The Ultimate List of Classroom Management Strategies
It’s the Monday after a school break and you’re heading back into your classroom. Your students have been away from school for more than two weeks and you’re not sure what to expect when they walk through the doors. Often times, when returning from breaks, we have to do a classroom management reset to help our students be successful through the end of the year. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Without the opportunity to reset, not only do our students suffer, but teachers suffer. Greatly. Use the list of strategies below to help your students reset and reestablish classroom management.
Transform your classroom with these strategies!
- Morning Meetings
This classroom management strategy was a game changer for my classroom when I taught kindergarten, and even when I taught 5th grade! The time you spend doing morning meetings are valuable and essential to our students’ mental health and well-being. It’s important to acknowledge our students and their feelings. Morning Meetings are a great way to get started!
You can read more 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!
2. Visual Reminders
This is one of my favorite classroom management strategies. Having visual reminders around the classroom to help your students remember expectations is essential to successful classroom management. Some of the visual reminders I used around my classroom included:
- Hand signals we used for things like restroom, water, pencil, etc.
- Classroom Rules with pictures (especially for the little ones)
- Pictures of Materials needed on the board to help students remember what they need without having to ask.
- Desk helpers with writing rubrics, punctuation, etc.
- Sentence frames
All of the visual reminders above are great ways to help students be more independent and rely less on having to ask teachers for directions.
3. The Mystery Game Classroom Management Tool
Ok, this one is unique and one of my own creations! Yes, you read that right! A mystery game that can also double as a classroom management tool! Research has shown time and time again that student engagement is critical to academic success. But how do we get our students engaged in the material we want them to learn? The answer is complicated and it’s kind of like pieces to a puzzle. One HUGE piece of that puzzle is student behavior. When students are disengaged, that’s when they tend to misbehave and vice versa. As an educator, I’m always looking for ways to motivate my students. In 2014 I developed my first mystery game. It was a huge hit! Students and fellow teachers loved it! Then it hit me…I could use the game to motivate my students. And this is what it looked like.
Of course you’ll need a mystery to use this resource. You can download a FREE mystery HERE and check out the collection of over 30 mysteries HERE! If you want to see your classroom management and student engagement SKY ROCKET, then check it out!
4. Verbal Reminders
Just like visual reminders, verbal reminders are also an essential part of successful classroom management. Using verbal cues like, “1, 2, 3, eyes on me” and “Class, Class, Yes, Yes,” are excellent ways to grab your students attention immediately. Many teachers are getting creative with this one and using popular TikTok quotes to help them grab older students’ attention. Get creative and have fun with it!
5. Kindness Bingo
This is one of my favorite ways to help students think about their actions. Click here to check out the resource I used in my classroom to help my students think about their behavior and actions. It was great to also see my students carry their kindness bingo into other places, besides the classroom. Many of them used it at home with their families and I heard great feedback!
This one is a classic. We all know that using incentives in the classroom can be a great way to motivate students. Whether you decide to use something like a treasure box, classroom pets, or homework passes, classroom incentives are a great way to help your students stay on track and help teachers regain control of their classroom.
7. Seating Arrangements
When I first started teaching, I had no idea how important seating arrangements were. I had students in nice neat rows, spaced apart so nobody could easily talk to each other. It was terrible. I decided to change it up. I put students in groups. Collaboration and opportunities for discussion is important for student learning. I put students in small groups of 4-5 and gave them times throughout the day to collaborate with their peers. I also spaced out those students who are usually disruptive. Decide what type of seating arrangement best fits your needs. In my humble opinion, groups are a great way to motivate students, but we all know that strategy must be involved when decided what group to put each student in.
8. Flexible Seating
Flexible seating is one of my favorite classroom management strategies. Giving students choice when it comes to seating can be a game changer. One of my favorite flexible seating options is the classic “wobbly stool”.
One thing to remember when thinking about flexible seating is that it can become expensive. Using a site like Donors Choose can help teachers get funding for important things like flexible seating.
THIS is one of the most important pieces of having control of your classroom and making sure your classroom management is on point. Click HERE to download your FREE resource that includes a complete list of all the classroom procedures, routines, and rules that you need!
Students can become distracted and forgot about expectations. It’s important to not only establish routines and procedures, but to also review them often. Reminding students of expectations is essential to successful classroom management.
10. Brain Breaks
And last but certainly not least, brain breaks! This is especially important for young learners who have short attention spans, but it’s just as important for older students to take a break once in awhile and reset. Resources like GoNoodle.com fun and interactive games, dances, and movements to help students reset and refocus. There are many other ways to give students brain breaks as well. Using games like, “Silent Ball” where students toss a soft ball around the room without talking is always fun and “Around the World” where students answer multiplication problems as quickly as they can and try to make it around the classroom! Have fun and get creative with brain breaks!
Having a strong classroom management strategy is essential to a happy, fun, and successful classroom. Not only will your students be successful, but your life will be easier. I know all too well the feeling of going home after a long day of teaching unruly students. Don’t let that happen to you! Use these strategies to help regain control of your classroom!