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.
Originally Published: September 2, 2014 | Updated: September 4, 2015
Alber provides strategies for creating a safe, open, and community-centered classroom environment. You may also want to read her post How Student-Centered Is Your Classroom? which provides more wonderful advice for creating safe classroom spaces.
As you plan curriculum and activities, it's important to consider how you'll use your classroom space, writes Lopez. Plus, she highlights seven learning zones that you can add to your classroom to help focus your students.
Making students feel safe and earning their trust are critical elements for turning your classroom into an emotionally healthy environment. For more resources related to designing and optimizing learning environments, visit Edutopia’s learning environments page.
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:
What is your school and classroom cell phone policy? Read these tips when devising an effective plan for student use of mobile phones of campus. Another great blog post on the subject by Mary Beth Hertz, Striking a Balance: Digital Tools and Distraction in School, provides tips and strategies for addressing cell phones in class.
Motivating students is a critical part of establishing classroom routines. Ferlazzo explains how using autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance as practical classroom strategies can help reinforce the intrinsic motivation that students need for making the most of their learning.
Curwin believes that rules and limits, while necessary in a classroom, are subtly shaded in meaning and use. He defines five critical categories of rules: academic, social, procedural, cultural, and personal.
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 blog posts:
Invite your students to participate in a behavioral model that helps them level up with their engagement and attitude -- much like a video game. Also check out this blog post from Desautels, Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices, which provides practical tips for incorporating fun "brain breaks" into the classroom.
Wilson and Conyers, brain-based teaching program developers and authors, explain how the brain processes auditory information and introduce the HEAR strategy as a way to help students develop their listening skills. Rebecca Alber describes even more strategies for helping students to become better listeners in Say What? 5 Ways to Get Students to Listen.
Whether you're a new or experienced teacher, strategies for getting student attention are an important part of your classroom-management toolkit. In this guide you’ll find 25 tips for quieting a noisy class.
Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings. Plus, in Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step, Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process.
Improve trust and communication with difficult students by expressing gratitude, using encouraging statements, and treating them in the same way that you treat your best students. Also from Mendler, Defusing Power Struggles: It's Not About Getting the Last Word provides a constructive way for teachers to avoid a power struggle with that attention-seeking student.
Misbehaving students might like you too much or be physically attracted. Maybe they want attention or want you to prove yourself. Be sensitive to underlying reasons. And when addressing misbehavior, Curwin discusses the classroom management strategy of correcting student misbehavior by offering choices in When Choices Are Disguised Threats.
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.
Provenzano describes his strategies for dealing with classroom discipline -- effective communication is the key. For more advice on how to see students through new lenses and build connections with disengaged students, explore tips in these related blog posts:
Alber presents five management strategies that new teachers can begin using immediately in their classrooms. For more classroom-management basics and resources for new teachers, be sure to check out Lisa Dabbs’ New Teacher Academy: Classroom Management.
In this presentation, you’ll find the 25 best tips for classroom management contributed by the educators of Edutopia’s community. Join the conversation to share your own tips! You may also want to download Edutopia's classroom guide, Ten Tips for Classroom Management, for even more suggestions and resources (also available in Spanish).
Pappalardo offers some advice to elementary educators on managing student behavior and needs, including how to decide whether or not a student needs medical attention, what to do when students finish work early, and how to manage all that pencil sharpening.