Celebrating “Connected Educator Month” with five musts for classroom management (and a live Facebook chat!)
By Alex on August 15th, 2012
To celebrate “Connected Educator Month,” we will be sharing some classroom tips through a series of three posts from the author of 4 Keys to Successful Classroom Management: Professional Development Binder, Kelly Bergman. Kelly is a former elementary school teacher and principal from Denver, Colorado. She specializes in presenting workshops for teachers on preparing for a successful school year.
In addition to the blog series, Kelly will also be hosting a live Facebook chat! Be sure to join the discussion on the Scholastic Teachers Facebook page on Sunday August 19th 6:00 - 7:00pm EST. During this time, Kelly will answer any questions you may have about classroom management, communicating with parents, teacher organization, and more!
To kick off this series, Kelly provides tips to her “five musts for classroom management:”
- Get attention quickly and respectfully. You want to be able to get students’ attention quickly, regardless of where you are in the classroom or school. Some teachers use a clapping pattern while some use an echo or chant. Choose one signal for getting attention and practice with students until you’ve perfected it. One of my favorites is the echo using the school mascot. The teacher says, “Shaffer Pioneers” and the students say, “Show repect.”
- Establish smooth transitions between activities. A typical elementary classroom includes at least five transitions during the school day. Inefficient transitions means loss of instructional time. Young students may need to simply move from one spot in the room to another while older students will need activities like games or “Turn to a partner and discuss…” Smooth transitions allow students’ brains to switch gears and be ready for the next activity.
- Use a timer to pace tasks and end promptly. Using a timer allows you to stay on schedule. I tell students they have 10 minutes to work on their assignment, set the timer, and then I can wander the room to work with students without having to watch the time. Some teachers use a timer on their whiteboards while others display a timer under a document camera. Help students learn about pacing by setting a time and sticking to it. If you continually give students extra time, they will come to expect it and work more slowly.
- Develop safe and efficient bathroom routines. Student use of the bathroom can continually disrupt instruction if you have not been thoughtful about this routine. Use a system of nonverbal signals so that students can request your permission without interrupting you. I ask students to stand by the door and wait for a nod from me. For safety reasons, you need to know who is out of the room. Students should place a tall object on their desks before they leave the room so you can quickly scan the room and know who is out of the room. Some teachers use large containers of hand sanitizer so students can sanitize their hands when they return to the room.
- 5. Create a quick and easy pass system that holds students accountable. Students require passes for various reasons during the day. Create a pass system that allows you to easily write passes without interrupting your instruction. Color code the passes and keep them handy so that you can easily access. When creating passes, be sure to include a section for the time so students know they are accountable for getting to their destination quickly and returning to the classroom without any extra stops.
For more tips from Kelly, check out her book, 4 Keys to Successful Classroom Management: Professional Development Binder
Be sure to join us tomorrow and Friday for the second and third installment of this series! And don’t forget to mark you calendars, Sunday August 19th 6:00 EST- 7:00pm EST for Kelly’s live Facebook chat on the Scholastic Teachers page.
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