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Emily Epstein
Classroom Management Plan
University of Utah



I began my college career as a political science major without a plan. As I began to take
classes, I realized that something was missing. Working with kids was always a big part of my
life and that was gone. At my first meeting with the Elementary Education Program advisor, I
knew that teaching is what I wanted to do. There is something so special about helping students
believe in themselves and exceed expectations.
My goal is to create a classroom community that encourages student participation, makes
students feel safe, and makes me feel in control. It always easy to tell when classroom
management falls to the side in various classrooms. I believe that students are lifelong learners
who deserve to explore their ideas and inquisitions. Each student learns in his/her own way with
his/her own strengths and differences. My goal for my students this year is to celebrate our
differences and use them to our advantage.
I believe that communication is an integral part of a childs education. I will work hard to
communicate with each of my students on an individual level, and will work to build a
relationship with their parent(s)/guardian(s). This relationship helps to build our classroom
community. It also helps parents feel more comfortable in the classroom setting and allows them
to voice their opinions.


Preventative Techniques
Classroom Rules
Our class rules will be based off of five basic principles, including:

Be respectful.
Treat others how you would like to be treated.
Try your hardest in everything you do.
Use appropriate classroom materials.
Use appropriate voice volumes.

These rules will be slightly adjusted and added to during a class discussion at the beginning of
the year. During this discussion, students will submit their own contributions to the classroom
rules and vote on which submissions the most students agree with.
Teaching Procedures
Procedures will be taught at the very beginning of the school year. That being said, procedures
will be reviewed and re-taught as needed. It is extremely important to use an excess of repetition
with procedures at the beginning so that they become common routine. According to Conscious
Classroom Management, Whatever way we choose to remind students of the appropriate
procedures, it makes sense to do it regularly, before the students act out (Smith, 2004).
Morning Meeting
First thing in the morning at least twice a week I would like to hold a morning meeting on the
carpet. During this meeting I can present compliments and concerns, important information, and
positive affirmations to the class. Students will also have the opportunity to voice any concerns
they may have, and may also even provide ideas for things they would like to do in class.
According to Mara Sapon-Shevin, All aspects of students development intellectual, social,
and moral can be fostered through the creation of caring classroom communities (1999). I


believe that having a morning meeting builds on the idea that our classroom is a family and
families share their thoughts with one another.
Attendance/Team Building
I will combine taking attendance with a check on student feelings. Each student in class will
be assigned a number in order to simplify collecting papers, assigning jobs, etc. Each number
will be placed on a popsicle stick in a large jar. Each morning when the students arrive, they are
to move their assigned popsicle stick to a corresponding jar of feelings. There will be five jars
each labeled with behavior faces and the corresponding numbers 1-5. A rating of one will mean
the student is feeling good and ready to learn, while five will mean the student is feeling very
upset. Labels 2-4 will be established with the class. This allows me to take attendance and also
see how each student is starting out the day. Doing this at the beginning of the day can really
help to determine behaviors for the rest of the day and introduce preventative techniques.
Positive Environment
My goal is to create a strong classroom community in which students feel safe to share and learn.
According to Strain and Joseph of Vanderbilt University, Building positive relationships with
young children is an essential task and a foundational component of good teaching (2016). One
way I will help my students build this community is through positive affirmations. In the
morning after the Pledge of Allegiance, students will recite our affirmations along the lines of:

I am loving.
I am kind.
I am special.
My thoughts are valued.
I am respectful.

In addition to affirmations, I will exude a positive attitude in the classroom. I feel that it is
extremely important for students to remember that each day is a fresh start. Before the school


day ends I will have students remind each other Every day is a fresh start. Too often students
are hung up on how the previous days behaviors will affect the rest of the week. I want students
to feel that they have the power to effect the outcomes in our classroom.
Teacher Mailbox
I plan to have a mailbox for students to communicate with me as they please. They can put notes,
letters, drawings, concerns, comments, etc. in my mailbox before or after school. I think this
helps with students that can be concerned to bring things up in person, and also allows students
who like to share stories the opportunity to do so.
Pencil Parking
Students will use pencil parking to keep their pencils on their desks and out of the way during
instructional times. Often times, students fidget with their pencils or make the pretend rocket
ship during a lesson. This way students do not lose track of their pencils on the ground and do
not have the opportunity to let it roll around on the desk.


(Pinterest, 2016)
Elbow Buddies
Students will have an elbow buddy (essentially the person next to them at their desks) that they
will share with during think-pair-share activities, partner activities, etc. Since the elbow buddy
will be pre-determined, it helps minimize the downfall of having students choose partners. Some
students dont get picked while others choose partners that distract them; this way the partners
are planned.
Classroom Jobs
Students will be given various classroom jobs that change each week. These jobs will give them
a sense of responsibility and build our classroom community. Class jobs will include: materials
collector, class leader, trash + treasure (treasure will be the lost & found), desk cleaners, and
attendance assistants. Multiple students can have each job, and any students not assigned a
specific job will be helping pick up the class at the end of the day. Duties of class leader will not
only be to be the line leader, but to also help make sure that students are showing hallway
hands in line, being respectful. Each student will get a chance to do each job throughout the
Classroom Arrangement
After seeing classrooms with both tables and desks, I decided that I would like to have desks in
my classroom. In the arrangement below, desks are arranged in fours, but each desk is facing the
front of the classroom. This way students can work in groups when they need to but can easily
work individually. The table in the middle of the desks can be used for small group instruction, to
help students who may have trouble seeing the board, etc.


Morning Routine
When the bell rings students will hang up their backpacks and coats, and bring their
notebooks/folders/water bottles into class. Students will be allowed to have a water bottle at their
seat, which helps counter too many students getting out of their seats during a lesson. The class
leader will lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance, and a randomly chosen student will lead the
class in our positive affirmations. After this we will either meet for our morning meeting, or
write about a Midweek Motivator. Midweek motivators are small writing prompts written on
the board that students answer with sticky notes. Each student puts his/her sticky note on the
board to answer the question and share with the class.


(Lankowsky, 2016)
The schedule will be posted by the front board of the classroom with interchangeable pieces.
This way if something changes, I can add it to our schedule and warn students about the change
in advance. Many students depend on routine for stability, so I think it benefits all of us to see
when a change is occurring. Students will also be responsible for keeping track of the schedule
when it comes to specials; this will build a sense of responsibility.
Lining Up
Students will be expected to line up using hallway hands, which is a great technique taught to
the Salt Lake Cohort by Paige. This means that students hands are crossed behind their backs
when they walk the halls in order to keep them from touching unnecessary things and paying
attention the line. Students will have a specific order in line (based off of their class number).


Throughout the year some students may be moved based on behavior, but that will be determined
after the first order. I have decided to have a line order to prevent students from cutting in line
or saving spots.
For bathroom, drinks, and pencils, I will use the hand signal system. Students will hold up one
finger for a sharp pencil, two fingers for the bathroom, and three fingers for a drink. This will
make it easier for me to keep track of student needs without taking class time to address those
I will be able to tell who is absent right away, with the popsicle stick method described
previously. I will check which numbers have not been moved to a corresponding feelings jar.
Students who are absent will have a few minute debrief in the morning while other students are
getting ready for class. Any work they missed will be at their seat, and their elbow buddy can
help them as well. Students will not be expected to complete all work missed during the previous
day but I will pay close attention to their comprehension of the new concepts.

Students will have minimal homework each week. They will have to read at least three nights a
week parents will sign a reading log with the title of the book. They will also have weekly
spelling words which will be tested on Fridays. The only other homework they will have is one
math worksheet due at the end of each week. This way, students and parents have the opportunity
to spread homework out throughout the week and fit it into the appropriate schedule. I also like
to have minimal homework because students home lives can be so varied.



Early Finishers
Early finishers will typically be able to have the choice of reading a book at their seat or writing
in their journals. Occasionally I will have other optional activities for early finishers to complete
which will challenge them more on the material.
During transitions I will use attention getters to make sure students are aware of the instructions
at hand. Some of my favorite attention getters include: Holy Moly, Guacamole!, Hot Fudge,
Sundae! and Give Me 5. During transitions students will also be expected to be an example to
their peers. Tables that are ready to listen and learn will be awarded table points that can be
submitted at the end of each week. Table points encourage students to work together to stay on
task instead of only counting on individual performance.
Parent Communication
Parents will be given my contact information at the beginning of the school year, as well as a
welcome letter describing general procedures and expectations in my classroom. They will be
able to contact me through email or by phone with any questions or concerns. I will also request
contact information from parents so that I can have open communication with them. I would like
to send a letter home twice a month to update families on what we have been doing in the
classroom. This will most likely be a hard copy letter and an email so parents can access it as a
hard copy or electronically. If there are ongoing issues with students, I will make phone calls
home or sometimes have parents come observe in the classroom.

Supportive Techniques



Behavior Chart
I will use a horizontal behavior chart to track student behavior. Green will be in the middle, and
moving to the right indicates positive behavior while moving to the left indicates a behavior that
should be changed. I would like a horizontal chart because I feel that the vertical behavior charts
create a very negative connotation. Students will also always have the option to move across the
chart throughout the day, meaning they can always turn the day around. Students reflecting
positive behaviors have the chance to move up and gain recognition for their good behavior.
Time on Task
Students will be given warnings regarding how much time they have left to complete a task. This
helps students learn time management and allows them to plan accordingly. Students who rely on
routine also tend to rely on this technique. For some activities I will also use a timer on the smart
board so students can always see how much time they have left.
Body Language/Proximity
Body language and facial expressions are an important part of teaching. I will use confident body
language so that students respect that I am in charge, but I will also build an environment in that
I wont have to be strict all the time. Proximity is an extremely useful strategy. During lessons I
will walk around the room to make sure students are on task, and to show students that I will not
just be standing at the front of the room all of the time. I will move toward students causing
distracting behavior in order to calm the behavior without stopping teaching.
Throughout the day I will remind students of our classroom procedures, table points, behavior
chart, and expectations. This is a subtle way of keeping students on task without calling out
students who are not. Part of building the classroom community is building trust with students.



Intervention Techniques
Table Points
When students are not following directions they can lose table points. Table points help students
rely on each other to complete tasks.
Behavior Chart
Students can move down on the behavior chart when they are misbehaving or distracting other
students. Moving all the way down on the chart results in parent contact, but students have the
opportunity to move back up throughout the day as well.
Missing Activities
When there are multiple behavior problems and students have not responded to other
interventions, he/she may lose time during a class activity like a game, a few minutes at recess,
or a class party. I dont like to use this technique often, so it is more of a less resort.
One on One Conference
When a student makes a poor choice during class instruction, it can sometimes be difficult to get
to the bottom of it while the entire class is watching. In this case, I would take individual
students aside while the rest of the class is working to discuss the issue. Sometimes students have
a deeper problem than their behavior suggests, and they are more likely to explain in an
individual setting.
Parent Contact
If I have a concern with a student, I will contact the parent by phone. Parents have a lot more
insight into their childs social life at home which can be extremely helpful to know about at
school. Parents are also welcome to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Individual Basis



With all intervention techniques I think it is very important to remember that each student must
be treated as an individual. One technique that works for one student may not work for another
student. I will treat all of my students as individuals.

Parent/Guardian Communication
Phone Calls
Parents will have my contact information from the first day of school, and are free to contact me
by phone or email. I will also contact parents by phone with any questions, comments, or

I will send home a bi-weekly newsletter with updates on what the class has been up to, upcoming
important dates, school calendars, and more. If more important information arises, then the
newsletter may circulate more often.

Before/After School
Parents may come speak with me in person before or after school. I think that this can be really
helpful and serves as a mini conference. Sometimes situations can be miscommunicated through
the phone or email, so face to face conversation is beneficial.
SEP Conferences


For SEP conferences I plan to have many positives to say about each student, and then I will
have suggestions for changes or improvements. Parents and students need to hear about the
positive things they are doing to keep encouraging those behaviors.



Leskowsky, T. (2016). Whiteboard. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from

Joseph, G. E., & Strain, P. S. (2016). Building Positive Relationships with Young Children.
Retrieved November 27, 2016, from

Pinterest. (2016). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from

Sapon-Shevin, M. (1999). Because we can change the world: A practical guide to building
cooperative, inclusive classroom communities. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Smith, R. (2004). Conscious classroom management: Unlocking the secrets of great teaching.
San Rafael, CA: Conscious Teaching Publications.