Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
January 12, 2016

10 Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work

By Allie Magnuson
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    The beginning of the year and the second half of the school year are great times to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your classroom management. Are you getting the results you want? If not, here are ten techniques that work for me — and they're all easy on the budget!

     

    The "I'm Done!" Center

    Set up an area in your classroom where your students can go when they're done with their work. Include things that allow for unstructured learning, such as books, writing supplies, magnetic letters, pointers, sight words, or anything else that keeps your students interested and occupied.
     

    A center for unstructured learning, with books, supplies, a table, and a whiteboard

    The Quiet Corner

    Find a quiet area that's free from distractions to make into a Quiet Corner. Put a box under the table with some calming items that cover all five senses: stuffed animals, sunglasses, kaleidoscopes, sensory bottles, liquid motion toys, iPods and headphones, peppermints or candy canes, etc. For the sense of smell, keep a wax warmer plugged in (and out of reach) with a fragrance like Candy Dandy or Sugar Cookie, or add lavender roll-on essential oil to some crayons.

    For an added benefit, keep a set of sand timers with different amounts of time (thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, and ten minutes). This allows you to adjust the amount of time to the individual situation, and allows your students to visualize the time passing.

    A table with calming items for a break

    The Motivation Station

    Provide variety in your centers to keep your students' interest and motivation high. This easy math game is made out of small boxes I got from a retiring teacher. Every box has a different type of manipulative inside representing the sum total of the addition problem on the top. The surprise keeps the students engaged.
     

    Math game with manipulatives inside boxes

    The Tattle Box

    Even when you explain why tattling is bad, sometimes kids just have to get something off their minds. When that happens, send them to the Tattle Box. It's really an empty decorated tissue box, but to them, it's a suggestion box where they can write to you about classmates who are goofing off or bothering them. For those who can't write, even drawing a picture brings relief. You can look over the notes on your own time, and if there's something that needs to be addressed, you can have a class meeting about it.

    A decorated tissue box to put tattles in

    The Mystery Walker

    Randomly choose one student each day whom you can monitor for good behavior while walking in line. Make sure the identity of the student is a mystery so that everyone is motivated to behave. If the student does well, give them something at the end of the day: a cheer, a compliment, a sticker, or some form of positive reinforcement.

    The Morning Greeting

    Set aside ten minutes when your class is doing morning work to greet each student individually. Ask a question, make a comment, or give words of encouragement, such as "How are you today?," "I like what you're wearing," "I like the way you listened yesterday," or "I know you're going to do well on your sight words today."
     

    A student being greeted by the teacher

    The Compliments Creation

    Each season, hang up pieces to a seasonal symbol (e.g., a jack-o-lantern for fall, a snowman for winter, a flower for spring). Every time the whole class receives a compliment from a staff member or visitor, award them one piece, adding to the creation every time. When the symbol is fully formed, throw a party!
     

    A jack-o-lantern, a snowman, and a flower with pieces

    The "No Interruptions" Light

    Keep a push light on your desk or table. When you're working one-on-one or with small groups and don't want the rest of your class to interrupt (unless it's an emergency), push the light on. This gives an immediate visual signal not to approach you.
     

    A push light on a table with the teacher and a small group of students

    The Grouping Game

    Make a game out of grouping your students. Use specially-made grouping sticks, or anything else that has more than one attribute (buttons, toy cars, stickers, clothing, and so on) so you can mix it up and make it fair. Match by a combination of color, shape, number, size, character, or even clothing type.
     

    Different ways to group students - sticks, buttons, cars, and stickers

    The Silent Game

    Play this game before dismissal to let your students unwind. Call one student to the front of the room to start. This student watches and picks the quietest student in the class to be the next one up, and so on. It's a game with no end. And with no point to it, either. But the kids love it and it keeps them quiet!
     

    Class playing the Silent Game

     

    The beginning of the year and the second half of the school year are great times to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your classroom management. Are you getting the results you want? If not, here are ten techniques that work for me — and they're all easy on the budget!

     

    The "I'm Done!" Center

    Set up an area in your classroom where your students can go when they're done with their work. Include things that allow for unstructured learning, such as books, writing supplies, magnetic letters, pointers, sight words, or anything else that keeps your students interested and occupied.
     

    A center for unstructured learning, with books, supplies, a table, and a whiteboard

    The Quiet Corner

    Find a quiet area that's free from distractions to make into a Quiet Corner. Put a box under the table with some calming items that cover all five senses: stuffed animals, sunglasses, kaleidoscopes, sensory bottles, liquid motion toys, iPods and headphones, peppermints or candy canes, etc. For the sense of smell, keep a wax warmer plugged in (and out of reach) with a fragrance like Candy Dandy or Sugar Cookie, or add lavender roll-on essential oil to some crayons.

    For an added benefit, keep a set of sand timers with different amounts of time (thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, and ten minutes). This allows you to adjust the amount of time to the individual situation, and allows your students to visualize the time passing.

    A table with calming items for a break

    The Motivation Station

    Provide variety in your centers to keep your students' interest and motivation high. This easy math game is made out of small boxes I got from a retiring teacher. Every box has a different type of manipulative inside representing the sum total of the addition problem on the top. The surprise keeps the students engaged.
     

    Math game with manipulatives inside boxes

    The Tattle Box

    Even when you explain why tattling is bad, sometimes kids just have to get something off their minds. When that happens, send them to the Tattle Box. It's really an empty decorated tissue box, but to them, it's a suggestion box where they can write to you about classmates who are goofing off or bothering them. For those who can't write, even drawing a picture brings relief. You can look over the notes on your own time, and if there's something that needs to be addressed, you can have a class meeting about it.

    A decorated tissue box to put tattles in

    The Mystery Walker

    Randomly choose one student each day whom you can monitor for good behavior while walking in line. Make sure the identity of the student is a mystery so that everyone is motivated to behave. If the student does well, give them something at the end of the day: a cheer, a compliment, a sticker, or some form of positive reinforcement.

    The Morning Greeting

    Set aside ten minutes when your class is doing morning work to greet each student individually. Ask a question, make a comment, or give words of encouragement, such as "How are you today?," "I like what you're wearing," "I like the way you listened yesterday," or "I know you're going to do well on your sight words today."
     

    A student being greeted by the teacher

    The Compliments Creation

    Each season, hang up pieces to a seasonal symbol (e.g., a jack-o-lantern for fall, a snowman for winter, a flower for spring). Every time the whole class receives a compliment from a staff member or visitor, award them one piece, adding to the creation every time. When the symbol is fully formed, throw a party!
     

    A jack-o-lantern, a snowman, and a flower with pieces

    The "No Interruptions" Light

    Keep a push light on your desk or table. When you're working one-on-one or with small groups and don't want the rest of your class to interrupt (unless it's an emergency), push the light on. This gives an immediate visual signal not to approach you.
     

    A push light on a table with the teacher and a small group of students

    The Grouping Game

    Make a game out of grouping your students. Use specially-made grouping sticks, or anything else that has more than one attribute (buttons, toy cars, stickers, clothing, and so on) so you can mix it up and make it fair. Match by a combination of color, shape, number, size, character, or even clothing type.
     

    Different ways to group students - sticks, buttons, cars, and stickers

    The Silent Game

    Play this game before dismissal to let your students unwind. Call one student to the front of the room to start. This student watches and picks the quietest student in the class to be the next one up, and so on. It's a game with no end. And with no point to it, either. But the kids love it and it keeps them quiet!
     

    Class playing the Silent Game

     

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Allie's Most Recent Posts
My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us