Classroom Management


A safe supportive classroom environment is an essential component in student success. To create this sense of order and and safety, classroom management is built on clear expectations, procedures, and a sense of respect between students (even when they don’t completely agree). I will always treat students with respect and I expect that they extend the same curtsy to each other. 

Classroom Rules
During the first weeks of school I spend time helping students understand our three classroom rules: Be SAFE, Be RESPECTFUL, and Be RESPONSIBLE. We walk through what this will look like in the classroom, the hallways, the cafeteria, the library... everywhere. I expect students to understand and demonstrate these three traits at all times. 

Procedures, Procedures, Procedures
Creating classroom that runs smoothly takes lots of hard work and practice. Even as 5th graders students need to be explicitly taught the expectations and need to practice. Therefore we spend lots of time in the first few weeks of school learning how to transition from activity to activity and what our work environment should look and sound like. This means almost every aspect of the day is broken down into steps, taught and modeled to students, and then practiced, and practiced and practiced some more. From coming in the door in the morning, to getting out and putting away materials, to lining up for lunch each part of the day has a specific set of steps that will help children understand what they should be doing. This investment of time early on helps students become more independent and allows us to have more productive work time throughout the year. 

Logical Consequences
When students break our classroom rules they need consequences are fair and consistent. My philosophy boils down to "make it right". Kids will make mistakes, the important thing is that those mistakes can be learned from. This means that consequences will be look different depending on the situation. Graffiti on a desk might result in a recess spent cleaning all the desk tops. Using the technology incorrectly (leaving it out, navigating away from school related sites) might result in a temporary loss. Choices that are hurtful or disrespectful to another person might result in an  apology of action. For example, Billy calls Susie an unkind name, so during recess he spends his time writing a list of Susie's positive attributes or an apology note. Depending on the severity and frequency of the problem consequences could also include calls home and/ or office referral.  On the occasions when a problem needs further attention or becomes repeated, I will contact parents and make them aware of the situation. Working together, we will determine the best course of action for your child.

Incentives for Good Behavior
Throughout the year students to work together to earn different rewards. This helps students see that they can work together to accomplish a goal. These rewards often in come in the form of a class game, extra free time, or special activity. Occasionally there may be times when I use individual incentives as well depending on the situation in the classroom. 

It's inevitable that students will have disagreements and times when they don't get along. It's how those issues are resolved that makes a huge difference to the classroom culture and environment. Here at Lena we have several ways for students to manage their interpersonal disagreements. By 5th grade these methods should be familiar to students, but will be reviewed at the beginning of the year and students will be provided with support to use them as needed. 

The DeBug System

The DeBug System is a method for managing problems with peers that is taught to all students at Lena Whitmore. It is a great way to help students deal with troublesome behaviors on their own. The steps in Debug include:

1.     Ignore

2.     Ask Nicely

3.     Use a Firm Voice

4.     Move away

5.     Get Help from an Adult 


Watch the 1 minute overview for more information. 

Peace Table 
If students have a interpersonal problem that they can't resolve on their own, they may ask or be asked to "peace table" with each other. In this conflict management  procedure. Students pass a "peace rock" back and forth while using "I" statements to communicate their feelings. ‚Äč

Counselor Assistance 
We are fortunate to have a great counselor here at Lena Whitmore. She is available to help students having friendship issues or with other social/ emotional issues on an as needed basis. Student have the opportunity to request to see Mrs. Raney whenever they feel they need more support with a problem. There may also be a times when as their teacher I will suggest they get some additional adult support. Parents can also contact Mrs. Raney directly with concerns by calling the school or using her website. See link below