Students bring their own unique personalities and talents to the classroom, which creates a dynamic and social environment. This is great for collaborative learning and enhancing social skills, however, good classroom management strategies are needed to ensure successful learning outcomes.
Effective classroom management strategies involve organization, fostering good working relationships, as well as a disciplined yet personable attitude. Deciding which techniques to use can nonetheless be difficult, as every student and class is unique. Check out this assortment of top classroom management strategies to inspire your teaching.
Students thrive on routine
Establishing a distinct classroom routine with your students helps them know exactly what to expect. The ability to anticipate the structure of your lessons and the expectations you hold can cultivate a productive working atmosphere.
This does not mean implementing a strict regime, but simply a clear structure to your classes which students can easily follow. With this in place, spontaneously adding fun activities can be a great motivational tool.
An example structure could include: interactive starter activity, taught subject matter, engaging learning tasks and an enjoyable yet relevant assessment activity to end the lesson.
Positivity and reward
When dealing with disruptive behaviour in the classroom it can be easy to focus on students exhibiting negative actions. However, adopting a positive mindset and highlighting students behaving obediently can be an effective way to encourage others to conform.
Praising individuals who excel and celebrating hard work, especially among those with lower academic abilities, can also stimulate your students to become more diligent in their studies. By rewarding those who put extra effort into their work, you can create a positive working model whereby students are motivated to try their best in all class activities.
For example, instead of “Stop rocking on your chair Jim!” say “Thank you Jim for sitting nicely on your chair”. Favourable rewards may include: free time (or ‘Golden time”), stationary items, sticker charts (for younger students) or food items.
Clear rules and boundaries
Although being personable with your students is important, it is also vital to have distinct rules and boundaries. Disruptive behaviours need to be managed because every student should be given an equal opportunity to learn.
It is also important to follow through on the disciplinary statements you assert, because this reinforces your authority and discourages misbehavior. Through being consistent you highlight that negative actions will cause undesirable consequences, which enables you to manage students’ behaviour effectively. (Click here to discover a range of useful teaching strategies).
Classroom rules could include: listen attentively when others are talking, sit sensibly on your chair and value everyone’s opinions (positive attitude). Also, involve your students in creating the rules and make everyone accountable.
Practice what you preach
Be a positive role model and demonstrate how students should behave in your classroom. Students learn from your actions and words, therefore you need to offer a positive example for them to follow.
If you want students to respect you then you need to show them respect too. Always listen to their ideas and ensure that every student knows they are a valued member of the class. Endorsing inclusivity encourages good behaviour, because students are less likely to be disruptive due to feeling neglected.
For example, don’t talk to your colleagues loudly when the class is working or stand on furniture, and definitely don’t use your phone in the classroom.
Give your students the power to openly express their ideas and make their own choices. Valuing students’ ideas not only enhances your lessons with fresh ideas but can develop students’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
Student feedback can also be a useful method for encouraging students to develop their own opinions and think critically. Understanding that everyone’s opinion matters heightens students’ respect for both you and their peers, which is an important part of effective classroom management.
Examples can include: voting on whole class activities, a suggestions box in the classroom and peer assessment.
Fun and engaging
Learning is fun, so excite your students with interactive classroom activities and practical investigations (to get them out of their seats!). When students are engaged and excited to learn they are more likely to concentrate and work hard.
Why not try new education technology resources? Quizalize, for example, is a great quiz tool which enables you to test your students on any subject with a fun classroom team game. Plus, get instant insights into your students’ progress at the same time (click here to check it out).
Fun classroom activities include: real scientific experiments (e.g. collecting minibeasts), pass the parcel with educational questions or academic wordsearches (discover more great classroom games in this blog post).
Effective classroom management takes time and hard work, because not every student will respond positively to your ideas. However, through commitment and consistency you can cultivate a positive working atmosphere where students respect one another and learn efficiently.
What classroom management strategies do you use? Have you got any advice for new teachers? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you.