What is Classroom Management?

Running a primary classroom though is a whole different ball game than in the upper grades. The routines that are established from the first day of school are critical for teachers who are working with the rowdy energy of young children.

pretty teacher, what is classroom management

I quickly learned when I moved to second grade that a routine was needed for everything.

I made the mistake of assuming 7 and 8 year olds could sharpen a pencil - 45 minutes and a major headache later I knew better!

Effective classroom routines mean that the students can run the room like clockwork even if the teacher isn't there. This doesn't mean a few students you can depend on - this means that routines are so ingrained in your students that they perform them without even thinking about it.

Best Practices for Elementary
Classroom Routines and Management

The thing about developing the ability for students to manage themselves is that it can take well over the first month of school to train them in your expected classroom routines.

This is time well spent. An effective teacher will get more out of the entire year by putting in this initial investment.

The First Days of School

From the first day of school - the first minute- start establishing procedures for your students to follow.  

Be at the door when students arrive. Your presence signals the students that you are ready to work and learn with them.

Use a seating arrangement that is not traditional rows - back rows encourage poor behavior.

Model and train desired behaviors for classroom routines - this could take a month or more.

Keep the classroom rules short and easy to follow - no gray areas.

Be a constant presence around your students (don't sit behind a table all day).

Give the students a predictable schedule, as much as possible.

Use best teaching practices that are evidence-based - this helps keep students positive about their learning!
Use redirection and positive reinforcement when appropriate.

Involve the home - be sure you have clearly communicated to parents the routines, procedures and expectations for the class. A great way to do this is by using classroom newsletter.

There are times when you will need a specific behavior intervention plan. This is also part of behavior management in the classroom.

Here's one of the best classroom management tips: Don't assume anything - it is better to over-practice than assume students know how to do something. My first year in second grade I assumed they knew how to sharpen pencils. Now I teach that lesson the first day of school and we practice how to do it for the next two weeks!

Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent!

Related Articles

  • Classroom Newsletters- A great newsletter saves hours of headaches and builds great parent-teacher relationships.
  • Classroom Awards - Non-tangible but very meaningful. These awards build inner character in kids.

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