I have found that having a well managed and organized classroom is the key to a successful learning environment.  I hope that you are able to use some of the ideas listed in these pages. If you have suggestions for Classroom Management strategies that could benefit another teacher, please send me an email.  Not all suggestions will make it onto the website, but your time and thoughtfulness are appreciated.  Please be sure to put "Classroom Management for Teachers" in the subject line.
Thank you,
Mrs. McDavid 

 

Behavior Management 

Comprehensive classroom management is the key to becoming a successful teacher and managing behavior is a large piece of the puzzle. Behavior management takes planning, implementation, and maintenance.  Maintaining behavior in the classroom can be tricky at times but with a little creativity behavior can be managed in a fun, thoughtful way.  I hope that you find these positive interventions useful in your own classrooms.

Classroom Rules
The first step in maintaining a classroom of positive learners is to display your classroom rules and subsequent consequences in a place that is easily seen by students, parents, and visitors in your classroom.  It is also important to refer to them often.  When a student breaks a rule, have them identify the rule they broke and address what they can do to prevent the infraction in the future.

Be firm and consistent with rules and consequences.  It is always easier to relax your control than to try and regain it.  Setting boundaries is critical to to the success of the classroom climate. Be fair, be firm, but above all else be consistent.

Consequences
There are times when a student simply has a difficult time following classroom rules and continues to break them.  In times like these, a teacher can provide the student with a quiet time out, remove the student from a classroom activity, take away time from recess, or issue a reflective writing assignment.  It is important that the child be able to understand what he did wrong and what he can do to correct the behavior.  Prescribing meaningless tasks such as writing lines NEVER works. Teaching students to be accountable for their actions is the key to a more positive learning environment. 

Reflective Writing assignments work well for children above 1st grade.  The Reflective Writing Assignment was designed for my second grade students at the beginning of last year and have proved to be very effective.  Each essay is designed to provide the student with time for reflection and an opportunity to regain self-control and take responsibility for their actions.  Once completed, the essay is signed by the student and then sent home for parent signatures.  This has really helped to provide a sense of order in the classroom.  

Positive Discipline
Another technique that teachers can use for classroom management is to identify expectations for positive behaviors rather than rules that shouldn't be broken.  Instead of "no hitting, kicking, or pushing" the rule might read "be kind with your words and actions".  When good behaviors are exhibited, be quick to give praise and reinforcement. Positive discipline truly puts a positive spin on expectations for conduct in the classroom.

Give Praise Often
Give praise often.  Praise students for positive behaviors.  Be specific.  Tell the student what it is they are doing that pleases you.  This will not only reinforce positive behavior for the student receiving the praise but also motivates other students to follow her example.  

Positive Corrections
When addressing a negative behavior use positive phrases that motivate students to take responsibility for making wise choices.  Use phrases such as "I really need your help" or "I know that you are an intelligent person, but you have made a poor choice, so I need for you to..."   For example: when a student becomes talkative during seat work, simply walk over to the student and whisper to them in a soft voice "I really need your help".  Of course the student becomes very attentive at this point and will make eye contact with you.  Now the student is focused on you and you may continue with a phrase such as "It is very distractive to your fellow classmates when you continue to talk during seat work.  I need for you to concentrate on your work so that you can help your classmates to focus on their work".  This approach usually does the trick.  Positive discipline puts the responsibility of accountability back on the student and empowers them to make the appropriate choices. 

Managing Classroom Behavior
Primary students need to visually keep track of their conduct so that they can take responsibility for their actions and manage their own conduct.  The On-Task Board is a powerful tool in behavior management.  As the student breaks a rule they gradually move their name or number from the On-Task board to the Off-Task board.  

The theme for behavior management in my classroom is "Fishing For Good Behavior".  I use a fish embellished On-Task board.  The Off-Task board is marked with consequences (warning, first offense, second offense, third offense, office visit).  Each time the student breaks a rule they must move their fish further down the Off-Task board and each time a new consequence applies.  Please visit my classroom rules and consequences web page for additional information.

Routines and Procedures
It is important to establish routines and procedures in the classroom.  Students need to know what is expected of them and routines need to be consistent in order for students to achieve success in complying with them.  In the beginning it is important to model your expectations for how routines are to be performed.  For example, when students enter the classroom, identify for them what they are expected to do, enter quietly and unpack their belongings.  One of the best ways to make sure that students understand how to follow through with the routine is to model first the incorrect way to enter the room.  Allow children to discuss what is wrong with the scenario.  You will be surprised by their suggestions for how to correct the behavior.  Next, model the correct way to enter the classroom.  Young students will remember more about what it is they are to do if they have a visual image of the correct procedure.    

Some routines and procedures that you need to establish include the following:

Entering the Classroom

Walking in the Hall
    

Exiting the Classroom

Restroom Breaks
   

 

Morning Procedures

Lining Up
   

Dismissal Procedures

Playground Procedures
 

Turning in Homework

Cafeteria Procedures
   

Turning in Classwork

Media Center Procedures
    

Retrieving Materials

Classroom Library Procedures
  
Sharpening Pencils

Learning Center Procedures
     
Using the Computers

Small Group Procedures

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