Classroom Organization & Management                

All students have three basic questions on the first day of class/school:




 In order to learn, students' needs (based on Glasser) to be satisfied:

v  Love (includes belonging  & safety)

v  Power

v  Freedom

v  Fun

Classroom Organization

Integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, & viewing

Large blocks of time for literacy

Whole group instruction (start & end of day, read aloud, mini-lessons)

Individualized learning: differentiate instruction & assignments to begin where students are and move them to where they could be

Grouping: (vary in format, purpose, & duration):

   Cooperative learning - teach social skills, 3-5 members, heterogeneous

   Guided reading groups - flexible groups based on students instructional needs & instructional reading level, meeting with teacher

   Book Clubs (Literature Circles) - 3-5, heterogeneous (mixed ability, gender, ethnicity, etc.) based on book & stays together through book/unit


Multi-age classrooms, cross-grade pairings

As a nation, we are more literate than ever.  Our bigger problem today is ALLITERACY - having the ability to read and write, but choosing not to.  (paraphrased from Allington)

Make them love to read and write!

Supportive Physical Environment

Structured & Orderly

Authentic reading & writing materials

Allows traffic flow

Maximize proximity of teacher

Easy access to materials

Clearly designated areas

Desks vs. tables

No safety hazards

Display of reading materials (trade books)

Availability of writing materials



Design the layout of your classroom.

Supportive Social-Emotional Environment

Build a sense of community & individualization:  Feeling a part of a community of learners, students are more likely to take reasonable risks, support one another, and control their behavior (B, R, & R)


Be prepared (room, seating chart, assignment) & welcome them

Treat students with dignity & respect (i.e. say "Please" and "Thank you," use their names, smile, dress for success)


Let students get to know each other

Invite students to learn

Post day's schedule, activities, & homework consistently

Get into routines & rituals

Show your students that you are capable and loving.

Children need structure & to know that you are in control.

Probably causes of behavior problems:  how we treat people, bored students, lack of self esteem, confusion on task or procedure, rather be bad than stupid, feeling powerless leads one to express that or seek power in other ways, denying responsibility to those most needing to experience it, family or other outside problems


What is the most important concept you have learned or experience you have had so far that taught you about the affective part of teaching and learning?

Rules & Procedures

"What you do as a teacher on the first days of school will determine your success or failure for the rest of the school year." (The First Days of School, Wong, 1991)


Establish control from the beginning

Be consistent

Have 3-5 rules & state them positively, along with consequences of not following them (use logical consequences whenever possible)


You need general rules & context-specific rules.


Write out your own classroom rules (& consequences, if time permits)

Communicate "discipline plan" (rules & consequences) to students, parents & administration


Maximize time on task, with little confusion or wasted time

i.e. Take attendance while students are on task


"Time is the currency of education" -- Madeline Hunter


Teach & practice procedures (define, demonstrate, practice, reinforce or reteach)

What are your procedures for:

Beginning class?

Quieting the class?


Students seeking help?

Movement of students?

Movement of papers?



Thematic Teaching

Broad based, connecting to & extending knowledge of their world

Not topics

Pursuing ideas or concepts in depth

Negotiate curriculum by surveying their interests

Children's literature by theme

What theme would work well with your particular students?

What content could be taught within this theme?


Paraprofessionals & Tutoring


Peer tutoring

Cross-age tutoring

Warning:  We often give our most needy students to those least prepared to teach them.


What other resource people are available to your students?  For which students?  When?  For what purpose(s)?

Teacher Roles

Reading achievement is highly dependent on the teacher

3 Characteristics of the Effective Teacher

q       Positive Expectations

q       Classroom Management

q       Mastery Teaching

Teacher as Instructor:  Direct instruction, modeling, scaffolding, managing behavior, decision making (see Raphael diagram of Instructional Roles)


Teacher as Learner:  Expand knowledge base of theory and research, be a kidwatcher, find a mentor, supportive group, team, interact with other positive effective teachers, join committees, go to meetings, seek out professional development & in-services, subscribe to professional journals, join professional organizations, take university courses


Teacher as Researcher:  Action research vs. naturalistic research

Effective change requires:  administrative support, careful planning, willingness to take risks, energy, time, knowledge, supportive network


Begin thinking about a literacy-related burning question or issue you'd like to research during this course.


A 2-way street: 

o     seek to understand child's home environment

o     communicate school news and student progress to the home

Success for reading is helped by:  time spent with parents reading with children, amount of reading materials in home, first language in home, family's reading habits, parents educational level


Communication:  newsletter, school booklet, PTA meetings, phone calls, Open House, conferences, home visits, report card, portfolio, notes home, progress reports, pamphlets, calendar


Underline the communication strategies you and/or your mentor teacher have used thus far this year.  Circle those you would like to try.


During a conference:

q       Listen to parent concerns

q       Share samples of child's school work

q       Show records of achievement

q       Offer constructive suggestions for ways parents can help child & work together with you



During Open House:

q       Introduce parents to materials

q       Describe experiences, skills, & goals for year

q       Explain program & underlying philosophy

q       Explain homework expectations

q       Other ideas as to how parents can help

q       Offer contact information

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