3 Tips to have the Best Classroom Management from Day 1!

Dual Language Classroom Management Tips
Do you ask yourself 'what is good classroom management?' Have you ever wondered why classroom management is important?  Do you ever wonder if you need a behavior chart for individual kiddos?  How do you even fit in sensory breaks for kids who need it?  Have you ever used charts for one-on-one? Setting the stage at the beginning of the school year is so important. Students need routines, and some kids need more individualized attention.  So in this post, I'll share tips that have worked well for me.  

Classroom Management Tip #1: Set the Tone

First, you need to be the one to set the tone in your classroom. You as the teacher are the authority figure in your classroom. So take that role full-throttle. You are the boss. You are the manager. And you are every single thing in that room that makes your classroom so great!

So what is the tone that you want for your room? Happy? Secure? Hard-working? If you want those tones, then you have to be that. Be happy! Smile! It’s OK to smile on day 1!!  Show the kids how to work hard.

Keep your kids engaged in fun activities on Day 1! Think as a parent: when you send off your own kiddo, you want them to have the best day ever! 

So make fun learning happen in your room. This will set a happy tone from the start. 

Classroom Management Tip #2: Know your drill

Yes.  Know your drill and teach it right from the start. There are so many routines that we teach our kids.  And sometimes we teach them the routines without thinking too much about them. 

But if you want a smooth start to your year, start thinking about how you want the day to flow so that you can plan your essential routines.  The best center routines are the center routines that the kids know and love. BTW, my kids love my centers, because I have trained them on all the drills.  They know what to do, they know what activities to choose, they know where to go, and they really have fun.

So when thinking about centers, there are a lot of routines to consider:  How will your kids know where to go next?  Do they know what to do once they get there?  Do you explain the activities? Maybe you use some really great visuals!

One routine that I just loved, and really want to share with you is how I run my centers.  I make it simple, and I keep it simple?  I have four tables, and the kids rotate clockwise from one table to the next.

But how do they know when to rotate? you might ask.  Well, after about 10 minutes it is time to clean up, stand up, push in their chairs, put their hands behind their back and stand behind their chair.  This is their nice and quite signal to me that they are ready to move on to the next center.

But how do they know when to start to clean up??  So my kids know the drill. One drill I use with my class is when it is time to clean up and move on to the next center is a fun song. I had gone for years asking kids, “¿Para donde vas?” Then they stand behind their chairs and they would point to their next spot.
So after watching ‘Fools Rush In’ with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry, I decided ‘enough asking and enough of me talking’! I went right into the automated drill of cuing the kids with the song ‘Para Donde Vas’ by the Iguanas.  As soon as the music goes on, the kids start to clean up, stand up, push the chair in, and stand behind the chair pointing to their next table.  So fun!  Give it a try!

Just be clear on what drills you want for your routines, get your drills in order in your mind first, and then practice some of them on day one. Kids will know what to expect, and then your day will go so much smoother, and so will the whole year.

Classroom Management Tip #3: Get to Know Your Students

Thirdly, and maybe the biggest point to consider is to be on the lookout for kids who are not quite ready to follow your drill!

Some kids may need more breaks than other kids. Be ready to offer those breaks. Depending on how young the kids are, the whole class will need regular breaks within the first week. I love to make my centers into sensory centers for the first week or so. That way the day feels like play and fun, but your kids are learning your drill and routines! Plus, your breaks are built in!!

If you have kids who still are not compliant with your routines, you need to keep aware of this from the start. Nip it in the bud, and talk to parents right away. Most parents are supportive. Keep track of the conversations that you have with them.

Consider using tally charts like an ‘I am working for___’ chart. A chart with tallies that the student can manipulate is a great way to involve them in their own learning experience.

I have used –with enormous success– a ‘star chart’ for my kids who need a little more help when following the routines. 
I am working for ______ chart
This chart will help the student keep track of his/her own stars. You can tell the student that they will earn a break once they earn 5 stars.  Every time the kiddo behaves in a way that you want to reinforce, then give him or her a star.  
You can give the student a sensory break, or water break etc each time he or she gets 5 stars! Because the child really does need and want that break, they will work for it. You’ll be so happy!!

Classroom Management Tip #4: Keep parents informed.

Don’t forget to keep the parents informed. This is crucial, because they are actually your partner in education!

I have a freebie home-school chart that you can use to keep parents informed. It’s a calendar, and all you need to do is write the number of stars on each day that the student earned for the day. Place it in the home folder, and then the parent signs or initials it for that day and returns it to you.

If the child needs more support, you could use my individual behavior chart. It is similar to a check-in/check-out chart. You might use the chart to keep your own MTSS data building up to the meeting. Parents sign directly on the chart.

I use both the start chart and the individual behavior chart. When parents reinforce rewards at home for points earned at school, then you are on your way to beautiful compliance in your room.  Check out this bundle in my TpT store.  

Classroom management Individual Editable Behavior Charts

Final Thoughts on Classroom Management

Remember: “Fair is not equal”. Not all kids need frequent breaks, not all kids need a chart. Some want the chart, but don’t really need it! Try to build in fun breaks for all your kiddos! Classroom management is the key to a great year.  I hope that you have found these tips helpful.

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