5 Awesome Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work

Going to school is very fun and exciting for the younger elementary students. They are experiencing new things and making new friends every day. It can be thrilling for them. However, it is important to set boundaries so that students know that while it is amazing for them to have new experiences, school is a place to learn. Their main job is to listen and learn, and the teacher’s job is to teach.  

The best way to get your classroom running smoothly is by structuring it in a way that students know what is expected of them. To accomplish this, you can start by thinking about how you want your classroom to be run. Look around online or chat with other teachers for inspiration.  

Here are some classroom management strategies you can incorporate into your classroom: 

Build good relationships with your students

This one is the first and most basic management strategy. You want your students to trust you so that they turn to you when there is a problem. They are also more inclined to follow the rules with a teacher they are comfortable with. 

Use a behavior chart for classroom management

This is a clear, visual way for students to understand the behavior that you expect of them. As the year goes on, they will grow to understand it better and strive to do well.

 My editable behavior chart makes it easy for you to track your student’s behavior. It also comes with a data-collecting graph to chart data as well as a poster about Big Problems and Little Problems. classroom management

Assign classroom jobs

I love assigning jobs to my students.  (You can read all about it here.) Giving jobs gives your students a sense of purpose and responsibility in the classroom. It also helps you because it keeps your classroom running smoothly when everyone completes their jobs. Ideas for jobs include line leader, paper passer, book monitor, homework checker, etc. 

These editable classroom jobs help make it easy for you! There are 25 pre-made jobs in two different styles to choose from.  You can also use the editable PowerPoint to personalize your own job chart! The chalkboard makes it easy to fit into any classroom.

Classroom management

Designate a calm down corner

Younger students are still learning how to regulate their emotions. Sometimes they get a little too worked up or upset about something and just need a place to breathe deeply. Assigning a certain area in your classroom as the “Calm Down Corner” will give your students a designated place to go when they need a few minutes of quiet to calm down. 

This calm down corner resource comes with visual cue cards, calm down corner ideas, posters, and printables to collect data, identify triggers and calm down actions.

classroom management

 

Offer Praise

One of the best ways to get students to behave is to praise good behavior. Doing this instead of only correcting bad behavior is a way of using positive reinforcement. Students love to hear that they are doing a good job and praising them when they are will give them a strong incentive to continue that behavior. 

When your classroom management strategies are working and everything is running smoothly, it is magic! When you and your students have found your groove, you can focus more on fun and learning instead of focusing on rules and bad behavior. 

I hope these strategies and resources help you out! If you have a classroom management strategy that you love, I would love to hear about it in the comments!


 

Using Games In The Classroom

Games are an important part of childhood. From sports to board games, children all over the world play together to learn social skills and have fun. However, games haven’t always been a welcome strategy in the classroom. In the schools of the not-so-distant past, they were something kids were to do on the playground or at home- but not in their classrooms. Fortunately, thoughts have changed. We now know that games can teach important skills while students have fun! 

If you’re ready to get your students more excited about learning, pull out some classroom games. Students will be more motivated to pay attention to the subject matter, and will be more engaged. They will positively associate learning the subject matter with having fun. This will increase their success with the material, and make your job a little easier!

Your kids will also develop stronger critical thinking skills while playing games. Depending on the object of the game, they might have to try new strategies, think ahead, or switch plans. In addition to content mastery, students learn social skills while playing classroom games. They experience winning and losing, taking turns, and co-operating. These skills are necessary for working with other people even in adulthood. 

One of my favorite classroom game sets is Kindergarten Math Games. It is designed for pre-k and kindergarten classrooms to make practicing important math skills more fun (check out my Kindergarten Math Salad Bar here)! It includes several options for single players to complete on their own as well as games for two players to take turns. Students will learn to count and recognize numbers 1-6 while playing the games. You can simply print the game boards out, give students a 6-sided die, and let the fun begin! 

Games

Another resource available for FREE right now is the 10 More Or Less Game. It is ideal for students in grades K-2. This activity helps students understand the number concepts of 10 more and 10 less. It can be played as a whole group so you can help students understand how it works. Then students can play with small groups or partners. Your kids will love learning math skills while having fun with their peers!

Games

What games do you like to play in the classroom? Let me know in the comments!

games

Brevard Times SHAMES Teachers Attending Educational Rally

Brevard Times, a Florida newspaper, posted the names of teachers who have used paid PERSONAL leave to attend a rally Monday in order to gain support for our education system. They accuse these teachers who advocate for students of “skipping work” and not providing “adequate supervision.”

These teachers who dedicate their lives to their students are not skipping work! They are using PERSONAL leave to fight for their students’ futures. They planned this in advanced with the approval of their school district. Teachers who put their careers on the line to make the Department of Education listen are heroes in my book! They are not going to the beach for the day. They are not spending quality time with their family on a vacation. Matter of fact, these teachers are going to have to leave their family just to attend. They are crying out for help in the classrooms and for their profession. If there weren’t problems in Florida’s education system, there would not be a huge shortage of teachers.

What was the purpose of the newspaper putting some of the names of the teachers attending in their paper? The paper says, ” Parents can then follow up with their child’s school to ensure that their child has adequate supervision during the school day on Monday.” Not every teacher attending is on the list.

This is a sick way to bully our treasured teachers by violating their privacy. If you plan on calling the school to find out about “adequate supervision,” consider calling to say THANK YOU to these teacher heroes and schools for supporting your child. If you are going to read their names, read them because they are honorable.

Did you know that Florida ranks 46 in the nation for teacher pay? There is a shortage of teachers not just because of the pay, but the lack of respect and resources for students. Newspapers like Brevard Times are part of the problem for not supporting their teachers in their county. It is important to point out that the school district has been very supportive of their teachers. It is Brevard Times who has failed the community.

SUPPORT THESE TEACHERS and let Brevard Times know they are the ones who need to be shamed!

Why I Left the Classroom

Why I left Teaching
Why I Left the Classroom

The Struggle

I am so thankful for everything that is part of my life right now including you!  My life is drastically different than it was a couple years ago!  I’ve never talked about it openly because I was fearful, insecure, and riddled with anxiety.

A couple years ago, it was my 20th year of teaching.  My son was in 5th grade at our school.  For me, it was a year of H-E (double hockey sticks!)  For the first time in my career, I had a principal who hated me. Still not sure why.  Not only did she hate me, but she got the rest of the staff, who I considered my family for 18 years, to pretty much dislike and/or avoid me too.  I was threatened with my evaluation, lied to, challenged with impossible tasks, given 5 MAJOR behavior problem students who physically hurt me and the other children regularly, and faced life-threatening health problems because of the stress.  Prior to the last year, I had been a well-liked and highly effective teacher who loved her career path.

Depression

Without going into a lot of detail, I suffered from depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety/panic attacks.  For the first time, I had been broken.  My mind, my spirit, and my body were broken!  I consider myself lucky that prior to that difficult year, I had never been on any kind of prescription drugs.  But I knew after waking up in fetal position next to my husband, crying that I didn’t want to go to school, and losing 16 lbs. in one week due to stress, that I had to give in to what my Dr. suggested…  A good therapist and drugs.  I was on anti-depressants, blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medication, and XANAX!  So basically, I was drugging myself to go to work. I even developed an eye twitch.  If I wasn’t at work, I was fine, but the thought of going every morning would begin a cycle that was dangerous to my health.  I fought it because I wanted to stay in the classroom.  I loved the students and figured I could transfer the next school year.  It was important to me to be there for my own son who was in 5th grade.  But, even on the medication, I continued to be harassed.

Abuse

After getting beat with a chair again, punched in the stomach, calling the front office for help, and realizing no one was coming to help me, I knew I had to leave the classroom.  Seeing the scared faces and hearing the ear-piercing screams of the other kindergarten students as they watched their teacher get hit repeatedly, shook me to the core.  I knew the only reason they were in this situation was because the principal didn’t like me.  So, I had to remove myself.  Now, if you question, why didn’t you report it? Why didn’t you collect data on the principal? etc.… Let me tell you, I did.  On doctors orders, I left two months before the school year was over.  I still had to pick up my son at school, so Xanax to the rescue. I dealt with a staff who wanted to know what was wrong with me, and because I wasn’t ready to tell them, they made up their own inaccurate stories of why I left my dream career.

My husband planned several mini vacations because I was told to relax.  I know he was thinking this was the end of the wife he knew when we married.  These getaways were frowned upon by staff (according to the county investigator’s report) because I was on sick leave.  Little did everyone know the pain I was suffered from because WHY would I post that on Facebook?  In hindsight, I should have never posted pictures of me relaxing on social media.  But, in my defense, at the time I was on medication. Maybe it was also the need to let people know that I wasn’t completely broken too.

The LAST STRAW

It wasn’t until my son’s 5th grade graduation where his Certificate of Completion was conveniently removed from the pile that I pushed for a harassment investigation with the school board.  Seeing her smirking face as my son sat alone in a row as his friends got their certificate knowing she was behind it as my son signaled to us that he was okay was a total mind-blowing experience.  I had to beg my husband to leave before he made a scene as anger filled his “un-Xanaxed” body. Other parents were stunned, taking video and making noises to get staff’s attention that a student was forgotten.  I had to stand up to tell them they forgot my son.  Anyway, an investigation was done which amounted to nothing even though 9 other teachers came forward with their painful stories of harassment they endured from the principal.

The New Chapter

After that experience, even though I was offered other jobs, I decided I could not go back to teaching in this district.  I took me about 6 months to wane by body off all the medication that was mandatory for my survival.  Crazy how stress can mess up your entire body!  I tell you this story for two reasons. One is if you are experiencing anything like this, you can know that you can come out of it stronger than you were prior to the experience.  That you can find confidence, security, and begin a new beautiful chapter to your life.  I found a love and passion for making educational resources that I didn’t know existed.  Through this experience, I developed strategies to build my confidence back up and to become healthy again. Keep up with this blog in the future, and I will share some of the strategies that helped me.  I would have never left the classroom to discover this passion without that crazy experience. The second reason is I want you to know that YOU are part of my new chapter.  I love making teaching resources and helping teachers like you save time and money.  This is one reason why I offer freebies and discounts regularly.  Thank you for being there for me and for your students! My heart will always be in education. I value you!

Here is a Forever FREEBIE:

Spaceman Finger Spacing for Writing
Spaceman Finger Spacing Tool for Writing