Hybrid Approaches to Classroom Management

Instructor: Loren Rozanski

Loren has a B.S. in History and a M.S. in Special Education. She works actively in the education field.

Managing a classroom can be challenging for new and experienced educators alike. Let's learn about blending multiple approaches to classroom management to create a comprehensive plan for your classroom.

Hybrid Classroom Management Approaches

Ms. Smith is a first year teacher with a class of third grade students. She's half way through her math lesson on fractions, when Student A jumps up and starts skipping around the room. This triggers Student B, who decides to sing a song. Student C sees all of this happening and puts her head down to sleep. Ms. Smith knows there has to be a way to manage her students better, but she just isn't sure what to do!

Classroom Management

Novice and experienced teachers alike can struggle with classroom management. Having a bunch of strategies, and sometimes combining several, can help reduce issues and problems within the classroom, and ensure that students have a positive environment for learning. Let's look at a couple classroom management strategies and learn about combining them for a hybrid approach.

Students in elementary and lower middle school grades often respond to different classroom management strategies than those in higher grades. Here are a few examples of strategies, and which grade they would be appropriate for:

  • Online behavioral management system, such as ClassDojo (K-6)
  • Flip chart behavioral tracker system (green, yellow, and red cards that are changed as a students behavior changes) (K-6)
  • Classroom rewards system: ''dollars'' or ''tickets'' earned for positive behavior (K-6)
  • Discipline disruptive students only, not the whole class (7-12)
  • Allow students some flexibility and freedom, but only during designated times, such as allowing them to pick their own partner or choose from two or three different types of projects (7-12)

Allowing students a chance to earn points towards rewards, such as having a guest reader come into the classroom, is an example of positive reinforcement.
reading, military, elementary

While each grade level has its own unique set of challenges, these strategies can be used in all grades:

  • Set clear expectations for the class and follow them all year.
  • Use positive reinforcement and reward students for doing good.
  • Use progressive discipline: start with a small consequence and work your way up if behavior continues.
  • Build positive relationships with your students.

Hybrid Classroom Management

Combining several different strategies into a hybrid plan for your classroom can help to create a positive learning environment for all students. Here are some considerations to keep in place while combining strategies:

  • Use grade and/or age-appropriate strategies.
  • Don't use two strategies that conflict with each other.
  • Choose strategies that can be used consistently.

Let's take a look back at Ms. Smith's classroom. She decides to use both an online behavioral management system and an in-class rewards system. Her online system allows parents and guardians to be aware of what's happening in the classroom, and the in-class rewards system creates excitement and motivation in the classroom.

Now, when her students start disrupting math class, she reminds them that if they continue to disrupt the class, they may lose dollars in their rewards system. The students remember that they are saving dollars to have a special reading day, and decide to quiet down and work on their math. At the same time, Ms. Smith makes a note in the online behavioral management system so that she can track behavior and so that parents are made aware of what's going on at school. Ms. Smith feels confident in new new classroom management plan.

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