There are things that teachers can do to effect the environment of the classroom to promote learning. Classroom management implies the prevention of disruptive behavior. According to Moskowitz & Hayman (1976), once a teacher loses control of their classroom, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to regain that control.Moskowitz, G., & Hayman, J. L., Jr. (1976)

7 Signs You're Losing Control of your Class Hopefully your class will never come to this. Start your class with a focus on respect right at the beginning, reinforcing this every day. It is much more difficult to get your class back on track than it is to enforce this from the beginning. If you need some tips to get the classroom management back on track, there are some hints, resources and tips below.

Work with parents from the beginning.

  1. Make a call home: As a beginning teacher (veteran or rookie) for a student, classroom management will be better if you take the time to call home with something positive to say in the beginning of the year and not wait till something happens in the classroom. See technology for more details.
  2. MORE Resources and hints for working with parents -

Create a positive environment.

Gaining the respect of your students and having them share that respect for their classmates is key to good classroom management.
  1. Strategies for classroom management and resources -
  2. The power of the "Teacher Look" -
  3. Resources for classroom management with tips -
  4. 20 Dead Simple Classroom Management Ideas, Tricks, and Tips -
  5. Free brain breaks for kids - - that help students stay focused

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SMART Board tools

These tools will help with classroom management - splashtop and putting your SMART board in your hands and mobile, taking attendance, using timers, name pickers, group generators, and more.

Download the SMART Notebook file:

Keep students engaged.

  1. Deck of students: Here's an idea for classroom management and will make sure that you get to every student. Put each student's name on an index card (you could even have students do this) and a colored card on top with the class/hour on the top. At the beginning of class, shuffle the deck, put the class card on the bottom of the deck and call on students in this order. If a student is absent, you can put them in the back of the deck right before the class card if you want. When you get back to the class card, shuffle again...It works well.
  2. Random students: Do you have a Smart Board (or Promethean Board or computer)? Look for the the random number generator in the gallery(SMART board) or know how to use your calculator to generate random numbers? Set your device to give you a random number between 1 and the number of students in the class. Assign each student a student number, and use your device to determine who gets to respond, put up a problem on the board, or choose the next question, etc.
  3. Pass the marker: Tired of choosing a person to put up a problem? Try "pass the marker". Give the marker to one student. When they are done with their problem, have them give the marker to the next "eagerly awaiting participant".
  4. Name chips: Tired of hearing the same person or people answering all your questions? Cut cardstock into shapes. For each student, have them write their names on three shapes to make their name chips. At the beginning of the hour, have them put their three name chips on their desks. When they answer a question in class, collect one of their chips. When a student used all three, they are done until everyone in the class has used all of theirs.
    • A small reward can be given to a class that uses all of their name chips in a class period.
    • Count the collected chips for each student and award points for participation.
  5. Name Selectors: For those of you using the Promethean Boards. Go to the Promethean Planet and download the Classroom Management Templates into your shared resources. There are a lot of timers and other pages, but at the bottom of the folder, there are three fun pages that you can use as name selectors. You can use this like #2. If you have a Smart Board, use the Random Word Chooser in the Interactive Toolkit found in the Gallery - put the students names in and then use it to randomly select students. Don't have these tools? Go to and find some tools there!
  6. Try this idea from Mike Norris on Twitter @CMSTeacherCoach Behavior Problems? Try Pocket Person. Choose one student to monitor at random each day. If they have success, everyone gets an incentive!

Personal Experience

GL - I feel it may be worth it to share an experience I had in my Accelerated Algebra II Class on Thursday, October 4th. My Cooperating Teacher often warns me about giving "empty threats" to my class. When it comes to unruly behavior, my 8th period class surpasses any of my other hours. I have never minded talking out of turn so as long as it contributes to the lecture and does not hinder other students from learning, but I soon learned that this can lead to students feeling that they can talk about whatever they want, whenever they want.

For two weeks I warned them that if their inappropriate behavior continued, I would stop lecture, and have the students sit and read the chapter in class and work on their homework alone. After several threats, I chose it was time to follow through. Surprisingly to me, this actually worked nicely. Not only did it calm the students down slightly, but it also allowed them to study what was going to be taught during lecture. A student from third period even told me that her friends from 8th period were talking about I always threatened but they never actually expected me to follow through.

Made me realize how students will find ways to twist you until you can't be twisted any more. That's when you have to find a way to make you classroom accommodating for everyone.

Here is a link on empty threats that one may find useful:

Classroom Management with and without Technology