7 Steps to Make Classroom Management More Manageable

Today I am remembering back 11 years ago when I had my very first class of students-- It was a multi-grade class of 1st and 2nd graders. I had the curriculum organized and was finding my way as a new teacher. What I remember most was the struggle with classroom management. How could I keep these little people from continually calling out, from repeatedly chatting with friends at inopportune times, and from asking me to repeat my directions over and over?

Enter the struggle with classroom management. It is a struggle that most new teachers face. I'm devoting my post today to 7 things I have learned over the year that have greatly helped make classroom management more manageable. It is my hope that you might be able to use or adapt some of these ideas to make classroom management more manageable for yourself. At the end of the post, please feel free to leave comments to tell what tips you have for new teachers or for teachers who need fresh ideas in the area of classroom management.

1. Decide on the classroom rules. 

State these in positive terms. Having more than 5 rules makes them difficult for students to remember. Post these in a prominent place in your classroom. Here are the rules in my classroom:

2.  Decide on rewards for appropriate student behavior.

Give smiles and praise. Send positive notes or e-mails home. I also have a ticket system I use with students. I give each student a ticket pouch, and they earn tickets for outstanding behavior and good academic work to add to their pouches. Once they earn 25 tickets, they are able to trade them in for a reward. 

3.  Decide on consequences for students who do not follow classroom expectations.

Try to have consequences follow a logical progression. A verbal reminder might suffice. I also have "Don't Forget" cards that I give to students to keep in their ticket pouches. If students aren't following the classroom rules, I tell them to give me a "Don't Forget." They just put it in the "Don't Forget" bucket on my desk.

If students lose their allotment of "Don't Forgets" for the day or week, they need to have a meeting with me where we discuss an appropriate consequence. I try to make the consequence "fit the crime." For example, if they have not been following directions, I might move their desk to the front of the classroom.

The student I meet with also must fill out a "Student-Teacher Conference Form" to take home and have a parent sign.

4.  Introduce the classroom expectations, rewards, and consequences to the students on the first day of school.

Thoroughly explain these, and have students tell why the rules are important. Be sure to explain your rewards and consequences.

5.  Review the rules, rewards, and consequences with the students each day for the first one to two weeks of school.

Allow the students to practice the rules with plenty of positive encouragement, yet firm reminders, from you.

6.  Be fair and consistent with your expectations.

7.  Review and discuss your expectations as needed.

If you would like to have copies of my tickets, Don't Forgets, and Student-Teacher Conference Form, I have developed a Classroom Management FREEBIE that you can download here.  If you like the forms, please leave feedback. Also feel free to comment below with your own classroom management ideas or any ideas you have found to be useful.

Download this FREE product here.
post signature

1 comment: