For me, classroom and behaviour management are foundational for an effective learning environment. I truly believe that building quality relationships with my students is the core to implementing classroom management strategies.
In addition, I use several strategies to regulate noise level, determine comprehension levels, encourage growth mindset among students, differentiate learning opportunities and optimize instruction time.
Intervention Management & Behaviour Strategies
Reward Systems, Behavior Charts and Class Dojo
If needed, I implement reward systems, behavior charts and positive reinforcement classroom management techniques using Class Dojo. Students earn points for positive behaviors and lose points for violent, disruptive or other undesirable classroom behaviors.
Voice Level Chart
The voice level chart behavior management strategy is a way of letting our students know what type of participation and work is needed at particular times. Using the voice level chart and illuminating the desired lightbulb behind the colored tissue paper,communicates to students how they are expected to participate.
This “old school” visual has been great for my younger students and students with special needs. It provides something they can reference and something that I can refer back to as a reminder of what kind of participation is needed for which activity or teacher. This approach has allowed me to visually present the specific behaviorsexpected from my students. According to Johnson and Johnson (1991), being specific about student expectations is a very important step in effective classroom management.
Growth mindset coloring & discussion
I have had students who exhibit signs of anxiety, frustration and fixed mindsets in the classroom. I regularly explore concepts surroundinggrowth mindset, resilience and grit with my students. Some ways I facilitate discussions and learning opportunities in these areas is through coloring, reflection and discussion of quotes. We begin with a student reading the phrase aloud, and then I ask the students to share what they think this phrase means. I always wrap up the discussion reminding my students that effort and development are key.
Planning, Organization & Supervision
Thumbs up, middle, down TPT
Himmele and Himmele (2011) advocate for the use of total participation techniques in the classroom. I have chosen to implement the thumbs up, thumb in the middle, thumbs down technique. I decided to implement this technique into my classroom because I found that I was seeing the same hands being raised and the same students sitting with blank looks on their faces when I posed a question to the class. I find this is another way to take thepressureoff of students who do not feel comfortable participatingand to rein in the eager beavers.
Flexible Learning Groups: Differentiating with Teams
Heacox posits that the use of flexible student learning groups “is the heart of differentiated instruction” (Heacox, 2002, p. 85). I chose to use Microsoft Teamsas the platform to organize our student learning groups. I usually group students using the ability grouping method.I find that using flexible student groups has allowed me to differentiate instruction and assessment more effectively.