavior: Behavior in the hallway is expected to be respectful and the same as the behavior expected in the classroom. Students are expected to walk, not run. Students are expected to have a pass, unless it is a passing time with class. k. Playground behavior: Behavior on the playground will be monitored and being respectful of others is expected. “Tell me and I forget. Teacher and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin 3. Classroom Routines Like classroom management and discipline, classroom routines are integral to a successful classroom. As humans we crave consistency and structure. It is reassuring and comforting and I believe that students feel the same way, whether they know it or not. They want to know what to expect and as teachers we should be able to give them that reassurance. a. Expectations: Classroom expectations will be discussed at the beginning of the year and during this time we will decide on the classroom rules together instead of handing out a list of teacher made rules. Expectations will be revisited as needed. b. Room helpers/rotation of tasks: See section 1. c. Field trips: Students and parents will be made aware of the field trip coming up as soon as possible. This way students can get permission slips signed, cold lunch planned and any questions can be answered. The day before the field trip we will go over as a class what is expected of them and what appropriate behavior looks like outside of the classroom. As a class we will discuss what it looks like to represent _______________ School outside of the school walls. d. Homework: Homework will be assigned every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night. Work will only be assigned other nights for larger projects where time is managed partially by the student. This way students’ free time is respected and students that attend church or other functions on Wednesday nights do not have to worry about homework. On nights after homework is assigned, students will turn it in on their way into the classroom at the basket on Ms. Johnson’s desk. This way Ms. Johnson does not have to waste time at the beginning of the day collecting papers. Students that do not turn in homework will receive a zero until it is turned in. e. Free time: Free time in class should be spent on an anchoring activity or free reading. At the beginning of the year we will discuss as a class what to do if you are done early and have free time. Students are encouraged to read an independent reading level book or to find

f. g. h.




something quietly to work on that is an already approved anchoring activity. Handing in papers/passing back papers: Papers will be handed in as students enter the classroom. Work is graded and saved for portfolios at conference time. Specials: Students will be held to the same behavior standards in their specials classroom as they are held to in their regular classroom. As a class we will walk to specials together in a single file line. Restroom/drink/locker policy: Students may take the bathroom pass to the bathroom without asking once before lunch and once after lunch. If they need to use the restroom again, they need to ask permission. Each time they leave the room they must sign out and then sign back in. Differentiation: Each lesson will be differentiated and modified to meet the needs of the classroom. This could mean that some lessons are good how they are, and other lessons need to be modified to meet the needs of struggling learners, gifted learners and students that speak English as a second language. Parent communication: Parent communication will be kept open by regular emails to parents a classroom blog. With all the parents’ permission, the students and I will maintain a blog that informs readers what we are studying, discussing and reading in class. This will keep parents informed while also addressing online etiquette and technology education. Parent conferences: The relationship with parents and teacher is important and needs to be formed and maintained over the year to continue a trusting relationship. Conferences should be scheduled with parents when it is most convenient for the parents and still reasonable for the teacher. I will make sure to have factual information about the student and examples of student work to share with the teacher. I also think it is important to include the student in the conference with parents (if the parent is comfortable) and that the student should be able to speak up and let both parents and teacher know how they feel about the school year and school work so far.

4. Professional Ethics As a professional I believe it is important to display a high level of manners, professionalism and tact at work and in everyday life. I believe that professionals remain calm and that almost all emotion should be omitted at work. This does not mean that professionals should not be passionate; I believe passion and emotion can be separated and kept at a professional level.

a. Student behavior: Students will be expected to behave themselves with honesty and integrity at all times. As expressed earlier, classroom rules will be discussed and professional ethics will be addressed as well. b. Professional on-duty behavior: During school hours I will act with the utmost professionalism and remain calm and cool at all times. I think it is important to keep your cool while at work, but also while in the classroom as well. Keeping a level head can be hard sometimes, but it is necessary to succeed as a classroom manager. Some strategies I have for this are: 1. Pick my battles carefully and choose which battles are worth fighting. For example: I cannot stand the “r” word, so this word will not be tolerated in my classroom and I will politely remind students and colleagues that it is not politically correct to use that word. 2. Find that place you need to go to when you start to feel fired up. Whether that be taking a five minute break to the restroom or library, or stopping the lesson to take a quick walk or stretch break, those movements or breaks will help clear your head and prevent anything being said that might be regretted. c. Professional off-duty behavior: While off duty and not in the classroom it is important to remember that you are still representing the school and at any moment you could run into a student, parent or colleague. Remaining professional even while away from the classroom is important for your credibility and character as a teacher in your community. d. Disagreements: Disagreements are bound to happen, there is no denying that, but it is how you react to them that matter most. Thoughtfully listening to the other side and carefully considering the argument is important. Carefully choose your words and try not to say anything out of anger. I believe that in disagreements, the problem is usually a misconception. So, try not to involve anyone else and work out the disagreement with professionalism and dignity. e. Gossip: Gossip is something I do not care for in my private life, especially negative gossip, so gossip at work is even worse. If the gossip is not productive and would be hurtful to the other person if said in their presence then I believe that the most polite thing to do is to remove you from the situation. Simple as that. If the gossip is about students, I believe trying to deter the conversation to a more productive and academic conversation is the moral and ethical thing to do.

5. Classroom Layout a. Depending on resources and physical layout, this is how I would organize a classroom:

“Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way. –George Evans

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