Creating a positive classroom culture can be a challenge, but it’s a crucial element in making a class run smoothly. In the video “New Teacher Survival: Classroom Management” featured below, Dr. Jackie Ancess of Columbia University says you want a classroom to be an “orderly and safe space so that the kids can learn what you want them to learn.”
Often this means setting (and enforcing) standards for appropriate classroom behavior. Identifying expectations for students and holding them to those expectations gives them a sense of stability and increases class unity. Classroom management doesn’t necessarily mean telling kids, “Don’t do that,” but rather creating a culture where the class understands, “We do this to be successful learners.”
This week, our playlist highlights a mix of techniques for fostering classroom management and a productive classroom culture. Some of these approaches may take a bit of time to set into motion, but several of the videos give tips you can try tomorrow.
1. Using a Number System to Streamline Class Routines
Ms. Ramos uses numbers to teach students accountability and reliability. Her system helps students feel that they have a specific place in the class while minimizing disruptions.
2. Setting the Tone from Day One
This video highlights the importance of setting and enforcing expectations for classroom behavior at the beginning of the school year.
3. Creating a Positive Classroom Culture
In this video, Ms. Saul involves her students in helping manage the class and adhering to goals and expectations that they’ve set for themselves.
4. Attention Getter: Say the Secret Word
In this classroom, Ms. Ramos has a secret weapon: a secret word that alerts her class to stop what they’re doing and listen to her.
5. New Teacher Survival Guide: Classroom Management
This video lays out 7 great tips to help transform a classroom.
6. Caring and Control Create a Safe, Positive Classroom
This is a wonderful look at how to approach discipline from a positive perspective. Ms. Sinclair enforces her class contract not by reprimanding students, but by praising them for their good behavior, making them a model for others. She also performs a quick, daily assessment of students’ feelings at the start of class, building trust and providing a sense of catharsis.
7. Ms. Noonan: Managing Transitions
See how Ms. Noonan demonstrates how repetition of key words and phrases can create a tempo and structure for the classroom, signaling to students when something is expected of them. Ms. Noonan’s strategy requires students to pay extra attention in the lesson, as the transition prompts change regularly, and are usually questions related to concepts they have just learned.
See how Ms. Saul devotes a lot of thought to the flow of her lessons, directing students’ movements and ensuring no time is lost with traffic jams or uncertainty over what to do next.
9. The 3 B’s: Managing Classroom Interruptions
In this video, Ms. Abdul Wajid very clearly defines boundaries for her students when she is meeting with others either individually or in small groups. These kinds of rules of thumb inspire respect and understanding.