Posted on 01/20/2016 at 09:40 AM by Blog Experts

Around this time of year, teachers notice that it's time to reteach some behaviors or change up and try some new classroom management strategies. I'll list some of my go-to strategies.  What are some of your favorites?

1) "No Interrupting" Light-  At your small group table have a push light.  When the light is on, no one can come to you to ask a question. or I had a question chair- this chair was very close to my small group table.  If a student had something to ask me, then would sit and wait until I was ready to listen.  At an appropriate moment, I would just lean over and listen to the student's question and provide an answer.  It was on my terms when I listened to their question.  They knew to only use the question chair when it was absolutely needed.

2) Going along with number 1, "3 Before Me"- If a student has a question, they need to ask up to 3 classmates their question.  It'll probably be answered by then.

3) Hand signals- Kids hold up 1 finger for a pencil, 2 fingers for the bathroom, 3 for a question, and so on.  

4) How students know when to raise their hand or just call out-  There are times in our teaching that you want kids to raise their hands to answer a question or share something out.  There are other times where it's ok not to raise their hands and you want students to call out, more like a conversation.  In order for kids to know what you want, when you ask the students a question, you raise your hand as a visual for them that you want them to raise their hand.  If you want them to call out, hold out your hand palm up as a visual for them that can answer without raising their hand.  

5) Whenever you have students share out, pick students that you've visited with and know they have the correct answer.  This works great to build confidence with certain students.  Here's how it could look:  "Class, I want you to talk with your neighbor about____"  I was over to about 3 groups and listen in on their conversations.  I join in on the conversation to make sure they have the correct answer. I tell the group, "Ok, you got it.  I'm going to call on you to share your answer".  Then when the whole group is together again, you call on the students that you met with.  They know they have the right answer because you just met with them and feel confident to talk in front of the whole class.  (APL strategy)

6) Option to Pass-  Always let students have the option to pass.  But then always come back to them.  And maybe number 5 needs to come into place.  (APL strategy)

7) Check for Understanding- Rule 10-2 . For every 10 minutes of teaching, have 2 minutes of checking.  Even when you've given directions, check for understanding. (APL strategy)

There are many many more wonderful classroom management strategies out there.  What are your favorites?

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