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Danny Patterson EDUC 132- Dr. Hodgkinson March 11, 2012 Classroom Management and Communication Plan A).

Educational Philosophy Learning is not only an individual process. Rather we learn from others and about others in relation to the world surrounding us, whether in immediate proximity or a much broader context. That is why I am a large proponent of Vygotskys Social Development Theory. . I view social interaction as a key aspect of learning and one I would stress in the classroom to help my students develop and challenge themselves. I feel that the larger goal for students in school is to prepare them to enter as contributing citizens to society. Vygotskys theory of social development stresses the point that children learn significantly from the instruction of an individual possessing greater knowledge in whatever field is being studied. This is significant, because as a teacher I am the individual possessing greater knowledge which I can model and instruct the students towards. However, it is also important to remember that students will be at different levels of learning and some may possess more or less knowledge than others. As social interaction is a beneficial way of learning, I feel that it is important to allow students a significant amount of opportunities to work with each other and interact in a context where the material being studied is still the object in which the interaction is based. In this manner, students of greater knowledge in various areas can serve to work with students of lesser knowledge in that the students themselves would then be serving as the more knowledgeable other, as it is termed by Vygotsky. Of course, the teacher should initially take on this role, but over time some of the responsibility can be passed on to students themselves. It is also true that students learn effectively in different ways, so it is important implement differentiated instruction strategies so a wide variety of methods and activities designed for student learning and comprehension can be incorporated into lesson and unit plans. Of course, students learning is best achieved when students are engaged and interested in the subject, so I feel that students should be encouraged to spend a greater amount of time or effort on a subject, project or activity that particularly interests them. . Of course, certain material will need to be covered, but I feel that students will take a greater interest and personal ownership for their learning if performance based assessment is the primary assessment tool used. I believe students should be given the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of content material in various ways. They may choose how they want to do that, with some guidelines. This will be more work for me as a teacher, as it requires a lot of thought and organization in grading such subjective work. However, I feel that the benefit students obtain in

hopefully gaining an interest for the subject by pursuing it in their own fashion, and taking ownership of their learning, is far worth it. I also plan to use traditional assessment, but much less frequently, so that performance based assessment is not the only assessment being used. In accordance with Vygotskys Social Development Theory, I believe that scaffolding is an important aspect towards student learning. A teacher must be able to gauge student knowledge, possibly through pre-tests or casual conversation or surveys, etc. etc. Based upon that, teachers should not introduce material that students are not ready for. A good teacher builds upon pre-existing student knowledge. It is important to build content on top of content being learned in an organized fashion to help students learn more effectively. This is a much more holistic approach and can help students greatly in the longrun. If material is randomly thrown at students with little context or pre-existing knowledge to base instruction upon, it is likely that many students will become confused and or frustrated and disengage from instruction and activities and gain less interest for the subject. Finally, the classroom community is an essential aspect of student learning. I will promote the formation of a classroom environment where positive interaction is encouraged. I want to get to know my students on a personal level and offer them the opportunity to do the same with each other. I will stress the point of respecting each individual and recognizing that every student has value and their opinion matters. I will really work hard at creating an environment of openness and respect in my classroom because I feel that goes a very long way in allowing students to recognize their own potential and ultimately increase learning. B). Classroom Policies/Procedures/Routines Policies 1). Behavior Issues; if there is a behavior issue in class, the students name will be written on the board, which serves as a formal warning. For every behavior issue after that, the student will be given 15 minutes time which they need to spend in the room before or after school or during their lunch period, it would be their choice. Behavior issues are subject to teacher discretion, but would always include: - cursing in class - slapping, poking, or pinching someone who has asked you to stop - throwing things - yelling in class - insulting someone - defacing school property 2). Students will have 4 minutes at the beginning of class to talk, including with the teacher. After 4 minutes everyone should be seated and it should be silent. - After class has started, students will raise their hands and wait until they are called on to speak

- If a student has a specific private concern or issue s/he may talk with the teacher before or after class or set up a time to come in before or after school or during lunch. 3). Students will in no way be discriminated against on the basis of such things as ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status, among others. -The same expectations apply to students. Discriminatory remarks or actions will constitute a behavior issue, which would merit a warning and then time spent in the room outside of class time. If the remarks or actions are deemed more serious or derogatory in nature, further consequences may be necessary, such as sending the student to the office or requiring in school-suspension and some type of sensitivity lecture/lesson in regards to this issue. 4). If it is discovered that a student has plagiarized or cheated on an assignment they will need to re-do it to receive any credit. Also, they will be required to come in before or after school or during lunch to discuss the issue with me, the teacher. 5). I will keep track of tardy students. After 3 tardies, a student would be required to spend a half hour in the classroom before or after school or during lunch, and an additional 15 minutes for every tardy after that. 6). For every day an assignment is late, ten percentage points will be dropped from the score the student receives on it. 7). Extra credit opportunities will be given out throughout the semester with teacher discretion 8). All assignments and handouts from each class day will be placed in trays on a counter on the side of the room. Absent students may turn in an assignment that was assigned when they were gone late by as many days as they missed and still receive full credit. - If an assignment is due the day(s) you were absent, it may be turned in the day the student is back in class for full credit. -Activities and homework will be written on the whiteboard daily and will stay there for the whole week, so it is the responsibility of a student that has been absent to check the whiteboard for missed activities, handouts, assignments and homework. Any further questions may be discussed with the teacher 9). Beverages with closeable lids are allowed (i.e. cans of pop, juice boxes, or beverages in a cup would not be allowed) -Gum is allowed, but no Food is allowed to be eaten in class 10). Hall passes will be written for students to use the restroom after they ask the teacher. Only one student may be out of the room to use the bathroom at a time. A tally will be kept on a list of student names in the class in regards to how many passes each student has used. A student will be allowed 15 passes per semester, and they are expected to return to class within 5 minutes or they will have their name written on the board/receive 15 minutes before or after school time. 11). Students will be allowed to sharpen their pencils and throw away trash at their own will. If I notice that the privilege is being abused the student will be warned and the privilege may be taken away or I may write their name on the board as it will constitute a behavior issue.

Procedures 1.) In my classroom, fighting, disrespectful remarks towards others and cheating are unacceptable behaviors. The consequences for these behaviors include the students name going on the board and possible time before or after school. For more serious instances of these cases the student may need to leave the class immediately and go to the office. Generally, however, I would handle the issue by having a talk with the student about the negative aspects of their behavior in the time they spent before or after school. If it was more serious I might require them to spend greater amounts of time before or after school and that would allow me to possibly go more in depth on the issues and problems at hand and how they can be solved and get to what is the real root of the problem. 2.) Students who chronically misbehave would most likely be spending more time before or after school in the classroom as a consequence. I will use those times to get to know these students better and talk to them seriously about their behavior issues. I will make a point to address the issue sternly as a problem, but not to look at or speak to the student as though they are a bad person. I would hope talking with the student and respecting them as a person could lead to beneficial outcomes with these times in pursuing to modify the negative behaviors that are chronically occurring. Various circumstances might require being handled in alternative ways. For example, if a student is constantly getting in arguments and disrespecting someone in the classroom whom they sit near, I will obviously deal with the incident by talking with the student, but I would also take action to prevent further such occurrences by moving them away from each other. Differing circumstances call for different measures, but generally speaking, I will always talk to students about what happened and why and what can be done in the future. Then I will take any preventative actions necessary. 3.) I will stand by the entrance to the classroom at the beginning of the period and greet each student as they enter the room. I will make conversation as applicable, noting cool shoes, new haircut, talking about the performance of their favorite sports team or athlete etc. etc. The first 4 minutes of class will be interactive, allowing me to talk with students and students to talk with each other. Also, every day an interesting, funny or inspiring quote will be written on the board for students to read. 4.) Class will begin each day by simply jumping right into the activities planned for the day. This means that it will vary each day depending on what we are doing. However, two things I might commonly use are partner sharing and quick writes at the beginning of class, with questions in relation to whatever we might be covering for the day, a previous homework assignment or area of study. I think it is important to do something at the beginning that gets students engaged and doing something rather than just sitting and listening. Thats why they will typically be doing a quick write or a partner share. 5.) Because my endorsement area is in All Social Sciences, I will most likely be teaching a Social Studies class or some class related to Social Sciences. Thus, with any down-time at the end of class we will discuss current events. Whatever specific topic I am teaching, current events are significant and relate to all of our lives so it would be a good thing to do whenever we have time.

6.) I will use student records as far as previous behavior issues or test scores that might be available in order to be aware of what students have issues in what areas or where they struggle. I will look to give them more guidance in those areas or focus more on certain things that a specific student really struggles with if necessary, behaviorally or academically. However, I will also be careful not to let student records create any bias or prejudgment about a student that would cause me to treat them or view them negatively. I will also keep track of similar information as the school year progresses. I will keep everything in a computer system. I will make note of any major behavioral issues that occur during the school year for each student. Assignments will be given an amount of points they are worth with corresponding point values depending on how big or small of an assignment it is. As I grade assignments, I will enter student grades on assignments in an Xcel spreadsheet document or some computer system to have all scores in one place that will allow me to compute their grade or see what assignments a student is missing etc. etc. 7.) Students will be informed about upcoming assignments by having the tentative weekly plans written on the whiteboard each week. They can look and see what is coming up and what assignments are due each day. Furthermore, larger assignments or projects that may require students to know about more than a week in advance will be explained in detail with plenty of time in advance and written instructions for the assignment will be handed out. These will also be listed on the whiteboard during the week when they will be due so students dont forget about them. 8.) I will collect assignments during class after we are done with any activity that may accompany the assignment. I will have a tray for each period where I will keep turned in assignments after I collect them. 9.) I will keep students grades in an Xcel spreadsheet document in which each assignment is listed along with the points its worth and the points each student received on it. Students will have ID numbers (usually given by the school) that will serve as their way to locate their grade on a printed off sheet I will post with all this information every other week. It will allow them to see their scores on all assignments and which assignments they may be missing. Furthermore, they can discuss with me any issue or question they may have about their grade. 10.) Students will be expected to raise their hand and wait to be called upon before answering a question. This will keep order in the room so it does not get too loud with students blurting out answers or struggling to find a chance to jump in, and it will keep certain students from always dominating conversation. 11.) To get my classrooms attention when they are off-task, I will play a certain recognizable song on a stereo or speaker of some sort that is their cue to be quiet or stop doing whatever they are doing and get back on task. As soon as they are back on task I will stop the song. As long as the song has run by the end of the period will be how much time they have to stay after class.

C. Classroom Layout My classroom will be set up in a more traditional style. The teacher desk will be in the front of the room and off to the side and the desks will be lined up in rows. I know that now days the trend is to move away from this more traditional format, but I really see no problem with it. I think that it works well to get all of the students facing so they can see anything that may be written on the board or listening to whoever may be speaking at the front of the room. I find that classroom set-ups such as having tables all facing each other in blocks or groups, or horseshoe style, despite certain advantages also have some serious drawbacks. When students are in block groups facing each other and not always facing towards the front, they often have to strain to turn towards the front if there is instruction at the front of the room and students can often get distracted by the students right around them as there is little space between students. Similar problems occur with the horseshoe style. I think that the standard rows are the most effective. However, that certainly does not mean that I will just stand in the front and lecture all day while students sit and listen. The desk arrangements will be varied depending on what activities are taking place. For example, when we have debates in class we may turn the desks so there are two sides facing one another and the room is split between the two large groups of desks. When we work in small groups we may turn the desks into block groups so students can be close together and focused on the group they are working with. It will really depend on the activity at hand, but the standard format that the room will begin with will just be in rows facing the front, with the teacher desk up front and off to the side. The teacher desk will be up front so that I can keep an eye on the students and the entire room when I am at my desk, but it will be off to the side to leave room for presentations to take place at the front of the room or for me to stand when I am giving instruction and it will allow for more movement around the room. In the back of the classroom there are independent work areas for any times that students have to work on projects or time at the end of class and so on. These areas will be located in the back of the room and facing away from the rest of the classroom so they can focus on what they are doing and not be distracted by the rest of the class. There are two computers so that students who need to do research for a project or essay or something will not necessarily have to get a pass to the library or computer lab every time. There is a long table in the back where the computers sit, but a large portion of that table will be clear for students to work at if they need more space away from their desk or want to focus better by being away from distractions around them at their desk, such as other students. The back table will also have a small library, or collection of books, mostly relating to the class I will be

teaching. I will be teaching a class somewhere in the field of Social Sciences, so it could be expected that we might have encyclopedias, books on human development, culture, history and there will be some atlases and maps back there too. Along a long counter on the side of the room will be fourteen trays corresponding to seven class periods that I am estimating I will have in a day. Each class will have two trays. One will be filled with assignments and handouts from each day that week so any students that were absent can grab what they need from there. The other tray will be where collected assignments and homework are turned in and stored until they are graded and returned to students. Typically, I will have students pass assignments up to the front of the row and I will collect them in my hands and then put them in the turn-in basket myself for my own safe keeping. My room will be decorated with maps and posters. I will put some famous quotes from historical figures around the room as well. At the front of the room will be a projection screen that can come down to cover the white board which is also at the front of the room. There will be a hanging projector so that we can watch video on the large screen and it will be able to connect to view what is on my computer to the large projection screen if I want to show them a Youtube video or PowerPoint presentation or something like that. The fact that the room is arranged with desks in rows can accommodate for students with disabilities depending on the need. There is more space up front if that is needed, or if a student needs to sit close to the front they can have a seat in the first row. Also, there is pleanty of space between rows and seat if that is an issue for movement. A lot of that will depend on what specific disability a student might have, and I will always be open to making modifications as necessary. The desk format is not permanent anyways, as it will be changing based upon the activities we are engaging in during class. The structure of the room I have planned reflect my educational philosophy of an emphasis on Vygotskys social development theory in that the teacher will be a guide and facilitator by offering instruction initially, but students will also have many places and opportunities to work together and build knowledge and comprehension by working together and through experiences. That is why the room is set up to allow the teacher to guide students through instruction with the teacher at the front and desks facing him, but the room will change structure often as I allow them to move desks to engage in group work or for activities such as debates and discussions. Furthermore, there is a good amount of space for independent work in the back of the room, or students can work together back there, and it allows students to do what they need to do to expand on their learning so they can reach their full potential. The small library of books and two computers offers students who are ready for more challenges to go more in depth on things if they want to. Yet if certain students need more guidance and instruction they can stay in their desks and have the teacher guide

them, or the resources available in the back may offer these students alternative forms of learning that could help them understand material better since different students learn more effectively in different ways. My teaching style is one where I want to let students know very clearly what is expected of them, but then I want to allow them some freedom in how they go about doing what is expected of them or completing the end goals. That is why initial instruction is important in which the teacher can be at the front of the room with all students facing him. After initial instruction, students may work more independently or the room may be transformed for various activities because I am quite flexible in how things can be done and I like to change things up rather than getting stuck in a routine of the same thing every day. The room will be structured and organized, but allow for change and independent work.

D. Communication Policy It will be very important to keep parents informed so they can be involved with their students academic performance and they dont feel out of the loop. At the beginning of the year I will make sure parents get my contact information so they can reach me with questions or concerns they may have and set up meetings if they feel the need. One way I will keep parents up to date and allow them to be more involved in their childs student life is to have an online location where I can post grades and comments for parents to access and view. Furthermore, I will list upcoming assignments and units for parents, or students, to view. Many schools have systems where I could do something like this, but if the school did not, I would create my own online tool for parents to access this information. This online system would serve as a major way of keeping parents informed as often as they choose to access it. With this in place, I would not feel the need for a newsletter to be put out as the online system will provide enough information. Of course, this will not be the only thing to keep parents involved. Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity to meet with parents face to face and make sure you are on the same page with them. These conferences would be a good time to discuss disciplinary issues with them. If certain behavioral issues are occasionally arising I will have a place to comment on that in the online system. However, if things become chronic and are disrupting learning I will contact the parent directly and seek to get to the root of the issue and what could be done to combat it. A lot of times a parent might know how to better handle a situation or negative behavior. I will contact parents when there seems to be a major change in a students academic performance or behavior in the classroom. If a student all of a sudden starts to perform much better in

class I would first of all call and let the parent know the good news and try to see what the reason for the newfound success might be so that we can work to keep it up based upon whatever may be helping things. If a students performance drops off significantly I would talk to a parent and try to see what might be going on or if there have been any changes that might be the reason for the drop in performance and I would work with the parent to see if anything can be changed to help the student. I might try and see if parents have any advice for things that might help as well. I dont plan to do home visits prior to the school year or have set home visits planned out during the year. They are something I would be open to if the situation seemed to call for it, but otherwise I think I would shy away from that. I feel that there is a certain degree of separation that parents might not want a teacher impeding into their personal lives and I should respect that. If problems were occurring and I talked to a parent and we reached a decision that a home visit could be something beneficial then it is something that could happen in a case like that, but typically I dont plan on it. There are other ways I can seek to keep parents informed but I dont feel that I can really force a parent to do anything. I can talk with parents, and of course I can always talk to students to get a read on their home life and how that might be affecting them, so there are other things in place where I dont feel home visits would be necessary unless it was agreed upon in a specific situation that seemed to call for it. I plan to keep parents informed from the get go, so hopefully it can keep them involved form the start rather than waiting until problems occur. On back-to-school night I will inform parents of the structure of my classroom and how the class will be taught and I will certainly make sure they have my contact information. I will let them know what will generally be covered during the year and I will let them know what will be expected of their child in my classroom and for what reasons I might contact them. After letting them know a little about the class I would let them know how they could best facilitate their childs learning for the class and I would, of course, address any questions or concerns they might have. As the year progresses we will have conferences and that will be a great time to assess how students are doing in regards to the things discussed at the beginning of the year. I will use conferences as a chance to discuss students behavioral and academic performance, but I will also try to get to know parents on a more personal level and get to know a little about their lives because the home life has such a great effect on a student as they enter the classroom, so its important to know where they are coming from. I will talk to them about what they expect from their child and how I can work to help the student achieve those things. I would prefer that students be present for conferences as well and I would also involve them. Basically, I would want the parents and student and I to all be on the same page. I would want to hear what students think should be expected of them and what they

think they can do to improve or what they feel they are doing well. I would like to hear student input on how they feel they learn best, and based on hearing from many students I would work to implement differentiated instruction in my classroom to teach in various styles that can be effective for a wide range of learners. During parent-teacher conferences I would probably show the parents some of the work their child has done. I will always try to stay positive, especially when there may be students who are struggling. In those cases, I wont criticize students or parents for poor performance, but rather focus on what could be modified for improvement and I will express hope for improvement. There will probably be cases where I feel that parents are almost too involved in their childs schooling and other opposite cases where parents show little to no involvement. Conferences are a good time to address either of these things. I might encourage a parent who seems somewhat overbearing on their child to allow them to develop personal work habits and the need for that skill in developing personal responsibility. Of course, parents who show little involvement might not be at conferences to begin with, but if they were I would simply encourage them to play a role in their childs education and remind them how crucial their role is and the home aspect is for initiating student achievement. Outside of conferences I might try to contact parents via telephone to talk with them and let them know the difference they can make by taking a more active role in their students academics. Again, I would make sure not to be accusatory and try to understand the situation, but definitely nudge them towards playing more of a role. I will be able to handle most disciplinary issues in my classroom, but if I feel that a student is having problems that may be on a scale larger than just my class where it is affecting them in every class or at home, then it may be important to talk to other teachers or involve administrative staff. Furthermore, I would like to handle any disciplinary issues within my classroom and not just send students to the office every time they misbehave or write them up, but if extreme situations called for it I may need to have administrative staff intervene in a situation or send a student to the office if methods in my classroom simply are not working. I expect that the way I deal with students will steer them away from hostile actions or intentional misbehavior because I will seek to understand the problem and work with them to resolve it, but if it seems to be unresolvable on my part, then I may need to involve an administrator in a disciplinary issue. I would allow principals, faculty or even parents into my classroom to observe my teaching if they ever wanted to do so. I would make them aware of this at the beginning of the year and simply leave that up to them. I would not necessarily be inviting them at different time throughout the year, but I would make sure they knew the option was available if they thought it would be beneficial at any time. Finally, I would really emphasize collaboration with

other teachers in the building. I think this is a very important aspect that can often be overlooked. Students often have as many as seven different classes, and sometimes more than that. It is important that as a teacher I remember that my class is not the only thing in their lives. I will talk with other teachers to see how students are behaving in their classes and what things seem to work and not work for them and apply those things in my classroom. I will probably just meet with teachers in the teachers lounge, or if we have specific team meetings I will definitely benefit from those. I think that it should be a team effort in educating students and getting them to achieve to the best of their potential. I will talk with other teachers and find out when they are giving tests and papers so I can try to not pile too many more things on top of students at the same time, although at times that may be unavoidable. Overall, I will always want to be learning new things from the teachers around me and techniques and strategies that work and also be willing to share things with other teachers that work with me. I hope and plan to develop strong relationships with the other teachers in my building because that will make it a more pleasant job and make us all more effective teachers as well.