Classroom Management Strategies

How To Make Your Consequences Matter To Students – Education Article

There is statement I hear again and again from teachers struggling with classroom management. It’s often used as a reason for not holding students strictly accountable or justification for the chaos they’re experiencing. In reality, however, it reveals a profound misunderstanding of effective classroom management. It is this: “My students don’t care about consequences.” It’s said as a statement of fact, as if an unchanging part of who the students are. But if this were really true, if repercussions for…

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How To Handle A Student Whose Grades (And Behavior) Have Dropped – Education Article

If you’re a regular reader of SCM, and therefore a keen observer of your class, a drop in a student’s grades, performance, and behavior becomes quickly noticeable. We’re used to this, of course. All students have ups and downs over a long school year. If you’re like most teachers, however, your normal response may be doing more harm than good. You see, it’s common to immediately pull struggling students aside for a chat. This may include a series of questions,…

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How To Handle Students Who Make Classmates Laugh – Education Article

So you have this student, or maybe several, who during instructional time try to make their classmates laugh. Sometimes it’s just a look or whispered comment, but it can be a major disruption. It can also be hard to know how to handle. Should you hold all students who laugh accountable or just the student who started it? Also, if nothing was said, is it fair to follow your classroom management plan? In the moment, it can seem as if…

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How To Handle Annoying Students – Education Article

So you have this student who seemingly at every break wants to share critical information with you. Sometimes it’s an observation. “The heater is making a strange clicking sound.” Sometimes it’s a suggestion. “I think you should line the class up in alphabetical order.” Sometimes it’s a tattle. “Leticia has a bag of chips in her pocket, and I saw her eating them.” They’re not interrupting or being rude. Nor are they breaking any rules. But it gets on your…

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How To Handle Brazen Behavior – Education Article

So what is brazen behavior? I define it as anything especially disruptive, silly, or defiant. Some examples: Running or chasing in the classroom. Yelling, bursting laughter, or falling on the floor. Roughhousing and practical jokes. Ignoring specific directions or commands. Throwing spitwads, erasers, or other soft objects. There are others, of course, but you get the idea. It’s behavior that isn’t dangerous or threatening, and therefore doesn’t rise to the level of involving an administrator . . . . .…

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A Super Easy Way To Lower Your Stress – Education Article

There are techniques that can help you maintain a calm disposition throughout each teaching day. Even if chaos is swirling around you. We’ve covered several in the past, both in our books and here on the website. But today I want to share with you a super easy method that is scientifically proven to put you in a more relaxed state. And keep you there. It’s used by archers, golfers, surgeons, yoga teachers, and others whose performance is so directly…

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How To Give Effective Praise: 6 Guidelines – Education Article

I’ve been writing about praise since 2009, but there is still a lot of confusion over its use. Typically, praise is given far too frequently. Most classrooms are a constant stream of way-to-gos and good-jobs, regardless of accomplishment—or lack thereof. Also known as false praise, lumping praise for expected behavior together with legitimate accomplishment is confusing to students. It lowers the bar on what is considered excellence and strips praise of any real and lasting meaning. It’s also often used…

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How To Handle A Student Who Rejects Your Kindness – Education Article

You give and you give. You give your patience and humor. You give your positivity and respect. You give your heart and hope for their future. And they discard it. They crumble it up and toss it in the trash. They meet your smile, your generosity, and your kindness with indifference—and even cruelty. They roll their eyes at your attempts to build rapport. They stare off into the distance and mumble when you try to engage them in conversation. They…

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Why Principals Don’t Praise – Smart Classroom Management – Education Article

It’s not just you. Really, it isn’t. Many principals don’t praise anyone. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when you’re ignored or your good work goes unnoticed. Whether you’re a veteran or brand-new teacher, everyone appreciates well-earned recognition. Everyone appreciates positive feedback. After all, it lets you know if you’re on the right track. Oh sure, they expect you to do it. They want to hear you praise everything that moves. But for them, it’s as if they lose…

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How To Handle Students Who Complain – Education Article

You pour your heart into your job. You love your students, even when they’re not so lovable. You plan and create interesting lessons and deliver them with energy. So when a student complains, often within full earshot of the class, it can be infuriating. Few things get under a teacher’s skin as deeply. “Why do we have to do this?” “This is sooo boring.” “Oh no, not that again.” It can take willpower not to reply with a sharp, “Because…

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How To Stop Your Class From Calling Out – Education Article

Maybe you haven’t been as consistent lately. Maybe you’ve lost a bit of control. Whatever the reason, it can sneak up on you quickly. Before you know it, so many students are calling out without raising their hand that it becomes impossible to enforce. Now you’re struggling just to get through lessons, and their behavior is becoming more brazen and disrespectful. So how do you fix it? You break them of the habit. Here’s how: 1. Have a rule. If…

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Are Your Class Rules Enforceable? – Education Article

Last week, I shared a way to make sure your class rules cover every possible misbehavior. But if you did the exercise, you may have noticed something strange. Something you weren’t sure what to do with. Something left over. You see, the exercise was designed to reveal not only weaknesses in your classroom management plan, but also rules you don’t need. Some readers even discovered that none of their rules covered actual disruptions. How can this be? Well, it’s common…

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7 Reasons Your Students Dislike You – Education Article

Likability is a key principle of SCM—because it makes building rapport effortless. It causes students to want to listen to you, please you, and behave for you. It helps make your consequences matter. Being disliked, on the other hand, makes classroom management far more difficult. It’s the reason many teachers struggle year after year, why they find themselves pleading, arguing, and bribing just to get through the day. The problem with turning it around, however, is that it can be…

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Back to Basics in the Classroom – Education Article

After a fifteen-year hiatus from teaching musicianship classes (I typically teach undergraduate music theory core classes and graduate classes), I taught Musicianship 1 last semester which opened my eyes to the many challenges teachers face on a daily basis at my institution. It probably won’t come as a surprise, but I noticed immediately, as a whole, entering first-year students are not as prepared today to be music majors as when I first started my career more than 20 years ago.…

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The Best Time To Review Your Classroom Management Plan – Education Article

No, it’s not when your class has gone off the rails. It’s not after a chaotic lesson. And it’s not when your teacherly sense tells you you should. —Although these are all indeed good reasons to review your plan. No, the best time to review your classroom management plan is . . . When everything is going perfectly. Here’s why: It reinforces your students’ trust in you. By revisiting your behavior expectations out of the blue, as well as the…

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The Best Classroom Management Strategy For A Crazy Class – Education Article

No, your class isn’t terrible. They’re just silly, unfocused, excitable. In a word, crazy. It’s frustrating because you’ve been over your classroom management plan again and again. And they do get it. In fact, individually they’re great kids. It’s just, as a group they tend to get out of hand. They waste time and chat, and you struggle to get through lessons. This is a common scenario. You like your students, and at times they do really well—so you know…

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