Before you can teach, you need to have your class under the control. How do you do that? Try these simple and effective class control tips for teachers.
Classroom Management Tips
Your most important task as a teacher is to manage your classroom. This involves communication, timing, relationship building, and strategy. Here are 5 pillars of classroom management:
From Day One, you want to establish your class rules and expectations. Students need to know where the line is; they aren’t mind readers. Come up with your own list of guidelines and send it home with parents, keep it posted in your classroom, and refer to it at the start of the day.
Model the Behavior
If you want students to be respectful and kind, you must be respectful and kind. If you want them to use polite words and not yell, you must do the same. Model the behavior you want to see from your students. This will speak louder than any list of rules.
Accentuate the Positive
Rather than generating a list of “don’t do this” type of rules, state your goals in a positive way. For example, on your classroom rules, list “Use kind words” and not “Don’t yell.” Tell your students what they can do, don’t just forbid a bunch of negative behaviors.
Having a good rapport with your students goes a long way when it comes to classroom management. One of the best class control tips for teachers is to find ways to show your students you are for them. They will bend over backwards for you. Work extra hard to build relationships with your difficult students. This will go a long way toward earning their cooperation and creating a positive classroom dynamic.
You are your student’s mentor. That means you should be both kind and firm. You must follow through when a student breaks a rule. Otherwise, you show them that the rules are meaningless (and chaos will ensue). That doesn’t mean you should be merciless; sometimes, grace is warranted. But on the whole, be consistent and follow through.
Positive Behavior Management Strategies
You can manage your classroom by rewarding positive behaviors.
A treasure chest is a classic positive behavior management strategy. Your students earn tickets or tokens for positive behaviors. They can exchange those tickets for rewards from the treasure chest. These rewards don’t have to be pricey. You can even stock it with items that are free, such as homework coupons. (You can make them into scratch-offs for extra appeal.)
Desk pets are tiny animals that kids can keep in their desks. You can purchase them or make your own. Kids love to collect them and build houses for them–all of this costs you very little. You can incentivize positive behavior and quiet work by allowing the desk pets to rest on top of the desk under certain conditions.
The class can work cooperatively toward a reward by using a pompom jar or marble jar. Using a clear container helps kids to see their progress. When you see a positive behavior, you add a pompom to the jar. When the jar is filled, it triggers a reward for the whole class.
Classroom Management Techniques for the Teacher
As a teacher, you can use specific techniques of classroom management to get results.
Kids will be less likely to zone out and engage in negative behaviors if they are interested in what you have to say. One way to do this is to increase anticipation for your lessons. Bait the hook! Instead of opening a math lesson by saying, “We are going to talk about fractions,” you can start by asking, “Have you ever eaten a cookie cake? Have you ever eaten too much of a cookie cake?” Now everyone is paying attention! Then you can give examples of problems where various students eat fractions of cookie cakes. You can use demos, jokes, visual aids, Would You Rather questions, Fun Facts, or mysterious statements (“Today’s lesson is going to be shocking!” (when talking about static electricity) to command attention.
Singing and Chanting
Transitions can be difficult. Kids are at loose ends, and they may act out. If you have younger students, you can smooth the way with behavior cues involving singing and chanting. They have a way of mesmerizing kids.
Call and response is a wonderful way to get the children to pay attention to you and stop whatever they are doing. There are a host of these; you say the first part, and the children say the second part. They are as simple as “Hocus pocus…Everybody focus!”
Develop a Warning System
When children break a class rule, you do want to follow through, but grace is important as well. That is why is best to have a warning system. This could be a warning card system, a name on the board, or even a simple statement (“You broke class rule 2. This is your warning.”). By giving kids a warning before you act, you give them a chance to make the right choice down the line.
Try a Mid-Year Switch
This one sounds like it would not make a difference, but it does. It’s psychology! When you are in a rut in class behavior (typically mid-year), change something in the classroom. Change the desk arrangement, add a few beanbags to the reading corner, or change the orientation of the room…anything to signal “This is is different.” For whatever reason, this can be a reset in class behavior.
Classroom Management Strategies: Examples
The best classroom management strategies involve heading off negative behavior before it begins.
Kids tire of sitting and focusing for long periods. If you don’t provide a brain break, they will make up their own (and usually that will be a negative behavior). Implement brain breaks at regular intervals.
Incorporate Hands-on Learning
Moving can help kids focus. Incoporate hands-on learning whenever possible. This will keep kids busy and let off steam in a positive way.
Simple Class Control Tips for Teachers
Classroom management is the key to a great year. By adding some simple strategies and activities to your day, you can keep your class on track. Your students will be just like this call and response: “Are you ready? Ready to learn!”