Have you ever walked into a classroom and felt the buzz of learning all about? This typically happens when students are engaged and are active in their own learning. Students are able to create this buzz of learning when they are working in a well-managed classroom. What does a well managed classroom all entail? Well, let me show you how to get both students and teachers thriving while achieving their goals in a strong classroom community.
Creating a Well Managed Classroom
Creating a well managed classroom takes time and a bit of trial and error because every class is different because all students are different. Therefore, what you do for one class might not work the following year. To create a classroom with positive energy with great class participation, you’ll need:
- Engaged students
- Clear routines
When students are learning in a well-managed classroom, they are discussing, seeking solutions, thinking critically, and willing to share with peers in small groups and as a whole class. In a classroom, it looks like students being the talkers instead of just quiet pupils sitting in silence and listening. I have been told time and time again that the person doing the talking is doing the learning. In a well-managed classroom, students are engaged and becoming strong critical thinkers.
Clear Routines in a Well-Managed Classroom
When students know exactly what to expect in your classroom every day, they are more likely to be successful and engaged because you’re taking away the element of confusion and surprise. For example, you might start each day for your first graders with a spiral review. This gets their brains moving and ready to learn the task at hand. While surprises are nice here and there, you don’t want to mess with your daily activities too often because they are important!
Principles of a Well Managed Classroom
To have engaged students, clear routines, and minimal disruptions, you’ll need a strong foundation. This strong foundation is built on principles that guide students. These principles include:
- Positive reinforcement
- Engaging instruction
Consistency in a Well Managed Classroom
Consistency is always key. From the routines you create to the consequences for good and bad behavior, you want to make sure you are consistent. Students should never question what will happen if x,y, or z happens. A big part of this is going over routines and expectations early and often.
Aretha told us this was a big deal! However, respect isn’t just about students respecting teachers. In a well managed classroom, students feel respected by the teacher as well. You can show students you respect them by recognizing diverse cultural backgrounds, individual student needs, and being sympathetic when possible. This helps all students feel valued and respected.
Consequences don’t always have to be negative. When students do something awesome or on task, you should recognize their efforts in some way. You can do this with something simple like verbal praise or giving students a point if you’re playing Scoreboard as a classroom management game. You can also give awards weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly for students.
A big part of a well managed classroom is student engagement. To get strong student engagement, you want to have engaging instruction as well. You can make your instruction more engaging by adding fun games like Mad Professor and more into it. This gets students involved while you are still teaching a dynamic lesson.
Using the 3 C’s for a Well Managed Classroom
We’ve been talking about the three C’s quite a bit in the last few weeks. However, they are the staple of a well managed classroom. The three C’s include:
The biggest part of the big C’s is consistency. Whether this is your classroom behaviors, framework for centers, your overall schedule, or your classroom consequences, you want to be consistent. So, set clear ideas. You have morning work every day. All homework is due on Friday. When there is consistency, there is no room for guess work. This consistency will create responsible students.
Communication in a Well Managed Classroom
Parents, colleagues, administration, and students all should be able to communicate in your classroom. Often students feel like their voice isn’t heard. However, it’s your job to listen to students to learn about preferences, challenges, and more! This creates a positive learning space where students can tell the matter.
In a well managed classroom, you have to have negative and positive consequences that are predictable for students. When students know good behavior might earn them privileges, they will correct each other or self correct. Students will also understand that their consequences for not listening might be not understanding the material. You want to make sure your students are always knowing what to expect from their consequences and that the consequences you have are very clear.
Components of Strong Classroom Management
In order to have a well managed classroom, you need to have a classroom that has behaviors on lock! There are five components that are the backbone of any well-managed classroom. These pillars include:
- Established rules and procedures
- Developed relationships
- Effective instruction
- Motivated students
- Appropriate discipline
Establishing Rules and Procedures in a Well Managed Classroom
From the first day of school, you have to set down your classroom rules and procedures. You can have students help you with this to give them some ownership, but some you’ll have to have for school rules and for your own sanity. You’ll have to have procedures for using the restroom, going to recess, moving from center to center, and more! Having clearly outside procedures and rules are vital for students to know what they can and cannot do.
Have you ever heard the expression that students don’t learn if they don’t think you like them? Well, I think this is very true. You have to go beyond academics and get to know your students strengths and weaknesses academically, but it is also nice to know their birthdays, home life, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. When you know more about your students, you can create a trusting classroom community where students feel safe.
Effective Instruction in a Well Managed Classroom
We’ve talked about the buzz of brains working in classrooms a few times in this article and that’s what you want from effective instruction. Students who are working together to be critical thinkers. This happens when you make sure you have something for all learning styles. Whether students are auditory, visual, or hands-on learners, you have something that will help them strive.
Students are motivated when they know they can do something and have confidence in themselves. You have to figure out what motivates students. Whether it’s a prize, or points, or something they love to do, you should know what it is and help students make that part of their “prize” for getting something done. You can also put passions and interests students have into the curriculum to create a well managed classroom.
Appropriate Discipline Methods
This comes back to knowing your students. While it’s important to have clear consequences for students, you also want to be human. If a student is late every day because of a home life issue, you might give that student some leeway and counseling rather than a punishment. This is an important part of creating a safe space where students are still allowed to make a mistake.
A well managed classroom has a buzz that just can’t be denied. If you want a well managed classroom, make sure you follow the tips above and tailor your expectations and consequences for your class’s personality. While these are all great starting points, the finer details are going to change from year to year. Making those changes from year to year though will make your classroom the place to be because you’ll have a well managed classroom where a buzz of learning and critical thinking can be heard.