Is your class anything like mine right now? They are acting like it’s late spring instead of that freshness of the new year. We have been doing routines and procedures everyday, and they know what to do but just don’t do it. To the point where we created a classroom contract which everyone signed and we review over and over, but behavior is still a problem.
That’s where you and I know that classroom management is going to come in handy big time! It’s only September and we’re still working out a few kinks (okay, A LOT), but we’re going to get there! Instead of being the class that everyone dreads having, we’re going to work to be the class teachers are complimenting.
How are we going to get there? Well, there are three A-M-A-Z-I-N-G classroom management strategies that you need to checkout as you head back to school.
1.The Quiet 60
The Quiet 60 classroom management strategy is pure gold! Your class is noisy or arguing or simply out of control and you don’t know how to get them back on track. Once you train them in how to do The Quiet 60, you’ll be wondering where it’s been your whole life!
As you introduce The Quiet 60 have a class discussion on what a noise is and what causes noises. Explain that if you hear a sound during The Quiet 60, then we’ll be starting all over until it’s completely quiet. If you use Class Dojo feel free to take negative points away if a student talks or is fussing.
Now call out, “Gentlemen are you ready?” Then have your boys clap twice. Next, call out, “Ladies are you ready?” Then have your ladies clap twice. Teach them to have their desks cleared and hands folded after they clap. Once this all happens, set a timer for one minute on the board so that your students will be able to see it.
Let The Quiet 60 begin! You will now stand, watch and observe to be sure all students are in compliance with being quiet. If they talk or make noises, then you must stop the clock and repeat the process until they get it. They will get it with consistent practice.
2. Three Strikes And You’re Out!
Got a clipboard and your class roster handy? Yes. Well, that’s all you need for this classroom management strategy. It is so effective and easy to implement.
To get started, create a behavior code at the top of your roster of behaviors that your class is having trouble controlling. For example, HO might mean “hands on others” and TB could imply “talking back.” Once you have your set codes, make multiple copies of the roster for future use so you don’t have to keep creating a key each day.
Next, clip your behavior roster to your clipboard and carry it with you EVERYWHERE you go! Seriously, don’t leave it laying around. Explain to your students that you will be giving out strikes for behaviors that are not appropriate for the classroom. Talk about what those could be, look like, and sound like. Share that after three strikes you will be writing a detention and calling home.
Pro Tip: Wear a watch so as you document the behavior you can also jot down the time the behavior is occurring. You now have a solid running record and data to back you up when you communicate with the parent.
This was a game changing point in our week. The key to make this work is to be consistent and put the time in to make the phone calls. Your students will quickly learn that you mean business.
3. Administrative Support
Say what? You’re probably thinking there’s no way that I want my administrator to know what is going on in my classroom because they are out of control and you feel it’s a reflection of you. It’s not! Don’t be afraid to get your administration involved in supporting you.
Send email updates and ask questions. Let them guide you through the process because that’s part of their job. Have a mindset of being open to being coached no matter how many years you’ve been in education. We can all become stronger each and every year.
Share what you have tried and implemented. Be specific and let your admin know the results of your efforts and your course of action. Don’t ever feel like you’re asking too many questions. Their job is to support you and your students.
I can’t take credit for the strategy. My good friend Hillary Midgley is the one who made this suggestion to me and it was another defining moment for our class this week. Can’t thank Hillary enough! If you’re a teacher, especially a middle school teacher, be sure to follow her for some time saving high yield lessons and management tips.
Hopefully your school year is off to a great start. Know that we are right here with you on this journey. You are more than welcome to reach out to us on Instagram (@lessonplantoolbox) or email ([email protected]). We are here to serve you and make your life easier.
Lesson Plan Toolbox