Classroom Behavior Management

Classroom Routines without the Stress

There is a video on this page - scroll down to see it

Classroom behavior management comes down to dozens (hundreds?) of specific daily interactions with students. Every situation presents a different opportunity to guide kids toward appropriate behavior that will enhance their ability to learn.

Misbehaving elementary boy makes funny face

There are definitely situations - especially those outside of normal classroom routines - that seem to focus, or perhaps concentrate, misbehavior factors.

A school field trip is definitely one of those situations. Getting your "field trip attitude" in place before you go is a huge step...prepare to be exhausted from a day of hyper-vigilence.

But the learning opportunities can be tremendous, and this article will help you make the most of the experience.

Speaking of field trips, there are lots of little ones that a class undertakes every day that have the potential for mischief. Every trip to:

  • Recess
  • Lunch
  • Library
  • P.E. an opportunity for kids to:

  • Be noisy
  • Disrupt others
  • Push, bump, shove
  • Touch the wrong stuff

Like I said...just like a field trip!

Video: Managing Classroom Seating to Manage Behavior

Getting students to excel at the student line up is the key to making trips outside your classroom stress-free. Getting from Point A to Point B quietly and efficiently helps you manage tight transitions without cutting into instructional time. That's why I highly recommend modeling and practicing lining up on the first day of school...and re-practicing as often as needed.

Another problem that can occur in younger grades during the line up process is students who run away. These elementary teacher resources for students on the run will help. It's not all that uncommon up through third grade, but there are some fairly easy steps to deal with it. Be might make you feel a little silly!

Stopping a Classroom Whining Epidemic

Student engagement can also minimize the universal human urge to whine and complain that is so often exaggerated in elementary-age children. This particular disease, however, is quite deeply-seated in the human psyche and it often takes a few specific anti-whining measures to get the problem under firm control.

We can't totally eliminate it - people young and old do love their gripe sessions! - but we can keep it from interfering with learning.

Engaging inquisitive little minds

No teacher has ever had a completely silent group of just aren't made that way! Talking in class can be a difficult problem if you try to deal with it in a "be-quiet-because-I'm-the-teacher" method.

Understanding the different reasons why kids talk is the first step, then setting appropriate expectations. But that is just the beginning... individualizing your approach to talkers, as I outline in this section, will allow you to master any "chatterbox" situation - even blurting out answers.

A classroom behavior management issue that will be faced by every teacher with more than one student is what to do when some children finish faster than others. As with all successful teaching methods, it takes some advance planning...but also includes a big dose of thinking on your feet. With these classroom teaching methods for students who finish work first and some tips on teaching children patience, you'll be ready for anything and will be able to keep an entire class engaged and learning at all times.

Classroom behavior management truly does come down to individualizing your classroom routines. With a few tricks up your sleeve - and the right attitude! - you can get your little ducks to line up and get the whole flock to behave in a productive manner.

School Schedule

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Effective Classroom Management 101


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First Day of School Activities


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Managing Elementary Art Projects

"What? Clean up? Me?!"

These tips on managing your elementary art projects will remove the headaches and mess that keep many teachers from engaging in them. Tools vs. toys As I outline in my pages on "the first days of school," I keep markers and other artistic tools in community buckets and out of students' desks. … [Read more...]

Making the Student Line Up Work


Good classroom behavior management for the student line up is critical to keep your students from interfering with the learning of other classes. Left to themselves, kids will become a thundering herd moving from point A to point B sweeping everything in their path. This is not good for the … [Read more...]

The School Field Trip Guide for Success

"Field trip? Let's go!"

"Fun with a purpose" means extending your inside classroom behavior management to the outside School field trip. That phrase is enough to strike fear into the heart of any teacher. If there is a setting that includes all of the potential situations for misbehavior, this … [Read more...]

Talking-in-Class Solution Part 1

"I'm not talking...I'm whispering!"

Part 1: Defining the Problem & Setting Expectations

Creative teaching ideas are born from everyday classroom issues. When it comes to issues, every teacher, without exception, has had to deal with a student who simply cannot stop talking in class. There are different categories of … [Read more...]

First Day of School Activity

"Yep...Try it again!"

Final Preparations, a Few Expectations A perennial first day of school activity is the last-minute rush! An elementary teacher should always assume there will be last-minute changes to her class list. It is very important that we are ready to quickly produce another name tag, or another label … [Read more...]

Tattling in School

"And then she said..."

Tattling at School: The Fine Line Between Good and Bad "Telling"

Question: My classroom has a rule against excessive tattling in school. Recently, I have encountered issues in which a student felt physically or emotionally threatened, but didn't tell me so as not to … [Read more...]

Effective Classroom Rewards

Just say "no"

"Never underestimate the power of just noticing...the greatest classroom awards for student effort is a teacher who cares." This quote of mine sums up my feelings on the value (or lack of value) of a classroom awards system, or the use of classroom rewards to encourage effort or … [Read more...]