Classroom management strategies

Get a handle on classroom discipline from the very beginning of the school year by reinforcing positive behavior and addressing rule infractions.

Prevent off-task or disruptive behavior

  • Maintain lesson momentum.
  • Offer challenging experiences.
  • Avoid situations that put students in long lines or make them wait for the next activity.
  • Before the beginning of each class, write instructions or objectives for assignments, questions to ponder, or curriculum-related puzzles on the board.
  • Continuously monitor the classroom, and teach students how to pay attention, follow directions and ask for help.

Establishing classroom rules

A great way to get your students involved in following classroom rules is to have them be part of the rule-making process. Ask students to come up with their top five rules as a group. Visibly display them in the classroom, and revisit them often.

Make classroom rules stick

  • Make sure rules revolve around respect and cooperation.
  • State rules positively, and allow for student discussion and clarification.
  • Present rules orally, post them in your classroom, and send a copy of them home for parents to review and return with a signature.
  • Remind students of expected behavior by enforcing consequences and rewarding successes.
  • Always praise and reward cooperation and time spent on task.
  • Avoid using writing assignments as punishment because doing so might cause students to equate writing with negative feelings.
  • Review campus and district discipline management plans with your campus administrator or mentor teacher, and consult with either for guidance throughout the year.
  • Because some students respond emotionally if they fail at their schoolwork, build self-esteem by giving students opportunities to succeed and steadily increasing the difficulty of assignments.
  • Avoid taking away recess or other opportunities for physical activity as a consequence for breaking rules. Physical activity has been proven to stimulate learning and serves as an outlet for students to expend extra energy.
  • Never resort to corporal punishment unless your actions are in strict compliance with district policy.
Most of all, remember to keep a good sense of humor. Admit it when you make a mistake, and be able to laugh at yourself!