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Classroom Management

Gino Fragoso

Azusa Pacific University



This paper establishes several important aspects of a classroom management plan. The plan was

made incorporating current research from texts, class discussions, and field observations at a

third-grade elementary classroom in a public school. The paper is divided into three parts that

each cover the development and rationale behind the classroom management being described.

The first part of the paper will discuss behavioral expectations, classroom rules and procedures,

and grading policies. The second part of the paper will describe discipline and classroom layout.

The third portion of this paper will describe student engagement, positive peer interactions, and

how various learning styles will be supported. Conclusions suggest that the most important

aspects are having clear procedures, set expectations, consistency, and student engagement.

Classroom Management

This paper will discuss a hypothetical classroom and three aspects of classroom

management. By creating a plan for classroom management teachers will be able to ensure the

best learning environment for the students. This paper will focus on behavioral expectations in

the classroom. By having set expectations, the students will know how they are to behave in the

classroom in general. This paper will also focus on classroom rules and procedures that will

create a nurturing environment for all the students. It will discuss the aspects of a classroom

management plan that deal with discipline and the physical layout. By planning the layout and

discipline plan the teacher will be able to focus more on students’ academic goals rather than

actively managing the classroom. It will discuss how learners in my classroom will be engaged

through thorough lesson planning and use of learning strategies to support learners. The learning

environment is essential to this method of teaching because it has to be engaging without being

overwhelming to the various types of learners that will enter a classroom.

Expectations, Procedures, and Grading Policy

With the kind of environment that has set expectations and classroom procedures, the

students will be able to focus on learning. These two topics will blend into each other because

the procedures to be followed in the classroom are themselves, a large part of the behavioral

expectations along with the rules. The following portion of this paper will focus on establishing

grading policies for all students in the classroom.

By creating a set of expectations for the children, a teacher will be able to focus on

instruction rather than managing disruptive behavior. Wong, Wong, Jondahl, and Ferguson, write

that “the purpose of effective classroom management is to ensure that student engagement leads

to a productive working atmosphere” (2014, p. 6). The behavioral expectations and procedures

tie in together because as students are told how to carry out a task by explaining the procedures,

the expectation is that students will demonstrate their behavior by following those procedures. In

order to promote those expectations, the daily procedures should be posted and explained to the

class so that students learn what is expected of them and have a visual reminder of what they

need to do. A beginning of the day routine would give students the responsibility to begin a task

as soon as they enter the classroom which will promote a consistent routine and free time to

welcome the children into the classroom (Wong et al., 2014, p. 60). The important part of

creating these procedures is that they are always followed to provide a sense of consistency for

the students. In the third-grade classroom being observed, the teacher follows the same exit

procedure every day. The teacher ends with modeling writing the days homework in an agenda

identical to the one used by the students and has established a procedure which allows the

students who finish writing their agenda the freedom to stand and collect their homework from

the same location everyday and then sit at the carpet where they are free to talk quietly to a

classmate until the majority of the class is finished and the teacher uses the group time to review

what they learned and what will be covered the next day.

On the first day of school the classroom management plan should have a time set aside to

discuss rules and expectations. “There is no better way to begin this process than by referring to

the conduct and work rules that you have either posted for all to see or provided as a handout”

(Borich, 2017, p. 93). These rules can be as simple as an acronym such as L. E. A. R. N., which

stands for; Listen to your teacher, everyone deserves respect, always follow directions, raise your

hand to speak, and never give up. By having posted rules which are short, simple, and tied to an

acronym, the students will be able to remember them more clearly than if there was a longer list

of rules. These rules address how student to student interactions should take place by having the

rule that everyone deserves respect. The teacher could then open each rule or letter up for

discussion and explain that showing respect means listening to their words and trying to

understand their point of view. These rules also cover how the students are supposed to interact

with the teacher. By having the students raise their hands instead of shouting out, the teacher can

maintain better control of the classroom because although many students may have a question,

by answering the students who raise their hands the teacher can maintain control of the

classroom and keep the volume level low. This would also take up less instructional time

because each student can hear the question and if they had the same question they can pay

attention to the answer and not feel the need to ask again. When students are seen following the

rules, they should receive specific praise which highlights the expected behavior (Hill & Miller,

2013, p. 47). This targeted praise will aid the teacher when they “want to teach a new behavior or

make an existing behavior occur more frequently” (Borich, 2017, p. 105). By constantly

targeting praise to be specific and quick the teacher sets up an environment where students are

not scolded for misbehaving but praised for behaving and creates a positive environment which

leads to a positive view of learning. Hill and Miller emphasized that feedback should be provided

“appropriately in time to meet students’ needs” (2013, p. 31). This feedback isn’t just tied to

grades and assessment but to procedures which are expected to be followed by everyone.

Some common procedures which may require a plan include bathroom breaks, entering

and exiting the classroom, finishing work early, and even taking attendance. The bathroom

procedure could be as simple as a white board with two spaces. Students who need to use the

restroom should take a color-coded lanyard and the students should write their name on the

board, so the teacher knows who is in the restroom and the students know they cannot ask if

someone is already using the facilities (Kronowitz, 2012, p. 117). By using the color-coded

lanyard students will know which restroom is occupied and if they can even ask to go. When

entering the classroom students should hang their backpacks outside the classroom and bring in

their lunches and homework. Similar to the classroom being observed, those students place their

finished homework in a specific bin and their lunches go to the back of the room. When exiting

the classroom students should be in the habit of being dismissed by the teacher and not by the

bell. This would keep the teacher in control of the classroom regardless of bells. The procedure

to exit would be that students will wait to be called to exit and they should stand quietly, push in

their chairs, and walk out of the classroom. Students who finish work early should be given a

choice of a task such as reading their library book or continuing an ongoing project. When taking

attendance, the teacher can allow the students to read their books quietly and explain that they

need to respond when their name is called. To prevent singling out students with similar names,

the teacher can call each name using the first name and last name initial.

Grading policy is a more difficult subject to tackle because it requires the teacher to

determine how a lesson is to be assessed and how the assessments may change depending on the

child. A student with a low achievement level could be encouraged to try harder by using a

technique described by Hill and Miller. Hill and Miller recommend creating a checklist that the

students can use to keep track of their own effort on an assignment (2013, p. 42). This strategy

will help students understand why a grade on assignment was low. It could also help English

learners by demonstrating to the teacher the effort they put in an assignment and if they did not

reach the academic goal then the teacher will know that the expectations are too high. Another

grading policy in the classroom should include changes which can be made to the types of ways

students may be assessed. For example, Hill and Miller write that changes can be made for

“English language learners by reducing the linguistic complexity and adding pictures” (2013, p.

40). Grading policy can also apply to the methods used to assess a student’s knowledge. If a

student has a learning style that is introverted then assessing with a group presentation may be

difficult for them, so a lone shorter presentation could be allowed.


Discipline and Layout

The policies and procedures portion of this paper will focus on discipline, consequences,

and conflict resolution. It will also focus on the part of a safe learning environment as it relates to

the layout of the classroom. Traffic flow will be affected by the layout of the classroom. This

portion of the paper will delve into the location of instructional items, individual needs of

students, and other details. By planning the layout and discipline plan the teacher will be able to

focus more on students’ academic goals rather than actively managing the classroom.

The primary reason why having a set of procedures would be beneficial in a classroom is

that when students misbehave they are well aware as to what the consequence is going to be. It is

also important because parents and guardians need to be made aware of these policies so that

they can know what is expected of their children at school. Progressive discipline refers to the

escalating consequences a student may face. In the classroom being observed the teacher has

used as consequences, the loss of recess time, being sent out of the classroom for a few minutes,

and talking to the parents of the child (observation, September 2018). These consequences have

been observed after several verbal warnings. Only the student who was sent outside with a class

aid was told that after three warnings he would be excused from the classroom for a few minutes

(observation, September 2018). In an ideal classroom the students would know what each

warning lead to and there would be a consistent application of consequences. Wong, Wong,

Jondahl, and Ferguson, write that the most used discipline methods would be those that “can

disrupt the flow of a lesson and others’ engagement in a work if left unchecked” (2014, p. 109).

Examples of these disruptions would include talking during a lesson, laughing, passing notes,

inattentiveness, and many other seemingly minor disruptions. “Skilled classroom managers are

alert not only to changes in the group’s motivational or attention level but also to changes in

specific individuals, which may be noticed as soon as they enter class” (Borich, 2017, p. 110).

By getting to know one’s students, teachers will be able to better curve these behaviors with

strategies such as eye contact, name calling, and peer recognition. Peer recognition would be

when a teacher calls out a student and affirms the positive behavior so the student who was

actually being targeted can continue to be quiet, on task, or whatever they need to be focusing

on. Discipline, however, requires consequences that the students should be made aware of.

Consequences apply to all aspects of the classroom. These consequences need to be made clear

to all students including English language learners (ELL) by communicating with the students

and families what the consequences would be for not turning in their homework (Hill & Miller,

2013, p. 119). The list of consequences also helps any substitute teacher that enters the

classroom because they will know what the students are used to so as not to come off as too

harsh or lenient (Wong et al., 2014, p. 43). The progressive consequences in the classroom this

paper discusses would be two verbal warnings followed by a consequence. The consequence

would be communicated to the student verbally or with a small note on the second warning.

Consequences would vary but follow a list of options which would include the loss of recess

time escalating in five-minute intervals, a note home, time out, removal from the classroom, and

detention. These consequences would be discussed with other staff members to ensure that

school policies are also being followed. If the school already had a policy for progressive

discipline, then it would either be followed or slightly modified to fit the needs of the classroom.

If a disruptive behavior continues, the classroom would follow tier 2 positive intervention, which

target the unique needs of the students and include strategies such as skill training and role

playing (Borich, 2017, p. 107). Should interpersonal conflicts arise a procedure should be in

place which would resolve the conflict for all affected parties in the fairest way possible. Borich

lists a six-step approach; agree there is a problem, state the conflict, identify and select

responses, create a solution, design and implement a plan, assess the success of the plan (2017, p.

74). By involving the students in the resolution, the students will be able to better learn from

what occurred and try to prevent it from happening. Taking the time to help students solve a

conflict also demonstrates to the students that their teachers care and are invested not only in

their academic success but their personal success. As a classroom has a list of set expectations

so too must the classroom be set up for success physically.

A layout of a classroom is important because it will decide the student groupings,

locations of materials, and needs of individual students. Classrooms can contain a clock, filling

cabinets, shelves, and many other items. “What may be more important […] is the way the

internal features of your classroom (desks, chairs, tables) are arranged” (Borich, 2017, p. 79).

The first thing that has to be decided is desk arrangement. The method chosen to arrange the

student desks will affect the flow of traffic around a classroom. While there are classroom that

have groups of desks which promote cooperative learning, the classroom being observed has a

unique desk arrangement in which most of the desks are facing forward in pairs and a few pairs

on the outside of the classroom have their desks facing the center also in pairs (observation,

September 2018). Having an effective classroom environment will take time because the teacher

will need to get to know the students before the most disruptive students are separated from each

other. Therefore, the initial layout of the classroom should be changeable and adaptable to the

students. A classroom management plan will have procedures for turning in homework or

picking up items. Just as important is where these locations are. If they are placed at the door of a

classroom it could create a crowd of students which could lead to conflict or disruption. The

classroom being observed has their tray for turning in homework by the front door, the reason it

works there is that the teacher has already set the expectation that students take out their

homework outside the classroom so that they may place it in the tray as they walk in

(observation, September 2018). By having the tray at the front of the door, students are less

likely to forget to turn in their homework. Instructional items would be placed and labeled

around the classroom so that students always know where to get it and where to put it back.

Students can practice putting things in the proper location by taking notecards and placing them

in the written location (Wong et al., 2014, p. 89). Items not common to lesson would be placed in

less accessible locations while items which are commonly used should be placed in easily

accessible locations. Another strategy observed in the classroom is a tray of already sharpened

pencils next to a tray of unsharpened pencils (observation, September 2018). This allows

students to get a sharpened pencil without having to disrupt the classroom with a loud pencil

sharpener. Needs of individual students also need to be met. Should a student have a mobility

impairment, the classroom should be arranged so that a wheelchair or walker is able to reach any

location in the classroom. On several occasions’ students have been observed walking in tired

and slow, in these instances the teacher makes use of a quiet area where the student can rest until

they feel ready to join the class or the teacher calls the student to return (observation, September

2018). The teacher has chosen to allow the student to rest and be alert for the next lesson instead

of having to manage an inattentive student all day.

Another issue that needs to be addressed in the classroom is policies regarding

intolerance and harassment. These would be actions done by a student that require immediate

attention on behalf of the teacher and the parents or guardians. An example of an action that is

not tolerated would be bullying. Bullying can have many different forms but is usually

consistent. Borich writes, “because bullying has become such a persistent problem and is noted

to be on the rise, you are often the ‘first responder’ to address this problem with a teacher-family

conference” (2017, p. 121). With an issue as bullying or harassment there should be a procedure

in place to notify parents of the issue and come to a resolution. It would be up to the teacher and

family to decide if the student should be present for the discussion. In the classroom, the student

would be present for the resolution strategy and would follow the same six steps from the

conflict resolution strategy. Depending on the site or school policies and severity the principal or

vice principal should be notified. By having set strategies for even the gravest of situations a

teacher will be ready to create a safe learning environment and keep families appraised of the

expectations and progress of the utilized strategies.

The procedures followed in a classroom serve to make it a better environment for

learning. Having clear expectations also requires consequences and methods for helping students

follow those procedures. The layout of the classroom is also important because it will set up the

learning environment for the student and the daily environment for the teacher. Having a plan for

most contingencies will take pressure off the teacher. The teacher also has to feel capable of

success in their environment to be a model for the students. When larger issues arise, the teacher

should also be ready to deal with them.

Engagement and Learning Strategies

This final portion of the paper will discuss how I will create a learning environment

which encourages positive peer interactions, culture, diversity, and productive student learning.

The paper will then explain how various learning styles will be supported with evidence from

literature on proven methods. By taking advantage of various learning styles, the students will be

able to scaffold their learning through different methods which will ensure the absorption of


Lesson plans all basically follow a three-step process; I do, you do, we do. In the “I do”

portion of the lesson plan, teachers must first engage their students. There are many strategies to

engage the students in a lesson and they all vary in their effectiveness depending on the type of

lesson being taught. To engage all the students in a classroom there has to be an environment of

positive learning that is established. This is where procedures come in. Wong (2014, p. 20),

writes that teachers should have an assignment prepared as the students walk into the classroom

on the first day of school. This establishes a routine for the students, and the expectation that as

soon as school begins they are going to work and learn. The assignment in my classroom would

be something easy that all learners can complete. For a possible third grade classroom, the

student assignment would be a fill in the table worksheet where the students have the room to

write about their families, hobbies, and preferences in as great or little detail as they are able to.

To promote a culturally diverse environment the assignment would be translated into different

languages, so the students can write about themselves as they feel most comfortable. Learning

strategies that would go well with the largest number of students would be utilized. For example,

if a student was in the classroom who learned musically, then music can be played during the

lesson so that the student is able to focus on the lesson and then the same song can be played

during an evaluation portion of a lesson. Music can also be incorporated into lessons by changing

the words to commonly known songs which can help the students memorize facts in a way that

engages all learners. Just because a strategy is beneficial or required for one student does not

mean that the strategy won’t benefit all the students. In my classroom I will promote cooperative

learning which has students learn together and creates an authoritarian classroom environment in

which I am the leader, but the students are able to share their opinions and give feedback.

“Classrooms that emphasize cooperative learning motivate all children to engage in learning

activities” (Borich, 2017, p. 104). Cooperative learning in my classroom will make all the

students responsible for their own and others success. In order for the class to be an environment

that promotes learning procedures must be followed.

To ensure a productive classroom there must be a lot of thought that goes into not just the

lesson plans but the procedures which will allow the classroom to be more productive. Wong

(2014) emphasized in his book that procedures must be “taught, rehearsed, and reinforced until

they become routines” (p. 17). By having procedures become routine the students will know

what is expected of them and the teacher will be able to be more productive with the lesson.

“Consistency streamlines the classroom and allows for maximum use of instructional time”

(Wong, 2014, p. 16). Consistency not only applies to the procedures of the students, but the

schedule of the classroom and the expectations set by the teacher. Having an agenda is a great

technique because it allows students to have set expectations of what is going to happen that day.

Students will know that a consistent class schedule allows room for different kinds of activities

while allowing the students the respect of telling them what is going to happen in their day. I

will have an agenda posted of the lessons that will take place that day and the students will be

able to write down what is going to happen while preparing themselves for the lesson. This will

allow the students to scaffold on their own a little instead of being thrust into a lesson they were

not expecting.

To promote diversity in the classroom there must first be an atmosphere of respect so that

the students can feel safe in sharing their culture. “The effective teacher not only uses a variety

of teaching strategies but also creates a variety of classroom climates” (Borich, 2017, p. 78).

Each lesson in the classroom will require a different climate at times. If I am to promote

exploration of materials before a science lesson as the engagement portion of the lesson, then the

classroom has to have an exploratory environment where it is safe to discuss ideas while

following safety procedures depending on the materials being utilized. If students are not used to

exploring materials on their own, then a lesson that opens with such an activity may fail to get

the learning across. One strategy suggested by Wong (2014), is the “STOP” strategy where after

using the regular classroom management techniques requires the teacher to write the word on the

board and cross out a letter each time they have to be reminded to focus, or get back on task (p.

151). This strategy is to be used as a last resort because if the students misbehave enough times

then the lesson is over, and the teacher must move on. This is where consistency and follow

through come into play. If the teacher sets an ultimatum to the classroom and does not follow

through, then the teacher will be regarded with less respect by the students. In my classroom I

plan to use this strategy as a last resort as well. Diversity will be promoted in the classroom by

having a set respectful environment where students can share their culture. I plan to find out as

much as I can about the culture of the students in the classroom to help scaffold lessons based on

their unique experiences. The climate of a classroom comes into play here because students must

feel free to recognize their own culture in a lesson and feel encouraged to share their own

experiences at the appropriate times during a lesson. For example, a lesson on California history

may touch on Hispanic culture and students of Hispanic decent may feel compelled to share what

they recognize in the culture. There must be room in each lesson for this, however, because not

just the students who find something in common can be engaged but other cultures can be

engaged with the flipping of the question and using it as a compare and contrast opportunity.

Students of all learning styles and perspectives must also be engaged in the lesson. If

there are students who are ELL in my classroom I must be ready to teach them as well. As

discussed above, lessons may have translations available and can be planned to be customizable

to specific students. Hill and Miller (2013), write that “students should have opportunities to use

graphic organizers, make physical models or use manipulatives, generate mental pictures, create

pictures, illustrations, and pictographs, [and] engage in kinesthetic activities” (p. 87). I plan to

use these strategies at different lessons in my classroom. These are learning strategies that must

be taught to the students so that they can know how to use them just as easily as they can follow

the set procedures. Borich (2017), also recommends that teachers “differentiate instruction by

adjusting the pace at which assignments are due, creating assignments and materials at graduated

levels of difficulty, and providing feedback tailored to an individual learner’s current level of

understanding” (p, 90). This customization in learning applies to all kinds of students. For

students of different genders, learning opportunities can be created by how pairs are selected

allowing at times for single sex pairs and mixed pairs at other times. This would allow the

students to tackle an assignment how they feel comfortable and at their own pace. Gifted

students will have opportunities to enhance their learning through pre planned activities that do

not punish students for finishing early but challenge them to learn more or relax as they choose.

ELL students can benefit from some of the same strategies which are used for students whom are

educationally disadvantaged and vice versa. “Cueing and questioning activates students’

background knowledge, helps them determine what they don’t yet know, and provides hints

about what’s coming next, all of which help students construct meaning around the content”

(Hill and Miller, 2013, p. 67). By frontloading students before a lesson, they are better able to

build upon previous knowledge and they can also be cued into what they will be learning and

focus on achieving that goal.


A full management plan cannot be developed to cope with every eventuality but by

having set expectations of all students, then those behavioral expectations can be easily met by

all the students regardless of differences. The most important aspect of the procedures and rules

is that little to no exceptions can be made. Consistency is key if the students are to be expected to

follow the procedures. Regarding grading policy, the focus should not be on changing how much

a student is expected to learn but by changing how a student is supported in their learning and

how students are assessed. Using different methods of assessment will allow the teacher to see

their student’s academic achievement and tailor the learning experiences so that all students can

achieve their goals. The procedures followed in a classroom serve to make it a better

environment for learning. Having clear expectations also requires consequences and methods for

helping students follow those procedures. The layout of the classroom is also important because

it will set up the learning environment for the student and the daily environment for the teacher.

Having a plan for most contingencies will take pressure off the teacher. The teacher also must

feel capable of success in their environment to be a model for the students. By using proven

strategies to engage all students in a classroom the teacher is ensuring that the students learn as

much as they are able to from each lesson. This can prove difficult because of the variety of

learning styles in a single classroom. The bonus comes in that all students benefit from using

various techniques. By creating a classroom that is safe for all students the students will feel

welcome to be themselves and share parts of their culture. For this to happen there must be

procedures in place which help students share and warn students who misbehave, that all

students are valued and deserve respect.



Borich, G. D. (2017). Effective teaching methods. New York: Pearson

Hill, J. D., & Miller, K. B. (2013). Classroom instruction that works with English language

learners. Denver, CA: McREL

Kronowitz, E. L. (2012). The teacher’s guide to success. New Jersey: Pearson.

Wong, H. K., Wong, R. T., Jondahl, S. F., & Ferguson, O. F. (2014). The classroom management

book. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc.