Teacher Tips - Management

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Teacher Tips for Classroom and Behavior Management

The Teacher's Corner Resources Alarming Time Management Grades Any
We often get so involved in our lessons and classroom work that tranistion times often sneek up on us. Here are a few different ways to help keep you and your students on time.

  • Have an old clock radio on hand? Set it to play music 5-10 minutes before you need to be cleaned up.
  • Set various repeating alarms on your phone. If you still have that old cell phone, bring it into the classroom and use it as your alarm.
  • There are a number of online timers that work great as well. Open a Chrome browser, type in "set 5 minute timer" and you are set. You can even select one of the "timer videos" from YouTube.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Anecdotal Records
An easy and inexpensive way to record your student observations. I do much of my grading through observation anecdotal records during reading and writing conferences. I write them on the white mailing labels companies use. I usually get the 2" one, but you can find them smaller or larger. You can get them either in long strips or 8x11. Put the Student's name, the date, and the subject on the top. Take the notes. Later, they can be files on a sheet of paper in a binder under the child's name. These are very useful with behavior situations. They are great for conferences, too.
Submitted by: Kimberlee Hannan [email protected]

The Teacher's Corner Resources Classroom Management
Tickets and team work with a sports theme.
Submitted by: Michael Miller [email protected]

The Teacher's Corner Resources Conduct Cards Grades Any
With this simple routine, parents and students will always be aware of their weekly behavior.
"I always dreaded hearing from parents about a conduct grade that I gave a student until I came up with conduct cards. Each student has an index card with their name and the week on it. I use computer labels to make them easy and neat. The cards all stay in a file box with several pens in it. Each time a student forgets an assignment or book or breaks a rule, he/she has to sign his/her conduct card. At the end of the week, I put a grade on the card.
The students take the cards home on Monday to get signed by their parents and return them to school on Tuesday. Students who behave positively receive a nice stamp on their card to bring home. I have one that says, 'Give your child a hug today for this good work.' Parents have never questioned a grade that I have given since I started using these cards, and my class is in control."
Submitted by: Suzanne D. Puckett [email protected] , a fourth grade teacher at W.J. Turner Elementary School in Ft. Worth, Texas. This tip was published in the NEA's Weekly Tip Newsletter.

The Teacher's Corner Resources Keeping Track of Assignments
Generic Class ListNeed a quick way to check if your students have handed in their work? Here's an easy solution using a small checklist. I have created two different editable versions for you to use, or you can follow the steps below.

  1. You will want to use a word processing program. The first step is to adjust your margins (I used 0.4").
  2. Now you can insert either two columns or a table with four fields. Columns have different properties than tables, so you will have to "push" the content into the second column. If you decide to use a table, you can go into the properties and make them borderless.
  3. Type your students' names and if you use a number system in your class, you may want to include that as well.
  4. Remember...you will have to do some tinkering with the font size and margins based on your individual document and amount of students.

Not up for creating your own? Click on the image to download the Word document or click HERE for the Google Doc. If you choose the Google Docs format, you will first need to "Make a Copy" to save it into your own Drive and begin the editing process. Both of the editable versions I've created use columns.

To set-off this list, copy on brightly colored paper. You might even want to use different colored paper for different subjects. Cut the sheets apart, resulting in four copies of your class list per sheet.

As you are collecting forms or assignments, paper clip a copy of your list to the front and simply check off each student's name as you receive their paper.
Submitted by: Jennifer

The Teacher's Corner Resources Noise Level
Use a traffic light tool to manage classroom noise.

Traffic Lights - This is something I use to keep the noise level of my classroom at an acceptable level.

To introduce the concept, I have a discussion with the students about what the different traffic lights mean (red = stop, yellow = slow down, green = go.) Then I tell them that we'll be using traffic lights in the classroom, not for moving traffic, but for speaking traffic.

Then I ask them "What would it mean if I said 'Red Light'?" The answer would be "No talking." I ask similar questions for yellow and green lights, the answers being that yellow means they can ask questions if they raise their hands, and green means they can talk freely.

After this discussion, when you about to start something, tell the students what kind of light they're at. Ex. If I was going to read a book to them, I'd say "Red Light." Once the story was finished, I'd say "Yellow light" and start a discussion with the class.

As well as verbally telling them which light they're at, I also made a spinner which I posted at the front of the room. I set it to the proper color as a visual reminder to the class.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim - Iskut, BC, Canada

The Teacher's Corner Resources Playing Music In Class
iPod Speakers to play music in classFor as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my classroom. I've used it during work time, clean-up/transistion time and during indoor recess. The most important thing I've learned over the years is that I must have a variety of music genres available to play. There are times when you want to have some upbeat tracks, while other times you might need some that are calming. You might even find yourself wanting to use spoken tracks as well. (One of my favorites is s Shel Silverstein Poetry CD that I have.) Music is a great way to manage the noise level and atmosphere of your room while also introducing students to new genres. Please remember that you need to be cognicent of your students' needs. You might discover that some students have a difficult time working while music is playing. You will also want to make sure that you are playing age-appropriate music for your students. Some of today's popular songs contain inappropriate lyrics/messages for younger students. Prior to downloading songs for my classroom last year, I visited CommonSenseMedia.org and browsed their recommended music list.

Depending on your classroom's situation, there are a variety of ways to provide your students with music:

  1. CD player, stand-alone or within a computer.
  2. iPod or MP3 player hooked up to speakers or classroom sound system. The photo shows how I used one of my older iPods and speakers.
  3. Streaming service (Be sure you find out if your school/district allows this. Some servcies are blocked due to the amount of bandwidth they use.)

The Teacher's Corner Resources Weekly Behavior Report Grades Any
Keeping an open line of communication with parents is crucial. One way to do this to create a weekly behavior report. Create a customized form that works best for you and your students. (For younger students you might want to include emoji faces.) You will create a single page for the entire week that includes a box for each day of the week. Once you have your form created, make several copies of this form to make either a small, bound notebook, or place pages into a binder or pocket-folder with prongs.

For each day, both positive and negative behavior should be documented. Adding any information about grades and/or special assignments throughout the week could also be valuable. Decide on the day(s) that this notebook/folder will go home to parents. The parents will sign to signify that they have seen the information and reviewed it with their student. They can also add any notes or thoughts of their own.

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NEA 'Works4Me' Contributions: Some ideas were contributed by teachers to the NEA's Weekly "Works4Me" email list - be sure to follow this link to see other great ideas!

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