In the Classroom

Easy K-12 Classroom Management Ideas that Work

We know there is so much information out there that it is sometimes a very difficult process to narrow down your plan of classroom management ideas. It’s not a matter of narrowing down but finding what will work for you and your students. When researching and defining your own classroom management ideas, there are certain pieces to keep in mind.

What is your classroom management goal?

Most teachers have a very clear idea of their own classroom management goals. They want to create a safe and secure learning environment for students, they want them to be intrinsically motivated, they want them to actively participate in group work and individual tasks. Whatever the goal, identifying it is key to having a proper plan with your classroom management ideas in place.

A typical goal is to achieve a positive school culture. A positive school culture means a safe and caring environment for teachers, students, and parents/guardians. Everyone’s needs are being met, and appropriate boundaries are in place. Discipline problems are minimized or nonexistent because students choose to comply with rules and expectations. Everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and makes good choices.

To achieve this goal, effective teachers take time to understand their students’ backgrounds, motivations, interests, and learning styles. They provide personalized instruction that meets the needs of the individual students. They also create classroom rules and consequences in an effort to provide structure for all students. The hope is that by doing so they will create a sense of order and encourage each student to take more responsibility for his or her own learning.

What message do your classroom management ideas send to students?

Your behavior plan will represent what you value as a teacher. You want your teachings and expectations of your students to reflect this clearly which makes finding the best method of classroom management crucial.

In today’s classrooms, it means managing the students in a way that will maintain order and help them to learn. Managing your students’ behavior isn’t just about being able to get them to sit still and be quiet. It also means being respected, paying attention for a sustained length of time, and using appropriate social skills.

Remember, your actions seep into the subconscious of your students and they will take them as a sign of how it is to be in rooms with you. This is why it is important to clearly send a message that represents what you as a teacher value. You don’t want your students to see your classroom management ideas as simply a means to get them to behave for recess.

Easy K-12 Classroom Management Ideas that Work

What are student needs?

The more you know about your students, the better equipped you are to step in when they need support. When there is a clear understanding of what they need, it will be easy to implement for both them and yourself. There are many resources available to you which can help further this research process of your classroom management ideas.

The following is a list of the six main needs of students:

1. To maintain a sense of belonging and acceptance. We all want to feel like we belong and that our voices are heard. Schools often revolve around social groups and cliques, so if someone feels on the outside looking in it can be detrimental to their learning. This need can be met by involving students in classroom activities, and encouraging a positive learning environment.

2. To feel a sense of achievement from schoolwork. It is important that students have adequate time to complete their work at school as well as have the opportunity to do so. The more encouragement they receive from both teachers and peers alike, the more ambitious they will be to work towards achieving the task at hand.

3. To feel comfortable with school rules and procedures. If students do not like or agree with rules governing the classroom, then their resistance may lead them to take part in disruptive behavior as a means of getting what they want. By having clear guidelines for students from the beginning, and making sure that they understand why these procedures are in place, the less likely they will be to engage in rebellious behavior.

4. To feel good about themselves as learners. If students do not think well of themselves as learners, it can hinder their ability to take risks; such as asking questions or trying new activities. Building up a student’s self-esteem, through encouraging words and positive feedback can go a long way.

5. To learn in their own style and rhythm. Every student is different; some work well with others, while others prefer to work alone or take things slowly until they feel comfortable enough to proceed further. If the environment of the classroom does not cater to individual learning differences, students will not be encouraged or motivated to learn at the highest of their ability.

6. To achieve personal goals and reach potential in life. Beyond doing well in school, students need to learn how they can contribute positively to society in both academic and non-academic ways.

List potential obstacles.

Identifying the possible obstacles will help you come up with a plan of attack before they happen. For example, did you know that if a student has ADHD and is slightly aggressive, it can be triggered by another student yawning? Knowing these little things will give you insight on how to properly maneuver around them so you can have the best classroom management ideas.

Here are some potential obstacles that can happen in your classroom:

  • Not enough time to teach the lesson.
  • Kids not paying attention to you, but talking amongst themselves.
  • A student trying to chat with someone at another desk, instead of working quietly on their own.
  • Everyone getting distracted by the movement of an eraser or pencil across the board.
  • Kids talking all at once, not in turn. Students taking too long to get to work.
  • Not enough independent work for everyone.
  • Students needing help but you’re busy with another student right then.
  • Noisy students interrupting the class, disturbing the concentration of others.
  • Someone barges into the room when they shouldn’t be there.

You get the gist.

What are your classroom rules?

The key component to any good behavior plan with classroom management ideas is the set of classroom rules that go along with it. Rules are so important because students get used to them being in place and know what kinds of behaviors are expected. These avoid disruptions, misbehavior, or confusion when new students enter the class. It’s important to have a well-defined list of rules so there are no misunderstandings and your classroom management ideas are both feasible and understood.

  • Possible rules could include:
  • We will maintain a safe and respectful environment for learning.
  • Be on time to class; arrive ready to learn.
  • Bring your homework every day.
  • Do all assigned work, including homework.
  • Do not use electronic devices unless directed by the teacher or when completing an assignment.
  • Be considerate of others.

I’ve always found it best to have the students help come up with these rules together. It’s a great team-building activity and gets them more engaged in the process.

How do you plan to keep students involved?

Sometimes it can be hard for young students to sit and focus on tasks for too long which is why it’s necessary to make sure they stay engaged throughout the day. There are many ways in which to do this, from a reward system to come up with quick classroom management ideas that capture their attention.

Making a plan for your classroom management idea is the best way to ensure it will work without disrupting learning time or taking away from student engagement. Understanding behavior and knowing how students think help make effective classroom management possible.

5 Classroom Management Ideas

Here are 5 classroom management ideas that might help you narrow down your own, personal plan:

1. Classroom Library

Having a classroom library is absolutely essential in any learning environment. It provides students with access to books, materials, and resources that they can take out at their discretion instead of having to be given every time by their teacher. Allowing them to have a choice or independence will boost self-esteem while giving them more responsibility for their work.

2. Reward System

This is a great way to incentivize students to do what you want them to do. There are so many ways in which to approach this idea but the most effective plan is one that stems from positive reinforcement. This means that they will receive some kind of reward for being on task, listening attentively, or following directions. This allows for you to focus on the behavior you’d like them to exhibit while simultaneously helping students feel good about their progress.

3. Classroom Rules

This is an effective way of staying organized and making sure that all students are prepared to do what they need before accepting new tasks or challenges. If everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, they will be able to exhibit the behaviors you’d like and learn more effectively. This way, students know exactly what is expected of them and how they should behave in every situation possible.

4. Classroom Jobs

This can include anything from having a line leader to cleaning duties for each group of desks or even walking door monitor during transitions. Doing this allows students to feel more invested in their learning environment because they are given the opportunity to contribute. They will take on responsibilities, follow rules, and stay organized/responsible if given these kinds of tasks.

5. Daily Award Time

Giving students a chance each day where everyone is rewarded for their positive behavior can help improve your classroom management idea and work as a productive classroom management tool. This can happen at the beginning or end of class and students will be able to share what they’ve been working on, mention an accomplishment from their day, or share funny events that happened. This is a great way to celebrate student accomplishments, improve social skills, and boost morale throughout the rest of their day.


These are not the only options you have, but they might help you narrow down the best classroom management ideas for your classroom. Every teacher is different and every class of students that they have is different as well. By honing in on your favorite classroom management idea, you can improve the behavior of students and make learning more fun and engaging.

The best way to do this is by making a structured plan for your classroom management ideas so that they can be easily followed. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask a colleague, friend, or family member for assistance as they might have strategies that would work really well in your classroom.

Finally, remember that you are not alone when it comes to classroom struggles or issues with keeping students on task. We all have our struggles and this is one of the many aspects of teaching/classroom life that can be extremely difficult for anyone who does it – regardless of experience! This happens to everyone so remember that you are not alone when it comes to classroom management idea struggles!

My biggest motivation in life (before I had my own children) was my students. When they succeeded, I succeeded. There is nothing better than seeing your student understand something that they were struggling with or make a breakthrough in their learning. It’s why I became a teacher in the first place.

However, there are times when things don’t go as planned and when this happens, it can be extremely frustrating. When students make frustrating choices either academically or behaviorally it can make your job much more difficult than you originally anticipated. This is when we need to think about our classroom management ideas to know that sometimes we need to go with plan B or C or even D depending on the day and the issue at hand.

In my classroom, I tended to focus on the positive when it came to my students. Even if they were misbehaving, I wanted them to know that I cared about them and I was there for every student in the class – not just the ones who were perfect or behaved perfectly.

This holds true as I still have students reaching out to me to catch up or to give them “life advice”. It’s the best feeling in the world

Stop Driving the Teacher Struggle Bus

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After moving from a teacher-dominated classroom to a truly student-centered one, Jenn found herself helping colleagues who wanted to follow her lead.  In 2018 she decided to expand outside of her school walls and help those out there who were also trying to figure out this fantastic method of instruction to ignite intrinsic motivation in their students.  Read more about her journey with Student-Centered World at

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