Classroom Management Tips
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NameLastWhat's one of your favorite classroom management tips? Share it below for a chance to win an iTunes gift card.
StephanieTicaliI like when I have the kids "spot out" other kids that are doing the right thing. It instantly brings kids back and gets them ready for directions.
TiaSimmonsWhen I wanted to gauge the understanding of my students, I would ask "Are we clear?" and my students would use two cutouts on their desk to answer: a crystal or a cloud. Those students who used the crystal would then turn to the clouds to help explain or bring clarity. I would get the thumbs up from the crystal students when clarity had been achieved. This process would cut down on embarrassment of students saying "yes" or "no" and allow students to tutor each other so I could walk around and offer additional assistance.
ValainaMaherWhen we are finished with a class, I ask the students to write something that went well and/or something that could have been improved for our Plus/Delta board. It makes them feel more a part of the process and helps me "tweak" my lessons.
TanaRoweGain the students trust.
BrandonWislockiI teach video production. I love taking my ipad outside when we're filming. While I'm watching students film, I'm able to add positive or negative behavior points from the app. When I get back to the class, the scores are displayed on the projector (i have the website up). Students can see right away how their behavior was during filming and what they can improve on.
JuliaColbyOne of my favorite classroom management tips is (this may sound silly) technology. When students are using technology (we just started using iPads in the classroom) they are engaged, focused, ready to share and collaborate. Having students in charge of the technology helps with their attitude.
VelvetHolmesIf you can hear my voice, touch your nose. If you can hear my voice clap once. If you can hear my voice touch your toes. etc... until everyone is engaged and listening...
HowardMartinPre-teach a challenging tech lesson to a few Assistant Professors from the classroom. When you teacher to the whole class, the student Assistant Professors can help classmates when they get stuck. These professors can be the GT or the 'extra-time-needed' students.
JenniferWagnerCatch them being GOOD. Have a positive management plan rather than disciplinarian. Reward good behavior OFTEN!!! CATCH THEM BEING GOOD!
LauraSheehyKeep your expectations high for your students. Expect that your students will behave, not that they will disrupt. Reinforce this with the way you speak to your students. When you begin the day, tell your students your expectations. For example, you might say, "During this whole group session, I expect you to raise your hands and be recognized before you start speaking. I also expect you to respect each other's opinions and listen to what each person has to say."
ChrisProutEach student desk has a stack of three cups (red, blue and yellow). When the students are working independently and they are doing well, the blue cup is on top. If they need help with something, they will place the red cup on top. If they would like to take an Accelerated Reader test they place the yellow cup. This helps me as a teacher because I can at a glance see what my student's may need. It also helps them, because they can show what they need and don't have to keep their hands up for a long period of time before they get my attention.
CherylLykowskiIf there is a lot of talking and they don't get quiet quickly, I will start whispering. They quickly get quiet to try and see what I'm saying. Works every time!
KimMontalvoUsing coin replicas as rewards for positive behavior at the elementary level and then have them cash them in and record their "money" on
TaraWaltersTeach your students to work independently. A lot of the times we just expect kids to know how to function in a school environment independently and they don't always know how. If you spend the first month of school directly teaching independence, independent group work, and how to work without being a distraction or getting distracted, if will make the rest of the school year a lot easier.
JenniferHowardAllow students to create the classroom rules in order have ownership.
AnnKohlerGet your students "involved" in their learning through interactive activities such as webquests, virtual tours or the like. When they are involved they spend their time learning and exchanging ideas, not mis-behaving.
RennyFongUsing music throughout the day puts everyone in a better mood, and forces us to learn to listen.
BethWeeksUsing an index card. If student as acting up I just handed them an index card to put name and what they were doing. Never had to stop teaching.
Suzanne KingWhen asking a multi level question - have one student list one level and the next student repeat that answer along with his/her answer. This can continue until the entire question is answered. The result is many answers and "ownership" of being part of the solution.
Susan EderMy favorite classroom management strategy is a one-on-one coversation with a student who is struggling with self control. I find that students respond to this personal attention and that it increases their desire to cooperate in the classroom. I have never found anything that works better than this few minutes of my time and the personal relationship that we establish.
DebraSallsSign Language: Teaching gestures first week of school. Give Me Five: Eyes on Speaker Lips Closed Ears Listening Sit Up Straight Hand & Feet Quiet
TracyCarpenterInvest the time and build relationships with your students.
PattieMortonI work in an elementary library. I use the "3 strikes and you're out" rule as it applys to our theme for the year. This year we had a beach theme so it was "3 sharks and you're out". I have little plastic sharks. When a child violates a rule and gets into trouble, I give them a shark. When they reach 3 sharks during their visit, they are "caught in a net" and have to go back to class. They loose their library privilege for 24 hours.
KathyNapierKeep your sense of humour. Many situations can be diffused with humour, and students appreciate (and work better with) someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously. Many things are not worth getting over excited about, so before disciplining a student, ask yourself if you can turn a situation to your advantage but getting kids onside with humour.
RonaldWeberIf a student is acting up to get a reaction from the class, take him/her out of the class and talk to them. Then they can't get the feedback from the class they want from being disciplined.
ShannonHuntThe way I arrange my classroom helps me with my classroom management. I have student desks in groups of four. Each desk has a color dot with a number on it. I have six different colored groups, numbered 1-4. I will call on all ones to do something. Or maybe have the ones ask the twos a question and then the twos share it. I will have games and activities where these groups will compete against each other or where they will work together. I keep cards with the same numbered, colored dots on them. I will draw these out to call on students. It keeps them on their toes and alert. The possibilities are endless and it helps to differentiate instruction as well.
SarahThompsonI love Class Dojo! I was using a "flip-a-card" chart before Christmas, which just wasn't working for me or my students. We've been using Class Dojo since Jan. The students love seeing the points being added instantly for positive behaviour. They also really enjoy seeing their overall performance records. Their points accumulate throughout the week and are used towards buying rewards during Friday's class store. They also love the brand new feature where they are able to create their own avatar.
JanWellsA classroom management tip I use heavily at the beginning of the school year is to teach and practice procedures, and develop routines. (turning in work, housekeeping procedures--clean up, supply storage, daily routines--beginning of day, transition times, independent and group work, agenda use, etc) This is practiced daily at the beginning of the year, then revisiting as needed.
SandiDennisI have dressed up in a granny costume and pretended to be my grandmother. The kids are super nice and kind and helpful to me all day long when I am "Granny"!! (They are nice anyway, but especially when Granny comes to teach the class).
ChrisTaylorAs student's voices start to rise and the noise level becomes unacceptable I simply begin lowering my voice until I am basically whispering---the students immediately begin to quiet down to hear me as i sometimes am promising something special to those who heard me:)
SherylWinsteadUsing ClassDoJo to reward my students' good behavior!
Maria Aguilera-MarquezAt the beginning of class, especially on Fun Friday, I allow students to sit at their preferred location if they have behaved well during the week. I treat them to a song that they can dance to at the beginning of class on Friday. They love music so it keeps them focused and engaged.
MargaretWilsonSome kids need a place to chill out when they are frustrated or overwhelmed, so having a desk in an isolated spot where the student can still see what's going on, gives them a chance to calm down and reflect on their behavior, or at least, get into a better mood. The teacher can also have a private conversation with the student.
TiffanyFreemanCorrection is received well when you explain the expectation before giving the correction. For example: Since this is a quiet, independent activity, none of us should be talking. Please stop talking and remain quiet for the duration of this activity. Thank you!
GlovisSouthIn the media center, we check out eReaders and allow students to bring their own eReading devices. I use Google Docs to keep up with who has returned signed user agreements. I share the document with teachers, who help me reward students for good behavior and attendance. Also, I won't check an eReader out to a student who owes a school fine or has an overdue or lost book. GSouth Follow me @bravesread
LuciaWoofterIn order to refocus the class for another activity stand in the front of the class and raise your hand and as the students see you they mimic and raise their hands until all are focused and attentive. Practice doing this and time how long it takes for them to comply. Have them compete to get the best score, i.e. the least amount of time it takes to be still.
KimRandallInstead of "banning" the use of mobile devices in the classroom (which many schools still do), give the students "breaks" throughout the day to check their mobile devices so they can stay connected.
JulieGlavinI teach an activity based, hands on, digitally interactive (Discovery Education) science curriculum to students in grades k thru 5. As you can imagine, that type of scientific exploration comes with noise in the upper decibels. My most effective classroom noise management tip is a counter top bell. One or two taps on that old bell brings instant silence because of the student's anticipation that something else very interesting is about to be announced. Addmittedly a little bit Pavlovian, but it works.
DebElmoreBe proactive from the moment the students crosses the threshold of your doorway. Have a colorful and meaningful message projected on the interactive whiteboard that greets them each and every day with their daily instructions: warm-ups, focus, objectives, etc. Make their message quirky and interesting so to entice their curiosity what the assignments will be for that day. I also dim the lights to make the message stand out more and create a better studying and focus ambiance. Ask the students if they can guess what their daily activity will be or what the lesson will be about. After that, the students will be in competition to see who can figure it out. This gets my students engaged from the very first moment. My goal is to create a "You had me at hello..."
EileenMalickI little humor goes a long way, especially if you need to alleviate a major distraction... If I manage to have a student fall out of a chair in the computer lab (it does happen) I will leap up and exclaim, "ARE MY COMPUTERS OKAY?!?" also "Please don't do that, because I am afraid you will hurt... my computers." If two students are arguing, I will get in the middle and shout, "You need to understand there's only ONE bad guy here... and that person is ME!!!!"
MelissaRemusStay Fair. Discipline with love.
JillSummersAnything tech related (storing computers, taking care of Promethean board, creating flipcharts, extra computer time, using iPad, etc
CherryWhippleScan sample student work, with names removed, and upload it to your class website to show both exemplary and not-so-exemplary examples that both students and parents can refer to if they have questions about assignments. Over the years, you will accumulate quite a portfolio of samples.
SueAllenI am a technology specialist now so I do a lot of co-teaching for technology projects with other core subject teachers. We used colored clothespins for the students to indicate when they needed help. One color for tech and the other for the subject teacher put those often would pop off the laptops and take flight on their own so we switched to cups which a variation on the red, yellow, green cup color for I'm fine, one color for tech help and one color for core teacher help. And of course we use ask 3 before me in the computer lab.
KarenOgenUse Class Dojo of course!... I also like to use sticky notes to randomly write positive notes and stick them on student work, laptops, etc, while students are working to let them know that they are appreciated, creative, and intelligent.
VickiButlerMy students often work in collaborative groups which can get noisy at times. I put on music (whatever matches the 'theme' of our studies) and everyone's voices need to be calm and quiet enough to hear the music. I don't have to keep after them, I can move about the groups and hear their conversations and everyone is happy! Play with different music styles and see how it impacts the classroom activity.
Christine ArcherIf you have computers in your classroom, have a set of red/blue cups next to them. Students put the red cup up if they have a questions and can't move on without help and a blue cup goes up if they have a question but they can keep working until the teacher is free.
CherylZuckermanI started using Class Dojo about 3 months ago with my HS students, and I was amazed at how well they responded to it. I really thought they'd laugh and say it's "babyish" but they didn't! They get excited every time they hear the chime for a positive award point! Kalen from Class Dojo was extremely helpful when I had to ask for help with certain features.
ClayGunterPositive Reinforcement... ASking one of the talking/off task kids to help me get everyone back on task!
ReneeHendersonPosting my rules and assigning students to leadership roles in the classroom.
GuyLawrencePositive behavior reinforcement. Trying to draw their attention to the desired behavior instead of the negative behavior.
Selena WardI like having solid routines. Students know all information can be found on the class website. When they come in my computer lab, they know the routine from getting started to submitting work. This reduces a lot of class disruption.
LouiseMenkingIt took some explicit instruction, but now when I stand on a certain tile in my classroom and look around the students know I want their attention and within 30 seconds they will let each other know I want their attention and I don't even have to say a word. Explicit instruction included pointing out the tile, assuming the same posture every time, using the same phrase for attention verbatim, explaining that this was my way of asking for attention, and repeating the process for several weeks.
ElizabethBowdenOne thing that has worked for me as a 6th grade teacher is "3 minors is a major." Since implementation, I've seen a HUGE drop in the number of silly, off task behaviors. Kids know that when they get 3 minor offenses, it is a major event. They have to speak to the principal, parents are called, etc. Kids have realized how much time is wasted with little things. Now all I have to say is, "3 minors?" And they repeat, "Is a major!" and then get back to work. Simple and effective with big kids!
MonaEfflerI always begin the day with a business-style morning meeting. I join the students in the group as a member-coach, not just the one person with all the say-so. We go over stuff like upcoming assignments, general calendar, programs, days I will be out for a meeting, notes to be turned in from home, etc... We also review the plan for the day and take stock of where everyone is on our plans. This built in start to the day works better to move us into a learning mode than just starting the day with a handout or short assignment. It makes the kids feel they have some say over their day. It also helps to keep me on task.
DebThonusMy favorite class management tip is to let the students know they really are their own best teachers. I am only their coach. Everything they know they had to teach to themselves, with the help of life coaches like parents and teachers. After that, all I have to say to the class is that I want to see their "teacher side" or how should they be an effective teacher for the lesson. Also, if a student is off-task or fooling around I ask them if they are making a good teaching decision or being their best teacher. It is a powerful way to teach students their responsibility in their own learning. It works very well in third grade, at least.
kathleenzaldivarWe don't develop "rules", we develop "agreements". Students share what they need to be able to enjoy the learning environment and they also decide consequences for those students not respecting the agreements.
DebHeigelEvery child needs to be liked by the adults in their lives. If they can not get your attention in a positive manner they will get it in a negative way. When you find that child who is getting under your , standing on your last nerve, driving you crazy then you have found the child you are not giving enough positive attention to. Make an effort to LIKE this child( even if you are irritated) pretend and soon your pretense will turn into true regard as the child responds to your additional positive attention. Remember if he or she can't get you to like them by being good they will act out. Crumbs of attention are better than no attention.
MargoJantziThis is our awesome farewell as we line up to leave the library media center. See you later, alligator! After while, crocodile! In an hour, sunflower! Maybe two, kangaroo! Gotta go, buffalo! Adios, hippos! Chow, chow, brown cow! See you soon, baboon! Adieu, cockatoo! Better swish, jellyfish. Chop chop, lollipop. Gotta run, skeleton! Bye-bye, butterfly! Better shake, rattlesnake. Good-bye, my good friends! Kids remind me if we forget to say it. They love the routine and it helps the line up and departure time go smoothly.
RachelYurkWhen I taught 3rd Gd and kids were constantly tattling on each other I rescued an old tape recorder and cassettes from a garbage pile, painted it with puffy paint and called it the tattle machine. I told kids I didn't hav time in the day with all the learning to listen to tattling so if they needed to share something they should record it and I'd listen at home. This ended tattling after a week as they go NO attention for tattling.
SheilaAdamsTowards the end of the school year, a student becomes the TA (Teaching Assistant) for the day. The student helps manage the class, do small jobs, tweet out for the day and more. Oh, and the big plus, is to sit in the comfy chair. They will help each other, keep the classroom clean and help the students follow the classroom rules. Much to my surprise, each student wants to do this and takes it seriously. I've done this for two years now and find the end of the year much more manageable and pleasing!
RitaBuhiteSet up procedures at the beginning of the year..Tell students where things go, when to do tasks that are daily and how you want them done. Having proedures cuts down on wasted time and disruptions.
SrFrancesCarolMy students love to write on the interactive whiteboard. Since we offer lunch every day, we have to place orders after we take attendance. The students write their name on the board and I simply count the lunch orders. They like writing and decorating their names every day and they never forget to sign up for lunch!
MarthaThornburghHave students use your school voice mail to create a message each evening with reminders for the class. Students and parents can then call in and get the information during the evening hours. (I also have students post to a blog, but this is just one more way for student's and parents to access information.)
CindyMurphyI think the one thing that has worked the best for me has been random reporter. If our kiddos are engaged and actively participating in class there is less chance for them to be a behavior problem. I am a firm believer in the power of cooperative groups in helping to build a students understanding and by using random reporter (randomly calling on students using Popsicle sticks or an electronic random generator) the kiddos have no opportunity to check out or misbehave.
JanAbernethyMy students are seated in groups. Each week groups are rewarded tallies for being the first group ready, first group on the right page, neatest group, etc. What is the reward for having the most tallies at the end of the week? Students in the winning group get a pillow to use on their seat for the following week!
JackieHarrisI like to use a behavior tracking sheet that goes home each night parent for signatures. This allows parents to see how their child is performing in the classroom for both behavior and academic.
MelanieGrayRespect is a two way street...gotta give it to get it...even as a teacher.
Matthew StrineHaving taught five years in an elementary setting and working in inclusion classrooms three of those years the most beneficial classroom management tip I have is to allow the students to help create the class rules. This teaches the ideas of accountability and restorative justice to students at a very young age.
CyndiMacDonaldThree Strikes and your out! Running a lap that is, and getting physically fit while your giving your mouth the chance to run with your legs.
CindyCowburnI use a money system with my sixth graders. They each have a checkbook, checks, and deposit slips. They have a money card where they earn money for having good character, completing homework, doing well on tests being prepared for class, and participating in class. When they fill their money card, they fill out a deposit slip and deposit the money into their checkbook. The students can then write checks to purchase items at a student store or buy passes (switch seats, eat with the teacher, no homework, sit at the teacher's desk, etc...)
Toni PlourdeI like to use the digital TimeTimer clock on the Smart Board as a visual way to remind students of the remaining time left in their assignment. (ie. silent reading or other assignments)
KarenWellsI teach AP level students and although there are few behavioral issues at this level, I do find that they often begin to lose interest as the weather gets warmer. This year because they had worked so hard, I decided to treat them to a literary terms scavenger hunt with ice cream as the prize for the team with the best time. It took a little extra planning for me, but it gave them some practice on vocabulary for their upcoming AP exam. According to them (and their parents), it was "the best day ever." They are back in gear and fully engaged.
KarenZilhaverHaving classroom procedures and routines. Students know what is expected and come ready to learn and be engaged in Technology lessons.
Linda EppsBegan to speak softer and students understand that the noise volume is to loud.
MariaKneeIn order to know what is expected, children need to be told the specific classroom expectations and then given the chance to practice the behaviors. Even if it is how to take care of markers (ie take off the top, put the top on the back, listen for the click, draw and then put the top back on), children need to know what a teacher expects and need time to try it out. I use this for everything - walking down the hall, ways to come to the rug for a meeting, working at tables, how to talk to each other, acceptable classroom noise level. We take about 6 weeks to build an understanding of how the classroom works while still working with grade level curriculum. Throughout the year, we revisit expectations when children forget or need more practice. This works!
TracieBeltMy favorite tip are class signals. I have silent finger signs for getting a drink, using the bathroom, sharpen a pencil. That way whe I am teaching I can acknowledge their request with a nod and can keep on teaching without interruption.
LisaMimsMake sure that you follow through on a consequence or reward. Be consistent.
normarockwellGive the students the opportunity to lead the class. (draw a name a day)
MollyHayI made a class for each one of my first grade classrooms so I could keep track of which class was able to earn the most positive points for rewards. I also used it to collect data on the most occurring negative behavior so the appropriate intervention could take place. My teachers saw how easy it was to use and the excitement from the students that they each signed up an account for their classrooms. I can't wait to see the administration section completed. However, as an administrator I was able to make the adaptations so it could work for me.
JanetHallstromTo encourage students to pay attention to PowerPoint presentations, I sneak in a message to scroll across the screen at unexpected times. An example is a message that the first 3 who read this and raise their hand can visit the candy jar or treat box. I also sometimes play bingo with the key vocabulary in the presentation giving all students a BINGO card that they can BINGO is the cover the vocabulary when they see the word in the presentation without me calling attention to it. This emphasizes the vocabulary I want them to be familiar with.
JenniferJensenOne strategy I use is to let the students know I'm going to pick a number prior to the beginning of class. (Each student has an assigned number.) I don't make this number public to the students, but I let them know that I will be watching this particular "number" throughout the work time - watching for listening, behavior, helpfulness, and clean up. If that students does well throughout the work time, the class will earn a reward.
JenniferMyersTo get the kids attention, I simply stop whatever I'm doing look up at the clock and say in a moderate tone, " tick tock" and they immediately give me their attention. At the end of the week, we see how much time was "wasted" with undesired behavior as a group during lesson time and we collaborate as a group how they can repay that time. If it is an individual, I use a weekly behavior chart, 1-5, 5 being the best. We keep track daily with a dismissal time check in. At the end of the week, if student has met their goal, parents award them over the weekend with something special. This only works if parents agree, and it also helps build a home/school connection.
DougKnappCreate a weekly "Pride Time" when students can share one thing they have done that week to make themselves proud.
KatieKnappCreate a safe place in the room where the students can go if they need a personal "time out."
StephanieHaperI have created a student on my Dojo Alice Birney-( the name of my school). I minimize Class Dojo and give points from my ipad so only the sounds are heard. I can give Alice a negative point. This signals my students to get back on test without negative consequences for anymy students.
FaithGrantMy classes use an online calendar for assignments. Students record them in the student planner and check them off when they are completed. This helps keep them on track and they don't have to ask me "what do we do while I was out?"
CathyHouchinBe flexible.
Dorie GlynnHave students apply or you can assign classroom jobs. It gives them a sense of belonging and responsibility to the class.
KatieWarrenI love to use Smart Moves from FableVision. It is a DVD that requires no explanation and yet it calms and focuses my students (who are teachers) when coming back from a break or from lunch. Take a look at the video on It's a wonderful tool that does wonderful things!
AndreaMedranoKeep a cup of golf pencils and hand sharpeners for the students to use. Cuts down on noise and missing pencils!
HeatherMoenThe students need a plan as soon as they enter the classroom. Quick journalling exercise in ELA, quick mad minute in math, though provoking question to answer in Social Studies and Science. If they can start off the class well, there is a much better chance of remaining engaged throughout the lesson.
Terra-LeeGrattonI like to use 10 pennies per week in an old film canister. It really has cut down on the amount of times students ask to leave the classroom (bathroom, go to locker, get a drink). My students who know the routine to be prepared and organized before class starts usually have all their 10 pennies at the end of the week to receive a small prize from the treasure chest.
lisafrabbieleI have firmly established routines that get practiced, and if need be, graded. In addition, assigned task managers who control their groups.
DonnaCriswellUsing ClassDoJo to help support our classroom and district core values.. it is an amazing tool that helps kids self monitor their behavior as well as individual goals they set. This tool promotes a more productive and supportive learning environment for all. Several teachers are using the 'tickertape' function on our interactive whiteboard software to keep the 'learning message' for the day ever-present while ClassDoJo is shown. We love Class DoJo!
Ruth EManlandroI like to use a behavior management contract with students. They must keep track of their behavior and then I sign it at the end of class.
CathyHammelAssigning seats for each class and consistently walking around to keep my from getting off task
annaheffernanI look for positives in students, starting with when they walk in the door. I try to find at least one thing to compliment them on right off the bat to set the tone for the rest of the hour.
Wendy NortonBeing consistent with students from day 1, out kids need the structure but teachers must also remember to be empathetic with kids too. They need to know you care for them and respect them.