Thursday, July 26, 2012

7 Smart Classroom Management Ideas

Need ideas on how to implement creative classroom management techniques in the new school year?  Try this list of 7 ideas for inspiration:

  • Sparklers, from Beg.Borrow.Steal, which are cute, little balls awarded to teams of students when they transition back to their desks quickly and quietly after an activity.  She keeps the little balls (found in a craft store) on their desks and the team gets a reward after obtaining 6 of them.  This is similar to table points but a) come with tangible objects, which may be better for younger children and b) specifically target transition periods, so consider this if you want to start the year training the kids how to move from one area to another without a lot of lost time.  Bonus:  the blog also posts about a game which helps cut down on students talking without raising their hands. 

  • Blurts, from KinderTastic, may be able to help with students blurting out and talking without permission.  A poster is displayed and students have to place a dot by their name if they blurt out, which helps them see exactly how much they disrupt the flow of activities.  Students are awarded a prize for going a day or a week without any "blurts" added next to their name.

  • Make a microphone, like the one used in MsKaren'sClass.  She made it from a paper towel roll and other materials, and students can only speak with they are holding it.  This would be great for classroom discussions.  Bonus:  she also shows us a bottle of her "quiet spray," which she douses on students before going on in hallways.  Cute!

  • Assign table managers amongst the students, as suggested in the ReallyGoodStuff blog.  She points out that a lot of teaching time is lost when teachers are passing out papers.  She likes to have  handouts already organized at students' desks, and lets table managers handle passing them out and collecting them.  They are kept in folders which the teacher can then grade.  I've personally seen several techniques with table managers and paper managers, and I think they're all great ideas.  They work efficiently and give students responsibility, while also saving the teacher lots of time.

  • Create an incident report, or use the one made by Mrs. Bunyi.  She cuts down on tattletales and wasting time on frivolous matters by having students fill out a form she created.  I love that it requires students to put some thought into their issues with others.  Is it really worth taking the time to fill out the form?  If not, just let it go.

  • Use credit cards, like the ones found on TeacherTreasures.  I really enjoy classroom economies.  This site has a printable version of credit cards, where you can give students stamps for good behavior on the back.  They can trade them in for prizes later.

  • Use nonverbal cues, like those taught in Teach Like a Champion.  The best way to intervene when students are off-task is to draw their attention back to the lesson, while keeping yourself on pace and not distracting everyone else.  These cues are very cool!  It takes a bit of training to help kids learn to recognize them and follow directions, but staying consistent from the beginning of the year can do wonders.

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