Music!

It may seem a simple technique, but using music as a classroom management strategy is actually a very effective one! Quite a few teachers have told me they use music all the time to help manage their classrooms!

Studies have shown that playing music, even at low volumes, helps to boost student concentration during activities/assignments. Giving students the option of listening to music while they quietly do their activities works really well for managing a classroom, as students have to be quiet in order to hear the music when played at a low volume. Explaining that music is meant to be enjoyed while they are doing their activities is important too, so students realize that it doesn’t have to be on if they are not going to enjoy it and be really loud instead; it acts as a sort of a privilege.

My sponsor teacher is a huge fan of playing music throughout the school day, and I have adopted her methods when I do some of my lessons as well. I find that my students love to listen to music while they do their work, and they are generally fairly quiet when it is on, because they want to be able to hear it. Their motivation to learn and stay on task is raised, which in turn produces positive behaviours.

The choice is ultimately yours in deciding what music you want to play, although it helps if you choose music that sets the mood of how you want your class to feel/behave.

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Classroom Jobs

Classroom jobs are another classroom management strategy that can be used for all grade levels. They are effective because it’s a way to get things done, all the while building student confidence, responsibility, and respect for the classroom.

When assigning classroom jobs to students, it is important to switch around who is assigned what every so often. This is so everyone gets a chance to try everything, as well as learn what responsibility each job entails.

Classroom jobs promote appropriate ways to gain attention, meaning that students will want to go out of their way to be recognized and get attention, but for the right reasons. These jobs are seen as something you are entrusting them to be in charge of, and can give them positive attention for it. Jobs in the classroom also promote self-confidence, as they feel responsible for the task given and that they were chosen to be in charge of that particular task. They also make managing a classroom much more efficient, as responsibilities are divided amongst many bodies, and can keep students busy during some transition times.

Examples of classroom jobs include but are not limited to: attendance runner, homework collector, line leader, board eraser, messenger, welcomer, material distributor, etc.

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Self-Regulation Tools

Self-regulation tools are a fantastic classroom management technique!! They can be a cheap, but super effective way to calm your class down if used properly.

Self-regulation tools come in many shapes and sizes. Some common ones include noise-cancelling headphones, squishy toys/balls, and fidget cubes. These tools are amazing for strengthening students’ emotional regulation. They help students focus during class, as they are able to monitor and control their own emotions and behaviour with them.

My sponsor teacher is really big on using self-regulation tools as a part of classroom management. She has a “self-regulation station” set up in one corner of the classroom, with different items for students to choose from if they are feeling like they may need them to focus. This started out with just noise-cancelling headphones and essential oils, but those proved to be such a huge success that we decided to expand our options. Our class did a project to build their own self-regulation tool and present their creations to their peers. They were to make one to add to our class toolbox, and one as a “prototype”. They turned out absolutely amazing!! We had tools come in such as sensory bins, fidget mazes, squishy items of all different materials, and many, many more! They could work on this project alone or with a friend. They were so creative; i’m really proud of how well they did and how much fun they had doing it!

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Grouping

Grouping your students collaboratively or in quads is an excellent classroom management strategy to shake things up a bit. This allows students to experience working with different peers; not just their best friends in the class. Doing this allows different perspectives and thought processes to mingle with one another to create new ideas. A lot of the times, you will have students who are more challenging in terms of behaviour and paying attention in class. This technique works perfectly if you group quiet students together with energizing ones, as they balance each other out.

If you provide an activity where all must participate equally, quiet students tend to become even more quiet (I know this; I was one of those students!) By grouping the class where quieter students are with more talkative students, they can compare each other’s ideas, as well as guide each other. Who knows, maybe new friendships can even form! It is also a lot easier to handle a few groups as opposed to a whole class for certain activities. Another way of grouping can even be with their “elbow partners”, the student infront/behind them, etc. You can group students together by multiple ways to benefit the classroom by providing a calmer, more organized learning environment. Knowing your students is key to grouping, however. You have to know which students would work best with which and flourish, and which groups/pairs may not be the best idea.

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Grouping

Grouping your students collaboratively or in quads is an excellent classroom management strategy to shake things up a bit. This allows students to experience working with different peers; not just their best friends in the class. Doing this allows different perspectives and thought processes to mingle with one another to create new ideas. A lot of the times, you will have students who are more challenging in terms of behaviour and paying attention in class. This technique works perfectly if you group quiet students together with energizing ones, as they balance each other out.

If you provide an activity where all must participate equally, quiet students tend to become even more quiet (I know this; I was one of those students!) By grouping the class where quieter students are with more talkative students, they can compare each other’s ideas, as well as guide each other. Who knows, maybe new friendships can even form! It is also a lot easier to handle a few groups as opposed to a whole class for certain activities. Another way of grouping can even be with their “elbow partners”, the student infront/behind them, etc. You can group students together by multiple ways to benefit the classroom by providing a calmer, more organized learning environment. Knowing your students is key to grouping, however. You have to know which students would work best with which and flourish, and which groups/pairs may not be the best idea.

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Classroom Rules

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One classroom management idea that i’ve heard from a few people is to make a set of “classroom rules” with your students. The trick is to make up the rules together with your class. This not only gives them responsibility, but allows everyone to discuss these rules together to determine what is fair. When students are a direct part of the process, it allows for easier comprehension. Students won’t just be listening to you explain the expectations, they will be direct participants: brainstorming and discussing!

You could do this on a white board, but I think it would even be more effective by doing it on a big piece of chart paper, where you can then laminate it and display it in your classroom so you and your class can always see it.

Doing this as a class really builds a sense of community and reinforces the power of collaboration. Coming up with a set of class rules is something I may try with my class during my practicum; I think it would work, and that my students would respond well to it!

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5 Quick Tips

I came across this site that recounts a teacher’s first few years of being an educator, and how they dealt with classroom management. They have some pretty good ideas, and it was also an enjoyable read.

They mentioned doing fun activities that are unique to your own class, which is a great idea. I also loved how they listed some examples from other teachers below to give us ideas.

Check out 5 Quick Tips for Secondary Classroom Management That Actually (I Promise You!) Work !

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Using Your Voice

Using your voice is so important for classroom management of all grades. I find it to be something especially useful for intermediate grades, however.

Something I have personally struggled with is to make myself sound more assertive in a classroom. Really working to make your voice into a more powerful, “teacher-like” tone is extremely useful in getting a class to pay attention to what you are saying. Working your voice and differentiating your tone does wonders with the different types of things you are trying to convey to your class. Whatever tone you use, make sure that you have that commanding presence come through in your voice. It may seem as a small or obvious thing, but it really helps yourself, and your class, to flourish!


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Classroom Management Tips

I came across a website called careervendor.com that states some good techniques for classroom management in the intermediate grades.

The top 5 strategies were:

*Use your voice

*Keep the lesson moving

*Publicly announce classroom management goals

*Collaborative or quad grouping

*Policy of the carrot and stick (rewards system)

Check out careervendor.com’s  Top 5 Strategies for Classroom Management for further details on these techniques!


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