For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading up on classroom management and clearly it is among the top 3 things every teacher should master.
Kids will be kids and they will misbehave. That’s just how they are.
Classroom management will not eliminate misbehavior but it can reduce it drastically that effective learning will occur.
Research shows that effective classroom management leads to higher engagement which ultimately leads to higher achievement scores, which is often the most critical measure of learning.
Good Classroom Managers are teachers who understand and use specific techniques. Awareness and training in these techniques can change teacher behavior, which in turn changes student behavior and ultimately affects student achievement positively. ~Robert Manzano, 2003
I came across an awesome book by David Adamson, Classroom Management: 24 strategies Every Teacher Needs To Know.
It’s an excellent read and I found I have been doing some of the strategies already but there are still plenty of strategies I can adopt to create a better learning climate in the classroom.
I’d like to share 3 interesting strategies from the book that I’m trying to integrate in my classes. You can also try it to see if it works in your classrooms.
1. Social Cues
The author notes that a misbehavior is your cue to use social cues.
For example, if Ted starts to chat with his seatmate, it’s time to use social cues by praising two or three kids near Ted who are meeting your expectations, particularly on being quiet while doing individual work instead of chatting with seatmate.
It’s important that when you praise the kids meeting your desired behavior, the whole class can hear it. This sets the tone subconsciously to the whole class of your expectations and in reality, most kids would want to meet the expectations of the teacher, unless you’re totally evil or something 🙂
The critical question for this strategy is: “What should their behavior look or sound like?”
2. Self Starters
The idea is simple: Have a task for students to begin working on immediately when your class with them begins. Once this routine is integrated, your students should be working on the self starter even before you have entered the classroom.
Self starters teach students to work independently and it sets the tone for the rest of your class period.
Many times, classes waste time because the students are not ready for learning. You can easily waste 10 minutes of learning time getting your students to settle down for the lesson.
So the self starter you put on the board for your class should be simple and it should be designed to be completed in 5 to 10 minutes. It should not be difficult so that majority of the students can handle it.
The goal of this strategy is not really grading the work they do for the self-starter, it’s just to set the tone early for your class that it is serious in learning.
3. Clipboard Technique
Here you will use the power of the clipboard. When a student misbehaves, you move closer to the student and in an obvious manner, place a mark on your clipboard.
Your clipboard will have your class list and will be used to monitor the behavior of students. If you have a class contract with your students, you can use it to monitor individual behavior contracts. It can also serve as feedback when you meet with their parents.
The Clipboard Technique is not used only for marking misbehavior. It is also to track positive behavior and you can have a class-wide incentive for accumulation of positive marks in your clipboard.
So there, 3 Interesting Classroom Management Strategies to try out.
Share in the comments below what you think about it. Better still, try it out and share the results of these strategies 🙂
What are your other favorite classroom management techniques?