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The Best Classroom Management Systems


classroom management… is always the big elephant in the room. You know that if you don’t have a grip on the daily runnings of your classroom, it is very hard for learning to take place. Building relationships with your students, creating expectations, and maintaining routines and procedures are all very important when creating your classroom management system. So, whether you are a new teacher getting ready to put your system into place, or a veteran teacher who is ready to change things up a bit, we have some great classroom management system ideas for you! I’m changing things up a bit and going to try #4 this next school year.

How many of these questions are running through your mind…?

How am I going to manage behaviors in my classroom?

Will I use a reward system?

Will I use consequences?

How will I communicate behaviors (positive or negative) to parents?

​Your classroom management system is personal to you. Just like your students, no one magical plan works for everyone. 

Here is a list of different systems you could use in your classroom. Try one out or a combination of a couple of them. 

Classroom Management System 

1 – Class Dojo

This app allows you to privately give, or take away points from students. The sound it makes cues them into the fact that you are watching. It also is an easy way to communicate with parents, as they can check on their child’s points, and you can leave messages.

2 – Token Economy

Help your students learn about money while managing behaviors. Students get ‘paid’ for following classroom expectations, being helpful, completing assignments, etc. The money they earn can be used to purchase items from a treasure box, get a few minutes of extra recess, or even lunch with you! 

Tie your management system into math concepts, by having students trade in their coins for dollars, or make changes when purchasing items from your store or treasure box.

3 – Clip Chart

This is a fairly common classroom management system. Using the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple), students clip either up or down depending on their behavior. 

The chart is usually created vertically with red on the bottom and purple on the top. Student names are written on clothespins and clipped to the sides of the chart. Most teachers have their students start on green every morning. As a way to communicate with parents, you can put a calendar in each student’s folder and they color in each day depending on where they are on the chart. 

One con about clip charts is that everyone gets to see where others are on the chart. This can be embarrassing for students who may not be having a great day, or who rarely make it to purple.

4 – Desk Pets

Raise your hand if you know anything about SQUISHIES!! These cute toys have become an adorable classroom management plan. Students can “adopt” a desk pet and earn additions by following classroom expectations. These “extras” include homes, toys for the pet, food, or going to pet daycare. 

5 – Bucket Fillers

Based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? students

each get a small bucket or jar. When they follow classroom expectations, they can fill their bucket and those of their classmates. This system is positive based, as students never lose anything from their bucket. They can only remain the same or fill it.

6 – Whole-Class Incentives

I’ve learned over the years that peers are a great asset when it comes to managing behaviors in class. They learn to work together as a team to reach their incentive goals, such as a Pajama Day, a popsicle party, or an extra recess. 

Remember that there may be times when you cannot hold the entire class accountable for the actions of a single student. Individual consequences may need to be put in place for those circumstances. 

7 – Build Relationships

Sometimes you don’t have to use external motivation to keep the peace in your classroom. Just create a classroom community of genuine interest and care for your students. Here are some pointers from veteran teachers on building valuable relationships with your students:

Take time to learn about each student individually.

Your students need to trust you before they will complete great work for you.

Take the time to talk with your students and make them feel valued.

Remember that making connections with some students will take longer than others. There is no “one size fits all”.

Don’t create consequences that you are not willing to follow through with.

No matter what system you use, please keep these tips in mind…

Maintain high expectations (you will be surprised how eager your students are to meet and exceed them)

Build relationships with your students (by getting to know them, you create a culture of trust and respect)

Continuously practice routines and procedures in class (be explicit and consistent in your practice, so students always know what to expect)

Focus your attention on the positives (use “thank you (name) for (desired behavior)”; any student not following the procedure shapes up really quickly)

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