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Ms. Darken's Classroom Management Plan

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Juliet Darken

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Ms. Darken's Classroom Management Plan

Culturally Responsive, Constructivist, Circle of Courage Oriented
Ms. Darken's Classroom
Management Plan

Class Principles
These principles will guide the class in creating a unique set of expectations for specific situations: cell phone possession/use; bathroom, locker or other out-of-classroom visits; individual work, whole class discussion, small group work; the kinds of language and actions we will accept or ban. The class will be asked how they would prefer these situations to be handled (what they need from themselves, from me, and from other students) and reach democratic agreement.

Trust and accept that Ms. Darken has your best interests in mind and cares about your learning, thoughts, opinions, and concerns
Look out for your safety as well as the safety of the class
Ask questions, voice concerns, and speak with sincerity
Treat your classmates as teammates and/or family members whom you support and empathize with
Show respect for education by participating in class and listening when others speak
Daily Protocol
When students enter class, they will
1. Check the board for announcements and agenda
2. Turn any homework in at Ms. Darken's desk
3. Get out reader's journal, pen or pencil, paper or notebook, folder or binder for this class,
4. Begin "do now" if there is one on the board
5. Class share time (like "I'm In" and similar to what I've seen done in foreign language classes: a sentence or two about your day/week by volunteers at the beginning of class - as many may share as would like - or a quick written or visual (drawn) share)
^ Classroom Visualization ^
Physical Environment
During class
Move into groups quickly, taking only what you need with you
Collect group work and turn in if asked
At the end of class
Make sure the class is aware of what is to be done for homework
The classroom is arranged in pods with tables (6 students to each pod. There will be at least one table off to the side or at the back of the room as a quiet, take-a-break space. I will need storage space for supplies and books. I will put content-related artwork or posters on the walls, the students' totems will be hung up, and I will rotate culturally-responsive artwork and art objects. There will be some plants (easy to care for) and hopefully a couple of windows. I would also like to put colorful rugs on the floors
Preventive Behavior Management and Motivation Techniques
For the Whole Class
Power Animals:
The students will create animal totems for themselves. The purpose of this is self-examination in order to set academic and behavioral goals, as well as a vehicle for getting to know each other. Ms. Darken and the students' classmates will hold each other to the standards they set for themselves and encourage each other to act as their highest selves and/or to discover what his or her highest self would be like.

They will choose one or two animals to represent themselves based on its biological, symbolic, spiritual, and/or traditional, folkloric, or legendary aspects. They will see my example and hear about why I chose mine. We will talk about the Native American idea of nine totem animals, but just choose one or two that will apply to classroom/school life. Students will choose animal(s) that represent their highest selves or the qualities they'd like to develop or improve in themselves. Each class member will share his/her chosen animal(s) with the class and talk about the reasoning and feelings behind the decision. They will be given information by me (excerpts of books and cards that I will share with them are included in my email to Fran with some examples to the right) to help them choose.
Collaboration and Speaking/Listening Skills:
These skills will be practiced and regularly scored/assessed. This means speaking up in class discussion, leading discussion on your assigned date, regulating your amount of contribution (if you have been doing all the talking, keep quiet for a minute to give someone else a chance; point out when you see someone who wants to share whom others have not noticed; if you have been quiet, think about what you'd like to say, perhaps write it down, and make sure you speak at least once), and being able to share the work in small-group activities.
"Power Points":
Those who demonstrate exemplary qualities of leadership in class by displaying mastery of content, generosity of spirit, the ability to provide others with a sense of belonging, or acting responsibly with self-discipline will be recognized verbally or in writing and given "power points" The power points will be considered extra credit for individual students and the whole class' accumulated points will go toward a reward; the class will vote on a trip to a relevant play, movie, or art show, a food party of some kind with a relevant film to watch, or "choose a topic day" (credit goes to Arnie Perez for that option).
For Individuals

Weekly Dialogue:
Written, visual, or verbal communication with students. The students will write in response to a prompt, for example, "how have you felt in class this week" or "what conflicts are you experiencing - what questions or concerns do you have?" They should also be asked to share what they have liked about class, and what they would like to do more of. These can be done as "exit tickets," collected by Ms. Darken who will respond in writing, visually, or ask to meet with students privately to discuss their responses.

Surveys at Class Start, Midterm, and Class End:
At class start find out what interests them, and what strengths or weaknesses they have (survey attached to email to Fran) so that I can try to motivate students in this way, know how I could differentiate instruction (the response will be written in narrative form so that I can assess preexisting writing skills), and/or alter my lesson plans based on the needs of the class. At midterm I will ask how it's all going, and ask them to assess the class at the end.
Levels of Consequences
1. Verbal or non-verbal (eye contact, proximity, tap on desk, respectful hand gesture) reminder. This may refer to a class expectation ("Are you following _______ expectation right now? ...So how will you take care of that?") or refer to a student's totem ("Alex, I need you to keep tiger-like focus on the speaker now").

2. Tell a student to take a breather or break at the designated table. This is where the class totems will be hung for visual reminder of what they should be striving for and the thoughts they had earlier about how to overcome challenges with their particular strengths. Students can return to their seat when ready.

3. Ask the student to accompany you to the hall because you need to talk to him/her. Find out what is going on and reach an agreement about how the situation will change once you return to class. If there is no time to address the issue immediately, the student can take a break until you are able. It can be addressed after class or at a later time as a last resort. Make it clear to the rest of the class that this student is not in trouble and that they must retain their respect for him and for you by allowing you both to communicate and staying out of the conversation.

4. If the student refuses to talk you, take a break at the table (or in the hall if this is where she is more comfortable), or if the offense is quite serious or dangerous, send her to the office or whatever external place the school has set up for this purpose (perhaps a reflection room before the office). Be careful to know the student and find out what she needs - perhaps the situation could be bettered after she is allowed a short, quiet walk in the hall with a pass, a trip to get a drink of water or go the bathroom, or a visit to an adult she feels she can talk to.
1. Meetings
Meet with the student to discuss the issue. Talk about what is going on and create a plan together for how you will deal with it. You could offer a meaningful reward for changed behavior (if the student does not like to eat lunch in the cafeteria, she can eat in your classroom - perhaps with a friend), alter an assignment (allow the student to personalize a project, or create a visual or performance-based component of a paper so that the actual essay is shorter) or decide to start peer mediation with other students with whom she is in conflict. Simply ask the student what she needs because what's going on is not working for either of you.
2. Hold Student to Your Agreement
If She will not comply, you can meet again, bringing in parents, a guidance counselor, the principal, or whoever is available at the school who you think would be able to help. If your agreement included the with-holding of a reward or a consequence for failing to change the behavior, you must follow it.
Guidelines for Meetings:
When you meet - in either stage - find out if the behavior is fueled by any of the following to guide your response and further plan of action (these are from the Ithaca City School District website - a circle of courage district).
Revenge by a child who feels rejection
Frustration in response to failure
Rebellion to counter powerlessness
Exploitation in pursuit of selfish goals
Implementation Plan
The student survey will be filled out on the first day. Students will then share their responses in small groups, shuffle, and share again. I will collect the surveys. Then I will present information on animal totems/power animals, show them my example, provide resources to help them choose, and allow them to work on this individually, with partners, or small groups and move to any spot in the room or in the library to work.

On the second day, I will present my guiding principles for the class and ask them to generate specific expectations from these principles. I will also discuss my consequences with them and see if they can agree or if they have other suggestions for what would work better for them. I will then present information about "power points" and they can decide on a reward they would like and how they would like to be informed of their progress toward it (poster, announcements?)

We will then begin our coursework and they will have until the first Friday to present their animal totems (2- or 3-dimensional artwork/collage with student-written attributes and goals.) They will each tell the class why they chose their animal(s) and how those animals' characteristics and symbolic meanings will guide their participation and achievement in class. They will state their personal goals for the class and we will play some sort of appropriate music to make the hanging or displaying of each totem seem ceremonial.

I will document all of the student-generated expectations and have each student sign it as a commitment to the class and to their "rules." A copy that includes all the signatures will be given to each student later and I will post one in the room.
Part of the dialogue in introducing this concept will include the statement from me that in my high school English literature class we will discuss works that contain touchy subjects that will make us uncomfortable: oppression, racism, sexism and sexuality, abuse, tragedy. We need to create an atmosphere of openness and understanding in order to be able to talk about our reactions and thoughts in response to these concepts. We will also discuss the fact that every student has a vital role in my classroom, just as every organism in nature has a place in the balance - no one is more or less important than another and things will work best when we work together for a common goal using our individual strengths and helping each other with the things that we find challenging
Class Meetings:
As part of my democratic leadership style, hoping to give students a "voice" in the classroom, we will hold weekly class meetings. I can bring up issues I have with their behavior or performance, and they can bring up any concerns or questions they have that they want to discuss with the whole class (instead of privately with me and/or another student). They will understand that I desire and value their input and that I will use it to make decisions that will best benefit their learning.
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