Planning for Classroom Management: 3 Ways to Succeed!

This image shows students sitting in a circle in a classroom with the teacher and reads "Planning for classroom management: 3 ways to succeed".

Planning for classroom management and putting it into practice is tricky and is often a point of worry for new teachers. 

I totally get it and understand, because I’ve been there. 

While I am not a classroom management expert, I wanted to share a few tips I found really helpful as I worked on improving my own classroom management. 💪

1. Go Slow to Go Fast: Teaching Procedures 

You will probably hear this a million times, but that is only because it is incredibly true. It might seem counter-intuitive to not dive into the curriculum for a week, but trust me- mastering your daily procedures, in the beginning, will give you more instructional time in the long run. 🙂

🌟 Teach, model, and practice procedures at the beginning of the year 

The first week of teaching is really spent on teaching expectations, and routines, and practicing them over and over and over again. 

Even when you think your students have it mastered, practice it again. 

Here are some common procedures to teach:

  • Arrival
  • Sharing Materials
  • Transitions (more on this in step 3!)
  • Walking in the Hall
  • Hand Signals
  • Lunch Procedure
  • Restroom Procedure
  • Turning in Work
  • Voice Levels
  • Carpet Time
  • Clean up
  • Technology
  • Classroom Jobs
  • Dismissal
  • Classroom Library
  • Fire Drills

A word to the wise: don’t expect to teach each and every expectation and routine you will use on the first day of school. 

You want to keep things fun, and remember that your students can only remember so many things at once! Slowly build expectations as they arise throughout your week and as they are needed. 🐢

🌟Have students be the examples 

✅ After you have taught the expectation, invite your students to model the expectation. And…here’s the fun part: have a student model what NOT to do. 😂

✅ I would encourage you to select a student who you know might struggle with this particular behavior or expectation to model to the class what NOT to do. Allow the class to giggle and laugh, and for this student to go all out with what this expectation ISN’T. 

✅ Then, have the SAME student model what TO do. 

This reminds the student and the class as a whole what this expectation looks like. Always end with what you expect as a teacher. 

🌟Don’t be afraid to revisit as needed 

Your students might have a week or a day or a month where they show you they are really struggling with a particular expectation. 

Don’t give in to the lie that you have failed as a teacher. Simply go back and reteach, revisit, and review what that expectation should be. 

2. Involve Your Students 

As you begin planning for classroom management, think about how you can incorporate your students as well! 

Now, I always suggest having your non-negotiables that students don’t get to weigh in on. (Like being respectful to their peers, not running in the classroom, etc).

But, there is something about finding ways to involve your students in this area. They really do enjoy it and begin to take ownership of the classroom rules & expectations when they have some sort of a say. 

While you are the teacher, they are the ones who will spend their year learning in your classroom. Sometimes it is helpful to get a feel for what this particular group of students will need or appreciate in your classroom. 

For example, you could ask your students: 

➡️ What type of classroom environment will help them to best learn?

➡️ What volume level helps them focus while they are reading to self?

➡️ How one of their classmates should ask for help? 

More often than not, your students will identify expectations you would originally pick out. 

👍 They are able to learn best when the classroom is calm, controlled & tidied up 

👍 Reading is easiest to do when the classroom is silent 

👍They want to be respected and asked kindly for help or to be partners for projects 

Involving your students in some of these discussions helps gain more buy-in from students. When they discuss the why behind the rules and come up with them themselves, they are more likely to follow them.

3. Transitions 

If your class can master the transition game, you’re golden- because it will save you so much instructional time. 🤩

The transition…

⭐ into the classroom at the beginning of the day 

⭐ into your morning meeting or huddle 

⭐ from your class to specials 

⭐ from your class to lunch 

⭐ from recess back to class 

⭐ from one subject to another 

The best way to master transitions is once again, to teach model, and practice each one- again and again.

You could even make it into a game, and time how quickly (while still being quiet and safe) students can transition from one thing to another! Then let them know how much time it took, and try again!

Planning for classroom management and putting it into practice in a real classroom is hard and can feel overwhelming. 

Remind yourself often that the more you do it, the easier it will become. 

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other teachers. Ask questions, observe them in action, and get tips and feedback from those who have been doing this for a long time. 

We all remember what it was like to start teaching and are here to help. 💛

If you are wanting some more teacher tips, but aren’t sure where to begin, check out my Teacher Tips category from my blog. This section is filled with blog posts all highlighting tips given from one teacher to another.  

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