Classroom management is a significant component of student success in the classroom. Helping students feel and become successful is not only beneficial for them right now, but it is also setting them up for continued success in the future.
Teachers need to help students become organized and independent, which puts them on the path to success.
These 7 tips for classroom management will help your classroom run smoothly and help your students feel a sense of pride. Best of all, it will save you time in your day. We know there is not enough time in the day.
1. Classroom Routines are Key
When students have predictable routines, they know what to expect and can remind each other of classroom expectations, which will help them feel successful. Setting a routine can begin on day 1 and is a great way to begin your classroom management foundation.
For example, in the morning, students may enter the classroom, place their lunch order, and hand in homework. This also applies to the content areas. Every Monday, students may write about their “Weekend News” and every Friday, the class may read a “Poem of the Day”, and so on.
Allowing students to keep track of their daily schedule is another great way to provide structure. I have learned that many students enjoy and feel better when they know what to expect daily. Let’s be honest; many students love to know when they will have snacks, lunch, and recess each day!
When students know what to expect, they rise to the occasion!
2. Be Consistent!
Consistency is helpful for students and their success in the classroom each day, it will also make your life as a teacher a little bit easier. Here are a few examples of ways you can be consistent in the classroom:
- Having a turn-in bin where students put their completed assignments. Make this bin the place where students ALWAYS put their completed work. This will help you have one place to gather the work you need to grade.
- An unfinished work folder where students keep the assignments they have not yet completed so they can go back to them as they have time throughout the school day.
- Students may always place completed homework in the green bin and go to the round table to pick up their morning work.
3. Use Checklists
Checklists are editable and can be differentiated to meet the needs of the various learners in your classroom. A visual learner will benefit from pictures on his/her checklist. Some students may need a checklist for unpacking in the morning, and others may need a checklist for packing up at the end of the day. Checklists are also helpful for students when they are proofreading their writing.
If you are anything like me, you would love to see your students using checklists. It always made my checklist-loving heart so happy! A classroom management technique that students will use for years and years, one that may become more like a life management technique in the future.
4. Color Code Items
When students’ notebooks and folder colors match, it is easy to see which students have the correct items needed for that particular lesson. It’s also easy for students to ensure they have what they need (i.e., blue math folder and blue math notebook). This is also helpful for students in younger grades to feel included in the classroom organization as they can see the color folder or notebook their classmates are pulling out and make sure they have the correct one ready to go. This was helpful when I taught in a classroom where I had several English Language Learners.
5. Have Students Organize Their Workspace
Out of all of the 7 tips for classroom management, this may be my favorite. This is probably the planner lover in me coming out!
Seatback pockets are helpful for items that may get lost in desks, like glue sticks, colored pencils, and highlighters. Book baggies hanging on the back of the chair are also easy to store independent reading books for Reader’s Workshop. Finally, hang a hook on the side of your students’ desks; they now have a place to hang their headphones. Your classroom will be neater, and students will know where all of their supplies are.
Using planners is another way to keep their space and thoughts organized.
6. Maintain a Consistent Schedule
For example, schedule math or writing if the period before lunch offers more time than other periods throughout the day. You have more uninterrupted time to teach or work with a small group. This will also cut down on questions like, “When is it time for lunch?” Students will realize our class lines up for lunch when math is over.
I kept a copy of our class schedule up in the classroom for students to refer to throughout the day. The example shown below is from my Teacher Planner.
It is also impactful for students to see you using your planner to help you be organized. Many students will be excited to use their student planner when they see you using your planner.
7. Have a Specific Place for Items
For example, when students find pencils or other supplies and don’t know who they belong to, they should place them in the box on the back table. This is also helpful for students who lose items because they know where to look. The best part is students aren’t asking the teacher where to place or find lost items.
Another idea includes having a shelf or bin to store I CAN Math or Grammar Games. You can even put them on rings and hang them on a hook on the wall, which is an excellent way to save space!
It is vital to help students succeed in the classroom; classroom management is a great place to start. While it may seem simple, and those two words may come up a lot over the years, they are essential and must never be overlooked.
While every classroom looks different, these 7 tips for classroom management are a great place to start while adding your own tips along the way!