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Classroom Management Guide

The Critical Role of Classroom Management

I. Organizing your Classroom and Supplies

II. Establishing




III. Fostering Student Accountability

IV. Getting Off to a Good Start
V. Planning and Conducting Instruction
VI Managing Cooperative Learning Groups
VII. Maintaining Appropriate Student Behavior

VIII. Communication Skills for Teaching

IX. Managing Problem Behaviors

X. Managing Special Groups

The Critical Role of Classroom Management

Teachers play various roles in a typical classroom, but
surely one of the most important is that of classroom
manager. Effective teaching and learning cannot take place
in a poorly managed classroom. Effective teachers appear
to be effective with students of all achievement levels
regardless of the levels of heterogeneity in their classes. If
the teacher is ineffective, students under that teachers

tutelage, will achieve inadequate progress academically,

regardless of how similar or different they are regarding their
academic achievement. Current research indicates that
students in classes of teachers classified as most effective
can be expected to gain about 52 percentile points in their
achievement over a years time. Students in classes of
teachers classified as least effective can be expected to
gain only about 14 percentile points over a years time. This
comparison is even more dramatic when one realizes that
some researchers have estimated that students will exhibit a
gain in learning of about 6 percentile points simply from
maturation-from growing one year older and gleaning new
knowledge and information through everyday life (see
Hattie, 1992; Cahen & Davis, 1987).
The effective teacher performs many functions that can be
organized into three major roles: (1) making wise choices
about the most effective instruction strategies to employ, (2)
designing classroom curriculum to facilitate student learning,
and (3) making effective use of classroom management
techniques (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001).
Therefore, effective teachers have a wide array of
instructional strategies at their disposal, are skilled at
identifying and articulating the proper sequence and pacing
of their content, are skilled in classroom management
In summary, the research over the past 30 years indicates
that classroom management is one of the critical ingredients
of effective teaching. The research resulted in two books on
classroom management; one elementary level and one for
the secondary level. The books, Classroom Management for
the Elementary Teachers and Classroom Management for
the Secondary Teacher by Carolyn Evertson, Edmund

Emmer and Murray Worsham are considered the primary

resources for the application of the research on classroom
management to K-12 education (Marzano, Pickering, &
The following information was taken directly from the
book, Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers by
Carolyn Evertson, Edmund Emmer and Murray Worsham
(2006), considered by many as the to be the primary
resource for the application of the research on classroom

I. Organizing your Classroom and Supplies

Arranging the physical setting for teaching is a logical
starting point for classroom management because it is a
task that all teachers face before school begins. Many
teachers find it easier to plan other aspects of classroom
management once they know how the physical features of
the classroom will be organized.

Four Keys to Good Room Arrangement

1. Keep high-traffic areas free of congestion.
2. Be sure students can be seen easily by the
3. Keep frequently used teaching materials and
student supplies readily accessible.
4. Be certain students can easily see whole-class
presentations and displays.

5. Arrangement of Student desks-Arrange desks

so students are facing and can readily see the
primary whole-group instructional area.
6. Small-Group Instruction Areas-Arrange this
area so you can monitor the rest of the class
from your seated teaching position.

Checklist Room Preparation

Floor Space
Student desks/tables
Small-group area
Computer Workstations
Teachers desk and equipment
Pets and plants area
Traffic patterns
Classroom library

Storage Space and Supplies

Textbooks and trade books

Student Work
Portfolio Files
Frequently used instructional material
Teachers supplies
Classroom supplies
Student belongings
Seasonal or infrequently used items

II. Establishing




For students to have a successful year in your classroom,

they must understand and practice the behaviors you expect
of them. Because you will want appropriate and cooperative
behavior to become the norm in your classroom, think about
how your students will know of these expectations and
begin to adopt them.
What Is an Effectively Managed Classroom-An
effectively managed classroom is one that
runs smoothly, with minimal confusion and
downtime, and maximizes opportunities for
student learning.

Goals are target aspirations not necessarily

attained every day. However, long- term goals
determine our daily actions.
Expectations are desired behaviors or
outcomes. An effective teacher makes her
expectations known to the students and
consistently teaches and reinforces the
expected behaviors.
Rules and procedures refer to stated
expectations regarding behavior. A rule
identifies general expectations or standards of
behavior. A procedure also communicates
expectations for behavior. They are usually
applied in a specific activity, and they are
directed at accomplishing something rather
than prohibiting a behavior.
Effective teachers generally involve students in
the democratic process of determining
classroom rules, but generally the rules entail
respect and courtesy toward all people, be
prompt and prepared, listen quietly while
others are speaking, and obey all school rules.

Checklist Norms,



What are my short and long term goals for

myself this year?


What are my short and long term goals for my

students this year?

Room Use
How will I establish basic procedures in the following areas?
Teachers desk and storage areas
Student desks and storage areas
Storage for common materials
Drinking fountains, sink, pencil sharpener
Rest rooms
Centers or equipment areas

Individual Work and Teacher-Led Activities

Attention during presentations
Participation Talk among students
Obtaining help
When individual work has been completed

Transition Into and Out of the Classroom

Beginning the school day

Leaving the room

Returning to the room
Ending the day

Procedures for Small-Group Instruction

Getting the class ready
Student movement
Expected behavior in the group
Expected behavior of students out of group
Materials and supplies

Procedures for Cooperative Group Activities

Roles of group members
Expected behaviors
Interaction to include every member
Interaction to move toward instructional goals

General Procedures
Distributing materials
Classroom helpers (students)

Interruptions or delays
Library, resource room, school office
Fire and disaster drills
Classroom helpers (parents, aide, etc.)

III. Fostering Student Accountability

Additional procedures are needed to encourage students to
complete assignments and to engage in other learning
activities. Ultimately, the goal of any accountability system
is to help students develop into independent learners; thus,
your procedures should give as much responsibility as
possible to the students themselves, rather than having the
student depend on either you or their parents to see that
assignments are completed.
Clear Communication of Assignments and
Work Requirements
Monitoring Progress on and Completion of
Feedback to Students

Checklist Accountability Procedures





Where and how will you post assignments?

What will be your standards for form and
How will absent students
assignments to make up?



What will be the consequences of late or

incomplete work?




What procedures will you use to monitor work

in progress?
When and how will you monitor projects or
longer assignments?
How will you determine whether students are
completing assignments?
How will you collect completed assignments?
What records of student work will you retain?
How will you encourage students to monitor


What are your schools grading policies and
What kinds of feedback will you provide, and
How will you encourage students to reflect on
their own progress?
What will you do when a student stops doing
What procedures will you follow to send
materials home to parents?
Where will you display student work?
What records, if any, of their own work will the
students maintain?
Will students keep portfolios? If so, how will
entries be selected, and how will students
reflect on them?
How will you handle grading disputes?

IV. Getting Off to a Good Start

The beginning of the school year is an important time for
classroom management because your student will learn
attitudes, behavior, and work habits that will affect the rest of
the year. It is the first few weeks of school that students

learn the behaviors expected of them and how to

accomplish school tasks successfully.

Creating a Positive Climate in Your Classroom

Effective teachers create a positive learning environment
through actions and deeds. The foundation of a positive
climate is positive interaction between the teacher and
students and among students. A positive environment
encourages students to be excited about their school
experience and about learning.
1. Speak courteously and calmly-Say please,
thank you and excuse me for courtesies to
become expected. A calm voice indicates
acceptance and self-control.
2. Share information-Learn names as soon as
possible and engage in activities that help
students learn more about each other. Speak
personally with students and get to know them
as individuals.
3. Use positive statements as often as possible.
Accentuate the positive-Not only do negative
comments cause a student to feel negative;
they also tend to create a negative
environment that affects everyone.
4. Establish a feeling of community. Teach
students to work cooperatively and give them
regular opportunities to learn in structured
cooperative activities. Conduct class meetings

on a regular basis for class-building, problemsolving, and content-related discussions.

Teaching Rules and Procedures

One of the surest ways to communicate your expectation for
student behavior is through a planned system of teaching
classroom rules and procedures. The term 'teach' is
purposely used because you will not communicate your
expectations adequately if you only tell students about rules
and procedures. Three important aspects include:
1. Describing and demonstrating the desired
behavior-Use words and actions to convey
what behavior is acceptable or desirable. Be
as specific as possible.
2. Rehearsal-This
behaviors. Rehearsal serves two purposes:
1. It helps children learn the
appropriate behavior, and it
provides you with an opportunity
to determine whether they
understand and can follow a
procedure correctly.
2. It also affords the teacher the
opportunity to explain why the
rule or procedure is important
3. Feedback-Tell students how well they did.
Even if improvement is needed, be positive.

Planning for a Good Beginning

Planning for a warm and friendly learning environment for
your student is a positive first step in starting the school
year. Some typical activities include:
Greeting the students, introductions, room
presentation and discussion of rules,
procedures, and consequences, content
activities, time fillers, administrative activities
(distributing textbooks, etc.).

Communicating with Parents

Prepare a letter to send home explaining any essential
information not already covered in school handouts.
Typically, teachers at one grade level collaborate on the
letter. A cheerful, friendly letter that is neat, legible,
grammatically correct, and free of misspellings will create a
good impression and communicate a professional image to
the parents. The letter may include: Information about
yourself, materials or supplies their child will need, class
schedule with conference times and how parents may reach
you, curriculum units or special field trips, and special
events for parents.

Special Problems
Interruptions by office staff, parents, custodians, and others;
late arrivals on the first day; one or more children are
assigned to your class after the first day; child forgets lunch
money or supplies; large amount of paperwork the first week
of school; child forgets bus number or misses bus;
insufficient number of textbooks or materials; student

disability that interferes with understanding or following

directions; crying; wetting; child becomes sick.

Preparing for a Substitute

Create a handbook for the substitute who may teach in your
absence. Include the following: Class roll, seating chart,
copy of classroom rule and consequences, daily schedule,
list of medical alerts and medication times, emergency
lesson plans, emergency procedures, names of teachers
and students who can provide assistance, and map of

Checklist Preparation for the Beginning of School

Are your room and materials ready?
Have you decided on your class procedures,
rules, and associated consequences?
Are you familiar with the parts of the school
that you and your students may use (cafeteria,
office, halls, restrooms, gymnasium, computer
lab) and any procedures for their use?
Do you have a complete class roster?
Do you have file information on your students,
including information on reading and math
achievement levels from previous teachers,
test results, and any other information?

Do you know whether you have any students

with disabilities who should be accommodated
in your room arrangement or in instruction?
Do you have adequate numbers of textbooks,
desks, and class materials?
Do you have the teachers editions of you
Do you know the procedures for the arrival and
departure of students on the first day?
Are students name tags ready? Do you have
blank ones?
Do you have your first days plan of activities
Does your daily schedule accommodate
special classes or pull-out programs?
Do you have time-filler activities?
Do you have a letter ready to send home to
Do you know when and how you can obtain
assistance form school staff?

V. Planning and Conducting Instruction

Your classroom is organized, you have thought about the

climate to be established and the expectations you want to
communicate, youve developed and taught your rules and
procedures, and you have systems in place to manage
student learning. Now that your students are attentive and
ready to participate comes the point that management and
instruction meet. Well-planned lessons with a variety of
developmentally appropriate activities support the positive
learning environment you have created.

Planning Instructional Activities

Types of planning include both long-range and short-range.
Accomplishing the longer plan requires dividing the work
into terms, the terms into units, and the units into weeks and
Types of instructional activities include:


Grouped Basic Skill Instruction

Individual Work
Planning for Clear Instruction
Presenting new concept
Checking for understanding


Kounins Concepts for Managing Whole-Group

A central theme in managing teacher-led activities well is the
idea of activity flow-the degree to which a lesson proceeds
smoothly, without digressions, diversions, or interruptions.
Lessons with good flow keep students' attention and prevent
deviation because most of the cues for behavior during the
lesson are focused on behaviors appropriate for the lesson.
Kounins concepts include:

Preventing Misbehavior:
With-it-ness is the degree to which the teacher
corrects misbehavior before it intensifies or
spreads to more students and also targets the
correct student when doing so.
Overlapping refers to how the teacher handles
two or more simultaneous events.

Managing Movement
Whereas withitness and overlapping are
interruptions and student intrusions into the
flow of the lesson, movement management is
accomplished by avoiding teacher-caused
intrusions or delays.
Momentum refers to pacing and is indicated by
lessons that move along briskly.

Smoothness is epitomized in lesson continuity.

A smooth flowing lesson keeps student

Maintaining Group Focus

A teacher must be conscious of the group
influence on the instruction. Group focus can
be maintained through several techniques.
Group alerting means taking action to engage
the attention of the whole class while
individuals are responding.
Accountability occurs when the teacher lets
students know that their performance will be
observed and evaluated in some manner.
High-participation formats are lessons that
program the behavior of students when they
are not directly involved in answering a
teachers question.

Common Problems in Conducting Instruction

Transitions is the interval between any two
activities. Problems include long delays, which
can attribute to high levels of inappropriate or
disruptive behavior.
Clarity involves stating goals or major
objectives and making sure that students know

what they are accountable for knowing or

doing; carefully outlining a lesson sequence,
moving from simpler to more complex ideas;
providing instruction both orally and in writing;
checking understanding by asking specific
questions or obtaining work samples; and
providing for meaningful practice and feedback
through class work or homework assignments
that review all lessons skills and content.

Checklist Planning for Instruction

__ What are the most important concepts or skills to be
__ What kind of learning is your goal (memorization,
application, appreciation)? Have you communicated this to
__ What learning style is targeted by this lesson? Are you
__ Are there difficult works of concepts that need extra
__ How will you help students make connections to previous
__ What activities will you plan to create interest in the
__ How will you make transitions between activities?
__ What materials will be needed? Will students need to
__ What procedures will students need to know to complete
__ How much time will you allocate for the lesson? For
__ If activities require that students work together, how will

groups be formed? How will you encourage productive

__ What examples and questioning strategies will you use?
Prepare a list of examples for explanations and list higherorder
__ How will you know during and after the lesson what
__ What are some presentation alternatives if students have
__ Are there extra- or special-help students?
__ How will you make sure that all students participate?
__ How will you adjust the lesson if time is too short or too
__ What kind of product, if any, will you expect from
__ What will students do when they finish?
__ How will you evaluate students work and give them
__ How will students use the concepts you presented in
future lessons?

VI. Managing Cooperative Learning Groups

Strategies and Routines That Support Cooperative
Room arrangement, talk and movement procedures, group
attention signals, promoting interdependence within the
Effective Group Work Skills

Social Skills/ Explaining Skills/ Leadership

Active listening includes listening to others without
interrupting, being able to summarize others ideas,
incorporating them into the discussion, and using them
constructively in completing the groups assignment.

Beginning the Use of Cooperative Learning Groups

Room Arrangement/Procedures and Routines/Forming
Groups/Initial Group Tasks/Teaching Group Skills/Student
Goals and Participation/Using Group and Individual

Checklist Planning



Room Arrangement
How will student seating be arranged?
How will individual and group materials and
supplies be stored?

Routines and Expectations

What are your expectations for student
movement to, from, and during group work?
What expectations about talking will you
communicate to students?
What group attention signals will be used?


Will students have specific roles?

Do any group skills have to be discussed,
modeled, or practiced?





Will group work have individual products,

group products, or both?
How will individual





How will you monitor student behavior and

work during group activities?
How will students receive feedback about
individual and group performance?
How will students receive feedback about their
behavior in groups?

Group Skills That Must Be Discussed, Modeled, or

Social skills?
Explaining skills?
Leadership skills?




Monitoring Student Behavior during whole

group presentations, small group instruction,
individual work, by moving around the room,
during cooperative group work, and monitor
completion of assignments.
o Consistency
Management of Inappropriate Behavior-Make
eye contact or move closer to student. Use a
signal, such as finger to the lips or a head
shake, to prompt the appropriate behavior.
Monitor until the student complies. Provide a
simple reminder of the correct procedure by
either stating the procedure or asking the
student to recite the procedure. Redirect
student to a task if he is off-task. Ask student
to stop misbehavior.
o Building a Positive Climate-Use
o Improving Class Climate Through
Incentives and Rewards

VIII. Communication Skills for Teaching

Constructive Assertiveness-Describe your
concerns clearly, insist that misbehavior be

corrected, and





Empathic Responding-Listen to the students

perspective and react in ways that maintain a
positive relationship and encourage further
Problem Solving-Includes several steps for
reaching mutually satisfactory resolutions to
problems; it requires working with the student
to develop the plan.

IX. Managing Problem Behaviors

Management Strategies
Minor Interventions- Use nonverbal cues, get
the activity going, use proximity, use group
focus, redirect behavior, provide needed
instruction, issue a brief desist, give the
student choices.
Moderate Interventions- Withhold a privilege
or desired activity, isolate or remove student,
use penalty, assign detention, use a schoolbased consequence.
More Extensive Interventions- Use problem
solving, use five-step intervention procedure,
use think time strategy, use the Reality

Therapy Model, confer with parent, create an

individual contract with the student.
Special Problems- Bullying, tattling, rudeness
toward teacher, chronic avoidance of work,
fighting, power struggles.
Final Reminder- Think and act positively,
dont personalize.

X. Managing Special Groups

Strategies for Individual Differences Team Teaching-coordination of schedules,
transitional routines, reminding students what
they are supposed to take with them, rules and
procedures, maintaining responsibility for
Modifying Whole-Class Instruction-Interactive
instruction, seating arrangement, directions,
and assignments.
Supplementary Instruction-Coordinating times
with other teachers, staying on schedule,
having something for drop-in students to do
while waiting for instruction, getting returning
students involved again, activities when
supplementary instruction is not held, in-class
aides, content mastery classroom, and

Individualized Instruction-Cooperative groups,

peer tutoring.
o Working with
Special Needs
o Teaching




o Teaching
Taken from Classroom Management for Elementary
Teachers, Seventh Edition, Carolyn M. Evertson, Edmund T.
Emmer, and Murray E. Worsham, Pearson Education,
Boston, 2006.