Whether you're a first-year teacher or a seasoned pro, effective classroom management is a critical piece of any successful classroom. Share what works.

Question: Is there anything new for the more disruptive student?

Patrick Fourth grade elementary teacher

Given my years of experience. I was wondering if there was anything new for what appears to be more and more ADD type of children in the classrooms.

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Elementary Teacher, Maryland

Classroom Management

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There are wonderful ideas that have been shared. I have several ADD, ADHD and autistic students in my classroom. Most of my activities are in groups and we rotate every 15-20 minutes to keep them engages and active. I also use parent volunteers to assist with groups to help monitor student behaviors so that the group activities are meaningful.

I use white boards in both Math and Language Arts to help keep my students engaged as well as a timer with a two minute warning signal so that students can prepare themselves to rotate.

I also use communication cards that are laminated at the end of the day and they have to write to their parents telling them about their day. It creates positivity and keeps the students accountable for their actions through out the day.

Best of luck!

2nd grade special education teacher from new york

I am currently using

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I am currently using background music that the Occupational therapist gave me for childrne with adhd, autism, etc and it is really helping the children focus and stay on task. It also fills up the background with appropriate noise so the students dont feel the need to fill that gap.

Third grade elementary teacher from West Virginia

Lindsay: I love the tally

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Lindsay: I love the tally mark idea! I would like to know more about how many tallies constitute as a great day, ok day, etc. I teach third grade and I think this would be beneficial for me.

jackadam179 - 85432 (not verified)

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Would love to know what type of music you use

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Hi Pamela,

I'm a middle school teacher who would like to use background music in my room. Could you share what specific music you use that you feel has worked well? I'd love to get ideas of exactly what kind works best though I imagine there could be differences between 2nd and 7th grade.

Thanks for any details you can share,


Special Educator

Some basic but interesting ideas

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There are many ways to engage students with ED/BD, and it seems that each child is unique in what works. Above all, I feel consistency is the best approach. Once you have established the behavior plan, you have to commit to the plan to make sure it is reliable and valid for the child. Of course it needs to be modified when necessary, but a plan that isn't consistent is begging for trouble.

I found this article as well that has some basic but effective ideas too.


Hope it helps.

Anonymous blogger with over 10 years experience teaching multiple grades.

Document Everything!

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One of the best ways to help yourself deal with this child is to keep track of your students' behavior by documenting everything! This will give you, your administrator, and the student's parents a clear picture of exactly what kind of behavior he/she is exhibiting on a consistent basis. I have some downloadable forms and documents I've created on my website that might help you, if you're interested. I hope this is helpful!


Clinical Psychologist & Author of The Homework Trap

Homework and classroom disruption

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I believe that one place to look for solutions to classroom disruptive behaviors is to ask oneself how much homework noncompliance is fueling the particular student's misbehavior. If it is, then look for problems with handwriting and auditory processing. This combination often means that it will take that student too long to get homework assignments done. This can fuel at home tensions, reduce needed respite and relief, and come back to haunt you in class during the day. If this is the case, simple solution is to ask the parents to limit homework by the clock rather than the assignment. The child's behavior may improve. Www.thehomeworktrap.com.

Itinerant Art Teacher from rural VT

Schools in my district have

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Schools in my district have started using PBiS. It has worked quite well, to my amazement. Also decide ahead of time what you're willing to overlook and what you absolutely will not accept (usually physical harm & inappropriate lang.) As hard as it might be, try to overlook not-dangerous behavior and have phrases you repeat to refocus students. I frequently use "If you can hear my voice, please raise your hand." Another one is, "Eyes on me in 1,2,3." Remember young teens are surly by nature. They won't show they like you except in very subtle ways. Treat them with respect by calling them Ms. ___ or Mr. ____ (with a smile) Thank them for doing the right thing. Compliment them an any little thing. (Our boys must wear ties when they have away sports games. I always comment on how handsome they look.) ALWAYS say please, thank you. I'm sorry. Laugh at your own mistakes. Take your subject seriously, but not yourself. Balance curricular music with the kind of music they listen to. Have them look into the origins of the music they listen to. Almost all music is built on music that came before. Invite a professional musician or even successful high schools students (pref from that school) to come visit to show them what is possible. Have students write letters(ha!) or tweet artists they like & keep track of who they hear back from. Show scenes from movies that are engaging: School of Rock, Mr. Holland's Opus, etc. See if kids want to put together a "glee club" like on TV & see if you can make it happen. (If you can't dance, maybe a h.s. student can help for community service credits.) Good luck.

Building Confidence in Students, One Child at a Time

You should work to have an

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You should work to have an attractive room that you as well as your students can appreciate and enjoy. This type of environment sets the tone for learning so take some time to make your room attractive and conducive to learning.

Classroom Rules- Children need rules to follow plus you need guidelines for your kids to follow in order to teach and get the most from the day. Sit with your students in the beginning of the year or anytime to design rules to live by in your room as well as in other parts of the building.

When you teach a lesson teach it as if you love what you are doing and be interactive with your students and engage them to participate.

As a teacher it is necessary for you to be fair to all of your students. Make a point to always hear students out and treat each one of your pupils with dignity and respect.

When children do their work then their work should be graded and recorded in your grade book. This gives you an assessment of how the children are doing as well as it shows you the areas that they need help.

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