Besides teaching a class of 20 to 30 students, a teacher also needs to have skills in keeping the classroom contained. Classroom management is a big part of a teacher's job, and having tips for maintaining a better classroom environment is key. So, take a look at the 10 tips mentioned below that are geared to help teachers in this way.
Develop a compliment chain. Start a chain of either paper or paper clips. Explain to your students that every time you notice someone in the class behaving extraordinarily, you will add a segment to the chain. When the chain reaches a certain point, you will reward the entire class with a prize or a special snack. You may even consider adding segments to the chain if another teacher compliments one of your students. You can start the students off with one or two segments to get them motivated to continue the chain.
Classroom setup option. Try arranging the chairs and tables in your classroom into a three-sided shape that forms a square. With this setup, every student is in the first row, and this means you can move around the room and keep your eye on the entire class at the same time. Studies have shown that with the more typical chair and table setups, the further back a student sits from the front of the room, the more likely bad behavior arises. If you need to set your chairs and tables up for a cooperative learning environment, you can do so easily within two minutes.
Classroom scavenger hunt. To help transition students into a new school year, invite parents and students to your classroom for an "Open House." Play a scavenger hunt game with the parents/children whereby they have to things around the room, such as a clock, a poem, their name on a desk, etc. Make yourself the last item they have to find. This will make the parents/children feel comfortable with where things are in the room and make the first day of school easier.
Establish rules upfront. Give your students the advantage to make good behavior practice decisions themselves by telling them the rules of your classroom upfront. Keep the rules short. Discuss with them why these rules are important.
Learn your students names quickly.The quicker you are able to remember the names of your students, the easier it will be to control classroom management. Play name games with your students in the beginning of they year, so you learn them quickly. Being able to call on a student who is disrupting the class will be much more effective, if you are not stumbling to remember what that student's name is.
Be firm and then let go. Some teachers find it much better to be firm and consistent at the beginning of the year, not letting students get away with much of anything. While some students will feel this is a mean teacher, other students will like the security that they feel when their teacher is able to keep the classroom in order. As the year progresses, you can certainly let down your guard a bit, but still be consistent with reinforcing your rules.
Red light/green light system. Set up a bulletin board with a traffic theme. Give each student a pocket on the bulletin board with their name on the pocket. In the pocket place a red, yellow, and green card, respectively. Let the students start off with a green card every morning. If a student misbehaves or is un-attentive in class, change their light to yellow. If bad behavior persists, turn it to red. If a child gets a red light on any given day, send a note home for the parents to sign and for the child to bring back the next day.
Use poster to make a point. Find retail posters that you can hang around your room that point out positives. Rules are generally made to react to undesired behaviors. With the use of positive posters, your students will be reading things to build them. Rules are certainly necessary, and should be in every classroom, but sprinkle some positives around your room, too!
Create an "All About Me" board. Each week pick a handful of students who have displayed exceptionally good behavior in class. Tell these students to bring in pictures of themselves and of anything that they want to show-off to the class. Hang these pictures on this special board that showcases them. This will make every student in the class want to get their name and pictures on the board, so they will all try to display good behavior at one point or another.
Use points to make a point. If your class is having a hard time staying quiet, try using this point system. Make a chart and give each student 20 points to start the day off with. If a student is having a hard time staying quiet, subtract points in increments of 5 points. If a student is left with 0 points, then you can send a note home to the parents. At the end of the class each day, add up all of the student points as one number. Set a goal for students to reach a given number of points for the week. If they meet the goal, hand out small prizes like stickers or candy. If they do not meet the goal for the week, the entire class gets nothing.