Teacher Strategies for Elementary Classroom Management

Nov 03, 2023
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Educators know that an elementary classroom can turn chaotic in an instant, so it’s important to have good classroom management procedures in place. 

At Edmentum, we’re fortunate enough to say that many members of our organization have spent years serving as educators, just like you! 

To help you tame classroom chaos, we asked these team members to share their top tips for managing the elementary classroom:

Build Relationships

“My top three from when I was in the classroom:

  1. Give students autonomy over their learning. Provide them with options and utilize the gradual release of responsibility model to build independence.
  2. Notice and praise behaviors and actions you want/expect; kids love to be praised and recognized. And others will begin to want to mimic students who get noticed and complimented.
  3. Above all, build relationships! If your students don't respect you and trust you and know that you are their biggest cheerleader, classroom management will always be a challenge.”

– Kristina F., 4th-grade teacher in Texas

A great way to help your students learn how to behave in a classroom is to break out a book and read it aloud. Not only are you sneaking in more literacy to your day, but a fun story can help your students learn what is to be expected of them. 

Check out this blog post for 10 read-alouds to help teach classroom rules and expectations to get you started.

Allow for Movement

“Younger students (K–3) need to move— When I was a principal, I would tell my teachers if I visited their classrooms for 10 minutes or more and didn't see students moving, there was a problem.”

– Laura P., pre-K, 1st, and 3rd-grade teacher in Arizona and principal in charter, private, and international schools

Getting students up and moving in your classroom is an important part of their learning. Keeping students from fidgeting can be easy and fun when you implement brain breaks in your daily routine. Check out these five strategies to make brain breaks work in the classroom.

Encourage Student Ownership of Classroom Management

“Allow students to have ownership and responsibility over their behavior choices. They will mess up and act out, but if they trust you, they will let you guide them through the different developmental behaviors they show during the school year. 

Our goal would be to teach them how to take work through negative and positive behavior. This way, they learn how to grow through the process of developing positive responses, vocabulary, and outcomes. 

In turn, (hopefully) as young adults, they will be able to self-correct as they continue to develop into adults and make positive and healthy choices when faced with diverse situations throughout their life.”

– Kim R., 3rd–8th-grade teacher and administrator in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina

There are many strategies you can implement in your classroom to help your students understand their behavior choices. One strategy, behavioral narration, can help keep them on track for the entire year. Check out its benefits in this blog post.

Build a Good Routine

“Time management and organization are key. Have materials ready to go to reduce downtime, use timers to keep things moving, and have a procedure (which is practiced until it becomes routine) for everything.”

– Jen C., 7th–8th grade teacher in New Jersey

When running an elementary classroom, preparation is everything. Staying at the top of your game is a priority when in a class full of wiggly kids. Check out these top five timesaving, lesson-planning tips.

Looking for more tips, tricks, and ideas to keep you on track and prepared for a successful year? Check out our blog for more classroom management and teacher tips.

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