Whether you’re a veteran teacher or you’re setting up your first classroom, let’s face it: Classroom management is something we all get better at over the years. And one of the best ways to improve on your classroom management style is simply to take a page out of other teachers’ books.
If it worked for them, well, hey, it might just work for you too. We’ve all had those lessons, days, or even weeks where it feels like all you have done is manage the running of your classroom and that’s about it!
That’s why we’ve come up with a series of easy, yet effective classroom management strategies that may help with the day-to-day running of your classroom.
Classroom Management Strategies
So you already know the three C’s of classroom management — compassion, connection, and consistency.
But if you’re looking for some ways to put those three Cs into action, we chatted with some of the teachers on the Teach Starter team to get you exactly that! Here are some super easy classroom management ideas from classroom teachers!
The trusty craft stick saves the day again! Add some bright washi tape and students’ names and you have a classroom tool that can be used in a variety of ways.
- Use them as a random name selector — You know how it goes, you ask for a volunteer and ALL the hands go up, now you can randomly pick a name out of a cup.
- Keep track of students you have checked in on during individual work. Turn their name stick upside down when you have checked in!
- Students can use these sticks to express when they have a question about their work. Rather than having multiple hands up and then ultimately distracted students waiting, they can grab their name stick and place it on their desk – or put it in an ‘I have a question‘ cup.
Lucky Duck Bowl
Hit the dollar store and load up on rubber duckies to create your very own Lucky Duck bowl! This idea comes from teacher Brittany Botta (you’ll find her on Instagram at @projectsandpompoms) who fills a bowl with rubber ducks each year and uses them to make job assignments or for sharing time. They’re a fun alternative to pulling craft sticks!
Having a visual schedule will ultimately reduce the ‘what are we doing next?’ question!
Print out these Visual Daily Schedule cards and stick them on your board as a visual reminder for your students about the daily events!
Using effective transitions in the classroom can give students a break by providing them with a chance to get out of their seats and switch their focus to a new task. Effective transitions also mean no time is wasted!
While these How to Walk Like a… Instruction Cards were created to assist students in walking through the school quietly, they can also be used for transitions in your classroom. For example, walk like an ant to your designated center.
Set Up a Note Station
There are always going to be those kids who want to talk your ear off. And then there are the kids who go to the other extreme – they’re too nervous to tell you things, even when something is really weighing heavily on their mind.
Take a page out of teacher Miriam Patrick’s book, and set up a “leave me a note” station in the classroom like this one for both kinds of kids — and all the rest, too. This will help curb the chit chat, plus it gives kids who need to be able to write down their thoughts a way to communicate too.
Quickly Getting Students Attention
Getting your students to quickly stop and listen to you is something that sounds simple, but we all know can sometimes disrupt a lesson. And before you know it, a quick message turns into a half an hour discussion about your expectations of their behavior! Plus, let’s face it, clapping to capture your students’ attention can get boring for both you and your students.
Why not try something more fun, such as our Attention-Grabbing Phrase Cards? The teacher says the first part, and the students respond with the second part – cute!
Quick and Easy Check-In + Grading Pile
This idea is totally worth a shot! Not only will it get your grading piles in one spot, but it also gives your students the opportunity to self-monitor their learning.
Any simple trays will work and you may like to check out our editable tray label collection for the signs. The rest is pretty self-explanatory!
Mystery Student Strategy
Why not try the Mystery Student Strategy (or for Among Us fans, an imposter strategy!). Each morning, a student’s name is ‘randomly’ chosen and placed under a crystal ball. Of course, you may need to ensure that the same students don’t get chosen again and again. Only you will know whose name is under the crystal ball!
Throughout the day, that student can get magical stars for good behavior choices. At the end of the day, if the Mystery Student has all of their magical stars colored, they will be recognized as the Magical Mystery Student for the day.
We all know about the importance of incorporating brain breaks into the running of a classroom. But, coming up with new and fresh ideas can take a lot of time. This super cool IKEA hack for the classroom is one that will provide many brain break opportunities in the classroom.
Download our Classroom Spinner Template – Movement Activities, and stick it on the famous IKEA spinning wheel as a visual reminder for you and your students to take a brain break. A selection of fun exercise moves that are conducive to a classroom setting is included!
Curb Calling Out
Blurt Buttons are a bright, fun classroom management strategy to help curb calling out. Students thinking aloud: “It’s cloudy outside”, telling you about their neighbor’s three-legged cat, or asking you how many days there are until Christmas?
Give each student a number of buttons to keep on their desks. If a student blurts, he or she must put a button back into the Blurt Buttons jar. At the end of the day, any remaining Blurt Buttons on desks go into the Rewards Jar, earning kids points towards a treat!
We Missed You!
During the day-to-day running of your classroom, there may be times where students have been absent from the class for a short period during the day or the whole day due to illness. Keep track of catch-up work by easily displaying this work on a hanger.
As you hand out worksheets or notices, clip the leftovers to the hanger. Either label the clothespins or clips with the day of the week the activity was completed, or the name of the student who missed out!
Rather than the usual, ‘I’m done… now what?’ having a fast finisher folder or even a display like below for students to pick extension work will limit these sorts of interruptions!
Voice Level Push Buttons
Whether your call them tap lights or push-button lights, these have been popping up in a lot of classrooms — and can be used in all sorts of ways. We love this idea from first-grade teacher Regi of Messy Little Classroom who simply taps a light associated with a voice level to let her students know when it’s time to keep things quiet or it’s OK to use those voices!