Sunday, September 23, 2012
strategies for classroom management
Classroom management can be difficult! I have six classes. Some of them are jewels ... students arrive on time, they have done their homework, they are ready to begin work, they listen, participate ... wow! Those classes are joyful ... we can even relax, play a game, laugh together.
But not all of my six classes are like this. I have a couple of classes in particular where there are students who are jewels ... but they have classmates that are less engaged and less cooperative. I find it hard to relax, to laugh, or to play games ... and yet I know that those are the very things that students need!
These are the strategies I am trying ...
1. I'm planning at least 3, sometimes 4, 5 activities for our 90 minutes together. I know that keeping the class moving is essential.
2. Integrating more group work so that I "lecture" less is essential. A student said the other day how much she enjoyed the group work and pointed out how much better the class flowed! I am using the "group maker" function at http://www.superteachertools.com/ to create instant groups.
3. Originally I had planned to use a "Behavior Reflection and Contract" for disruptive students to reflect on their behavior. I have not implemented it yet ... but I plan to start now. On the flip side, I am looking for ways to reward students who pay attention. There are not many free or almost free rewards for 9th graders ... they like the jolly ranchers that I keep handy and they like "free" homework passes. Any other ideas??
4. I am trying to build relationships with students ... most important for sure! I am finding that I am more relaxed with the students who come to my after school tutorials. One young lady remarked, "I like how we can just talk together when it is just a few of us here - not like the whole class."
5. Last I created email distribution lists for my classes. I am committed to emailing home once a week ... with what we are doing in class, positive comments, encouraging words ... so that parents will be in the know and work with me!