Easy Classroom Management Strategies
IF YOU CAN HEAR ME CLAP
A super easy way to gain student attention is to say: If you can hear me clap once. (Wait for students to clap once.) If you can hear me clap twice. (Wait for students to clap twice.) If you can hear me clap three times. (Wait for students to clap three times.) At this point, the teacher will have students' undivided attention so that important information can be provided to students.
If you get stuck in the rut of calling on the same students all the time, then this strategy is for you. First you will need to gather enough popsicle sticks for each student in the class. Pass out the sticks and allow the each student to decorate the stick with his or her name. Find a rubber band and a cup to store the sticks. When you are ready to ask questions of the class, shake the cup around so that everyone knows you are about to pull a stick. Pull a stick and call on the student to answer. If the student does not know the answer, make sure to come back to him or her to ensure that he knows the material. For a twist, the teacher can add a stick with her name on it and also a wild card stick. A wild card stick could mean teacher's choice or another student's choice.
A creative way to let students know what volume their voices should be is to have a poster with voice levels listed on it. Depending on what is happening in class, the teacher will place an indicator next to the voice level acceptable for the activity. I use a magnet to indicate the appropriate voice level. At the beginning of the activity I have students look and point to the expected voice level.
WRITE IT ON THE BOARD
If you are tired of students asking the same old questions like "What are we doing today?", "What's the date?", "What time is it?", etc. then write it on the board in the same place every day. If a student asks you one of these questions, point to the board. If you are consistent, students will stop asking you for this information.
If you are blessed enough to work at a school that has implemented a 1:1 Laptop Iniative, then you know that getting students to give you their attention instead of the computer can be difficult. An easy way to ensure that all eyes are on you is to simply tell students "Lids Down." Once you teach students this procedure, you will easily be able to gain their attention when needed.
Place your seating charts on the board so that students and substitutes can easily see where people are supposed to sit.
Plastic Hanging Folders
I love this! Hang plastic folders in an easily accessible place. Label the folder and put papers that students need in them. When a student asks if he missed anything while he was absent, or if he just lost the paper, the teacher can just say, "Check the folder."
Bulletin Board Ideas
Reach For Your Dreams:
Students traced their hands and forearms and decorated them.
The circles on the trees are paper plates with colored circles taped on to them.
Don't Forget to Be Awesome:
Take a quote from students' favorite books and turn it into a bulletin board.
Say You're Sorry:
This board was inspired by an article students read from the Scholastic Choices Magazine. Students created a small poster about The Power of Saying Sorry. One of my students needed service hours, so she stayed after school and planned and created the entire concept.
Classroom Rules Infographic:
I found this image online and turned it into a bulletin board. I used black bulletin board paper, an old school projector and white chalk paint. It's probably my best board ever. You may notice that I turned the actual cork board vertically. I didn't have room for it anywhere else in my room.
How to Get Your Students Started with Blogging
This year to teach students blogging etiquette, we started with paper blogs. I created my own hand-written blog for students to use as an example. Students wrote about an easy topic: The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Once they completed their paper blogs, students hanged them outside the classroom.
The next step was to learn how to comment. I created this SMORE flyer for students to use as a guideline.
After students learned how to post comments, they went out into the hall armed with sticky notes. They were instructed to read at least two other students' paper blogs and post a sticky note comment on the blog. Students loved this activity because it got them out of the classroom and moving around. They really enjoyed reading other people's comments on their blogs. I also left this up for our Annual Open House event. Parents loved reading their child's blog.
A Great Reminder