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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Classroom Management: Resource Roundup

Looking for information on guiding classroom communities, minimizing disruptions, and developing class routines to help students stay engaged and focused on learning? This resource collection is packed with useful tips, tools, and advice.

Building Positive Learning Communities

  • Creating More Compassionate Classrooms, by Joshua Block (2013)

    High school humanities teacher Block shares the six structural and pedagogical reminders he uses to steadily improve the ethic of compassion in his classroom.

  • The Power of the Morning Meeting, by Lisa Dabbs (2013)

    Dabbs shares her own transformative experience with the Morning Meeting model and suggests five steps for integrating this practice into the classroom.

  • Relationship Building Through Culturally Responsive Classroom Management, by Todd Finley (2014)

    Hone skills like curiosity, listening, cultural sensitivity, and humor to build rapport and provide all students with equitable opportunities for learning. Explore more ways to support the development of positive, trusting relationships in your classroom by reading the blog posts listed below:

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Teaching Class Rules and Routines

  • You Only Get One “First Day of School,” by Lisa Mims (2013)

    Blogger and veteran teacher Mims reminds us that we only get one 'first day of school' (even if we've already been there 28 times!) and offers seven tips for making a good impression on our students.

  • Bell Ringer Exercises, by Todd Finley (2014)

    Finley presents an overview of bell work -- short, focused exercises to keep students focused while teachers are occupied with administrative tasks.

  • A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms, by Mark Phillips (2014)

    Phillips suggests that a critical piece of student learning is the physical environment of the classroom itself. He offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning. For more resources related to designing and optimizing learning environments, visit Edutopia’s learning environments page.

  • Back to School: Rules and Routines in the Classroom, by Rebecca Alber (2010)

    As the school year begins, it's important for teachers to remember the difference between rules and routines in the classroom. For more about how to develop and teach meaningful classroom rules, check out these other blog posts:

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Facilitating Student Focus and Attention

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Addressing Disruptive Behaviors

  • Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step, by Richard Curwin (2014)

    Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process -- stabilize the situation ASAP, and intervene at a later, calmer moment.

  • When Choices Are Disguised Threats, by Richard Curwin (2014)

    Curwin looks at the classroom management strategy of correcting student misbehavior by offering choices, and asks us to consider the difference between controlled outcomes and real choices.

  • Defusing Power Struggles: It's Not About Getting the Last Word, by Allen Mendler (2012)

    Mendler suggests a constructive way for teachers to avoid a power struggle with that attention-seeking student.

  • How to Make Consequences Work, by Richard Curwin (2012)

    Curwin looks at the use of consequences as a disciplinary method and suggests a few ways to make them more effective. You may also want to read, "Fair Isn’t Equal: Seven Classroom Tips," where Curwin explains the subtle yet important differences between treating students equally and treating them fairly and how this relates to rules and consequences.

  • Dogs as Role Models: A Lesson in Classroom Management, by Richard Curwin (2012)

    Curwin explains the striking -- and highly useful -- similarity he found between the leadership structure of dogs and students and what this means for classroom management.

  • Three Levels of Effective Classroom Management, by Nicholas Provenzano (2011)

    Provenzano describes his strategies for dealing with classroom discipline; effective communication is the key.

  • How Tough Kids Can Make Us Better Teachers, by Allen Mendler (2013)

    Mendler offers teachers a simple attitude adjustment to reframe the challenge presented by difficult student behavior. For more advice on how to see students through new lenses and build connections to disengaged students, explore tips in these related blog posts:

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Other Edutopia Resources

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What are your favorite classroom-management tips and strategies? Share tools, experiences, or advice in the comments.

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