Classroom Management - Share your Ideas!

So I am moving this week! Thanks to all of you wonderful TpT buyers, I was able to purchase this awesome house for myself and my family (which consists of my daughter - a high school junior, my son a college sophomore who is only home on breaks, but still needs a room, my sweetie, and his two girls, ages 14 and 10 who are with us every other weekend, and a somewhat senile cat). It has a big daylight basement for the kids and is in a great neighborhood - we've already met the neighbors and they are so nice. And two of them are teachers! We are also just a few minutes ride from a fabulous bike trail - you can ride all the way into Seattle one way, or into Redmond (which I wouldn't have mentioned except that Bill made it famous) if you go the other way. Thank you all so much for making this possible. Beyond being able to buy a house, I am truly honored that you have chosen to use my products with your students.

But the real reason for this post is I was wondering if could help me out. Since I won't have time to blog for the next few days, I am hoping to crowd source some classroom management tips - either for the end of this year or for starting next year. I would be thrilled if you would leave a comment with your favorite classroom management tip. And of course, if you have a blog you are welcome to leave a link. 

I'm looking forward to reading your tips and I am sure that other Minds in Bloom readers will find them valuable.


TheElementary MathManiac said...

I spend a lot of time in other people's classrooms and the most important thing I see great teachers do is to wait to talk until ALL students are quiet and attentive. There are thousands of ways to get the students' attention but if you start talking before kids are listening it can destroy all aspects of your classroom management in no time.
The other thing I see really effective teachers doing is holding kids accountable for coming up with an answer and/or when they do turn and talk, holding kids accountable for explaining their partner's thinking. This goes a long way towards having kids who are engaged throughout the lesson!!!

The Math Maniac

Mary Bauer said...

Congratulations on the new house. Our house is on the Interurban Trail which goes from Everett to Ballard. I have had the best of intentions of riding the trail. I hope you get out there more than I do.

I am Bullyproof Music - Lessia Bonn said...

Your house is beautiful! Thanks for posting a picture so we can all share in your family's fun new adventure. I'm sure there will be many magical moments under the roof of your new abode. Congrats again!

As far as tips, I have discovered that pockets full of humor help alot. If I can get a room full of students laughing I absolutely earn not only their respect but their complete attention. I have a few things I say that are slightly flip. "I've been on the planet longer than you so you should really listen to me" works like a charm. They love that one. It earns respect and grabs attention. It's fun to be with a teacher who knows her worth and takes no prisoners. haha at least that's what I'm often told. A sense of humor is actually a great organizational tool!

Lisa Parnello said...

My favorite classroom management tip is random surprises! Without any warning I'll give a surprise to all the kids who are being good or are on good colors on our behavior chart. The kids never know when it's going to happen, so they stay motivated to keep being good. If a kid misses a surprise they learn it's better to make good choices so you get good things!

My surprises vary each time. Here are a few of the ones I've used lately: a handful of gummy bears, a smelly sticker, an extra reading break (my student are nerds and love to read!), or puzzle/board game time!

The Lower Elementary Cottage

Retta London said...

Hi Rachel,
Congratulations and much happiness in your new home!
I like to use call and response for classroom management. My favorite is based on a combination of whole brain learning and Lucy Calkins, and was really invented by my students this year following a Lucy lesson. I say, "Class!" and they answer, "Yes!" I say, "I need you to listen with your eyes and ears." (I point to my eyes and ears.) They answer "Hearts and minds." (Pointing to their hearts and minds.) It's the cutest thing ever to see them do it, and works every time to get those rambunctious little fourth graders focused in a hurry.
My blog is really new, but I'd love it if anyone reading this would stop by and leave a comment.
Hope to see you blogging soon, Rachel!


Miss Foote said...

I have a space on my whiteboard titled, "I did somehting Awesome Today" If a student gets a compliment from another adult, or peer, or I see them doing something great amongst many who aren't, they get to write their name on the board. Because writing on the board with a white board pen is the best:-)

Chickadee Jubilee

Courtney Dawson said...

Recently our entire staff was trained in a management program called ENVoY. It is amazing. It is all about non-verbal management and there is a lot to it but one thing that really works the the 20 seconds wait time. After you have given a direction you freeze your body and wait for 20 seconds (give or take). It allows the students to get started on their own and they get use to the idea that I am not going to help anyone while I wait (I always have those students who want help before they even try it). After the 20 seconds of wait time I slowly start walking while they are working. It has improved independence in my students!

Shelley Rolston said...

Hi Rachel,

Congratulations on your new home! Your children and situation is similar to mine!

I agree with all the above, especially waiting to speak. Also, I have been using Mindup and activities from my own Mindful Brains Mindful Hearts and I have had a lot of success with it teaching kids to self regulate and be independent learners. It's a lot about knowing who you are as a person and learner and becoming aware of others and how what you do can affect others. I have a very challenging class this year (tied for the hardest one in 23 years) and I am noticing improvement, I even wrote a blog about. Pop by if you want to read more. I'm looking forward to reading new tips. :)


The Perks of Teaching Primary

Susanna - Whimsy Workshop said...

I will echo Shelley in the above comment about using Mind Up mindfulness programs - amazing for management and also teaching optimism, self-awareness, and empathy (all interconnected with management success). I would also add the Second Step Program (for impulse control, self talk and anger management) and Class Dojo.

Susanna Westby
Whimsy Workshop

Laurel Stone said...

I teach 7th grade- in addition to all these great ideas, I do "Give me Five," where I hold up hand and start count down, while students quiet down, put things down, and get ready to learn. By end of first few weeks, I don't even have to say anything, just raise my hand. Also, I have a file folder system where students have everything they need for class. They come in, take folder, and start on their journal. I just look at the names on the folders left on the counter to take attendance! Saves me huge amount of time passing out papers, because I take 2 minutes in morning to put stuff in folders.

A House Called Home said...

Such an exciting time for you! We will also be moving into a new house - two weeks and counting!

I teach middle school. My favorite management technique is hallway minutes. I ask a student who is not following directions to speak with me in the hallway for a few minutes. I find that removing him from the audience (classmates) usually makes him more compliant and willing to admit his behavior was not all it should have been. In those few minutes we can have a respectful conversation, come to an understanding and return to the classroom with better behavior.


Dr. Jill E. Steeley said...

How exciting to move into your new home, Rachel! Praying you'll have lots of energy to finish the school year strong while unpacking and settling in.

All through the year I use callbacks I've created to refocus attention, begin a new activity, share with a neighbor, etc. For example, if some students have become inattentive during a lesson, I might say, "Clickety clack." They would then look at me and respond, "Get on track."


Prodigal Momma said...

I like instant rewards in classroom management; such as choosing the 'super sitter' to come and write something on the board which they LOVE.

I also have 4 visual reminders displayed, to show that they should listen to who is sharing (that can be myself, another adult or a classmate), to speak at the right time (so when it's time to discuss in pairs/ small groups they should join in and resist the urge to shout out), to look (at the person speaking, the board or video... essentially whatever the class is engaging with) and MOST IMPORTANTLY to always be thinking...

I can point to these at any time of the day and they serve as a great reminder for the children (who are 6 and 7yrs).

MrsSeverson said...

Congrats on purchasing the new home!
All staff in the middle school give out “Caught in the Middle of Achievement” cards that students turn in for the chance to win weekly prizes. This is a great incentive for our fifth and sixth graders. In my classroom I like to change the tone of my voice and pause frequently, especially when giving directions or demonstrating a science experiment. It helps students focus and listen.

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