19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies
The year I began teaching seventh- through 12th-grade English in Minneapolis, Prince released “Sign o’ the Times,” a song about urban decay and decaying infrastructure. That song served as an appropriate musical backdrop for the lives of my students, the most of whom were poor and presented me with everyday challenges.
Additionally, I had the opportunity to be attacked with a stone, two chairs, a Rambo knife, a feeble jab from a seventh-grade girl, and a variety of other inventive swear words during that school year. Fortunately, classroom order improved after I discovered that effective classroom management is dependent on the conscientious implementation of a few major methods as well as a large number of little strategies.
BIG STRATEGIES: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
1. Perform the first step of hypnosis as follows: The first induction approach used by a hypnotist is frequently directed at getting individuals to concentrate on something they’re already doing. A nice opening line is “Feel your eyes getting fatigued.” This is because everyone’s eyes get tired all of the time, but we don’t notice it until someone points it out to us.
Teachers, like hypnotists, have the ability to string together a series of requests by asking students to do something that the majority of them are already doing, then waiting for complete compliance before issuing next instruction, and so on. In order to ensure cooperation, it is preferable for teachers to say, “Point your eyes toward me,” and then wait for compliance, rather than telling students to “Stop talking and turn around; turn to page 237; take out a pencil; and head your paper with “Geology Frame.”
2. Keep your consequences as minimal as possible: When a rule is broken, give the least possible consequence and determine if it is sufficient to accomplish the goal at hand. Don’t use up major ramifications too quickly.
3. Appropriate curriculum is a method for effective classroom management: According to some students, being kicked out of a class for backtalk has a lesser social cost than being ignorant in front of their classmates. That risk can be eliminated by assigning properly demanding work (which frequently entails discriminating).
4. Practice transitions: The majority of disruptions occur just before the bell sounds and in the transitions between activities. All students were required to empty their desks and sit silently within half a minute after hearing the signal “Silent 30.” Once all 30 transitions had been executed successfully, the class received a reward. Visitors who witnessed the routine were taken aback and their jaws dropped, which my children found hilarious.
5) Anticipate issues and come up with innovative solutions: At the start of one school year, my middle-grade kids would storm into class like Mel Gibson and a thousand Scottish warriors. For this reason, I advised my students to line up for class outside my door with their left arm against the wall and a foot of space between themselves and the person in front of them. This solved the problem.
Each student has to answer either a content-related question or a random dumb question such as, “What type of weapon would you use to confront Aquaman?” in order to be admitted to the class. The amusement provided by the ridiculous questions was appreciated by those waiting in line. Following their responses, pupils were instructed to take a seat in silence as the moonlight and follow the directions on the board. Students who engaged in conversation or violated any portion of the rule were relegated to the back of the line.
6. Make encouraging phone calls and send letters home: I used to send a positive note home with every student’s guardian, along with a magnet (100 magnets cost about $9.00) to encourage the magnet to be placed on the refrigerator. I also left pleasant voicemails for the company. As a result, parents and children viewed me as an ally.
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LITTLE THINGS: QUICK INTERVENTIONS THAT SUPPORT CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
1. Demonstrate to students that it is advantageous to be well-behaved: I’d give out two raffle tickets every day at the end of demanding classes—one for academic effort and one for excellent behavior—at the end of each session. The tickets were placed in a jar after the children had written their names on them. On Friday, I chose the names of two students at random, and both were given candy bars.
2. Never penalise a whole class: Even when it appears that the entire class is misbehaving, there are always a few children who are following orders. Punishing the class as a whole just serves to stir even more resistance.
3. Create a sense of anticipation about the content: “Later today, I’ll tell you…,” say the instructor at the start of class.
“Cure for cholera and how to prevent it.” (Using clean water makes a significant difference.)
“What the vast majority of super-geniuses have in common.” (They go through a lot of acolytes.)
The X-Wing fighters in Star Wars defy Newtonian physics in a number of ways.” (In space, the blasters and afterburners do not create any noise.)
Instead of engaging in misbehaviour, the idea is to pique pupils’ interest in your agenda.
4. Alter the tenor of the conversation: In order to break up a group of aggressive complainers, I put Katrina and the Waves on my CD player. My immediate reaction was to raise my hand and sing “I’m walking on sunshine, woooah/And doesn’t it feel fantastic!” as soon as the first grumble complaint was heard. Everyone burst out laughing. Another child began to whine until I hit the play button once again. Laughter that is even louder. After that, there were fewer complaints overall.
5. Search for things to admire: Rather of walking into class expecting a fight, force yourself to look for things to appreciate, such as the fact that Serena knows all there is to know about Detroit hip-hop or the fact that your thermos of Intelligentsia Coffee is three-quarters full.
6. Increase your level of enthusiasm: There are no negative consequences to being 20 percent more enthusiastic.
7. Use your own words: Students are prone to overlooking the obvious. “This class makes me glad that I am a teacher,” you can say.
8. Never cajole pupils into meeting your emotional demands. This is a vital adult barrier to maintain. People who are never obsessed with being adored, on the other hand, are frequently the recipients of devotion, which is one of life’s paradoxes.
9. Forgiveness: When pupils are escorted out of Katie Riley’s ninth-grade English class, she always assures them that everything has been forgiven and that the following day will be a new beginning. The courtroom gallery, where Ms. Riley is sitting, is visible to a pupil who has committed a criminal. That’s all he needs to know about the situation.
Tenth, provide students with a choice: “Do you want to do this work in class or as a take-home quiz?” “Should this project be done as a collective effort or as individual work?” Students’ willingness to participate is increased when they have a choice.
11. Make your classroom management objectives known to the public: “Yesterday, the noise level was at an eight during work hours,” you would say. “Let’s aim for a five on this day.”
When teaching a chaotic class, it is important to maintain predictability. 12. Also, please include the schedule for the day.
When things go wrong, tell the truth about it: If kids are puzzled and lost, don’t shrug it off as a misunderstanding. Once a student has been dismissed from the classroom, say something like “That makes me sad and frustrated, but let’s get our minds back on the third math problem.”