Professional Development

Classroom management

I searched the Community Forums and found many references to the need for quality classroom management. I have been told of a variety of techniques and been involved with a wide variety of ages. Commonly the response is disrespectful, insubordinate or disruptive behavior. However, how fast should one respond? When should non-verbal responses be used? What are the specific behaviors that teachers today consider disrespectful and disruptive? Define a firm response as opposed to a chaotic or poor solution. I have been told that it is bad to send students constantly to the principal or office, or worse to have administrative interventions in the classroom. I have even heard it said that you have managed a classroom well when the students begin to intervene in the situation.

Tammi Kreckel
Tammi Kreckel
3930 Activity Points

Tammy, You ask good questions and I hope others will respond. I have been looking at some the the teaching videos on the Teachers Network YOu might want to check out this one of science teacher discussing and demonstrating how routine, structure and behavior expectations to engage students Included are the three steps she uses to deal with disruptive students. I really like what her students said about her approach. Video is about 12 minutes long Go to: http://teachersnetwork.org/Videos/onlinevideoClassroomManagementSecondary.htm Let me know what you think about her approach ! Arlene JL

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42030 Activity Points

I really liked the video you posted. I am a preservice teacher and this video has given me some ideas on how to manage the classroom i am currently student teaching in.

Manelle El-Negery
Manelle El-Negery
1095 Activity Points

Great video Arlene! 

Marisela Morales
Marisela Morales
980 Activity Points

Let me first start by saying, there are many days when I feel like my classroom management is awful. But that only serves to fuel the process of making it better. Here are some things I think work (for me) because the art of teaching is unique to each teacher and everyone has a different set of experiences that shapes their management style. For middle school, this is a common strategy I use. (Step 1) Get closer to the defiant student. Many behaviors will be extinguished if you use proximity.(Step 2) Quietly informing the individual (not in front of the class, that sometimes makes the outrageous behavior inflamed) that the disrespectful or disruptive behavior is unacceptable and give them a choice: the behavior changes (like they stay and complete the task with the rest of the class or they will get sent to another teachers room with a timeout sheet). That way their behavior is on them not you. (Step 3) Document the interaction, so you have evidence that you have implemented a discipline plan in the clasroom. (Step 4) Make parent contact. Many students will shape up when their parents are involved. (Step 6) If the behavior still doesnt change then Id say send the student to the office. Admin has better things to do then deal with unruly students so its important you only send a student to the office when all other measures had been taken. But sometimes bad behaviors warrant immediate consequences. I would say extreme defiance of authority, like using profanity while refusing to comply with your request or threating another student with violence are immediate office visits. But, as other teachers will tell you, that is your classroom and you must establish your authority early or students can make your job much harder. I say maintaining postitive and constistent relationships is the best way to start and then you must say what you mean and mean what you say. I am still seeing what works best for me because I think management also has to do with how your students personalities work with yours.

Ashley Stark
Ashley Stark
3165 Activity Points

Your post was a very helpful tool for me to understand different techniques of classroom management strategies. As a student teacher, I have been observing several different strategies that I might use in my classroom later on. I really liked your idea that you need to build positive relationships with students from the beginning, while also staying consistent, because I've noticed that students really respond to that! Like you said, there is always room to grow in your own classroom management, and it helps me to know that it's okay to try different strategies to see what works best for you. Thanks for the tips!

Frances Stupakis
Frances Stupakis
395 Activity Points

I am a preservice teacher who is observing in a classroom. I appreciate your post. I find myself in the middle of a dilemma with the kids. I do not know what is too small to get onto them or too bug to let go.

Desiree Blinco
Desiree Blinco
2000 Activity Points

So much of the discipline issue comes down to the support comes down to how well the administration supports its teachers. I have been in schools where a small group of students knew they could disrupt the classroom, because administration's line is to deal with the problem in the classroom. If there are two or three students who make poor choices, then management of the classroom becomes problematic. I worked in such an environment, and it would have been useful to speak with the students in private, but the only way out of the room was through another classroom. Block scheduling can complicate management as well, because a breach early can diminish the effectiveness of the rest of the period. I have also worked in a school that had a bad reputation as a "tough school" but the students understand the limits set by the administration, and I rarely had problems with students in that environment. I could pull a student aside and discuss the negative behavior, and at least in the short run, the student would usually comply with the request. They understand that the alternative may result in detention, or in extreme cases, suspension. Given the option, I prefer the "good cop, bad cop" approach where I can be the good cop. I have to see the kids every day, so creating contention is not the best approach for the classroom. If the administration is hard-line, then I can give rewards for positive behavior, and it makes the classroom a much more pleasant place for learning. Administration backs the positive behavior intervention, but the classroom teachers administer it. I think students also seem to develop a level of trust more quickly when consequences are clear, but rewards are readily visible in the classroom. Even the toughest kids get that you are there to support them. Just my two cents.

Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67885 Activity Points

Discipline has always been an issue. I find that I revise my strategies each year to reflect my growth and the student population I teach. For the most part, what ever you decide to do make sure you are 1) consistant and 2) you follow through on every consequence the student receives. Don't let any of them "off the hook", because they will take advantage of it. I really like the suggestions posted. I use several of them in my classes. I teach 1-5 gr science lab. My discipline is as varied as the student's ages. Good luck.

Ruth Levantis
Ruth Friedlander-Levantis
6505 Activity Points

I completely agree with you regarding being consistent. Additionally, we need to be extremely clear in our expectations and the "punishments" need to fit the "crime". For me, building a good rapport with the students and a safe learning environment are key to ideal classroom management.

Karen Sengenberger
Karen Sengenberger
120 Activity Points

As a preservice teacher, classroom management is probably my number one area I want to succeed at. I feel without classroom management, learning cannot take place. I completely agree that whatever management/behavioral system that is in place, needs to be carried out consistently. If it is not, the year will be spent focusing on discipline, instead of on content. I think forming routines and procedures for almost every aspect of the day can eliminate chances for disturbance because students will be conditioned on how to respond to various situations. This is something that the class will need to work on from the very first days of school If this is done, hopefully behavior problems will be at a minimum.

Danyelle Hanes
Danyelle Hanes
855 Activity Points

I feel the same as Danyelle about our pre-service teaching concerning classroom management. I watched the 12 minute video posted by Arlene which is indeed a good reference. I really like how the teacher in the video advocates for strong organization and a posted daily classroom agenda. In my previous experience with customer service and lengthy client meetings, I always accomplished the most when I started the meeting with clearly stated goals and an outline of events. This professional standard sends the message that you mean business. I have observed well managed classes when the teacher has all the pertinent information for the day listed consistently in the same place. Students should know what to expect, and have meaningful and engaging work from start to finish.

Ann Kennedy
Ann Kennedy
1250 Activity Points

One issue that I have not seen mentioned in this thread is the prevalence of students with emotional issues in our classrooms. I teach at a 2 yr college and in the past few years we have begin serious discussions of this issue. We are seeing returning vets with PTSD, more students progressing directly from HS with diagnosed emotional issues. I am often afraid to deal with these subjects on my own. I am not a therapist and some of the young men involved are much larger than I am. Two years ago one of the fluorescent lights in my classroom popped and a vet jumped over a desk pegging me to the floor. He was as startled as I was after he realized where he was and that the pop was only a light bulb.

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

Peggy has a very good point. Currently I am substituting and I get a wide variety of comments on being strict. Most of them are directed toward dealing with Elementary students. But I find I am also hesitant to be overly firm or confrontory with any students that are larger. I try to be compassionate, and utilize my proximity to students to reduce conflict. I stay around 3 feet away from all students who may be angry. Back to the Elementary students though, I usually introduce myself by using a stuffed bacterium and reminding students about handwashing. This is my way of breaking the ice, and then I pass the stuffed critter around asking each student to say their name and something they like. I know the kids like it because I have heard them telling their friends about it on the play ground. I make sure that I do this activity where there is time and that I still am able to acoomplish the work in the lesson plan. However, does this mean I am not strict enough because the kids like me?

Tammi Kreckel
Tammi Kreckel
3930 Activity Points

As a pre-service teacher I find your thoughts helpful. I have heard many suggestions by other teachers and feel encouraged by receiving any information I can on this topic. I agree that classroom management is an area that is important to establish early on as well. I will continue to pay attention to ideas other teachers have, because every teacher and classroom is different.

Mary Hannig
Mary Hannig
2935 Activity Points

As a pre-service teacher I find your thoughts helpful. I have heard many suggestions by other teachers and feel encouraged by receiving any information I can on this topic. I agree that classroom management is an area that is important to establish early on as well. I will continue to pay attention to ideas other teachers have, because every teacher and classroom is different.

Mary Hannig
Mary Hannig
2935 Activity Points

I highly recommend the book The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong. If I had read it before I started teaching, my first year wouldn't have been as rough. I started using ideas later in the year with mixed results.

Samantha Miranda
Samantha Miranda
3940 Activity Points

I LOVE that book. Another good resource is Educating Esme.

Karen Sengenberger
Karen Sengenberger
120 Activity Points

I also have Harry Wong's book. I attended his seminar when I first began teaching and I HAD to get the book. He made it look so easy. It is very possible to change a child's behavior with your management of the classroom. Set clear expectations and don't accept anything less. I have had some very challenging students this year, yet I have not had any office referrals. It takes a lot of patience and work, but it can be done.

Denise Theriot
Denise Theriot
1080 Activity Points

Classroom Management begins with setting up clear expectations from the very beginning. Harry Wong's book and a book by Fred Jones were the books my former school district used to provide to all new teachers. Although some parts may be more applicable to some grades than others, the basic premised is the same - clear, consistent expectations. I heard someone explain as the curriculum being the train and classroom management being the track. The train isn't going anywhere without the track in place. The benefit is that once you get the classroom management down, you can really enjoy watching the students learn.

Melissa Hamilton
Melissa Hamilton
870 Activity Points

WOW - so much experience in one place. It's a little awe-inspiring. Classroom management is a particular strength of mine (quite by accident, I assure you) and there is one crucial element that hasn't been mentioned yet that I would like to add. Relationships. "Discipline without relationship leads to rebellion." I don't know who said it but it's 100% correct. I take the first two weeks of the school year to get to know my students and letting them get to know me. Rather than focusing solely on the standards, I use these first two weeks to really challenge what they think and how they feel about science. Our topics are broad (What does a scientist look like? - What is bias? - What's a theory? - Lab Safety - and so on) and our activities are sometimes a little unorthodox (songs, dance, costume, etc), but what it builds is a classroom community that will last throughout the entire school year. One crucially important part of this is to let students get to know you. Of course let them know fun little facts about you, but also let them get to know your faults as well. When we, as leaders of our classrooms, let students know that we're fallible too, it gives them permission not to be perfect either. I'm not necessarily talking about behavior here. Letting them know it's okay to make mistakes in your classroom reduces student stress - and that leads to fewer discipline problems. For example, on the first day of school I always tell my students that I have a horrible teacher-disease. I'm *horrible* with names - but I never forget a face. I let them know up front that it will take me longer than most to remember their names but I promise to do my best and I ask for their patience and understanding - and I promise my own patience and understanding for their shortcomings as well. It's such a simple thing but it's so powerful. Looking forward to reading more! Kendra

Kendra Young
Kendra Young
16980 Activity Points

I love what you say about creating relationships! "Discipline without relationship leads to rebellion," this is true. If the students' do not like you, they may not have your respect. It is important to create that classroom environment where everyone respects and respects the teacher. I am doing my practicum experience now in a kindergarten class and it is clear that the students know routine and the students know the teacher well. It is not a "strict" environment, but the students listen and pay attention to what they are suppose to do. You mentioned that it is okay to make mistakes, and this should be addressed to the students that not everyone is perfect. This can be demonstrating through the classroom management. For example in the kindergarten classroom each student has three stars, and a star is taken away only if the teacher had to repeat to herself, allowing students to take responsibility to fix their mistakes. I have rarely seen one get taken away because the students do listen to the teacher the first time, because of that relationship they have. Thanks for your insight on classroom management!

Fabiola Jimenez
Fabiola Jimenez
580 Activity Points

I also highly recommend Harry Wong's book---I used to reread it each August in preparation for school. I enjoyed the helpful tips and positive, yet simple, methods that Wong utilized in his classroom. Another source for ideas on classroom management are some books called "positive discipline."

Patty McGinnis
Patricia McGinnis
25265 Activity Points

An excellent and FREE! resource that I learned about on a NSTA post is Class Dojo. It immediately tracks students behavior and it tell me if I have been using more positive or negative comments throughout the day. At the end of the day or class it will give you a pie chart of the % of positives and negatives that a student has received and it will tally those % for the whole class. http://www.classdojo.com/

Polly Norrie
Polly Norrie
1200 Activity Points

I would say hat when you allow students to be involved actively with the management, you have lost it. Hard to balance btween a productve environment and one open and supportive for all learners. I would agree that open confrontation is the worst. It is encumbent on us as the adults in the classroom to help students see how to handle conflict in a respectful and productive way.

Daniel Carroll
Dan Carroll
18550 Activity Points

I like the Class Dojo. I am trying it out to keep track of specific students in my classes. It is easier and quicker than always writing an anecdotal for everything they do. To have that up for the students to see, however, is sketchy ground here in NY. The admins would see it as "publicly" humiliating a student when they misbehave or not do something.Not that I agree with them either.

Ruth Levantis
Ruth Friedlander-Levantis
6505 Activity Points

Ive been teaching Special Education behavioral for the past 15 years. I have tried and learned many things. Here are some of the things I use as a tool for success in the classroom. My classroom is very structured. I starts off, day one, with Rituals, routines, and expectations. Everyday, students will know the ritual/routine and know what is expected because the structure is the same everyday. I post rules that are visible to the students and I refer to each time a rule is violated or refered to when praised for positive behavior. I am firm, fair, and consistent with consequences, both negative and positive. And I always reward good behavior. This enables my students to strive to display positive behaviors. Along with structure, I make sure the lessons are interesting content-wise, as well as how I present it.

Randolph Florendo
Randolph Florendo
110 Activity Points

I took a look at class dojo. I was wondering if you could change the graphics a bit. I teach high school biology. Mal-behaviors are my constant rival. I cannot see myself sending home a report with these graphics to parents of high school age students. I see great potential in using it to track a particular behavior, to generate a report to send home. I can also see it's value in tracking the positive behaviors. I will spend some time checking this site out more carefully, but I just wanted to say thank you for the link.

Jeannie Ohta
Jeannie Ohta
1105 Activity Points

Hi Tammi and fellow posters,
I created a collection a while back for my preservice teachers. It is called:
CI 426 Constructing My Science Classroom. It is filled with several resources from the NLC on this very topic. I hope you will find some ideas to help you.
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79623 Activity Points

Thank you for sharing some great ideas! 

Marisela Morales
Marisela Morales
980 Activity Points

Jeannie, ClassDojo is an independently owned and operated company. I agree that they have developed a product with unique and useful functionality, but that reporting, if it is to be received by parents, needs to have an air of professionalism. I think contacting the company would be a great idea - perhaps there is a way that they can allow teachers to select a theme for the reports.

Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67885 Activity Points

thanks Jennifer. I have changed my mind on attempting to use Class Dojo. It's not the product, it's more my skills at organization. I try not to be too tech oriented in lieu of student 1:1. I find direct communication with my students establishes a better foundation. Besides you really cannot reproduce a smile in text, no matter how hard you try! but I am still glad that I had the exposure to yet another tool.

Jeannie Ohta
Jeannie Ohta
1105 Activity Points

Carolyn, thanks for your collection. I added a few to my library, or as I call it now; my arsenal!

Jeannie Ohta
Jeannie Ohta
1105 Activity Points

Jeannie, I understand that perspective all too well. I do intervention, and I had hoped to use some tools to extend my reach, but often it requires more effort than it is worth to set up the tools, and still doesn't deliver the message we would like. They can be quite useful for collecting data and allowing us to do some reflection - if we have the time.

Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67885 Activity Points

Jennifer, isn't that the operative phrase, "if we have time"!?! There's never enough time! thanks for writing

Jeannie Ohta
Jeannie Ohta
1105 Activity Points

I have seen a lot of great ideas on here. I am a new teacher and at time I feel my management skills are not what they should be. I do some of the things that are mentioned here. My biggest thing is trying to be fair and consistent. I hate to send my students to the office and usually only do so under extreme conditions. It does not take long for the noise level to escalate and it only takes 1 or 2 students to change the whole dynamics of the class.

Donna Martin
Donna Martin
4025 Activity Points

This thread has been spiraling for a while and it is great to see the resources shared and the constructive comments offered. Periodically, I like to redirect my attention by looking at what is available in the Learning Center, especially since it is the umbrella under which we are sharing. I did a quick search on the key words "classroom management" and the search engine rewarded me with some nifty items. Let me share a few here and also encourage you to do a personal advanced search in the LC. 1. Classroom Management: Setting Up the Classroom for Learning By: Donna R. Sterling Grade Level: Middle School 2. Editor’s Roundtable: Classroom management à la Goldilocks By: Inez Liftig Grade Level: Middle School (teachers should establish a style that reflects personal goals and philosophies) 3. Science Sampler: Classroom management, rules, consequences, and rewards! Oh, my! By: Julie Dean McIntosh Grade Level: Middle School 4. Classroom Management and Inquiry-Based Learning: Finding the Balance By: Chew-Leng Poon, Doris Tan, and Aik-Ling Tan Grade Level: Middle School 5. Managing Inquiry-Based Classrooms By: Christie Nicole Wolfgang Grade Level: Middle School These journal articles are super resources and mentors in themselves. Enjoy them and let us know what you find useful. ~p

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

Hi Tammi and Thread Participants,
I hadn't read these posts in a while. It was started in November of last year! It has become rich with great supportive ideas for "smooth sailing in rough waters". Tammi, you asked several specific questions in your first post. Here is one that I would like to comment on:
"What are the specific behaviors that teachers today consider disrespectful and disruptive?"
This is a good question to ask. Have student disruptions changed over the years? Those of us who have been teaching for two or three decades may have some experiences to share.
Let's face it, the only experience most of had with gangs was from "West Side Story". (I wanted to be Natalie Wood!) I think expectations have changed dramatically over the years. It was a universal expectation that all of our students would sit in their tiny student desks for 50 minute class periods and stay actively (but quietly) engaged the entire time while we lectured. Some of what would not have been tolerated 20 years ago is allowed by way of teachers ignoring certain disruptive behaviors. However, some of our "old" expectations were unreasonable. Teachers need new classroom management tools to deal with the tech-savvy generation. Expecting students to sit still and LISTEN for a whole class period is not only pedagogically unsound, but today's students won't tolerate it. The research tells us that even adults have a limited attention span for taking in new information and being able to process it.
There is a definite connection between good classroom management techniques and research on how students at different levels of cognitive development learn. It would be interesting to hear about how any teachers have adapted classroom management practices that reflect research about how their age group learns best.
Any thoughts?
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79623 Activity Points

Here is an excellent classroom management resource for all teachers. I have read it often and have gotten many ideas. It also covers dealing with extremely disruptive students. The book is called "Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems" by Vera Jones and Louise Jones, eighth edition.

Edith Flores
Edith Flores
1350 Activity Points

Hi: Management of classroom comes down to what style works best for you. There is lots of information out there but not all fits any situation or any educator. My suggestion is to try out some and see how that works. Choose the ones that you think are effective and discard the others. In short, experience is the rule. I probably was a poor manager of my classroom in the first few years of teaching. As my experience and confidence increased so did my classroom mangement skills. I was told by a successful and experienced educator that I should wear dark clothes for the first two weeks of school and to not smile. That worked in middle school for me. The students thought I was mean and this was dispelled as the year progressed. Good luck to you. You will find your way with time. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101490 Activity Points

As a pre-service teacher, I find the topic of classroom management very interesting. I have observed a number of teachers and their varying methods of classroom management. In one of my classes we were taught an effective series of steps for addressing negative classroom behavior. 1. Say the student's name without missing a beat. This means not to stop instruction, but to simply draw student's attention to you with their name. No class interruption required. 2. Use proximity to calm students. Again no class interruption required, simply move closer to the student. 3. Use your teacher face - This requires a momentary pause in instruction and a dead-pan face. We were told to press the top of your tongue to the roof of your mouth to help keep a blank affect and if necessary help stop you from laughing. 4. The last resort is to kneel quietly next to your student and tell them they must talk to you after class. When I have tried these strategies they seem to work pretty well, but I am not yet consistently teaching. I also plan on beginning my class with discussion on what class rules should be and work hard to have interesting and engaging lessons.

Sara Connors
Sara Connors
20 Activity Points

Sara, I like your management tools. it is very respectful of the students .What grade level are you working with? Kathy

Kathy Renfrew
Kathy Renfrew
33435 Activity Points

Hi Kathy, I like that it is respectful of the students as well. I'm going to be a middle/high school teacher. Sara

Sara Connors
Sara Connors
20 Activity Points

You are sounding like an experienced teacher, Sara! Best of luck. Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79623 Activity Points

I am currently a student teacher in a 3rd grade. I am having some difficulties with behavioral and classroom management. I know these skills take time and experience to develop. What are some strategies and/or methods that some people have seen work best? Do you find putting students in rows versus groups helps with this management? I would love to hear all responses. Thank you.

Peter Boylan
Peter Boylan
190 Activity Points

As I further along my education into becoming a teacher, the more and more I see class room management arising as an issue. It is one of the main problems I am stressing about. How do I get my students to understand that I am the authority?? While in one of my methods courses, I had a teacher who made us get a book called Teaching Tools by Fred Jones. This book is GREAT!!! Through reading it I found out about terms such as Helpless hand raising and the Fight Flight effect. I strongly recommend any teacher get this book. IT is really helpful and will always be a book that I hold onto. I love reading forums because I get to see what works for other teachers and what doesn't work. I know I didn't really answer your question, but maybe this book will help answer some of those questions.

Eric Hartl
Eric Hartl
1570 Activity Points

Thanks Caroline for the library of resources, I added it to my collection of online library. After reading a few posts, I agree that structure and organized lessons are key to classroom management. As stated previously, establishing routine and expectations at the beginning of the year also minimizes behavior problems. I teach at a year round school so I have noticed that I have "reboot" my students after every break so that I can reestablish routine and expectations. As an adult, I hate sitting in meetings for long stretches of time. So when I begin to prepare my lessons, I like to "chunk" my lessons so that it breaks up the monotony of lecturing the entire time and gives the students an opportunity to apply some of the skills that we discussed in the lecture.

Elizabeth Penn-Jones
Elizabeth Penn-Jones
1280 Activity Points

Classroom management is something I struggle with as well. I parallel my role as a mother where I also am the pushover and my husband is the enforcer. Unfortunately for teaching, there isn’t really an enforcer (I know it’s the admin, but like others have said, they have better things to do then deal with minor classroom discipline problems). I agree with many people about the importance of setting the classroom management style for the students on Day 1. However, in both of my two years of teaching, I have had about a week’s notice that I got the teaching job before the students enter a classroom. This leaves you scrambling to organize lesson plans and content based objectives, not your room or classroom procedures. I have learned one good technique that I thought has been really successful. When my class has just had an awful day of behavior and very little quality work was produced. I spend the first 10 minutes of the next class making students write personal reflections on their behavior as individuals and as a class. Two of the key questions I make them answer is 1) Would your parents approve of your behavior? 2) Would the behavior of class make the community think highly of this high school and it’s students? The students have always been very honest and it has helped get them back on track for a while!

Sara Anglin
Sara Anglin
550 Activity Points

Classroom management is something I struggle with as well. I parallel my role as a mother where I also am the pushover and my husband is the enforcer. Unfortunately for teaching, there isn’t really an enforcer (I know it’s the admin, but like others have said, they have better things to do then deal with minor classroom discipline problems). I agree with many people about the importance of setting the classroom management style for the students on Day 1. However, in both of my two years of teaching, I have had about a week’s notice that I got the teaching job before the students enter a classroom. This leaves you scrambling to organize lesson plans and content based objectives, not your room or classroom procedures. I have learned one good technique that I thought has been really successful. When my class has just had an awful day of behavior and very little quality work was produced. I spend the first 10 minutes of the next class making students write personal reflections on their behavior as individuals and as a class. Two of the key questions I make them answer is 1) Would your parents approve of your behavior? 2) Would the behavior of class make the community think highly of this high school and it’s students? The students have always been very honest and it has helped get them back on track for a while!

Sara Anglin
Sara Anglin
550 Activity Points

After teaching high school on an internship license for a year, I took some time off. Now I'm doing student teaching in a middle school classroom, and I have to reevaluate my classroom management techniques. A lot of the comments in this thread are very useful.

Samantha Miranda
Samantha Miranda
3940 Activity Points

Great ideas and comments! Another great resource (and free but a little more lengthy) are the IRIS modules concerning classroom managment: Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan: New! This module—a revision of Who's In Charge? Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management System—highlights the importance of establishing a comprehensive classroom behavior management system composed of a statement of purpose, rules, procedures, consequences, and an action plan. It also provides information about how culture, classroom factors, and teacher actions can influence student behavior. (En español) Classroom Management (Part 2): Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan: New! This module—a revision of You're in Charge! Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan—reviews the major components of classroom management (including rules, procedures, and consequences) and guides users through the steps of creating their own comprehensive behavior plan. The module is a companion to Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan. (En español) SOS: Helping Students Become Independent Learners: This module describes how teachers can help students stay on task by learning to regulate their behavior. The four strategies discussed are self-monitoring, self-instruction, goal-setting, and self-reinforcement. Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 1): Understanding the Acting-Out Cycle: The first in a two-part series, this module discusses problem behavior in terms of the stages of the acting-out cycle and suggests ways to respond to students in the cycle's different phases. (En español) Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 2): Behavioral Interventions: The second in a two-part series, this module describes interventions that can increase initial compliance to teacher requests as well as interventions that can be implemented to decrease disruptive and noncompliant behaviors. (En español) Functional Behavioral Assessment: Identifying the Reasons for Problem Behavior and Developing a Behavior Plan: This module explores the basic principles of behavior and the importance of discovering the reasons that students engage in problem behavior. The steps to conducting a functional behavioral assessment and developing a behavior plan are described. (En español) http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/resources.html

Wendy Ruchti
Wendy Ruchti
23175 Activity Points

Hi, Attached is a collection of resources found in the Learning Center that a new teacher and I put together as this teacher was entering his first classroom. He was a career change educator and was still taking methods courses so he found some of the resources intriguing and helpful. Perhaps some of the readers of this thread will, too. ~patty


Classroom Management Collection
(12 items)
Instructional Technology Jewels
     -Journal Article
Creating a Fair Classroom Environment
     -Journal Article
Editor’s Roundtable: Classroom management à la Goldilocks
     -Journal Article

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

We use cooperative discipline at our school. The older the children get the harder it becomes. I teach 2nd grade and for some, a color change in their folder is enough to correct the behavior. Getting parents on board helps as well. Be fair, firm, and consistent as well.

Donald Bryan
Donald Bryan
1700 Activity Points

Tammy, all of your questions are valid and your desire to seek answers speaks highly of your desire to be a successful teacher. Without classroom management, it is difficult for learning to occur. How you deal with management is going to depend a lot on your own personal style. One thing you have to remember is safety of all students is a huge concern in a Science classroom. If students are behaving in a manner that may result in an injury to another student and interventions have been documented, administration has no choice but to deal with a student that continues to be disruptive and unsafe. Determine ahead of time what behavior(s) is/are acceptable to you. You know the rules you want to have in place, so do the students. These need to be established from day one, otherwise the longer you go without them in place, the more likely you are to have difficulty incorporating them. There are some teachers that have the class set the rules and gently guide students to the rules they would have put in place – this allows for student buy in. Personally, since I teach Design and Engineering, students have already done this exercise in their regular Science class, so I basically review the Safety Contract and the rules follow the contract. They actually appreciate not having to come up with rules one more time. Danyelle is correct when it comes to consistency and procedures. Consistency is the key to good classroom management. Students will test you in the beginning, and the sooner they understand there are consequences for undesirable actions, the easier it will be for you to keep learning occurring. You will be greeted with all sorts of excuses, “But Mr./Ms. said …” Bottom line, you don’t care about what happens in other classrooms, only yours. Students will catch on to this quickly if you are consistent every single day. Procedures are important not only to make your classroom run smoothly, but for it to run smoothly when you are gone and a substitute is taking your place. Students seem to think subs are “fair game,” and often will try to take advantage of them just because they can. It is really nice when you can tell your sub in your sub plans to remind students that your rules are the rules for the day and they remain in effect even if you are not there. Kendra is correct in that relationships are the cornerstone of respect. Classroom management is all about respect. Respect for the learning and safety of all students being the main focus. One thing I do differently in my room from other teachers is I address my students as Miss or Mr. and their last names. Partly because I want them to feel respected because the title is one of respect, partly because there often are students with the same first names. It is also worth noting I am known for being strict. Middle school students interpret strict as mean. Students in my classroom love me for the most part, but those in the hallway do not necessarily feel the same. In the hallway I expect them to walk, keep their voices down, all of the things listed in the student handbook as expectations. The expectations are no different inside my classroom, the only difference is within my room I have a relationship with them and they know me as a person that makes mistakes, laughs, cries and even bleeds when cut. I make it a point to learn alongside my students instead of always trying to be the one that knows everything. It is really important to note, your first year is the worst. Nobody knows you. Not parents, students, other staff. You are a new commodity and will be tested. Your second and subsequent years are much easier. It takes a while to build a reputation good or bad. As you can see from this thread, there are lots of different ways to manage a classroom. None are magic, they just fit the personality of the teacher. The task is for you to cherry pick what works for you and what you are willing to implement fairly and consistently within your own classroom.

Sandy Gady
Sandy Gady
42985 Activity Points

Donald, Your cooperative discipline system sounds enticing. Could you please give us an idea about how it starts and how it progresses, please. Is it mainly color coded? ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

[size=100]Dear Tammy I believe that it’s very difficult establish a specific rule or way to manage a classroom, that because every group have different characteristic so the strategic to manage a classroom will have to varied depending of the characteristic of the group. Best Regards Fatima K. Hosein

Fatima Korisha Ali Shah Hosein
Fatima Korisha Ali Shah Hosein
3245 Activity Points

As a few others mentioned, I think it is very important to take steps to establish relationships at the beginning of the school year. Building a strong rapport with students will help with classroom management and will be beneficial in resolving any issues that may occur.

Beverly Owens
Beverly Owens
1045 Activity Points

the ideas people have posted here are very interesting. i cant wait to have my own experiances and make my own decisions on how to handle them.

Mackenzie Bontrager
Mackenzie Bontrager
2630 Activity Points

I am a preservice teacher and this is one of my biggest concerns. Many of these replies seem very helpful.

Helen Edmonson
helen edmonson
1010 Activity Points

personally, I think the best classroom management stems from patience and self control. It is not about punishment, but redirection. This idea can be really hard to keep in mind, especially on the hardest days in the classroom. I like my classroom to be set up in pods rather than rows. I can pick where each student sits and organize the pods by skill level. I could have a strong, intermediate, and low student sitting together so there is somewhat of a structure in the group work. Each student may contribute in their own creative way regardless of their skill level, but having the differentiated groups really helps when students get stumped or have to work through a problem or experiment. Respect should be the the top priority and respect goes both ways.

Kathryn Mahoney
Kathryn Mahoney
1590 Activity Points

As a pre-service teacher I have seen many teachers teach various subjects and I have learned that without good classroom management a classroom can easily fall apart. Some strategies I have seen work are classroom rules, behavioral charts, giving realistic consequences, and reflecting with students why they got a specific consequence.

Tatiana Egozcue
Tatiana Egozcue
2125 Activity Points

Though I am only still a pre-service teacher studying at FIU I can tell you that I took a classroom management course that really helped me figure out what to do in many situations. I believe a lot of it depends on the students in your class. You need to get to know them because one thing might work with one student and not with the next. I have also heard that it is bad to constantly send students to the principles office. As teachers we need to be in charge of our class and figure out what to do with any students that cause disruptions.

Leidy Perez de Alejo
Leidy Perez de Alejo
2325 Activity Points

So many great ideas/approaches to use. I agree with the idea of beginning the school on a strict regimen. It's easier to ease up on this approach than it is to start out softly and then try to enforce a more rigid disciplinary environment. If students know the set classroom standards from the beginning, hopefully they're less likely to become disruptive and hinder those who want to learn.

Norma Gonthier
Norma Gonthier
3415 Activity Points

I would define disruptive behavior as a behavior that interrupts learning or a behavior that is risky to a child's safety. I believe in consistency. Rules are rules and they should apply equally to everyone. When I first began working with students, I had trouble being consistent. I would allow one student to break a rule, and the rest of the students would do the same without expecting a consequence. I also believe there is a difference between screaming at students, and raising your voice in order to be heard. I have also been told that it is bad to send students to the principal's office. I think we should rely on help when needed, but we should not constantly send a child to the principal's office. This sends the message that "the student is a problem, and I cannot fix it.I would rather not deal with it."

Janeth Rebolloso
Janeth Rebolloso
1780 Activity Points

Hello, I am currently a student teacher and I believe classroom management is important to establish from the start. There are numerous ways to discipline students in order to have a productive classroom. I have found that teachers do change or revise classroom management strategies they use. It depends on your grade level and the students you teach. As a teacher, you want to be firm, be consistent and follow through with the strategies you have implemented in your classroom. It is important to remember that every classroom is different and varies. Classroom management is important to establish that way children can reach their fullest potential and learn.

Najwa Al-Mohamed
Najwa Al-Mohamed
4280 Activity Points

I took a class on classroom management last semester and I learned that without a classroom management plan, you will be unable to reach your students and teach them at your fullest potential. If you have kids getting up every 5 minutes to sharpen their pencil or go to the bathroom you will not get anywhere! Being in a kindergarten classroom this semester has opened my eyes even more to the fact that classroom management is absolutely necessary from day 1. With established routines, your students will know exactly what to do and this will limit distractions.

Kaitlin Anderson
Kaitlin Anderson
2290 Activity Points

All your input is amazing to read! I am a Kindergarten student teacher and can see how important classroom management is. I really appreciate all of the input, advice, links and personal stories you all shared. I agree with most of you that relationships and positive discipline is key. I want my students to WANT to make good choice...but they need to have established and clear rules understood first. Thank you all for sharing!!!

Amy Damiani
Amy Damiani
1640 Activity Points

Yes, there really is nothing more important than that positive culture in a Kindergarten classroom. Well said.

Connie Kennedy
Connie Kennedy
600 Activity Points

Thank you for the video. It really did help me by giving me ideas to implement and use during my student teaching at the moment. I will try these strategies to improve my classroom management which will hopefully help me have a smoother going classroom.

Maria Nolasco
Maria Nolasco
1850 Activity Points

In my classroom what I find to be a major issue is the constant bickering bout little things. The reason why there is so much bickering is because of students not knowing how to stay busy in their own problems. I have found by simply reminding the students to mind their business a great help.

Dahlia Quiroga
Dahlia Quiroga
1535 Activity Points

There are so many different types of classroom management offered in books and articles, and I think as a teacher, it is our job to find the one that works best for our specific classroom. I think it's a trial and error thing, and if you see that students do not respond well to one technique than try the other. Keep your head up!

Heber Ramirez
Heber Ramirez
1115 Activity Points

I am a student finishing the credential program in May. During the course of my student teaching placements this year, I have been able to see and implement a variety of classroom management strategies. The most important thing I have learned is that all groups of students will respond to different classroom management techniques. As educators, we have to constantly be on our toes and find ways to keep students engaged and on task. For this reason, classroom management is an area that I feel like I can always improve in.

Caitlyn Deenik
Caitlyn Deenik
380 Activity Points

I think classroom management is one of the hardest things to master as a teacher. I am currently finishing up my student teaching and I have been constantly working on my management skills. I feel like kids respond better to positive rewards rather than negative punishment. I think having positive rewards in the class and giving students points for good behavior establish rapport with the students as well. For me classroom management is still an ongoing process.

Michaela Baca
Michaela Baca
325 Activity Points

I am currently in school to be a elementary school teacher. I took a classroom management course and loved the textbook we used. This book provides a teacher with great ideas from how to setup your classroom, how to plan for your first day, and how to provide positive reinforcements in your classroom. The book is: The Teachers Guide to Success by Ellen L. Kronowitz
It is an easy read full of great ideas!

Lauren Price
Lauren Price
470 Activity Points

Wow!  I just started with the Learning Center and this thread has given me some great ideas on how to deal with classroom mgt!  I teach 2nd grade and have to deal with students who struggle with attention.  Even though I have taught for 25 years, there is never a dull moment!  Thanks for the great strategies that I can add to my own "Tool Box!"

Pamela Kling
Pamela Kling
220 Activity Points

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