Classroom management can be tough. It’s hard to find a solution that works when every class and every student is so different. Often, we think we’ve finally found a system that works, and then suddenly it doesn’t anymore! I found this often happened around Christmastime for my classes. Are you in the same boat? If so, I’m sharing 6 of my favorite classroom management strategies with you for some inspiration.
Classroom Management Strategies
1. Mystery Reward Board
This is one of my favorite strategies for classroom management. I always used these at the beginning of the year to help reinforce our routines and procedures. A reward board is basically a poster board covered in sticky notes. Each sticky note has a class goal on it; for example, transition to carpet in 30 seconds or all students wrote their name on their paper. On the poster board underneath the sticky notes is written a mystery reward.
As the class accomplishes the various goals, the sticky notes come off, slowly revealing the mystery prize. Once all sticky notes have been removed, the class earns the prize! Some rewards I’ve used in the past are extra recess time, no homework for the week, and movie party.
My students always loved this behavior management strategy! They were so excited to remove the sticky notes and uncover the reward.
Another one of my favorite classroom management strategies involves using the game Kerplunk! I’ve seen many teachers use this life-sized game in their classroom, but I personally used these mini ones I found at Dollar Tree.
To use this game for classroom management, start by giving your class some kind of goal. It could be for transitions, working quietly, hallway behavior, etc. Every time the class meets the goal, remove one stick from the game. Continue until all the balls have fallen to the bottom. Once the game is over, the students earn a reward!
3. Table Points
This is a classroom management strategy I use to encourage students to work together. Every table is a team working together to earn points each week. Points are earned for things like cleaning up quickly, being prepared, working quietly, etc. Every student at the table must have done this in order for their table to earn a point. Throughout the week, I keep a running tally of table points.
At the end of the week, the table that has earned the most points wins. The prize for winning is a special VIP caddy that the winning table gets to keep at their table for the entire next week until we have a new winner. Students love the VIP caddy because it contains special things like colorful dry erase markers, glitter pens, and mechanical pencils. You can read more about my points system in this post.
4. Secret Student
I’ve seen this classroom management strategy done a few different ways, but they are all similar. Start off the day by secretly choosing one student in your class – I used to pull a popsicle stick to determine this. Throughout the day, pay close attention specifically to that student. You can choose one specific aspect to pay attention to – such as walking in line – or just in general. Make sure your students know you are doing this, but do not say the name of the student.
At the end of the day, evaluate whether that student did a great job or struggled. If they did well, announce to the class who the secret student was, what they did well, and then give the entire class a reward (such as a piece of candy, or extra recess).
If the secret student struggled, do not announce to the class who it was. Let them know that the secret student needed some help today so the class did not earn the reward. You can pull the student aside later and speak with them privately, if needed.
The idea behind this behavior management strategy is that because the students do not know who the secret student is, they will all want to be on their best behavior in order to earn the reward for their class.
5. Brownie Points
This is one of my favorite classroom management strategies because of how versatile it is! You can use it in so many different ways.
The idea is that students earn “brownie points” anytime a particular goal is met. I personally did this for compliments the class received, but you could literally use it for anything. When the class received a compliment, they earned one brownie point. Once they received 10 brownie points, the class earned a prize!
I kept track of brownie points using a cookie sheet, some brownie clipart, and magnets. I simply printed out the brownies, laminated them, and added a magnet to the back using magnet tape. Then, I stuck them on the cookie sheet as the class earned them!
Trouble controlling noise levels? No problem! This is a strategy for classroom management that helps keep students’ volume under control.
Simply print out the letters N.O.I.S.E., laminate, and attach a magnet to the back. When students get too loud, put up a letter. Continue putting up one letter at a time whenever the class gets too loud. You can also remove letters if they go certain stretches of time without getting too noisy.
Anytime all 5 letters end up on the board, the class has a consequence, such as losing 5 minutes of recess time. Personally, I always struggled with noise control in my classroom, and this strategy really helped give students a visual reminder that they needed to work more quietly.
You can get this N.O.I.S.E. printable in my Behavior Management Strategies Bundle.