George Lucas Educational Foundation

Tricks of the Trade: Classroom Management Tips for Teachers (Video Playlist)

A compilation of short videos where educators share how to keep it all together in class. 
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Classroom Management Tips for Teachers (Transcript)

Teacher: Guys, I know- I know-- just- just take a deep breath, you guys. Give us a few minutes, okay? Okay, Justin, can you stop, please? Okay. Ladies and gentlemen…

Narrator: Having trouble managing your classroom? Here are some of our favorite "Tricks of the Trade."

Felipe: Are you going to play?

Student: Mr. Lara…

Felipe: Okay.

Narrator: Kindergarten teacher Felipe Lara uses sign language to answer individual questions while maintaining focus on the class lesson.

Filipe: Well, when they ask me a question and I'll either answer yes or no, it helps me figure out-- it's less interruptive. And then if I see a kid in the back and I go like this and he only sees me, then no one else is going to ask me to have a drink of water or go to the bathroom because they don't know what he asked. So when they ask, it's less interruptive and there's no break in the instruction. So that's-- all my kids know to give me a sign language when they have a question or if I'm with- working with an adult or if they want water or go to the bathroom. So that's what that is.

Student: [Crying] I want my mama.

Filipe: So you want your mama? Why don't you go get a Kleenex so we can blow your nose. Come on. Let's go. It's kind of like a magician. You redirect. You know, they're- they're focused on one thing and then you just get a Kleenex. That was a redirection, and then it's just- they just need that little focus to get back and then it's over.

Chris: All right. We're going to come to this table. Please push in your chairs. Come on around. Okay, remember, give them space.

Narrator: Chris Opitz creates a fish bowl so that students can learn lessons in manners and math from each other.

Chris: Audience, our voices are off. We're just going to look for evidence of a really great discussion, and then we're going to talk about that afterwards. I began using the fish bowl, having kids really closely observe other kids in discussion, identifying particular types of language, ways to ask questions, how to use manners when disagreeing, and once that foundation is built, then the academics can be so much more thoughtful.

Student: Mike started with 8, Kelly had twice as much as Mike, and Joe had half as much as Kelly.

Chris: Every teacher out there has probably said at some point in time, "Turn to your neighbor and talk about this idea. Look at your teammates and talk about this idea."

Student: I'm not quite getting why did you do those shapes there?

Chris: And really watch. If they are talking about the topic that you've asked them to talk about, if they're actually listening to each other and using that language and those social skills, then all of a sudden you have an environment where 30 kids are all learning at the same time.

Claudia: One, two, Alex?

Narrator: Claudia Hernandez abides by a single rule to quiet her classroom.

Claudia: Ladies? The first thing you want to do is not raise your voice. Once the teacher starts raising her voice, everything- everything turns into chaos. So we could use signs. You know, you could count, you know, 1 through 10, or you could use clapping or any other strategy as long as you don't increase your voice.

Darrell: Good morning. How about-- how are you?

Student: Great.

Darrell: What is Ohm's Law?

Student: Oh, uh..

Student: D equals I times R.

Darrell: Sweet, sweet. Morning, my brother, little Bobby.

Bobby: Hi.

Narrator: Darrell McClendon reinforces lessons while making a personal connection with each student every day.

Darrell: One, the kids have to give me a firm handshake. If they don't give me a firm handshake and look me in the eye, they have to go back to the end of the line, start all over again.

Darrell: Oh, oh, oh, see ya, see ya. It's a respect kind of thing. What I normally do here is I ask them a question about engineering, and they can't come into my room until they can answer the question right. And things that I’m asking them now they learned three or four weeks ago. Most kids don't retain it, you know, more than how long you need it for the test, but they know they can't get into the room without it.

Darrell: Oh, oh, I feel for ya. I feel for ya. I do it as a little fun, and I do it as a review for the concepts because I try to teach them that the engineering concepts that we learn and we do in the class aren't all that difficult. Cara, good morning.

Cara: P equals…

Darrell: No, I'm over here.

Cara: … V times I.

Darrell: That's what I’m talking about. I firmly believe that you've got to find some way to connect with the kids. The color's black. What's your number?

Bobby: Zero.

Darrell: What?

Bobby: Zero.

Darrell: All right. Say it with some authority. My sister, how are you?

Student: Good.

Narrator: If you'd like to share one of your tricks with fellow teachers, go to Edutopia dot org slash teacher dash tips.

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More Classroom Management Videos on YouTube:

See the entire classroom management video series playlist here.

Comments (2) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Roberta Abaday's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Teachers need to distinguish between rules and procedures. There should be less than 5 rules in a classroom which govern behavior (e.g. respect others). There can be many procedures (e.g. passing papers, using computers, turning in homework) which should be taught as the need arises. All rules and procedures should be reviewed throughout the year. Don't we all forget sometimes? The review is as much for me as for the students.

Ibrahim Abu Al Hana's picture
Ibrahim Abu Al Hana
CALL Lab Instructor, ADNOC Technical Institute

I think this trick really works very well. For me whenever I recieve my students at the door and exchange greetings with them, I feel they accept me and this only makes the class runs the way every teacher wishes.

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