Teachers are required to make a multitude of, what are often, instantaneous decisions in response to academic and behavioral needs and challenges throughout the day. A first step to preparing for implementing proactive classroom “management” practices is careful and thoughtful planning. One practical planning tool can be found with the online module developed by The IRIS Center, Developing Your own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan.
Proactive classroom “management” practices involve teacher behaviors that build a welcoming classroom climate to foster positive relationships, mutual respect, appropriate behavior, and optimal academic and social learning (Kerr & Valenti, 2009; Sprick, Knight, Reinke, & McKale, 2006). Effective practices are found throughout the research literature. In a recent review of the literature, Simonsen et al., (2008) identified five best practices for classroom management as: (a) maximize structure and predictability; (b) post, teach, review, monitor, and reinforce expectations; (c) actively engage students in observable ways; (d) use a continuum of strategies to acknowledge appropriate behavior; and (d) use a continuum of strategies to respond to inappropriate behaviors.
Implementing these best practices is often difficult (Sprick, Knight, Reinke, & McKale, 2006). Teachers are required to make a multitude of, what are often, instantaneous decisions in response to academic and behavioral needs and challenges throughout the day. A first step to preparing for implementing proactive classroom “management” practices is careful and thoughtful planning. One practical planning tool can be found with the online module developed by The IRIS Center, (broken link) Developing Your own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan(broken link) This resource provides guided learning through video modules, research, and practice with a step-by-step online template for creating a proactive classroom management plan. It is ideal for independent, teacher-team, or whole staff professional development.
A variety of additional resources is included for use by individual teachers, coaches, teacher teams, or for staff professional development. Consider collaborating with at least one other colleague to provide mutual support and feedback to one another as you explore and select resources to plan for the new school year.
- IES Practice Guide: Reducing Behavior Problems in the Elementary School Classroom: This document outlines best practices and applicable research.
- A Collection of the Best Group Games and Ice Breakers: Free activities to begin the school year building a foundation for a positive classroom climate, teaching positive social behaviors, and preparing students to work collaboratively.
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Effective Schoolwide Interventions: This site devotes an entire section to proactive classroom management practices, including research literature, power point presentations, and tools.
Kerr, M.M., & Valenti, M.W. (2009). Controls from within the classroom: Crises or conversations? Reclaiming Children and Youth, 17(4), 30-4.
Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), 351-380.
Sprick R., Knight J., Reinke W., & McKale T. (2006). Coaching classroom management: Strategies and tools for administrators and coaches. Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing.