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Effective Classroom Management. Classroom management is possibly the most important challenge facing beginning teachers.

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Classroom management is possibly the most important challenge facing beginning teachers.

  • A new teacher’s reputation among colleagues, school authorities, and students will be influenced by his or her ability to perform the managerial functions of teaching, particularly creating an orderly learning environment and dealing with student behavior.

Effective teachers have a repertoire of management strategies to be used as situations dictate.

research by kounin j s
Research by Kounin, J.S.

The most interesting result that stems from all this research is that good classroom managers actually prevent problemsfrom occurring through the way they plan for and pace their lessons and the means they use to nip misbehavior in the bud.

independent variables
Independent Variables
  • Kounin conceptualized eight different variables for describing the group management behavior of teachers.
  • “With-itness” The ability to accurately spot deviant behavior, almost before it starts.
  • “Overlappingness” The ability to spot and deal with deviant behavior while going right on with the lesson.
  • Smoothness Absence of behaviors that interrupt the flow of activities

Momentum. Absence of behaviors that slow down lesson pacing.

  • Group alerting. Techniques used by teachers to keep noninvolved students attending and forewarned of forthcoming events.
  • Accountability. Techniques used by teachers to keep students accountable for their performance.
Challenge arousal. Techniques used by teachers to keep students involved and enthusiastic.
  • Variety. The degree to which various aspects of lessons differed.
classroom management
Classroom Management
  • When effective classroom managers are compared to ineffective classroom managers, the following teacher behaviors were observed:
  • The more effective classroom managers had procedures that governed student talk, participation, and movement; turning in work, and what to do during downtime.

Laboratory and group activities in the effective manager’s classrooms ran smoothly and efficiently. Instructions were clear, and student misbehavior was handled quickly.

  • Effective managers had very clear work requirements for students and monitored student progress carefully.
  • Effective managers gave clear presentations and explanations, and their directions about note taking were explicit.
child centered traditions
Child-Centered Traditions
  • The child centered perspective on classroom management views that the chief source of the problem asirrelevant curricula and overemphasis on quietude and uniformity of posture and movement; upon a machine-like simulation of the attitudes of intelligent interest. The teachers’ business is to hold pupils up to these requirements and to punish the inevitable deviations which occur (Dewey in Kohn, 1996, p.7).

Classroom Management


Preventative management is the perspective that many classroom problems can be solved through good planning, interesting and relevant lessons, and effective teaching.

Establishing Rules and Procedures
    • Classrooms, in some ways, are similar to busy airports or busy intersections. They, too, require rules and procedures to govern important activities.
Rules are statements that specify the things students are expected to do and not do. Normally, rules are written down, made clear to students, and kept to a minimum.
  • Procedures, on the other hand, are the ways of getting work and other activity accomplished.
Procedures are seldom written down, but effective classroom managers spend considerable time teaching procedures to students in the same way they teach academic matter.
    • Student movement, student talk, and what to do with the downtime are among the most important activities that require rules to govern behavior and procedures to make work flow efficiently
Student rules and procedures are of little value unless participants learn and accept them. This requires active teaching.
      • See page 187 for sample rules
  • Maintain Consistency
    • Effective classroom managers are consistent in their enforcement of rules and their application of procedures.
It is sometimes difficult for beginning teachers to establish consistency for at least two reasons.
    • 1. Rule breaking normally occurs when more than one event is going on simultaneously. A novice teacher cannot always maintain total awareness of the complex classroom environment and thus does not always see what is occurring.
2. Many beginning teachers find it easier and less threatening to ignore certain student behavior rather than to confront and deal with it.
  • Experienced teachers know that avoiding a difficult situation only leads to more problems later.
Another dimension of preventative classroom management involves pacing instructional events and maintaining appropriate momentum. Keep lesson going in a smooth fashion.
  • Dangleis starting an activity and leaving it in midair.
Teachers also slow down lessons by doing what Kounin labeled flip-flops. A flip-flop occurs when an activity is started and then stopped while another is begun and then the original is started again.
  • Dangles and flip-flops interfere with the smoothness of classroom activities, cause confusion on the part of the students, and most important, present opportunities for noninvolved students to misbehave.
Fragmentation and over dwelling are two frequent types of lesson slow-down behaviors.
    • Fragmentation occurs when a teacher breaks activities into overly small units. The teacher can be guilty of not making a complete sentence when giving instructions.
    • Over dwelling occurs when a teacher goes on and on after instructions are clear to the students.
orchestrating classroom activities during unstable periods
Orchestrating Classroom Activities during Unstable Periods
  • Opening Class. The beginning of class is an unstable time. Students are coming from other settings (home) where a different set of behavioral norms apply.
  • The beginning of class is also a time in most schools in which several administrative tasks are required of teachers, such as taking roll, lunch count, and making announcements.
  • Citing research of Gump (1967, 1982) and Rosenshine (1980), Doyle (1986) said that “approximately 31 major transitions occur per day in elementary classrooms and they account for 15% of class time.”
  • It is during transition periods when many disruptions occur.
Cuing and signaling systems are used by effective teachers to manage difficult transitions periods.
  • Think of cuing as an alerting device similar to the yellow light on a traffic signal or the “slow” sign on a curving road.
  • Cues are used by teachers to alert students that they are about to change activities or tasks and to start getting ready.
    • See figure 5.2 on pages 192 and 193
The closing of class is also an unstable time in most classrooms.
  • Effective teachers anticipate the potential management problems associated with closing class.
    • Leave sufficient time to complete important closing activities.
    • Assign homework early enough so that confusion can be cleared up before the last minute.
Establishing routine procedures for collecting student work so class time will not have to be used for this activity.
  • Using alerting and cuing procedures to give students warning that the end of the class is approaching and certain tasks need to be completed before they leave.
  • Teaching older students that class will be dismissed by the teacher, not by the school bell or buzzer.
developing student accountability
Developing Student Accountability
  • An additional dimension of classroom management involves rules and procedures for managing and holding students accountable for their work.
Have procedures for monitoring student work.
  • Communicate assignments clearly and specify work requirements.
  • Be consistent in checking students’ completed work.
  • Provide appropriate feedback on assignments.
the causes of misbehavior
The Causes of Misbehavior
  • Students find schoolwork boring and irrelevant and try to escape it
  • Students’ out of school lives (family and community) produce psychological and emotional problems that they play out in school.
3. Students are imprisoned within schools that have authoritarian dispositions, which causes them to rebel.

4. Student rebelliousness and attention seeking are a part of the growing up process.

using rewards
Using Rewards
  • When certain behaviors are reinforced, they tend to be repeated.
  • Behaviors that are not reinforced tend to decrease or disappear.
The key to using reinforcement principles to influence student behavior obviously rests on the teacher’s ability to:
    • identify desirable behaviors
    • identify appropriate reinforcers and
    • skillfully use these reinforcers to strengthen and encourage desired behaviors.
Praise: The reinforcer most readily available to the classroom teacher.
    • Effective praise is specific
    • Attends to students accomplishments
    • Helps students appreciate their accomplishments
    • Attributes success to effort and ability
    • Focuses attention on task related behavior.
Rewards and Privileges
    • Teachers can also encourage desirable behaviors through granting rewards and privileges to students.
        • Points for certain kinds of work or behavior that can enhance a student’s grade
        • Symbols such as gold stars, happy faces, or certificates of accomplishment
        • Special honor rolls for academic work and social conduct
    • at the command of most teachers to bestow include:
      • Serving as class leader or helper; collects or passes out graded papers
      • Extra time for recess
      • Special time to work on a special individual project
      • Being excused from some required work
      • Free reading time
(Rewards and privileges will not solve all classroom management problems.)
  • Effective teachers usually involve their students in identify rewards and privileges in order to ensure their effectiveness.
Coercive Punishment and Penalties
      • Rewards and privileges are used to reinforce and strengthen desirable behaviors.
      • Punishment and penalties are used to discourage infractions of important rules and procedures.
Socially acceptable punishments and penalties available to teachers are:
    • Taking points away for misbehavior that, in turn, affects students’ grades
    • Making the student stay in from recess or after school detention
    • Expelling from class or send a student to a counselor or administrator
classroom management programs
Classroom Management Programs
  • Assertive Discipline
    • The Canter’s program maintains that teachers can gain control of their classrooms by insisting on appropriate student behavior and by responding assertively to student infractions.
Consequences for disobedience are clearly specified. (simple, will not cause serious disruption in the instructional program)
  • Students and their parents are given clear explanations of these rules, and the consequences for infractions are explained.