While I’ve never built a house, I’ve watched enough HGTV shows to know two things: a solid foundation is crucial and you have to have the right tools to build a house! The classroom is similar in that it needs effective classroom management tools to build a classroom environment where all students can be successful! Below, I’m giving you 6 effective classroom management tools that will help you build a positive learning environment!
1. Classroom Rules
Classroom rules are foundational for successful classroom management! As the facilitator of learning, I believe it is important that I not only help my students be successful in first grade, but also to be successful in life! Therefore, I wanted my classroom rules to be values that could be applied in and outside of the classroom. They are rules that I model and want to follow in my life as well! I call them the 3 Be’s!
These rules are simple to remember! Yet, every classroom procedure and behavior, from how we come to the carpet, to how we take care of the listening center, to how we handle conflict with a friend, falls under these rules. These three rules empower students to have the confidence to control their choices and to be the best that they can be! They aren’t just classroom rules, but are also rules for life!
You will want to introduce your classroom rules on the very first day of school. Then, you will want to spend at least the first week of school going over how to follow the rules so that students know what they mean.
The rule posters should be posted somewhere in the room that is easily accessible and viewed. I always hang mine right in the front of the room. To help students remember the rules I created gestures to go with them! We went over our rules and did the gestures every day during our morning meeting. We also would refer to them throughout the day. Once students have learned the rules, I liked having students take leadership of reviewing the rules with the class.
You will love using these simple, yet memorable classroom rules with your students!
2. Classroom Cheers
Building positive relationships is another crucial part of creating a solid foundation for a positive learning environment! As teachers, we have the awesome privilege of getting to be a cheerleader every single day in the lives of our students! And by modeling this, our students can become cheerleaders too!
Classroom cheers are hands down one of my favorite tools for building a positive learning environment. I honestly can’t imagine teaching without them and know that you are and your students are going to love them too!!
They are so easy to use! You just pick a cheer (we used one a day), lead/model the cheer, and the class responds by doing the cheer and motion!
There are so many ways that you can use classroom cheers! You can use them after a student has:
- done work on the board
- given an answer
- shown critical thinking
- shared a piece of their writing aloud to the class
- helped in class
- been “caught” being good (for example, you see someone be kind to a friend)
- finished working on a difficult task (when everyone has worked hard, I will say to the class something like: “You all have done such a great job working today! Let’s give everyone a High 5-”You deserve a hand!”)
These classroom cheers will help establish a positive learning environment where each student is celebrated, confidence grows, and students feel safe to learn and try. I can’t wait for you to see your participation and motivation increase with each cheer!
You can also try out a FREE sampling of 4 Classroom Cheers HERE!
3. Call & Responses
One of my favorite classroom management tools to use to get students’ attention is call & responses! It is a fun, yet effective way to get your class’ attention without having to yell!
As with all classroom management tools, it is important to help your students be successful by taking the time to model the strategy and then be consistent with the implementation!
A solid classroom foundation needs rules, relationships, and it also needs routines! What I love about using call & responses as attention grabbers is that the structure and routine of the strategy stays the same all year long, but you can just easily change up the call & response phrasing that you use whenever you need to!
This is why I’ve included 80 call & response cards for you to use to get your students’ attention! Plus, there are editable cards included for you to create your own call & responses with your students!
4. Brain Breaks
Let’s be honest, our students, especially our primary aged learners, were not made to sit still all day! They need to be up and moving! This is why brain breaks are non-negotiables for my classroom management!
Especially after sitting for a little while, our students need to move and we need to move too! Brain breaks can be used anywhere and at anytime! Just pull out a brain break card, have students stand up and do the brain break together as a class!
5. Action Word
If you’ve ever tried giving instructions, but felt like no one was listening then you’re going to love using the action word classroom management strategy!
An action word is a word that your students have to listen for, before they can begin a task. They cannot begin moving or starting an activity until they hear you say the action word! It’s kind of like on a movie set. The actors and/or actresses do not begin until the director says “Action!”
To use this classroom management strategy you will teach your students that they are the actors/actresses and you are the director. They will not begin until they hear you say the action word! It’s amazing how powerful this strategy is!! This action word strategy completely transformed my classroom management and I know you’re going to love using it too!
6. Reward Coupons
After trying to keep a treasure box stocked during my first couple of years of teaching, I knew I needed to figure out a better rewards system that didn’t require me to keep buying things!
Once I implemented these reward coupons, I never looked back! My kids loved getting the reward coupons and I loved that the rewards were all cost-free! It is so fun and so easy to have students take their shoes off in class, or get to sit at your desk, or wear a hat to school!
The best part is that whether you use tickets, points, or classroom bucks, these reward coupons are easy to implement with any behavior management system that you have in your classroom!
Your students will love the variety of choices to choose from! You can give them all of the choices at one time, or add coupons throughout the year. Plus, you can also determine how long the coupon is good for (a day, a morning or afternoon, during centers, etc.) I recommend coming up with a system for kids to store them and a set tie for when they can turn them in. For example, my kids kept their reward coupons in their pencil box and had to turn them in before morning meeting time.
Like any effective classroom management tool, it’s important to have a consistent routine and system for implementing it!
6 Effective Classroom Management Tools For A Positive Learning Environment
Whether it’s a house or a classroom, building a solid foundation is crucial for success! This is why having effective classroom management tools and strategies is so important for creating a positive learning environment! I’m so excited for you to try out these six fun and effective classroom management tools with your primary learners this year!
Save Time With These Effective Classroom Management Tools!
Having the right classroom management tools for building a positive learning environment will help you start and continue the year with a solid foundation! My Classroom Management Bundle will save you so much time as it comes with all six of the effective classroom management tools listed above: classroom rules, classroom cheers, call & response cards, brain breaks, action word, and rewards coupons!