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Educators talk about managing a class

“I use seating charts and student surveys to help manage my classroom. I found that using Spanish dollars for class participation was an effective incentives program. The students could earn dollars for participating in classroom activities and discussions.  The students would lose these earned dollars for poor performance, such as verbal disruptions and sleeping in class.”

--Margaret Pruente – High school Spanish teacher

“I implement various strategies at the beginning of the year to manage my classroom. I have clear expectations listed on a chart with consequences, such as owing me time at recess. I use a schedule for each day that is organized by order and not by time to help my autistic students. I found that using times on my schedule frustrated my autistic students. I also have a race track with each of my table groups having a colored race car. This goes with the idea of a stop light behavior management with green (go), yellow (slow down) and red (stop); but it also helps to teach my students cooperation. Lastly, if a student received a consequence I would have the student write a note home to their parents.  I found these strategies to be highly successful.

-–Kendra Slotten – 5th- and 2nd-grade teacher      

“I have found that successfully managing a classroom begins with creating a warm community and connecting with my students. I let my students know that I care about them and want what is best for them. I stress to my students that they “will” learn because this is a strong learning community. I found that getting-to-know-you questionnaires, games and standing up to tell about yourself were not successful. Being too friendly and not firm enough was not effective.  When I tried to get my students to loosen up I found that I had to settle them back down later.”

–-Sarah Wagman – 7th-, 5th-, and 4th-grade teacher

“The most important strategy I implement to help manage my classroom is consistency. For example, if I say something is a consequence then I have to follow through. Respect is also key to successful classroom management. I show my students how to respect each other. I found that it was unsuccessful to take away recess. Depending on certain home situations, sending notes home and calling home can be effective. If parents are not vested in their child’s educational success then you are left to find another means of discipline at school. I have read a lot of teachers should not offer rewards as a means to get a child to learn or behave well. I have used rewards, such as stickers, candy, lunch with the teacher, etc… and I found that they were only a temporary fix. My behavioral issues usually begin when my students are not engaged in a lesson or activity.”

–-Stephanie Horwath – 1st-grade teacher

“I do a lot of modeling for every procedure and routine at the beginning of the year. I set clear expectations for every area of our learning community. I give the students a tour of the room, explaining how things are to be used, taken care of, where to put them away, etc. We also have a 'bully-free' classroom discussion that goes along with community-building activities. I try to take things very slow to set up my structure and daily routines. I found it most successful to take more time to model and have students practice routines and classroom behaviors. The most important thing is to be consistent. We also have a school building policy. We use a star report-- a weekly report where each day a student has the potential to earn a point for following school dress code, returning homework, helping others, citizenship, etc. They would also lose points for not following dress code, incomplete homework, classroom disruptions, misbehavior, etc.  Parents had to sign and return these reports every week. At the end of each week students needed to earn 16 points out of twenty to get a star. Once a student earned so many stars they were eligible for rewards, such as school-wide field trips.”

–-Sara Boll – 1st-grade teacher

“I introduce the stop light behavior management strategy. Green means you are on track, yellow means you need to slow down and think about your behavior (this is a warning), and red means that you need to stop and that there will be a consequence. If a student gets to red then they have to fill out a 'thinking sheet.' This sheet asks students to think about what they did and how they can correct this behavior so it will not happen again.”

–-Erin Cooney – Kindergarten – 2nd-grade teacher