Archive | Classroom Management Strategies

Smart Classroom Management: Why Students Don't Participate In Discussions And What To Do About It

Why Students Don’t Participate In Discussions And What To Do About It

Make no mistake. Participating in class discussions is important, for all students. It’s important for their academic development. It’s important for their communication skills. It’s important for their confidence and enjoyment of school. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood areas of teaching. Conventional wisdom says that you should confront students directly about their […]

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Smart Classroom Management: A Trick To Staying Calm All Day Long

A Trick To Staying Calm All Day Long

Keeping a calm, unruffled temperament makes classroom management easier. It effectively removes excitability, which is a major cause of misbehavior. It makes you more likable and worthy of trust. It gives you leadership presence and allows you to build effortless rapport. But for many teachers, it’s also easier said than done. In fact, the harder […]

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Smart Classroom Management: How To Teach At A Rewards-Focused School

How To Teach At A Rewards-Focused School

If you’re a regular reader of SCM, then you know how I feel about rewarding students in exchange for good (i.e. expected) behavior. A do-this-and-get-that approach to classroom management is damaging to kids. It snuffs out intrinsic motivation and turns the student-teacher relationship into a cold-hearted transaction. It also makes managing your classroom far more […]

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Smart Classroom Management: How To Improve Listening With Strategic Pausing

How To Improve Listening With Strategic Pausing

Do you ever get the feeling your students aren’t hearing a word you say? They may be quiet. They may be looking at you. But you know they’re not actually listening. Maybe it’s the blank expressions. Maybe it’s the sighs and yawns. Maybe it’s the agonizing boredom etched on their faces. But you just know. […]

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Smart Classroom Management: Why You Should Pretend Your Most Difficult Students Are Perfectly Well Behaved

Why You Should Pretend Your Most Difficult Students Are Perfectly Well Behaved

One of the biggest reasons difficult students misbehave is because they’re often treated with the expectation that they will. Teachers tend to hover near them. They’re frequently pulled aside for reminders, lectures, and pep-talks. They’re rewarded inexplicably, praised effusively, and spoken to differently than other students. These are common, often impulsive, reactions to those who […]

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Smart Classroom Management: A Simple Way To Calm An Excitable Class

A Simple Way To Calm An Excitable Class

Excitability is a major cause of misbehavior. Which is why it is present in virtually every classroom where the teacher is struggling. You can feel it the moment you enter the room. There is an unmistakable buzz, a live wire of tension, a jitter of frenetic energy. Like the students have been mainlining triple espresso. […]

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Smart Classroom Management: How To Hold Difficult Students Accountable

How To Hold Difficult Students Accountable

Last week, a reader asked a question I’ve gotten a lot over the years. “How should I hold difficult students accountable?” It’s a topic I haven’t covered specifically because the answer is so simple and direct: Just like everyone else. You calmly approach the student. You deliver the news. “You have a warning for breaking […]

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Smart Classroom Management: How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful Classroom

How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful Classroom

If you aren’t careful, a new student can severely disrupt your classroom and the peace you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Although often calm and quiet in the beginning, whatever habits and behaviors were permitted at their previous school will eventually bubble to the surface. So it’s important not to be lulled into thinking that […]

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