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Rebecca Cohoon

I am currently working as a substitute instructional assistant for my local school district. I travel
from school to school and help at all grade levels although to date I have only subbed at the
elementary grades. The procedures, rules, reinforcements etc. will be directed at the elementary
grade level. The procedures and rules will be a compilation of what I have learned in class
reading, what I have observed in the classroom and my own experiences.

Philosophy of Discipline

We all count. Everyone has a place in my classroom, in their classroom. They should feel safe in
their learning environment. I want my students to feel confident about sharing opinions and
ideas. I also want my students to know that when trouble arises it will be attended to, not
ignored. Having a discipline plan in place as part of my classroom management plan should
reinforce that attitude. It should work to correct negative behavior and reinforce positive
behavior. It should also be logical following the 5 Rs as mapped out by in Chpt 5 Logical
Consequences, related, reasonable, respectful, reliably enforced and revealed. The punishment
should fit the crime e.g. If a student spills liquid because their lid was not on then they clean up
the mess not the whole classroom. Discipline needs to be consistent. It is all well and good to
have a discipline plan in place but if you do not follow it its worthless. I also believe that the
plan should be a joint effort between the students and the teacher. Meaning, the teacher and
students work together to create the plan. My philosophy of discipline is not all student focused.
The teacher does have responsibility also. This needs to be reflected in the classroom procedures
and rules as well. Seamless when possible, classroom mgmt. should not disrupt the class further
but help to put things back on track when upsets occur.

Classroom Arrangement

Part of my classroom management plan includes having the room designed in an orderly and
logical way. Desks will be set up in a way that allows the students to work cooperatively with
each other in groups and that can be easily reached and observed by the teacher. Materials used
throughout the day will be easily accessible by the students while not disturbing classmates.

There are so many things to think about when talking about procedures it is hard to know where
to start. I would have procedures or set routine for activities that happen throughout the day.
Below is a list of the procedures that come to my mind this is not an exhaustive list

Beginning of day bell work, sharpen pencils, fill water bottles all the little things to
start the day. Students put away bags, lunches, coats.

Homework: placed on the students desk for pick up by the homework monitor

Notes from Home: these I will have the students give to me directly so I do not miss any
important correspondence.

Sponge work: when the student(s) finish with independent work they can choose from a
list of appropriate quiet activities. Silent reading, cleaning out desks, working on other
classwork. I would like them to stay at their desk as moving to a center may prove to be
distracting to the students still working.

Lining up to leave classroom: to avoid pushing shoving and fighting for first in line
there will be a daily line leader student groups will be dismissed based on which group is
ready first. Using a pre-warning to alert the class there is x amount of time left before
they need to clean up.

Questions during direct instruction: if the students have a question during direct
instruction I will want them to raise their hand and wait for me to call on them rather than
calling out the question. I may also ask them to jot down their questions and we will
come back to them at the end of the instructions. This may cut down on unnecessary
questions and give the student(s) a chance to answer their own question.

Questions during independent work time: they should ask a classmate or two first. If they
dont get the answer they are looking for from their classmates then they should come to
me. If Im engaged with another student the procedure will be for them to wait patiently
until I can give then my attention. If Im in the middle of a task they should politely as to
interrupt. Another idea on questions during independent time is to have a flag system.
When the student has a question they can set the flag up so I know there is a question to
be asked.

Bathroom: bathroom procedures are different based on age and location of bathroom. If
its in the room then student should just go. If it is outside if the classroom they need to
either ask and/or let me know they are going. Kinders need to ask. I absolutely need to
keep track of them. After they ask a clothes pin will be clipped to their shirt. This way
anyone in the hall knows this kinder is going to bathroom. Older students need to let me
know they are going. There will be a flag system near the door to let me know if someone
in already out.

I could go on and on but these are some the more basic procedures and how I think I
would handle them.

Pencils: I will have a community pencil box. One box for sharpened pencils and one for
pencils needing sharpening.

I will establish monitors/leaders for different tasks, i.e. pencil sharpener, someone to pass
out and pick up papers, line leaders, home lunch monitors, note/message runner.

Classroom rules

Class rules should be established by both the teacher and the students. Using the schools code of
conduct as a guideline, the teacher should come up with the structure and/or broad topics then
have the students, with teacher guidance, brainstorm ideas to fill in the structure. After the
brainstorming session the rules can be grouped by category safety, respect, bullying etc.
Always with the idea that the rules - if found to be too rigid or not clear enough can be changed.
Rules will also be listed as dos rather than donts whenever possible. For example: (t=teacher, t/s
= teacher and students)

T: Be Safety Conscience

T/S: Walk, give others right of way, keep objects out of pathway keep lids on liquids
T: Be respectful to each other

T/S: When in class use 12 voice, take turns, listen when others are talking, allow
classmates to work uninterrupted during individual work time, no name calling

T: No Bullying

This will be a review of school rules regarding bullying and how we as a class will
handle bullying within those rules


I believe in positive reinforcements and that they should be used throughout the day, which
includes reinforcing approximations in desired behavior. I would use a combination of
approaches for both individual and group reinforcement. Examples of reinforcement for the
individual would be appreciative praise, physical ques e.g. a smile, pat on the back, thumbs up
and tangible rewards e.g. stickers, small candies, pride tickets*. I would give individual
reinforcement semi-privately as the intention of the kudos is to build up the student not to
bring their behavior to the attention of the whole class. Group reinforcement would be displayed
in appreciative praise for example, I want you all to know how much I appreciate the work you
did on or Wow, I am noticing a lot of cooperation today. I would also establish ways for
the class to earn game time or some other group activity through a fixed schedule via a point
system of some kind. I think its important to have both individual and group reinforcements
especially if you are working on individual behavior plans.

*A pride ticket (the name may be called something else) is a ticket give to the child when they
exhibit an encouraged behavior. They turn the tickets into to a bucket then at the end of the week
a drawing is held and the student whose name is drawn gets the predetermined prize. I would
make sure there is at least one ticket for each student in the bucket. Even the most recalcitrant
child does something right, right?

Consequences will follow a plan between assertive discipline (Canter) and positive discipline
(Jones). They would fall anywhere between reminding the student of the rules to being sent to
the principals office and a note home. The infraction of course would drive the consequence. I
would start with Canters refocusing strategy, stay calm, focus on desired behavior, acknowledge
students feelings/statements, restate instructions and Jones limit setting techniques using eye
contact, verbal ques and proximity to correct the behavior. Working with younger children Im
sure this would work most of the time. Having a discipline hierarchy will be necessary when
limit setting does not work. If limit setting is proving not to work then removing the child from
the situation either to have a bit of time out and or reflecting in a writing journal would be my
next step. At this point I also think a private chat with the student about her behavior would be
warranted. This way I kind also find out if there is something going on with the student that I
should know. Consequences should relate to the behavior. It should be reasonable. This is not a
place for the teacher flaunt or abuse her authority it is an opportunity to help the student learn
proper behavior. It should be respectful. This is not a time to belittle the student. Belittling and
embarrassing the student only harms the teacher student relationship. If the student feels
threatened then opportunities for learning are threatened. The students also need to know what
the consequences are going to be BEFORE they are meted out. Knowing the consequences
beforehand is helpful for the student and the teacher. When the rules and consequences are
known you have a more confident classroom environment.


Model, lead, test (check for understanding)

It will be necessary to take time at the beginning of the year to teach the rules and procedures
with reminders and review throughout the following weeks as needed. Remembering to be
flexible as the students are learning and perhaps amending rules as necessary.

After rules and procedures have been discussed I would take time to make sure the students
understand the expectations. Modeling the procedures, leading the students through them and
then checking that they understand, clarifying as we go. I like the idea of roleplay so I would
take some time with those rules that may be more abstract and have the kids act them out. I
would lead the kids in the rules and procedures e.g. classroom voice v playground voice and
lining up for lunch until I am sure they have these down. Then giving time for question/answer.