Classroom management must be under control before learning can take place. You can have the best idea for a lesson, but without successful classroom management, it will more than likely flop. A well-managed classroom is more productive and will keep you from getting frazzled later on in the school year.
During the first few weeks of school, you are teaching your students your expectations. A great way to teach procedures is through modeling. Make sure you are implementing positive expectations to set the tone of your classroom. It’s imperative that there is consistency with everything from your routines to praises so that students know what is expected of them. You want the procedures and expectations to become predictable. This will promote a comfortable and productive learning environment for your students.
A behavior clip chart is a fantastic way to positively promote and manage student behavior in the classroom. The behavior chart can be used to help you reinforce positive behavior with your students. When a student goes above and beyond in their behavior choices, they should be moved up. Be sure to use specific compliments when moving a student up the clip chart. You’ll want to talk in a firm, but calm voice and with a smile. There’s no need to whisper when pointing out excellent behavior; make sure the other students hear you. When the class sees the positive reinforcement for other students, it helps many students make better choices. When you clip down a student, you do not have to speak loudly or shout. I quietly tell a student to clip down. I use body language as a way to let students know if they are on the right track to be clipped back up or if I want to give a warning. A simple nod or raise of the eyebrows will do wonders.
Sometimes inefficient classroom management causes confusion which can trigger bad behavior. If the circumstance allows, I will ignore the bad behavior and only bring attention to the positive behavior in my classroom. However, some students may need to be moved down. There are other times when a student needs an individual behavior tracker. You’ll want a tracker that has the student set behavior or task goals each day. Rather than focusing on the bad behavior, focus on no more than 5 things the student can do to improve. I recommend meeting with the school counselor and/or parents to be involved when implementing a behavior tracker. They may have additional ideas and you will want parents to be on board with a tracker.
The behavior calendar provides daily behavior documentation and opens communication with parents. I have my students color in the behavior earned for the day in the square at the end of the day. Award certificates or bracelets are great ways to encourage students to keep making good choices. Since this goes home, it can reinforcement the positivity in your classroom from parents.
Overall, you will not want to waste any time in your classroom during the school year. By using these strategies, it will help you in the long term.