Having the right classroom management tools in your teaching toolkit can completely change your class dynamic! We all know students learn better in a well-managed classroom. How do we get there though? Sometimes it seems impossible! Here are 9 essential management tools to add a little peace and order to your classroom this school year.
#1 Attention Grabbing Classroom Management Tools
You’ve probably heard me say it before, but I’m going to say it again. EMOTIONS drive ATTENTION, and attention drives learning and memory. If you want to grab your kiddo’s attention you might want to give a few of these a try.
#2: Hand Signals
“Mrs. Morrow, Mrs. Morrow, I have a question!”, “Mrs. Morrow, may I use the restroom?”, “Mrs. Morrow, may I sharpen my pencil?” I will never forget the days of hearing my name what felt like 1000 times in the course of one day. We all want a classroom with NO MORE INTERRUPTIONS! Hand Signals are the answer! Hand signals are a classroom management strategy that let you know exactly what your students need so you can respond accordingly and not interrupt teaching and learning.
#3: Voice Level Chart
Voice level charts are one of my favorite classroom management tools! Kids always seem to get the loudest when they are working with a partner or in a group. And although, it is important that they talk during that time, they do need to control their volume.
Voice level charts allow you to manage your class volume and put a stop to the chatter. These are a great visual reminder for your students of what the appropriate voice should be during different activities. You can also make it a part of your behavior management plan and students will be talking at correct volumes before you know it!
#4 Hall Passes
During all of my years in teaching, I have always had hall passes! I’ve used different generic items and created signs they could carry. It took me way too long to realize I needed to put a lanyard attached to the pass. No more lost hall passes and the student remembers where they are supposed to go and end up in the right place and nowhere else! (At least most of the time!)
#5 Class Rules
Classroom Rules are an age-old tool of classroom management! Create your classroom rules together and display them in your classroom. These rules help to build CLASSROOM COMMUNITY and set CLEAR EXPECTATIONS in your classroom! I like to use class rules we have created as a class. I believe when the class creates the rules, students have a “buy-in” to the culture of the classroom and are more likely to follow those rules.
#6 Class Schedule
Do your kids often ask when is lunch, P.E., reading, etc.? A classroom schedule ELIMINATES DISTRACTIONS and helps students UNDERSTAND what they should be working on at different times during the day, and how much time they have until the next subject or activity.
#7 Class Jobs
Help your students develop classroom OWNERSHIP and instill RESPONSIBILITY by giving each of them a class job. This is always a favorite of students! Just a little responsibility goes a long way to teach your students what it means to have a job and be a part of a team where every piece is important.
#8 Word Wall
Every classroom needs a wall to display high-frequency words or words related to the content you are learning about. Use your word wall to reinforce spelling, or to house words you want your students to use in their writing. A word wall makes your classroom run more smoothly because my students aren’t constantly interrupting you to ask how to spell a word.
#9: Table Signs
Assigning names or numbers to tables helps students learn to work as a team. In the same way, a theme can bond your classroom, table names can help bond a group of students to work together and be a team. I like to have my students name their table rather than assign a number, but that’s up to you.
A final word about Classroom Management Tools
Classroom management is always evolving as technology improves, and teachers invent new strategies and tricks. Back in the prehistoric days when I first started teaching, there were no such things as voice level charts, Class Dojo, or hand signal charts. New strategies and tools are sure to be invented.
Please comment and let us know what your favorite strategies are to use for classroom management.