Classroom Management from the Ground Up
Course Outline

Course Fee: $90
Course Numbers: EED x701 24115, SED x701 24160
Standard Course Time: 15 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the post-baccalaureate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Cal Poly Humboldt (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title Classroom Management from the Ground Up, published by Routledge and authored by Todd Whitaker, Madeline Whitaker Good and Katherine Whitaker.

Introduction/Course Description:

Our goal with this course and the ideals within are about promoting effectiveness, not perfectness. We are not here to share the “silver bullet” of classroom management. Spoiler alert: there isn’t one! When it seems too good to be true, it generally is. We are here, however, to show that whether you are in the beginnings of your career or near the end, you can become a better classroom manager. We are going to work to make the abstract concept as concrete as possible, give practical advice on dealing with difficult situations, and show that even after your worst day, there is still hope for tomorrow. Our goal with classroom management is similar to our overall objective in teaching: we are in the improvement business, not the perfection business.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: Effective Planning and Instruction

Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Explore the three key factors to classroom management.
  • Introduce the comparison of building a house to building a classroom.
  • Describe ways to solve problems when things do not go right.
  • State reasoning behind tweaks and resets.
  • Relate the key aspects of organization and how physical and lesson organization prevents student misbehavior.
  • Explain the importance of classroom flow, functionality and structure.
  • Discuss the focus of prioritizing and setting the tone of first minutes of class/lesson/block.
  • Identify strategies for keeping professional/business like tone in your classroom.
  • Explain importance of avoiding "down time".
  • Demonstrate how engaging students works to prevent misbehavior.
  • Apply strategies you can utilize in your classroom tomorrow.

Project 1: My First House

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: The Foundation - Building Relationships

Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Describe Importance of building relationships and how without relationships the foundation of our classroom cracks.
  • State how to show that you care about your students everyday.
  • Identify key strategies for repairing a broken relationship with a student(s).
  • Illustrate examples of giving a student a "fresh start" with your relationship.
  • Practice apologizing when you lose your "cool" or yell at a student and how this shows accountability.
  • Recognize personal plan to never hold grudges.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: The Structure - High and Clear Expectations

Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Describe the benefits to creating clear expectations for your classroom.
  • Recognize how “Mr. Logan/Mr. Johnson” examples of setting expectations can change according to how clear or unclear the expectations are.
  • Define Rules and Procedures.
  • Assemble rules to establish a functional classroom for learning (focus on clear rules).
  • Design steps to create clear and set expectations in your classroom.
  • Compare two different examples of teachers teaching new procedures.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: The Maintenance - Consistency

Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Discuss importance of maintenance & consistency of reinforcing those clear and high expectations.
  • Practice self-control and prepare to always implement no arguing, no ridiculing, no demeaning and no holding grudges.
  • Construct methods for directing continued negative behaviors to managing your classroom.
  • Compare ideas of consistency versus treating each situation as identical.
  • Reflect on situations that classroom management seems to fail.
  • Prioritize how you can give consequences for fairness, and equality in similar situations.

Project 2: My Current House
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: The Reset - Your Last Resort

Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Identify issues in your classroom that are not working.
  • Classify the issues in your lessons, relationships or other aspects of classroom management.
  • Express solutions for issues with classroom management.
  • Construct plan for students to be accountable.
  • Demonstrate three examples of upholding new expectations during a reset.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Project #1 Overview

In this module, we were introduced to the brilliant house metaphor. Every house has three parts to it, a foundation (relationships), the structure (having high and clear expectations), and the maintenance (consistency). Everyone fondly remembers their first house away from home, it’s joys, adventures, and stressors. Similar to a classroom teacher, a teacher always remembers every detail about their first classroom and first class.

For this project:

Think back to your first classroom. Imagine the way it looked, sounded and felt. Feel the memories. Take a few moments to answer the following questions as if you were that first year teacher again:

Foundation: Relationships
Did you develop relationships with your students? What did your relationships look like? What was your purpose of these relationships? Did you have a relationship with every student? Did you end the year feeling good about the relationships you had with students? Were there any students who made it challenging to develop a relationship? How did you handle those situations?

The Structure: High and Clear Expectations
As a new teacher, you knew all the right buzz words and how they were supposed to look in a classroom. Did you have high and clear expectations in your first classroom? Did you fully understand what it meant to have high and clear expectations? Did you ever bend the rules for certain students? Was your kindness ever taken advantage of? Were you ever confused about your expectations? Did you have routines in place to assist the classroom flow?

Maintenance: Consistency
Were you consistent with what you said and expected throughout the day? Week? Month? Quarter? Term? Year? With individual students? The classroom? Did kids negotiate with you?

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

After taking your trip down memory lane, reflect if the teacher you were then was the teacher you wanted to be going into the profession. Use the following questions as a guide for your written project reflection.

  • Looking fondly back in time, which part of your house was strong? Which part of the house was needing more development?
  • If you could go back in time, what would you do differently in that first classroom and class in regard to the foundation, structure and maintenance? Why are those specific changes important to you? Why do you think they will make a difference?
  • If you could give a first-year teacher some pearls of wisdom about their ‘house’, what would you say? Why do you think it is important for them to hear?
  • And for even more fun, what is your greatest memory from your first year of teaching?

Visit the Module Projects section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.

Cal Poly Humboldt Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit through Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) is offered after successful completion of each course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from CPH.
  • CPH is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • CPH is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.