October 29, 2019
By: Katharine Baumgartner
Lets face it! A classroom without management is like the ocean without sharks. It’s unhealthy and lacks the ability for students to be successful. Here are six tips for improving your classroom management and increasing your overall classroom environment!
- Sea Monkey see, Sea Monkey do! Demonstrate positive behavior by being respectful, using polite language, and using eye contact.
- Exploration of the sea (or classroom) rules! Allow your students to explore and set their own classroom rules. This allows your students to feel more involved and are more likely to follow rules that ‘they came up with.’
- Leave it out in the open for all to sea! Post your rules so they are visible to all students. If rules are broken, point to the rules and remind students what they should be doing instead.
- Don’t punish the little fish in the big sea! Avoid punishing the class as a whole. This is rarely effective and demoralizes the students that were on task. If your classroom gets out of control, have everyone put their head down and turn off the lights until you have gained control of the class again.
- Don’t let yourself get tangled. Offer Praise and/or rewards. When I taught 6th grade science, it would drive me nuts when a student came to my class unprepared without a pencil. So, in the beginning of the year I told students I they would be invited to a pizza party at the end of the year if they didn’t ask me for a pencil the entire year. Guess what? I would have about 5 students asking me for a pencil all year instead of multiple students asking daily! It’s amazing how much a friend will help out when students lean on each other for pencils.
- Think (and speak) like a fish! Use non-verbal communication. There are lots of examples for ways to utilize non-verbal communication within your classroom. Student stations, independent work, videos, presentations, etc. Believe it or not, I actually spent an entire day without using my voice. The students didn’t know what hit them. I never had such focus and attentiveness as I did that day.