What do you think of when someone says “classroom management”? If you are like most teachers you think of a classroom behavior plan. But classroom management involves so much more than that. I like to think of classroom management as everything that is done in order to help the classroom run smoothly and efficiently. It’s procedures, behaviors, transitions, organization and so much more! Today I am sharing three classroom management tips that have helped me manage my classroom and hopefully they’ll help you too!
One of the most important things to me when it comes to classroom management is creating a plan for supporting classroom behaviors as a whole. Personally, I’m not a big fan of rewarding individual student’s behaviors. I believe that behavior needs to be taught and practiced, just like reading sight words and learning to add. Rewarding or punishing students for something they haven’t learned yet is not fair. Instead, I strive to teach my students to work together and earn class rewards as a whole. This can be done through a class marble jar, a class bingo board, or with mystery word cards. The nice thing about whole class management plans is they can be changed up whenever they’re needed!
Let’s Talk about Mystery Words!
Mystery words are one of my favorite whole class management plan. The students work together to earn a specific reward, but they don’t know what it is until they earn it!
You can choose a reward that is really simple, like earning extra recess, or it can be something that requires a little more prep, like a a popsicle party. You can choose the reward based on the time of year. We all know those times of the school year that are super busy, so I usually opt for an easier, no prep needed, type of reward during those times.
After you pick a reward, print out letter cards to spell out the prize and cut them apart. Stick them to your whiteboard so everyone can see the cards, but not the word! When you see a class behavior that you want to reinforce, like everyone getting in their line quickly and quietly, walk over to the board and flip a card over to reveal a letter! You don’t have to reveal them in order either, actually it’s more fun not to! The class knows that they just got a step closer to their class reward.
Before you know it, students are reminding each other of what to do in order to earn more letters. They’re working together for a common goal and it’s fun to watch them guess what the reward will be as we flip over more letters.
You can create your own mystery word cards or find ready made cards in my Classroom Management bundle. It includes 15 rewards for your students to earn whenever you need to use it throughout the year. Simply print, cut, and hang them up!
Behavior Bingo Board
Another classroom management tool we love to use is our behavior bingo board. I like to use Behavior Bingo when my class needs some extra practice and reinforcement on a specific behavior but it can be used for general behaviors too!
Here’s how to use it! Hang the bingo board up and let your students know what behavior we are practicing. I like to use the bingo boards before a holiday or school break because we always need extra help focusing on our behaviors during those weeks.
When I see my class show the target behavior, I draw one of the bingo cards. It’s also really fun and exciting to let a student choose a card too! Then we cover that space on the bingo board with a sticker or magnet. Once an entire column is filled the students earn that reward.
You can grab these FREE Behavior Bingo Board to use in your classroom. It includes a list of rewards and an editable PRIZE poster so you can adjust the prizes if the ones included don’t work for you.
Helping Students Follow Instructions
I think one of my biggest tips for having your classroom run smoothly is by showcasing visual expectations. We give our students lots of tasks to complete throughout the day, and for many of them following a multi-step direction is really difficult.
Many times you will notice your students are off task and disruptive simply because they don’t remember what they’re supposed to be doing! When we are working on an activity, I like to give my students verbal directions AS WELL as visual directions. That way, they can look up at the board as a reminder for what they should be doing when they forget.
Visual Directions to the Rescue!
We use these visual direction cards every day! As I give instructions for an activity, I also show my students the steps with the cards. I stuck magnets on the back of the cards so they stick to the whiteboard. This made it really easy to change them out for each activity. The visual directions give my students a tool to refer back to when they need it. It also gives students a sense of independence as they are able to complete the activity on their own.
You can keep the number cards displayed on the side of the board. Then when you are going over an activity you can add the visual directions next to the numbers. Review the directions as a class one more time as a reminder. You can ask “What do you do first?” and the students respond as you point to the first card. Go through all of the directions and then refer back to the cards if your students need help remembering what to do.
These cards can also be used to provide visual directions with center activities. You can print them out half size and stick them in a center so your students have a visual reminder of what they need to do.
I have found these visual direction cards to be a key component of my students’ success working independently.
Conquering Classroom Management
If you are in need of some extra support with your classroom management this year, you can find my classroom management resources in this Classroom Management Bundle. You can use them all or pick what is best for your classroom this year. But most importantly, use them to create a classroom management plan that works for you and your students.
Save These Classroom Management Tips for Later
Pin these classroom management tips to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly and easily grab them whenever you need!