Creative classroom management strategies from fellow teachers and our experts.
How I Do It: Classroom Chatter
Sing your heart out, stop to meditate, and cue them with a doorbell.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Do something out of the box—for example, start singing the lesson. They will be so stunned they’ll stop talking, and you will get their attention! —Kandra D.
Cued by the Bell
I use a classroom doorbell from Amazon! I press the button when I need students’ attention. —Jenna L.
Each student starts with five beans every morning. When they blurt something out, they give me a bean. At the end of the day, the “blurt beans” that remain go in a reward jar. We are almost to the “No Homework” line! —Shanda H.
Walk the Talk
We start with a time to “listen and work,” and then they have a “walk and talk” time. The movement and conversation gets them ready to go back to work. If they get too loud, we do a “walk and whisper.” —Mindi S.
When my kids won’t stop talking, I sit in the middle of the classroom and invite students to join me in a circle—but I wait until a student is silent to invite him or her. Next, we do a breathing exercise. Everyone calms down and refocuses! —Karoline A.
I just say, “Mannequin!” and everyone freezes. —Donna S.
Can’t Beat the Classics
I play instrumental music during work time. When the music is on, their voices are off. They love the classical music choices from Disney! —Katie V.
Give kids an unusual vocabulary word each day—the rule is any chitchat in class must include that word, a synonym, or a topic related to the word. —Lyn A.
I project a visual from Bouncy Balls on my board. The website uses your microphone to make balls bounce higher in response to loud noise. If the balls begin bouncing all over the place, it’s a visual indicator that kids are way too loud. They typically manage their own volume in response. —Alicia G.
The Kid Whisperer
I begin to talk softly, and the kids who are listening get mad because they can’t hear...with peer pressure applied, it gets quiet fast. —Kimberly M.
Photo: Lisa Gagne/Getty Images
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