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Classroom Management Must Haves #BacktoSchool

Build a Rapport With Your Students

Contrary to popular belief, teachers who develop positive working relationships with their students do not do so by magic. I’ve found that developing a good rapport with students takes strategic planning. My formula:

  1. Establish rules with your students to create a class community.
  2. Be stern yet caring.
  3. Clearly communicate expectations to your students on day one.

Forming Class Rules is one part of the process of conveying clear expectations to students, which is critical for creating a productive learning environment. Other areas that need to be addressed within the first week of school:

  • Giving students a list of materials that will be needed daily (binder, pens, pencils, folders, etc.)
  • Communicating the methods that will be used to assess their work (i.e. rubrics).
  • Providing visual examples of what is considered “presentable work” and what is considered “unacceptable work.”

Management Paperwork

  1. Notebooks or participation sheets – students need to be held responsible for their work and having them document class assignments and their performance is a way of doing this
  2. Seating charts – in the working world, work is completed with the interaction of others
  3. Intervention sheets – students who are in danger of failing need to complete an intervention sheet that states how they will bring up grades.
  4. Online tracking – Google Docs and Forms allow you to track behavior, and attendance


  1. Soften the Lights
  2. Reduce Clutter – Use crates and baskets for those things you want out of sight but handy when needed.
  3. Post your time – When planning your lessons, chunk your agenda/activities and post the anticipated time to make sure you use every minute.
  4. Music to calm the savage beasts
  5. Classroom Helpers / Leadership Team – Assign tasks to students so that they can take ownership in the class. They can position equipment, connect the projection device, distribute/collect papers, take attendance, distribute/gather resources,
  6. Transition cue – Sounding a small bell or chime can bring the class to order much more effectively than trying to talk over the noise.
  7. Time for Talking – because they are social, allow a few minutes and have quick “chat breaks”
  8. Mini Dance Party – be brave and use music to lighten up the mood with a One-Minute Dance Party. Play fast dance music and at the end of the minute (or song), it’s back to business.



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