The techniques classroom management thrives with are universal and yet at the same time, very personalized. While there are a million different ideas to use in terms of classroom management success, it is a matter of tweaking them until you develop a system that works for both you and your students. Those techniques classroom management really flourish with are easy enough to implement when given the correct tools.
Here are five of the most universal techniques classroom management thrives with.
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1) Signal That You Are Listening
When you don’t make it blatantly obvious that you are listening to your students, they will not share with you any ideas or concerns. Make eye contact and really show them that their thoughts matter to you. Even if your mental tastes are completely different from the students, they will still feel more inclined to be honest with you if you are making eye contact with them.
When your students can be confident that you are paying attention to them as individual people, they will be more likely to open up, and the communication barrier between you and them will begin to crumble.
Make them put their thoughts into words. This is not only an effective way of getting your students thinking about what they are saying, but it gets them used to speaking up in class. Asking questions such as, “What do you think about ?” or “Are you confused by ?” will get them wondering and theorizing out loud.
You can’t always be asking your students questions. Sometimes they will need to know that their opinions and thoughts matter to you just as much when they are giving you new information. Active listening, or “reflective responding,” is a way to show students that you are interested in what they have to say without making them put their thoughts into words. Try repeating back the main points of your students’ statements before asking follow-up questions, such as, “So what you’re saying is… ?”
2) Use Visuals Often
Students remember things better when they are read or shown at the right time. For this reason, use visuals often in your classroom. This can include graphs, timers for presentation purposes, maps, etc. You can even have your students create their own visual aids to help you teach. It’s a great way for them to feel included in the class and it gives them another responsibility that will take up some of their time.
By using visuals in the classroom, you will find your students more engaged and it will be easier to generate discussion. You can also use color-coded desks or walls with visuals for self-correction purposes. I always felt that if you had wall space, use it as effectively as possible to not just make your classroom “pretty”, but to be useful as well.
3) Show Them How To Work
It is much easier for students to work when they are shown how to do so. However, teachers often don’t want to show students how to do something because they believe that it will destroy the learning experience. If you teach students how to clean up after themselves or set their own timers, it will free up time for you and allow them to be more productive while still in your classroom.
There is a fine line between modeling and doing it for them and it takes many years in the classroom to get this right. A good rule of thumb is to model the first time and allow students to do it the second. For example, you might show students how to set their own timers once and then allow them to use those same skills the next day.
Think about your classroom management system and think if there may be a way that you could show students how to complete tasks. For example, one of the most successful forms of classroom management is called “Choice Boards“. Using these boards students are able to choose what they want to do for the day. They come in and complete their “Do Now” assignment which takes about 5 minutes. After that, they have a number of choices of different activities, each with different due dates. Once they have made their selection, you simply mark it on the choice board and your students will know what to do next.
4) Choose A Few Responsibilities
For this very reason, it is important to choose a few responsibilities that you want students to take ownership of. If they aren’t doing something right, instead of punishing them for not following your rules, ask yourself if there was any way you could be making the assignment easier on them.
More often than not, there are things that you could be doing to make them feel more included in the process.
When you have a few responsibilities deligated, it is much easier to pinpoint where a problem might be coming from. It is also easier to determine whether or not your students are actually making an effort to own their work. It also gives them a sense of ownership and pride that they may not have otherwise.
When responsibilities are too general, students can’t identify with them or find a way to take ownership. Giving your students a sense of control is important when it comes to responsibility. If they feel like you have the power and they have none, they will be less likely to take ownership of their work.
Where a few responsibilities are assigned, it is much easier for a teacher to assess the students’ understanding of the concepts being taught.
You have so many responsibilities as a teacher already! Why add another to your list? It’s important for students to take ownership of their work and not just look at you as the only person that can help them. This is a great way to have students take ownership of their work and develop a sense of pride in what they produce. It allows you to focus on other things, too!
5) Be More Explicit
The reason that these universal techniques classroom management thrives with work so well is that they can each be tweaked for specific types of teachers and students. However, it’s important to remember to be more explicit when you are teaching students anything new. They do not have the background knowledge that you have, so it is important that you are clear in your presentation of the activity.
If these five techniques classroom management thrives with seeming helpful to you, try experimenting with them. It never hurts to find new ways to get students involved in their own learning! Try incorporating one or two of them into your next class.
The main point to remember is that if something doesn’t work right away, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to; it may just need to be tweaked or approached differently with your students. The more experience you get with students, the easier it will be for you to identify ways that these techniques classroom management thrives with can work best.
Creating a classroom management plan
Creating a classroom management plan is essential, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. There are many ways that you can get started on making your own classroom management plan, here are two.
One way to make your own classroom management plan is by using mood boards. This is where you collect images of anything that might be related to your plan or that you might even think would be a good fit. It may seem a bit strange, but it’s an incredible way to get started on planning out your system.
Another way to create a classroom management plan is by using the SMART goal structure. You can make goals for anything from classroom management techniques all the way up to grading procedures. It’s a great way to get started on your plan, and then you can do whatever works best for you in terms of executing it.
However, the most important thing that you need to remember is not what you should put onto your system, but rather what makes sense for your students. With this in mind, you should always be making changes and tweaks to your system as necessary. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it process; it’s one that involves much more effort than that. For this reason, try to use these three steps as a guide as you make the best classroom management plan for your students.
- Self-reflection – This means looking back on what you did and having a critical analysis of it. This does not always have to be a painful process, but it is important that you truly reflect on your decisions to make the best plan possible.
- Planning – Once you’ve looked at what went well and what didn’t, planning becomes much easier. You know what is working, and you have a better idea of what isn’t. This allows you to make the best plan possible.
- Implementation – Finally, it is time to put your plan into action. Prepare yourself with everything that you’ll need in order to present this information in the best way possible! Once you’ve done this, make the necessary changes as you see fit. It’s also important to remember two things: never give up if it doesn’t work right away, and always make sure your students are involved in whatever process does work out.
Classroom Management Techniques
Each of the techniques classroom management thrives with that are listed in this article can be tweaked and improved upon. However, if you’re stuck for ideas on how to take them above and beyond, try the following tips.
Make sure that your students understand precisely what they should be doing at all times. This is especially important when you’re trying to implement classroom management techniques that involve student participation. If they don’t know what your expectations are, then there’s no way that they’ll be able to meet them.
Reward positive behavior and effort as it occurs. This ensures that students take the initiative and make the best out of any opportunity for improvement. There is nothing better than seeing that spark in a student’s eyes when they come to class and know that you’re there for them.
Reward your students for good work and effort, but do not overlook the fact that this constant reinforcement is part of classroom management. Your students should never speak out against their own bad behavior; it will only make things worse if they try to drag you down with them.
Creating a Classroom Management System with the 4 Keys
Creating your own classroom management techniques isn’t difficult, it just needs to ebb and flow with the students and where they are (physically, mentally, and emotionally). Being flexible is the key to making all of this work. The key is engagement. There are four keys to student engagement that I discuss in my video training challenge that releases twice per year. It is called “Finding Your Student Engagement Formula” and it walks you through those four keys and how to implement them in the classroom.
If you are interested in registering (it’s totally free), visit the Finding Your Student Engagement Formula Challenge registration page and you will be notified the next time the series is available.