Classroom Management Techniques

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  • 0:05 Managing a Classroom
  • 0:53 Rules
  • 3:13 Learning Environment
  • 6:05 Student Engagement
  • 8:04 Relationships
  • 9:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Erin Long-Crowell
Managing the classroom is a challenge that all teachers face, and the decisions and actions a teacher takes in this area are extremely influential. In this lesson, we discuss different aspects of classroom management and the importance of creating a plan before the term begins.

Managing a Classroom

Every teacher faces a challenge when it comes to managing his or her classroom. The decisions and actions a teacher takes in this area can be the difference between peaceful productivity and complete chaos. The actions and attitudes of the teacher during the first few class sessions set the tone for the rest of the term. Because it is so important, the most effective teachers create a classroom management plan well in advance of the first class session. Although some management techniques will change depending on the students and grade level, many of the underlying basic strategies of classroom management remain the same. The strategies we'll discuss in this lesson involve rules, the learning environment, student engagement and student-teacher relationships.

Rules

For most teachers, the foundation of a managed classroom is a clear set of rules and consequences. Teachers need to establish general rules of conduct to ensure the classroom runs smoothly. Imagine you teach a fifth grade history class. What kind of rules would you create? The rules that are needed change with every class, and most teachers agree that the students should be included in creating them. The general strategy is to have an idea of what rules are needed, but then include the students in actually creating them as well as the consequences for breaking them. When students have a say in the matter, they have ownership in what has been decided and are more motivated to follow the rules.

It's recommended that teachers devote a portion of the very first day of class to coming up with rules and consequences. Starting with a short list of categories, like 'General Classroom Behavior' and 'Use of Materials,' the teacher facilitates discussion, and the students create a set of rules expressed in their own language.

Writing the class schedule each day contributes to classroom management
Classroom Routines

Most teachers agree that it's best to create only a few rules (5-8 is the rule of thumb), as it's too hard to remember a long list. Of course, teachers also need to determine how they will personally enforce the rules and consequences as well as how to handle conflict. We discuss strategies for discipline and reducing undesirable behaviors in another lesson.

This strategy for creating rules could also be used to determine routines for each class. Unlike rules, rituals and routines don't have consequences, but they are an important part of managing the classroom. They are the repeated activities that students learn to expect as part of your particular class. For example, you could create a routine in your history class where you always write the schedule for the day on the board, along with directions for an extra activity if any students finish early. Knowing what to do and being able to predict what comes next makes students feel competent, which not only helps them learn, but also contributes to a positive learning environment.

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