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6 Easy and Effective Classroom Management Tip Ideas For When Your Class Is Out of Control

There are so many people eager to offer you a classroom management tip or two – but those tips aren’t always helpful for your certain situation. As students grow and change, we find that their needs and behaviors can change A LOT. It can be hard to pinpoint which classroom management strategies will actually help at a particular time.

But don’t worry, I want to help you sort through all the noise of classroom management tips out there. So today, I’m sharing my best classroom management tip ideas and tricks for when you need a quick fix to help bring some order back to your classroom.

Read on if your classroom is need of some quick fixes to get back on track!

(Want even more classroom management support? Access this free training video where I share my favorite classroom management secrets!)

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Classroom Management Tip #1-2: Class Challenge

Sharing a challenge with your class can be a great way to jumpstart better behavior in a fun way. Challenges are also a highly motivating and engaging classroom management strategy. But don’t overuse them. They’ll be way more effective if you save them for when you really need them! 

Here are some examples of challenges you can use to target certain behaviors that you might be struggling with:

1. Pencil Challenge

If your students are losing, breaking, or mismanaging their pencils, then it’s time for a pencil challenge! Give each student a brand new pencil and mark it in some way so you can keep track of it. Maybe you write their name on it in Sharpie, or put a sticker on it, or give each pencil a number.

Explain to your students that you’re going to see who can keep their pencil for the next two weeks. Any student who hasn’t lost or broken their pencil by the end of the two weeks gets a special treat. And the good news? Usually by the end of those two weeks, bad habits have been replaced by good habits, and students won’t be abusing their pencils anymore.

2. Kindness Challenge

This is one of my all-time favorite tactics for a class where mean behavior is starting to happen frequently. Sometimes I’ll even do a whole Week of KindnessBut a kindness challenge can be much simpler. 

tips on classroom management
  • Kindness bingo challenge: See how many bingos your class can get. Every time you see a student doing something on the bingo board, color in a square. The bingo board gives students explicit examples and ideas for how they can spread kindness. And getting bingos is highly motivating for them to try to carry out those actions more often!
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  • Kindness chain: Add a link to a paper chain for every kind action that you see or that a student reports. You can also let students share acts of kindness that they saw to help make the chain longer. Challenge your class to see how long your paper chain can become!

  • Kindness calendar: Put together a calendar with a simple act of kindness for each day. Challenge your students to do their act of kindness every day as part of their homework. Soon kindness will be spreading around your classroom like wildfire!

Classroom Management Tip #3-4: Set a Goal

Setting a goal as a class can be a great classroom management tool for when behaviors need a reset. First, decide on what the goal will be – target the specific behaviors that are driving your wild. For example, you might set a goal to go without blurting out for a whole lesson. Then decide on what you’ll get to do if you reach your goal. Maybe if they can go 10 lessons during the week with no blurting, they’ll get to watch a movie on Friday.

Here are some fun ways you can record the progress of your goal:

3. Anchor Charts

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Anchor charts are a great classroom management visual for students as they’re working toward a goal. There are many choices that have a place to color in each time achieve one piece of their goal – then they can easily keep track of their progress. I love making them season-themed to add a little fun in the mix. This Lucky Charms one is totally free on my TPT!

4. Build a Word

You can also have students try to build a word or a phrase to reach their goal. Each time they succeed with the desired behavior, add a letter.  This can be simply written on the board, or done with fancier Velcro letters.

Classroom Management Tip #5-6: Rewards

There are probably an endless number of classroom management rewards systems out there. Honestly, I usually find them too much of a hassle to keep up with, so the ones I’m sharing here are very simplistic and easy to start any time. (However, if you want to go all out with sticker stores or raffle tickets, there are plenty of great ideas you can find around Pinterest and Instagram.)

5. Team Stars

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This is the reward system I use in my classroom throughout the whole year. Students can earn team stars for all kinds of things – lining up quietly, focusing during class, being awesome during a specials class. Or sometimes, I’ll give them a specific opportunity to earn extra stars. I might say “If everyone remembers to put their name on this paper, we’ll get a team star!” or “If everyone listens carefully so I don’t have to repeat these directions, we’ll get 2 team stars!” 

We count up the team stars every Friday, and we put that number of gems in their gem jar. When the gem jar is full, we get a class party! This reward system is full-class and easy to manage.

If you have an extra tricky class…

There have been a couple years when I have gone the route of giving individual stars rather than team stars. It’s not my favorite thing to do, as I prefer to encourage good behavior using positive recognition and hyping my students up all day long. BUT… sometimes you just have a class that needs something extra. 

If you’re in this position, you can create a star chart. I keep the star chart totally secret, so students can’t see how many stars other students are getting. But at the end of the week, they get to put their own gems into the jar, depending on how many stars they earned (again, I pull them over one by one while we’re doing an assignment – it’s not a public affair). It’s highly motivating to earn stars during the week for good behavior when they know they’re going to get to put them in the jar later. 

During these years, I would often refer to the stars throughout the day to motivate good choices. I would pull out the clipboard with my star chart and say “I’m going to watch and give stars to students who get started right away.” Or “I’m giving stars out right now to people who aren’t chatting at their table.” It immediately got the message across.

6. Secret Student

This is a fun one. Tell your class that you’ve chosen one student to watch. But you’re not going to tell them who it is! (Hence the name – Secret Student.) If the Secret Student succeeds in having awesome behavior during the time they’re being watched, there’s a reward! 

You have a couple of choices with how to organize this:

  • You can watch students for one lesson or for the whole day. I liked choosing a new student for each lesson because then more students get a chance to do it and they were more likely to be able to succeed.
  • You can give a reward just to the secret student or do a small whole class reward for each successful secret student. I usually keep the reward small – like a sticker or a team star.

More on Classroom Management

I hope these ideas will be helpful the next time you need a quick classroom management tip to fix things in your classroom. Try out one or two tips and see how they go! I like to switch up my classroom management techniques throughout the year so that things stay fresh and new for students.

Don’t forget to watch your free 10-minute video! If you’re feeling burnt out from student behaviors or sick of your students not listening, then these classroom management strategies will help you bring harmony to the chaos and get back to those positive vibes.

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Which classroom management tip are you going to try out first? Let me know in the comments!
xoxo
Laura

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