Before you can involve your students in cooperative learning activities or other active engagement lessons, you'll need to establish clear procedures for whole class management. When effective management strategies are in place, both teachers and students can relax and enjoy the learning environment! If you like these resources, you might also be interested in my Creating a Caring Classroom page. Includes Back to School Super Start, Go for Green Management, and the Editable Class Handbook.
If you're going to involve your students actively in your instruction, you'll need a fool-proof Quiet Signal. My favorite quiet signal is a set of chimes because they sound pleasant but can easily be heard by students. If you teach elementary school, I think you'll find the Stoplight Management System to be very effective.
If you feel your class is too noisy during cooperative learning activities, there are ways to teach them to control their noise level.
When students demonstrate a willingness to apply creative thinking strategies or persist in working through a problem, use Brain Bucks to reward their efforts.
Brain Bucks are just one part of a full classroom economy system that you may want to implement in your classroom. This simple technique gives students a visual to show your noise level expectations for specific activities.
If students don't respect the Work Zone limits, have them pull a tag on your Stoplight board or use your existing management system. Sometimes students get into bad habits like blurting out comments or getting out of their seats without permission. While clear, concise expectations and consistent classroom procedures are important to reaching these goals, many educators also employ a behavior management system. Like the clip-chart system, this behavior management method focuses on the behavior of each individual student.
While there are sure to be pros and cons to each behavior management system {or to having a behavior management system at all!}, the flip-a-card system invites students to take responsibility for their own behavioral choices, advocates a learning environment that is conducive to learning, and offers a great segue for parent support in behavior and character building!
Happily authoring posts about lesson plans, crafts, unique bulletin board ideas, and other helpful resources for MPM Ideas since 2008.


Another alternative to individual and small group behavior management systems is a whole class system. Instead of individual behavior management systems, many teachers choose to recognize positive behavior in a more collective way by using a small group approach. The past two weeks, we've featured various behavior management systems that target different student subsets - individual, small group, and whole group.
Kathleen over at Growing Kinders came up with this idea and we think it would be a great way to motivate positive positive behavior choices in the classroom!
Now that you have several months behind you, chances are you'll be needing to reevaluate your system for behavior management. It's back-to-school time again (can you believe it?!) and part of your planning will inevitably include finalizing your classroom behavior management system. You'll need to have a clearly defined set of procedures so that the kids know your expectations. My system consisted of students earning different denominations of money for completing class jobs or doing all of their homework for a week. Use a large sheet of red, yellow, and green construction paper to simulate each color of a stop light. Go for Green is a behavior management system that works like a charm for managing active classrooms. At the beginning of each day, all student pockets display the same card - green, indicating that the student demonstrates appropriate behavior, follows class rules, and is ready to learn! My only problem was sometimes misplacing the mallet, but a friend helped me with that problem by painting the mallet bright blue! I had a banker who kept track of who was doing their jobs and paid the rest of the students at the end of the week.
Assign a student to change it when you verbally signal a chance in acceptable noise levels. However, the color of their card can change throughout the day based on each child's behavioral choices. Think through every aspect of the day, to include use of restrooms, lining up for lunch, morning routines, dismissal procedures, etc.
You also want something that can be used over and over without annoying you or your students.


The kids saved their money for an auction that we had at the end of each 9 week grading period. Students who show exceptional behavior are recognized for making good decisions and are asked to flip their card to purple. After that, erase a letter from the word STOP on the board every time you hear anything above a whisper. You can find the money patterns and a brief description of that system in my Classroom Economy Pack freebie.
Introduce the Work Zone posters and discuss your expectations for different types of activities. This is a great accomplishment and is usually reserved for students who are observed going above and beyond to help another classmate, have completed exceptional work, etc. For those students who are having a difficult time following directions, their card will be changed to yellow and, if necessary, red. When they lose all their letters, put an end to the CL activity and immediately move into individual seatwork. Let them know that if they want to do the CL activities they will have to work more quietly. When you post one of the signs, say something like, "Our Work Zone color right now is yellow.
If they lose both tickets, the next time they disrupt the class, they have to pull a tag on the Stoplight board (described above).
About an hour later (or the next day if you don't have the kids all day), try another CL activity.
At the end of the day, I collect all tickets and do a drawing for a small prize, class money, or a treat. Friday is popcorn day - I pop a bag of microwave popcorn and draw out tickets to see who will share the popcorn. You might not want to use this all year, but it does help students become aware of the frequency of their disruptive behaviors.



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Comments to Classroom management ideas for end of year

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