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Classroom Management Strategies for Student-Centered Classrooms
Effective classroom management in the 21st century demands a shift from teacher-led, to student-centered. Successful classroom management in a student-centered classroom should shift the control from teacher enforcement to student independence.
Students who can manage their own behavior are able to take responsibility for their actions and their learning. Teachers can guide this process by showing students how to take ownership of their learning. With these strategies, you will be able to transform your classroom into a more student-centered environment.
1. Foster Meaningful Relationships and Build Community
This is a big one for me. One of m favorite ways to build relationships in the classroom is to start every morning with a morning meeting. I’m a big advocate of morning meetings. Read about morning meetings here from Responsive Classroom. There are four parts to a morning meeting. This is one of the books that transformed my teaching and my classroom. Click here to check it out!
- Greeting. Every student greets one another by name. There are tons of fun ways to do this.
- Sharing. Students share something about themselves and others actively listen. Other students can ask questions and show interest as well. You can determine what they share each day or leave it open.
- Group activity. Make it fun and interesting. It can be academic or not. Regardless of what game it is, students are building connections and relationships.
- Morning message. Give students a message to help them get their day started on the right foot. Make it interactive.
- For more ideas on morning meeting activities, check out 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K – 2 or 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 3 – 6. Both are wonderful and I highly recommend them!
Not only will your students enjoy their morning meeting time, but they’ll also be building strong relationships in the classroom and beyond.
2. Student-Led Discussions
If you want students to take ownership of their learning, give back some of the control to them. Student-centered learning environments promote independence by requiring students to reflect metacognitively. In a student-centered classroom, students rely more on their peers for answers to their questions than on the teacher.
One activity I like to use in my classroom is a mystery game. In this game, students rely solely on their classmates to solve the mystery of who stole the Mona Lisa from La Louvre museum in Paris. Read more about it here! It is amazing to see students engaged in their learning. They are so focused throughout the entire lesson, they barely even know I’m in the classroom. The whole group discussion at the end of the lesson is very powerful and an excellent way to get students collaborating. Student-led discussions will help students feel more empowered and responsible for their learning.
3. Inquiry-Based Learning
We want our students to be interested in what they’re learning. Inquiry-based learning is an excellent strategy to get students involved in the learning process and develop strong classroom management. Inquiry-based learning is more than just asking what students want to learn; it’s about activating interest and curiosity. The first step in successful inquiry-based learning is to get students to develop questions they want answers to. We want our students to ask and answer higher-order thinking questions. To read more about inquiry-based learning, click here.
4. Classroom Jobs
Giving students classroom jobs not only holds them accountable and makes them feel responsible for their classroom, but it can also take a few things off your plate. Think about little tasks around your classroom that you can designate to your students. A few examples might be; messenger, trash collector, pencil monitor, attendance taker. The list goes on. Assign whatever jobs make sense in your classroom.
5. Having Students Set Goals for Themselves
Teaching students how to set goals can help motivate students to take responsibility for their learning. Setting achievable and realistic goals is a great way to increase student engagement and academic success. As teachers, we’re constantly thinking about how our students can improve. Showing instead of telling students how to set goals is a great way to shift the classroom dynamic. When students take ownership of their learning, they feel empowered. This empowerment is crucial for successful classroom management in a student-centered classroom.