You are on page 1of 13

Fall 2013

Page 1


School Placement:

Vallecito Elementary


Kelsey Olson

Respond to the prompts below about the learning environment you plan to establish in your classroom. Enter your response into the electronic
version of this document, so that your response is inside each of the cells below. For each prompt include:
A description of what you will do to establish and/or maintain an effective environment for learning, and
An explanation of why these decisions are appropriate for your classroom. 1
1. Determine a set of Big Ideas which will serve as the umbrella for classroom expectations. (This is not a laundry list of rules but will
serve as the basis of your classroom rules.)

Your Classroom or Schools Big Ideas

1. Make Good Choices
2. Solve Problems
3. Treat yourself and others with respect

1. I think that the big idea of making good choices is important for
maintaining an effective learning environment because it puts faith
in the good of students and their ability to indeed make good
choices. This is appropriate at all age levels and is an easy question
to ask students, which hopefully will cause them to stop and think
about the choice they are making in the classroom.
2. I think that the big idea of solving problems is important for
maintaining an effective learning environment because it supports
the idea that learning involves solving problems. With this as an
overarching idea of the class, hopefully the students will be more
inspired to think critically and see the relevance of the things they
are learning. This is also appropriate at all age levels and is an easy
question to ask students and relates to classroom management as


Fall 2013

Page 2

well as academic areas.

3. I think that the big idea of treating yourself and others with respect
is important for establishing and maintaining an effective learning
environment because it acknowledges that each student in the
classroom deserves respect and attention. It also connects to the
big idea of Making Good Choices and hopefully helps students try
their best during the day both behaviorally and academically. Not
only should the students be respectfully of the other students and
their ideas, but they should also be respectful towards their own
needs and build their self-confidence.


Discuss the classroom routines and procedures that you will establish to demonstrate your presence in the classroom and to maximize
instructional time, including how you will establish and maintain them. Include procedures for at least these situations:
Quiet signal
When students first enter the classroom on the first
Hand-raising for discussions
day, how will you greet your students? How will they
Starting the class or lesson (sponge/warm-up/bell
know where to sit?
Bathroom policy
Dismissing the class at the end of the class or the lesson
Distributing and collecting papers/materials

Your Classroom Procedures:

1. Quiet signal: I like the idea of the teacher holding up her hand
1. I feel that this response to a noisy classroom is an
in an O or V, depending on school wide methods, until
appropriate response because it is quiet, yet noticeable. The
the class becomes quiet. The students should also do the same
teacher does not add to the noise by using this signal. The
as they notice the teacher.
students are put more in control of their own behavior
2. Hand-raising for discussions: I do like the idea of handbecause no yelling is used and it is up to them to notice the
raising for most activities. I feel it is something that can be
signal and quiet down.
phased out though as the students become more used to the
2. I feel that hand-raising can be very important to keep order
classroom environment and are able to handle the idea of only
during a classroom discussion. I do not like when students

Fall 2013





one person talking at a time. In the beginning of the year

though I would like to establish a routine of raising your hand
to talk and potentially phase it out depending on the class.
Starting the class or lesson: After greeting the students, I
would like to start the class with a quick write. I will have
writing journals for every student and each morning a
different question or prompt will be written on the board for
them to write about in these journals. I could then reply to
these entries to create a dialog with the students and also learn
more about them as individuals.
Distributing and collecting papers/materials: I like the idea of
student jobs, which are changed on a weekly basis. One of
these jobs would be to distribute and collect materials. For
collecting, I would expect each table group to compile all of
their papers into one pile for pickup. The student helper
would then pick up each table groups papers and turn them
into a turn in box.
When students first enter the classroom on the first day, how
will you greet your students? How will they know where to
sit: On the first day I will greet the students at the door with a
smile and by saying good morning. I will direct them to the
hook or cubby area for them to put away their things then tell
them that there are nametags on each desk, which will help
them find were to sit.
Bathroom policy: I like the idea of allowing students to go to
the bathroom whenever they ask, but emphasizing that the
best time is when the teacher is not talking and they are
working independently. I would like students to come up and
ask me if they are excused rather than having to remember
different hand signals. I would like to have a student tracker
board with magnets for each student. If a student needs to

Page 3

start shouting over each other and I think an established

idea of raising your hand can help diminish the amount of
times this happens. As much as I love the idea of holding a
thumbs-up to your heart as a signal, I think for class
discussions a raised hand is more appropriate because it
shoes the whole class who will be talking. As the students
become more practiced with respectful discussions, I would
like to try certain discussion times where they do not need
to raise their hands in order for the students to practice
real-world discussions.
3. I like the idea of starting off with writing because I feel it is
a calming activity that I feel helps students switch from
being in home or playground mode into school mode. I like
the idea of the first few moments of class being quiet
because I think it sets a calming tone for the rest of the day.
I would like to establish a non-stressful environment and let
the students know that their spelling and grammar in these
journals would not count against them, though they should
try to do their best. I think that having these few moments to
focus on writing without worrying about the teachers
corrections is important for the development of the students
writing abilities and confidence.
4. Ive been told that the more you can get students to do
themselves, the better. I feel that using student helpers to
pass out and collect papers helps accomplish the idea of
students doing the work, while minimizing the amount of
students who are up and about.
5. I like the idea of a simple first day morning routine that will
be similar to the rest of the year so they know what to
expect. Most classrooms have nametags on desks so this
will likely be a system that the students are comfortable

Fall 2013

leave the room for any reason they would move their magnet
to that section. This could also be used to quickly take
attendance as students come into the classroom. In addition to
moving their magnet I would have bathroom passes on a
piece of string, one for boys and one for girls, so they could
hang them up in the bathroom.
7. Dismissing the class at the end of the class or the lesson:
When each lesson is completed, when appropriate, I would
ask the students to clean up their desk area and make sure all
of the necessary papers have been collected to turn in. Once
the classroom is cleaned up I will direct them to the next
lesson. For the end of the day, I would like to end the class
with a short meeting where we discuss what we learned that
day then go over the homework for the night. Once the
students planners are filled out I would tell ask them to
gather their belongings and line up at the door. I would then
tell each student good-bye as they leave.

Your plan for teaching these procedures:

1. I would teach the quiet hand signal to the class throughout the
year. I think I would first introduce this procedure the first
day of class by telling the class that when I make this signal

Page 4

with and used to. If students are having difficulty finding

their desks I will be there to show them. Hopefully though a
room set up in table groups will make it easier for students
to quickly find their desk.
6. I do not think that students leaving to go to the bathroom
just because is as big of a problem in the younger
elementary grades so I do not want bathroom routines and
passes to be punitive. I like the magnet tracker idea so that
the teacher is easily aware of who is out of the class at any
given time. Since most schools do not like seeing students
walking around in the middle of the school day I would also
like to use the simple girls and boys bathroom pass idea.
This would show others that these students are excused to
be outside.
7. I like the idea of cleaning up the previous materials as a
transition because it helps make sure the focus is on the
current lesson and no distractions from the previous lesson
are out on the desks. For the end of the day I like the idea of
a short class meeting to help reflect on the lessons of the
day and remind the students what they accomplished that
day. Filling out planners as a group helps ensure that
students actually write down their homework so they do not
forget and cannot use that as an excuse for not doing their
homework. I also like the relationship-connection of saying
goodbye to each student individually at the end of the day
as one last check-in opportunity.
1. I feel that this is such a key signal so it should be taught as
soon as possible. This way the teacher does not need to use
it before it has been taught. I also feel it is very important

Fall 2013

you should stop your side conversations and raise your hand
also. We would then practice this a few times on the carpet so
they get used to the signal and its meaning.
2. The amount of time devoted to teaching the procedure of
hand-raising will largely depend on the age of the students.
For those who are not used to this classroom procedure yet I
would introduce this during the first class discussion. Before I
ask the first question I would state: I am going to ask a
question, if you would like to answer the question please
quietly raise your hand. I would then have the whole class
practice once raising their hands quietly. I would make a habit
of repeating the instruction of quietly raising your hand
before all class discussions as a reminder.
3. I would start the morning writing time on the second day of
school. After the students had come in and sat down I would
pass out journals and direct their attention to the board where
the prompt would be written. I would then tell the students
that we will be starting each day with a short writing time.
They should try their best with spelling and writing correct
sentences, but the main goal is to get their ideas into writing.
The two weeks I would read the question aloud to the class
and give them a set time to think about what they would like
to write about. Then I would give them a separate amount of
time to write. Depending on the students, I would stop doing
this directing gradually as the school year goes on and let the
students decide how much time should be spent reading the
question, thinking about the question, and writing.
4. I would introduce the idea of student jobs the second week of
school. This would include the job of collecting and passing
out materials. I would have a wall hanging in the room that
shows the student jobs for the week and would go over them

Page 5

to practice this signal as a separate activity in the beginning

so the students gain practice and understanding. This
practice could maybe continue throughout the first week
during carpet time, but should be able to be phased out
quickly as students understand the meaning of the signal.
2. I think that students quickly learn to raise their hands to
participate; the main struggle is doing so quietly. By
emphasizing the importance of this aspect, hopefully the
students will get better at participating respectfully in class
discussions. This is something that will probably need to
be reinforced every time for the first few months and then
again after long breaks or on particular days.
3. I would set up the writing time this way because it slowly
gives more responsibility to the students, but also provides
for support as they start writing. This would hopefully help
keep the overwhelming aspect of writing to a minimum. In
addition this should help make sure that students become
well practiced in writing by using short set amounts of time
routinely. The focus of this time would be on expressing
themselves rather than correcting themselves. However,
since they are writing every day this could be used as an
informal assessment tool to show their progress throughout
the year.
4. I like the idea of waiting a week to introduce student jobs
because by then the students are comfortable in the
classroom and should be ready to take even more control
over their own classroom. This not only gives them the
responsibility of completing tasks in the classroom, but
also of remembering what their role is for the week. There
will be a visual for them to look at if they do forget so this
should hopefully not bee too difficult for the students to

Fall 2013

in the morning on Monday of the second week. I would say

that they are responsibly for remembering what their job of
the week is and making sure that it gets done. When papers
need to be passed out or collected I would ask for the student
helper. If they do not remember who they are, I would go
back to the chart to show where this information is located.
5. My plan for teaching the procedure for entering the classroom
on the first day of school is completely vocally explained to
the students as they enter the classroom. I would also
continue to do this for the first week of school and on the
second Monday, but after that they should have the routine
down so that I just need to great them at the door and say
good morning.
6. I would teach the rules for leaving the classroom to go to the
bathroom on the first day of class. I would make sure that
everyone knows where the pass and the student tracker board
are located (near the door). I would have the students practice
on the first day moving their tracker to show that they are
present and then remind the students each day to make sure
their magnets are moved at the beginning of the day. I would
then have the students practice moving their trackers to show
that they are leaving the classroom, for the bathroom or the
7. I would teach the procedures for classroom dismissal by
going over the sequence every day. This would be a teacher
lead aspect of class. The class may need to be prompted
throughout the discussion so that they know what is expected
of them, but hopefully after a few weeks the students will be
more practiced sharing what they learned. We may also need
to practice lining up quietly at the end of the day the first few

Page 6

keep track of.

5. The teacher-directed entering of the classroom on the firstday of school keeps things simple and takes into account
individuals who may have difficulty reading. All the
students need to do themselves is locate their names on
their desks. I do not like the idea of forcing contact on the
students on the first day of school through a hug and I also
think that this can cause a bottleneck effect. I think that eye
contact and saying good-morning to each individual each
morning conveys to the students that they are valuable and
important. I feel that the attention given to the students
throughout the day is the most important and I will be
mindful of talking to each student during the day, whether
during a class discussion or privately.
6. The use of the student tracker as an attendance sign-in
should help each student in the class get used to the
procedure so that it is not something when they do need to
leave the classroom. Using the board each morning in
addition to the practice spent at the beginning of the year
should help the students practice the procedure. The fact
that the bathroom pass will be kept right by the board
should help the students remember to take it with them
when they go.
7. I feel that this is a pretty simple procedure set that closes
the day nicely with a reflection on the day and then looking
ahead to the nights tasks. I like that this could be used in
any grade and helps the students realize and remember
what they have done for they day before they leave. As
with all procedures in the classroom, practice and
reminders will be an important aspect of maintaining the

Fall 2013

Page 7

weeks and occasionally throughout the rest of the school year.


In what ways will you establish clear expectations for academic and social behavior and respond to behavior that does not meet
those expectations? Include information on the following:
A list of 3-6 classroom policies that describe what you can and cant live within your classroom.
A list of consequences so you know how to intervene when behavior is not following a classroom policy.
An explanation of how you will communicate the importance of these policies.

Your Classroom Rules/policies:

1. Be respectful to yourself and others
2. Be prepared for class with your materials ready
3. Keep your space clean and organized
4. Listen when others are talking

Your plan for communicating these

rules/policies and consequences:
I like the idea of having a class discussion at the
beginning of the year to create the list of rules. As the
teacher, I would make sure that certain rules are
included, but I think that students are more invested in
the rules if they are able to help create them. I would
have the rules posted in the classroom and would go
over the rules the first week of class an intermittently
throughout the year. We would have a discussion about

1. The consequences for this
1. This rule shows the importance
action depend on the
that each individual plays in
severity of the comment
the classroom. If students do
or act and the number of
not respect others then the
times it has been an issue
classroom cannot operate as a
for this particular student
fair community. I feel that this
before. If the action is
rule is necessary to help keep
very major then the
order in the classroom.
principal and parents will
Students should not have to
definitely need to be
worry about mean comments or
informed. No matter what
actions when they are trying to
the severity is, I would
learn. A respectful class has a
find a time to discuss
much easier time being a
what happened with all
productive learning class.
students involved
2. This rule is important because
individually. I believe that
it slows down and interferes
it is important to teach
with students learning when it
students that what they do
is not followed. Students need
can have negative side
to learn to be responsible in
effects for others. When
addition to the content in order
students are disrespectful
to be good students and making
towards others in my class
sure that they learn to come to

Fall 2013

what each rule means and what will happen if the rules
are not followed. In addition we would discuss what it
means to be respectful and why this is important. When
a student breaks a rule I would remind them of our rule
poster and the conversation we had as a class.

Page 8

I would mediate a
conversation between the
students after we have
already discussed the
issue individually to help
the students solve the
issue themselves.
2. First remind the student
by name that they need to
get their materials out. If
they do not have the
materials then they need
to get out their planner to
write themselves a
reminder then ask their
seat partner if they can
borrow or share what is
needed. If it becomes a
constant problem their
parents will need to be
3. If students leave a space
disorganized, then I will
call them back to clean
up. I want students to
learn responsibility for
their actions and messes.
If they have created a
large mess either at a
common work space or
their desk, I would

class prepared helps them

practice responsibility. Also
getting their materials out
before the lesson diminishes
distractions once the lesson has
started and makes sure that
they have everything they need
to actively participate in the
lesson and learn.
3. The purpose behind calling
students back to clean up a
work area or organize their
desk is to help teach them that
it is easier to clean as you go,
rather than having to wait until
the mess is huge. I plan to give
each student plenty of labeled
folders and areas to store
materials. Placing things in
their proper place should be
easy in the classroom.
4. I think that most students just
need to be reminded that they
are still in a classroom and the
rules apply to them even when
they are sitting by friends. If
the student continues to have
problems I would make a point
to separate him or her from the
students who are contributing
to the issue.

Fall 2013

Page 9

instruct them to clean

while the rest of the class
is engaged in a non-lesson
activity such as DEAR or
a creative work time. I
would make sure that
students do not miss this
times often as I do think
that they are important
aspects of the school day.
4. If a student is talking
when others are talking, I
would first give a warning
by saying the students
name. If the student
continues to talk I will
separate him or her from
the students that they are
interacting with.

4. Other than the procedures, noted above, what environmental supports will you have in place to support positive behaviors?

Establishment of physical boundaries, planned

traffic areas and open space within room: I would
like to have a carpet area near the calendar activities and
library in the corner of the room away from the entryway.
This would be an open space area of the room. I would like
the desks to be arranged into table groups of 4-6 depending on
the size of the class. I would like there to be enough room to

The carpet area is an important meeting area for a classroom. I feel it
is nice to have this away from the door to help create a more intimate
and quiet environment. I think having the books nearby helps
maximize space and creates a connection with the carpet and reading,
just by looking around the room. I like the ideas of paired table
groups because then students have an automatic partner to turn and

Fall 2013

easily walk around all of the table groups without disturbing

anyone sitting down. I would like the cubbies/hooks for
belongings to be either outside the class or on the wall to the
side of the entryway. I would like there to be a central location
for supplies in the back of the room, easily assessable to the
students. I would like a worktable in the back of the
classroom near the supplies.

Visual Cues: I would like there to be a lot of student and

class created posters and work hanging on the walls. I would
also like to label things around the when age-appropriate.

Teaching of procedures: Practice right after teaching

procedures would be a big idea in my classroom. Depending
on the procedure I may have a student show me the wrong
way to do the procedure then show me the right way. I would
also provide reminders and ask for additional practice
throughout the year as a reminder to the students.
Material organizations system: I would like all
materials that students might need on a daily basis to be in
one centrally located place that is easily accessible for the

Page 10

talk to while at their desks and it also creates a nice physical space in
the classroom. I think having the cubbies/hooks by the door helps to
manage traffic and support positive entry behavior. Having the
supplies in a central, assessable, location helps support the students
in their tasks and gives them responsibility for taking care of the
supplies. Having the supplies close to the desks and in the back
makes it easier for the students to get to this table without disrupting
others. The worktable in the back would be an important aspect for
center-based activities and also would provide an additional area for
students to go when working on group work or reading.
Having student and class created work on the walls not only provides
a visual aid for remembering discussed content, but also reminds
students of everything they have accomplished already. I think this is
helpful in increasing the self-confidence of the students. Also, when
age- appropriate I would like to have objects labeled in the room to
help build literacy as well serve as reminders for what is located
Classroom procedures can be complicated for students so practice
helps them create memory of the correct behavior. Having students
model bad then good procedures shows the teacher and themselves
that they do indeed know how they should behave and also provides
them with positive attention. Having reminders and follow-up
practice throughout the year helps stop behavior problems before they
Having the materials in one location helps prevent students running
all over the room to grab everything they need. Having the materials
easily accessible helps maintain the idea that the classroom belongs
to the students and that they are thus responsible for helping to take

Fall 2013

Instruction and use of aide: This will greatly depend

on the resources of the school. Ideally, I would like to have an
Apple TV projector that will hook up to an iPad. The
projector would need to be on a table far enough away so that
the image on the white board is big enough for everyone to
see. I would also like to have plenty of manipulative and
games for math and plenty of books available in the
classroom library for reading. This would help aid instruction
as well as act as tools for student learning.

Page 11

care of it.
By using and iPad and Apple TV projector as a way to show things
on the board, the class will have access to numerous learning apps,
which will aid instruction. In addition, student work could be
photographed as an example and used to help correct homework as a
class or work on a worksheet as a class. This provides many ways of
easily projecting work that relates to what the students are learning
about and working on. Having manipulatives and math games
available and actively using them in the classroom helps
accommodate a wider variety of learners and can help better explain
math concepts to the class. Having a wide variety of books in the
classroom helps support the importance of reading and makes sure
that any student can find a book that is of interest and at their level
within the classroom.

5. Draw a classroom plan


Projector and table for teacher

Fall 2013



Page 12

Teacher table and conferencing

Work/center table


Supply Tab


Fall 2013

Page 13