Classroom Management Must Do #1: Teach the WRONG Way
Classroom management in other words is known as procedures & expectations. These are the ‘things’ that we teach to our students mainly at the beginning of the school year and then reinforce throughout the remainder of the year. The process typically goes as such: teacher shows and explains the correct way to do a procedure or complete an expectation, students practice doing the procedure or expectation the right way, teacher encourages students to continue to do procedure correctly throughout the school year. What do I say about this? This is WRONG! We need to ALSO teach our students how the procedures are done the WRONG way! Yes, I said it. Students need to be able to know and see their parameters, meaning what are they allowed to do and NOT allowed to do. We, as teachers, assume students know what the procedure would look like the wrong way and why its the ‘wrong’ way to do said procedure – but that’s not the case. Allowing students to SEE the procedure/expectation being done the incorrect way allows them to know exactly what the teacher hopes NOT to see. This allows the students to know exactly what to do and exactly what NOT to do, giving them more clear parameters than if you were just to teach the ‘right’ way. I promise you – it works!
Classroom Management Must Do #2: Keep Things Fresh!
We all have our own classroom management systems that work of us, whether it’s using a ‘clip up, clip down’ chart or ClassDojo – you do what works for you! BUT.. with that being said, I have a feeling you know that using JUST that one system doesn’t work all year long. You know there will
come a time when students will stop caring or your system will lose its shiny new glow. It happens to us all! Here’s what you have to do: Keep things fresh! That doesn’t mean keep changing your management system – keep that the same all year. However, you DO need to have some awesome and motivating tips and tricks to use as classroom management ‘extras’ to pull out when you need. I keep my own little ‘Bag of Tricks’ on my desk at all times and pull out a card when I know or think my classroom management needs a boost, my students need a boost, or we just need a spruce of FUN in our lesson!
Some fun examples: keep some delicious flavored chapstick in your desk and pull it out during your lesson. Anytime you see a student meeting expectations, give them a dot of chapstick on the outside of their hand to smell!
They love it 🙂 OR try this: Give each student 1-2 tickets before a lesson begins. Set a class goal for how many tickets you want to collect during the lesson. As you complete the lesson, and students are participating or meeting expectations – collect a ticket from them and place them in a cup. At the end of the lesson count to see if you’ve met your goal and celebrate!
Classroom Management Must Do #3: Healthy Competition
Competition at the right moment in the right lesson can really help with classroom management. I’m sure you’ve done table points or group points before when trying to get students to meet certain expectations. It holds students accountable and brings them together, all working towards a cause – winning! Now, too much competition isn’t necessarily a good thing but intentionally and sporadically placing this strategy when and where it’s needed can potentially impact your classroom management. One of my favorite ways to do this is with Behavior Tic Tac Toe! There are two sets of cards – one with positive behaviors that I hope and expect to see in the classroom and one with negative behaviors that I hope I do NOT see. I copy them on two different colors of cards to help distinguish between them. Then I place the Tic-Tac-Toe board in the front of the room. If I see positive and exceptional behaviors, I pick the card that matches the behavior and allow a student to place it on the board. On the other hand, if I see a behavior that’s not meeting expectations, I find that card and I get to place it on the board. The first ‘team’ to get three in a row WINS! This is fun and it helps focus in on specific behaviors rather than behavior as a whole!
Classroom Management Must Do #4: Let Them Talk More!
At the end of a lesson, one of the questions I always ask myself is ‘How much did I talk at them and how much did I allow THEM to talk?’ I want to make sure, in every lesson, that they have been given ample amounts of opportunity to talk. Just doing a turn and talk here and there isn’t enough. They need time to work together, collaborate, and dive into the content without having to hear me talking at them during the lesson. So if you want/need your classroom management to improve, this might be an area to try to reflect on! One thing I do at the beginning of the year to hold myself accountable for this is by taping these fun ‘Phone a Friend’ templates on each students’ desk. One of the first weeks of school we then take time to fill it in. It’s super simple and fun to set up and then it’s here to use all year long! Basically students will (when setting up initially) carry around their phone looking for 9 different partners. When they find a partner they will write each other’s names on the SAME number on their phone. (So I write my name on their #1 and they write their name on my #1). When the phone is full, I tape it to their desk. When I want them to get up and talk to someone in the middle of a lesson I say “Dial friend #5 and go see what they think!” – Then they check their phone, find that friend and chat! It’s a great system and it gives them voice and choice and takes time out of having to pair students up together.
So again, whether you’re a veteran teacher or a new teacher – there are many things that with classroom management you just need to know! I hope these tips and tricks were helpful! Didn’t have time to read the whole post? Feel free to pin the image below to read later!