Poor classroom management can have adverse consequences on both teachers and students. For teachers, it results in the loss of instructional time, unnecessary stress, and feelings of inadequacy. Students, on the other hand, are unable to reach their full potential during this crucial learning phase.
When faced with a disorderly and disengaged classroom, the first thing that may come to mind are classroom management strategies. True, they can certainly help, but they are not one-size-fits-all solutions nor magical potions that can generate instant results. They often need to be thoughtfully integrated into classroom management plans, which encompass classroom procedures, rules, engagement strategies, and more to ensure comprehensive and holistic classroom management.
As such, this is a challenge that is not exclusive to new teachers. According to this research, teachers across all levels express feelings of being ill-prepared for classroom management. Worse still, available resources are often laden with jargon and unnecessary complexity, rendering classroom management an enigmatic realm of its own.
Fret not, as we have prepared this comprehensive yet practical guide to walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a classroom management plan. Additionally, we would like to offer you a free, easy-to-use classroom management plan template that you can readily implement in your day-to-day teaching practice. How does that sound?
What is A Classroom Management Plan?
What is A Classroom Management Plan?
A classroom management plan is a structured framework of plans, rules, procedures and more that serves as a guideline to provide teachers with a proactive and organized approach to managing the classroom, ensuring a well-managed classroom and conducive learning environment. Classroom management plan can be seen as a broader concept that encompass classroom management strategies, which are specific techniques or approaches that teachers use within the framework of their classroom management plan to address specific issues or achieve certain goals in the classroom.
According to education researcher Teodora Popescu, a well-managed classroom typically encompass these elements:
- Optimal utilization of time and physical resources.
- Strategies that empower students to make positive choices rather than exerting control over their actions.
- Successful execution of instructional techniques.
On top of that, effective classroom management plan ensures a highly engaged classroom, as well as academic, social, and emotional development in the students. Hence, if you haven’t already, it is crucial for you as an educator to establish a robust classroom management plan to ensure the attainment of these essential teaching outcomes.
Classroom Management Plan Template
Download our Classroom Management Plan template here to get started. 👇
How to Create A Perfect Classroom Management Plan
Want to create an effective and foolproof classroom management plan? First it is important to understand the components of effective classroom management strategies.
Drawing from an extensive compilation of 150 research studies, the National Council on Teacher Quality has advocated five core component of classroom management strategies that have received robust backing from research:
- Rules: instructing and reinforcing expected classroom conduct.
- Routines and Procedures: instilling and practicing classroom and school procedures.
- Praises and Rewards: offering specific and affirmative recognition of desired and appropriate student behaviors.
- Engagement: implementing classroom activities and strategies that encourage active student participation.
- Misbehavior: implementing consistent intervention strategies for inappropriate student behaviors.
As such, an effective classroom management plan should include all of these essential elements of effective classroom management strategies.
In this guide, we will cover both universal classroom management plans as well as targeted classroom management plans, plans, drawing inspiration from a response-to-intervention (RTI) framework that is recommended for both general and special education teachers.
A RTI framework is a tiered system of support whereby each tier provides varying levels of intervention intensity and support to students in classroom management.
- Universal Classroom Management Plans: Tier 1 approaches of universal support, rules and procedures applied to everyone.
- Targeted Classroom Management Plans: Tier 2 approaches targeted towards students who do not respond adequately to universal strategies and misbehave.
- Targeted Individualized Classroom Management Plans: Targeted towards students who continue to struggle despite Tier 2 interventions, providing even more intensive, individualized support.
Universal Classroom Management Plan Components
Classroom rules are a set of rules that students are expected to obey and adhere to at all times. The general rule of thumb is to phrase the rules in dos rather than don’ts to encourage a positive and motivating learning environment.
Recommendation 🔥: Involve students in the rule creation process to enhance students' sense of ownership over their actions.
Classroom procedures are routines that you want your students to follow at different times or scenarios. There are various categories of classroom procedures, ranging from morning procedures and end of school day procedures, to transition procedures, homework procedures, emergency procedures, and more.
Recommendation 🔥: Highlight the significance of regular practice of classroom procedures to establish these procedures as ingrained habits for students.
Here are a list of 40+ classroom procedures you can steal and implement in your classroom.
Engagement strategies are strategies to encourage active involvement and participation in the classroom. Some of the popular tried and tested engagement strategies include:
- Differentiated Instruction
- Classroom Games
- Active Learning
- Questioning Techniques
- Interactive Quizzes
- Gallery Walk
- Socratic Seminars
Recommendation 🔥: Name Picker and Timer are great companions for these classroom engagement activities.
Praises and Rewards
Praises and rewards are the positive reinforcers you want to provide your students when they have performed desired or appropriate behaviors in the classroom. This approach cultivates a classroom atmosphere where students willingly follow rules, rather than complying based on fear. There are different types of praises and rewards you can provide your students with:
- Behavior-Specific Praises – Praises given upon completion of certain tasks or accomplishment of certain skills.
- Reinforcers – Tangible rewards or non-tangible rewards such as special privileges, free time, or removal of undesirable tasks.
- Token Economy – Positive behavioral reinforcement through tokens.
Recommendation 🔥: Devise a leaderboard in the classroom to encourage healthy peer pressure, motivating students to perform better for greater rewards.
Targeted Classroom Management Plan Components
Misbehaviors and conflicts do happen from time to time in the classroom. Recommended classroom misbehavior intervention strategies include:
|Planned Ignoring||Planned ignoring means not paying attention to the unwanted behavior and focusing on encouraging desired actions. This is suitable for dealing with minor misbehaviors that aren’t causing much disruptions.|
|Signal Interference||Nonverbal signals or special cues, like a stop/go card to communicate with students.|
|Interest Boosting||Rather than punishing students for not following assigned tasks, teachers can change things up to match the student interests better, for instance, offering alternative tasks or activities.|
|Restructuring/Regrouping||Rearrange and regroup the classroom to ensure classroom order.|
|Proximity Control||Just being nearby when a student is acting up, without saying anything, can often make them think twice or correct their behavior.|
|Antiseptic Bouncing||Giving students a short break or task to shift their focus when they’re getting overwhelmed can prevent potential conflicts.|
|Hurdle Help||Offering help before a student gets upset or makes negative comments can defuse conflicts.|
|Tension Decontamination (Humor)||If students know and trust you, humor can be a great way to ease tension when discussing challenging topics.|
|Diversion||Redirecting a student’s attention from potential conflicts or upsetting situations by offering a fun alternative activities.|
|Removal of Seductive Objects||Keeping distractions at bay by limiting access to unnecessary items on the desks or in the classroom.|
|Direct Appeal||Sometimes, it’s as simple as privately and calmly asking a student to stop a minor and infrequent behavior without making a big deal out of it.|
|Offer Choices||Giving students positive choices and allowing them time to think can empower them and encourage cooperation.Top of FormBottom of Form|
|Error Correction||A brief, specific, and teacher-provided statement given in response to inappropriate behavior, informing the student of the correct behavior to follow.|
|Student Conference||Address frequent or intense behaviors through discussion, and teach the student the desired behavior. Best conducted when students are calm, not when they’re upset.|
|Physical Restraint||Using physical restraint should always be a last resort and should only be done by trained individuals.|
|Loss of Privileges||Removing specific privileges or rewards as consequences for undesirable behavior.|
|Time Out||Temporarily removing a student from a reinforcing environment or activity following problematic behavior, allowing them a break from potentially disruptive situations.|
|Behavioral Contracts||Written agreements outlining expectations and rewards or consequences for behavior, helping students work towards specific goals.|
|Group Contingency||Applying a reward or consequence to a group of individuals based on the collective behavior of the group.|
Get a free copy of the Classroom Management Plan template with classroom rules, procedures, reward systems, engagements strategies and intervention plans. 👇
10 Extra Considerations for Creating a Classroom Management Plan
In addition to the components mentioned above, here are some additional considerations to take into account when drafting a classroom management plan:
#1 A Plan is Nothing Without Goals
Review the goals and objectives behind creating a classroom management plan initially. This process enables you to strategize and prioritize management plans and classroom management styles that align most effectively with these goals.
For instance, if your aim is to establish a more orderly classroom environment, your priorities would lean towards emphasizing behavioral reinforcement and intervention in your plans. Conversely, if your objective is efficient and productive teaching, your priorities would shift, emphasizing classroom engagement and time management in your plans.
#2 Beyond Extrinsic Motivations
On top of a system of extrinsic rewards, consider implementing Meaningful Engaged Learning (MEL) activities focusing on learning by doing, real-world connections and higher-order thinking in your classroom management plan.
MEL is an education approach where students are actively engaged in the learning process, construction of knowledge, and in making connections to real-world contexts. Unlike praises and rewards, MEL often promotes intrinsic motivation through stimulating the natural desire to learn and explore.
#3 Students as Diverse Individuals
A universal classroom management plan may not work perfectly for everyone considering that students are humans with diverse needs and learning styles. Hence, it is important to recognise the needs and preferences of your students and tailor the plans towards specific individuals when necessary.
#4 Don’t Forget Students with Special Needs
In the same vein of thought, teachers should always consider the needs of students with disabilities or special needs when drafting classroom management plans, and make necessary adjustments and accommodations.
For instance, you may need to revisit your classroom procedures that may not be friendly for students with dyslexia. Adjust classroom procedures for reading time by providing extended time, assistive technology, or even individualised goals for students with dyslexia is a great example of practicing inclusivity in your classroom management plans.
#5 Are You Culturally Sensitive?
As teachers, you should be mindful of cultural differences and sensitivities in your classroom, and adapt your classroom management plan to respect diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
For instance, ensure that classroom rules and expectations are culturally inclusive and avoid rules that may inadvertently discriminate against certain cultural practices or beliefs. So instead of having a rule that states “No head coverings in class,”, create a rule that promotes respectful attire: “Please ensure that any head coverings are worn in a way that does not obstruct visibility or disrupt the learning environment.
#6 You Need A Crisis Management Plan
Crisis management plan should be put in place for handling serious or disruptive behaviors in school that could potentially be a threat to the safety of all students and staff. Consider including the following in your crisis management plan:
- Criteria of defining crisis behaviors
- Steps and procedures to follow when a crisis arises
- Emergency contacts
- Safety Measures
- De-escalation techniques
- Training and drills
Or simply download our Classroom Management Plan to have a copy of the Crisis Management Plan. 👇
#7 Data Is King
Without monitoring and tracking student behaviors, you wouldn’t be able to measure the success of your classroom management plan.
So, devise a system for tracking and monitoring student behavior with behaviorcharts, anecdotal recording, or behavior management tools. And regularly review the data to identify trends and address any emerging issues.
#8 Two-Way Communication
Even though the task of devising a classroom management plan lies in the hands of the teacher, teachers should encourage student feedback and reflection on classroom management periodically and make adjustments based on the feedback.
Involving students in the process of shaping the classroom environment and procedures naturally fuels collective responsibility and ownership towards their actions.
#9 Factor in School Policies
Of course, it would be unwise not to consider school policies when crafting your classroom management plan. Always align your classroom management plan with school protocols to ensure consistency, not only within your classroom but also throughout the entire school environment.
#10 Legal and Ethical Considerations
Lastly, you wouldn’t want legal issues to obstruct your efforts. Ensure that your classroom management plan aligns with and complies with legal and ethical considerations, including student rights and confidentiality.
Tips to Successfully Implement A Classroom Management Plan
Once you have drafted your classroom management plan, follow the tips below to successfully implement the plan in your classroom:
Introduce the Plan as Early as Possible
Ideally, present your management plan on the first day of classes to establish consistency in procedures, penalties, and rewards. The earlier the introduction, the quicker students understand what is expected of them and your will have a higher success rate of integrating these expectations into their habits and daily routines.
Reinforce the Plan With Visuals and Quizzes
Consider crafting visual aids like a poster that prominently displays classroom rules and procedures and position it at a visible spot within the classroom. And regularly reinforce these rules and procedures using interactive quizzes or polls to help students remember them.
You can also use brainstorming tools like Word Cloud to gather more ideas or feedback from students to further refine and make adjustments to the classroom management plan.
Be Transparent In Your Communication
Following the creation of the classroom management plan, it is essential that you communicate the expectations clearly and ensure that students understand the rationale and consequences behind each of the rules, guidelines and procedures.
Involve Parents and Guardians
Once you have the classroom management plan in place, consider further engaging with parents and guardians by sharing a copy of the plan with them. Parents often value being provided with clear guidelines for classroom behavior can facilitate future discussions about any behavioral issues.
A classroom management plan is simply a guideline to assist you in teaching and student management. Fostering meaningful relationships with your students remains the cornerstone of effective classroom management, encouraging students to respond positively to your strategies.
Download this Classroom Management Plan template to start using now to see the results in your classroom! 👇
With numerous components supporting one another, it’s clear that effective classroom management is a multifaceted endeavor that requires thoughtful integration of strategies into a comprehensive plan.
Our comprehensive guide and user-friendly classroom management plan template have provided you with the necessary tools to create a well-structured plan designed for success. Remember, in addition to implementing the recommended strategies, procedures, and rules, always prioritize the development of meaningful relationships with your students.
This approach will help you establish a classroom environment that is not only well-managed but also fosters enduring trust, cooperation, and positive learning experiences among your students.