Monday, April 30, 2012

Creative Classroom Management Tips

by Brooke Beverly
Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Brooke Beverly

Oh, the chitter chatter of students when they are supposed to be working quietly! You have set classroom expectations, and you have “laid down the law” about grade level behavior, yet you need more creative classroom management tips. Here are a few ideas: 

1. Collaborate with students: Work together with your students to establish classroom expectations. If students are involved in the rule making process, they have ownership and accountability for their actions. Help students phrase ideas in positive ways on classroom contracts. For example, instead of having classroom expectations such as “no talking,” consider rephrasing as “Listen during teacher lessons".  Hang the contract where students can view it.  

2. Work as a class: To Work as a class means to build class morale. Encourage classmates to become bucket fillers vs. bucket dippers. The book, How Full is Your Bucket, by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, introduces positive traits and behaviors for students to model. Create a classroom bucket, laminate it, and place it outside your door. As students become bucket fillers, they write their names on the bucket with dry erase markers.    

3. Work as a team: Activity rewards, such as lunch with the teacher, extra recess time, special art projects, board game time, computer time, etc. are the best motivators. During different holidays, have students earn parts of a picture puzzle for every time you “catch their group being good”. Some fun, holiday themed, picture puzzle ideas include: decorating parts of a witch and her broom, earning ornaments on a Christmas tree picture, drawing parts of a snowman, coloring a valentine bug picture, or creating petals on a spring flower. Students also loved game show themed, team events such as Classroom Survivor, where students work as teams toward a common goal. 

4. Individual classroom management techniques: Time on learning is essential. Place a “Good Job” jar in your classroom. Individual students who are being role models receive slips of paper. They write their names on the slips and place them in the jar. At least once a week, pull a few names from the "Good Job" jar. Pick any simple incentive that works well for you. 

There are so many teachers out there who have similar tricks-of-the-trade. Let us know what your favorite classroom management ideas are by commenting or providing a link to a strategy that works well in your classroom! 

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