Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Classroom Management {Tips, Tricks & Freebies}


Hey, friends!  I'm teaming up with my good friend Elyse from Proud to be Primary to bring you a whole slew of classroom management tips and tricks... plus, a bunch of classroom management freebies!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

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I use a variety of classroom management techniques, including both individual and whole group approaches.  Now, it's important to remember that I do not pull all of these classroom management tricks out of my bag at once.  Keeping classroom management novel keeps my little friends eager to make positive choices!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

My students love "flipping for good behavior!" You might be thinking... say what?  This behavior management strategy is exactly as it sounds!   I begin with the word flipped upside down, and turn over a letter each time I catch my class exhibiting a positive behavior.  If I witness any unwanted behavior, I might turn a letter back over.  Once all of the letters have been turned right side up, the class claims their reward!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Since I love to plan fun events for my class, I thought... why not tie them into a behavior incentive?! The following rewards were all ideas that I had planned to do in my classroom, but then decided I would have my class earn these special events. The kiddos did not know that I had planned to do them anyhow. They simply thought they were working towards that reward by making good choices. Sneaky, I know... but it was a very effective form of whole group classroom management! Take a peek at some of the fun we had...

During November, we made good choices to earn a letter in the word "friendship."  After we spelled the word, we enjoyed a friendship mix with our classmates, just as the Native Americans and Pilgrims did during the First Thanksgiving.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

In December, we spelled the word "gingerbread," and then explored gingerbread cookies with our five senses.  You could always make or decorate gingerbread cookies too.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

If you'd like to start "flipping for good behavior" in your classroom this year, you can check it out here.  It includes 10 seasonal rewards, as well as 12 rewards (Pajama Day, Stuffy Day, No Homework, Game Day, etc.) that can be used anytime throughout the year!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


This next classroom management strategy is all about teamwork!  I begin with these game boards attached to my whiteboard.  Each table group works as a team to earn pieces for their board.  I always like to brainstorm a list of ways we can fill our boards (i.e. being the first to clean up quickly and quietly, coming to the carpet quietly, sharing supplies, helping one another, lining up quietly, etc).  The first team to fill their board wins!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Each month, we use a different game board.  My kiddos always get so excited to see what they will need to fill or build next!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I love that this classroom management strategy encourages teamwork and helps build collaboration skills!  You can check out all 12 monthly game boards here!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


The first thing I like to do at the beginning of the year is read David Goes to School and How Do Dinosaurs Go to School.  As I am reading, we give a thumbs up for good choices and a thumbs down for not so good choices.  After the story, we complete this behavior sort freebie that I found on Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten blog.  We do this sort A LOT during the first week of school!  We even make a behavior contract/constitution that we all sign (sorry, I don't have a picture of our classroom constitution).

   

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


Another classroom management trick that I introduce at the beginning of the year are attention grabbers.  These are perfect to use during transition times, or just when you need the kiddos' attention.  Mine are hanging above my door along the door frame, so that I can quickly glance at them and pick one to shout out.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I typically only teach my kiddos one at time, and then after we become bored with that one good at that one, I introduce a new one.  The ones I have came from Top Teacher, but I've seen a bunch on Pinterest.  I just love this attention grabber from Simply Kinder and Teacher Laura, and it's free!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


I also like to teach my kiddos some catchy line up chants.  Line up songs really help with classroom management and getting the students to line up quickly and quietly.  I keep these songs on a hook right by my door.  As soon as we begin lining up, I start singing and the class follows suit.  You can grab these songs for free over on Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


One of our favorite whole group classroom management games is "Behavior Bingo."  I attach the bingo card on my whiteboard.  In the beginning of the year, I like to use the board with only 25 numbers.  As the year progresses, I print the "Behavior Bingo" hundreds board poster size.  Then, I watch for good choices!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Each time I catch someone making a good choice, they come up a choose a numbered rock from the bucket.  These rocks have magnets on the back so that they can cover up that number on our board.  Once we have 10 in a row, we have a special reward day!  You really could choose any number in a row, but I like 10 since it helps us take a closer look at how the hundreds chart is built.  We always discuss our reward before beginning the game.  That way my kiddos know what they are working for and are motivated to win this prize.  We love this game!  Plus, it also helps reinforce number identification and number sense!  Win, win!  Grab your free copy here!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


Another classroom management tip is using motivational props as a behavior incentive.  These cones were super cheap, but really motivate the kiddos to stay on task and make good choices.  Once I plop one down on someone's desk, they all want one!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I also grabbed some motivational construction signs from the Dollar Tree.  I like to use these during guided reading, Daily 5, math tubs, or literacy tubs.  If I see a group staying on task, I will give that group a sign.  The groups that have a sign at the end of that block of time get to move their name up on our clip chart or fill their buckets.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


Speaking of clip charts... I still use mine and find that it works well to promote positive behavior choices at the beginning of the year.  My kiddos really work hard to "clip up."  Reinforcing positive choices helps motivate the rest of my kinders to make these same choices.  Grab my chalkboard clip chart here!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


Any students who make it all the way to the top by the end of the day get a punch on their "Rock Star Behavior" card.  Believe me... I try to be really diligent about focusing on certain kiddos so that everyone has a chance to get to the top.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


After five punches, the kiddos can choose a reward coupon from my coupon box.  They absolutely love these coupons!  I got this set from Proud to be Primary.  Find the box here.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


As the year progresses, we move into bucketfillers.  We begin by reading the story Have You Filled a Bucket Today by Carol McCloud.  Then, we create a list (anchor chart) of all of the ways we can be a bucketfiller at school.  After creating this list, I introduce our buckets.  Each kiddo gets a numbered cup.  I use numbers so that I can reuse them the following year... ain't nobody got time for relabeling!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I like to use cotton balls to fill our buckets, because they are cheap and my parents donate them.  Each time I catch a good choice, I have them fill their bucket.  They will get one cotton ball from my big bucket and place it inside theirs.  It's just the opposite for bucket dippers.  Bucket dippers have to remove a cotton ball from their bucket and place it back in mine.  They hate doing this, so I usually have very few bucket dipper situations.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I don't let the kiddos keep their buckets on their desks, just because I don't want them to get distracted with counting the cotton balls.  We keep them inside a shoe organizer that hangs over the closet door.  I'm pretty sure I got this idea from Mel D. over at Seusstastic.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

On Fridays, we count our cotton balls and cash them in for reward coupons!  I have several boxes of coupons.  In the spirit of keeping it novel, I'll switch out these coupons throughout the year.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Alternative seating is another classroom management tip that I can't live without.  I've found that alternative seating provides just the right amount of movement/motion needed by some of our little learners.  I have various forms of alternative seating in my classroom, including T-stools, pillows, and these scoop rockers from Walmart.  You can find similar scoop rockers on Amazon.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

One of our high school students made these T-stools for us.  Imagine a capital T.  The top of the T is a board which the students sit on.  The middle, going down is a pvc pipe with a rubber stopper at the bottom.  In order for the T-stool to stay upright, the students must keep their feet on the floor.  This stool really helps with balance and strengthening their inner core as well!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Nonverbal hand signals is a classroom management tip that helps keep the voice levels down.  I teach my kiddos the signs for using the restroom, getting a drink, needing a tissue, asking for help, and so on during the first couple weeks of school...and let me tell you, they work miracles!  I'm sprucing up my posters this year with this adorable freebie from Jessica Travis.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Posting a daily schedule also helps with classroom management.  It's all about structure and routine!  Having a routine ensures that the students will know exactly what is going to occur at any given time throughout the day.  You can grab these free schedule cards from the incredible Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts, as well as from the fabulous Cara Carroll over at The a First Grade a Parade!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

The rest of these classroom management tips and tricks are ones that I'd like to try in my room this year, and maybe you'd like to give them a try too!

I absolutely love this colored cups trick from The Ardent Teacher!  The kiddos keep a stack of red, yellow and green cups on the edge of their table.  Everyone begins with the green cup on top.  If they have a question or need help throughout the day, they place the red cup on top.  If they are moving slow and might need some help, they place the yellow cup on top.  I just love how this serves as a visual for the teacher.  So simple, yet so effective!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Brag tags are another classroom management trick I've heard all sorts of teachers "bragging" about...see what I did there?!?  I know my kiddos will be so excited to collect these tags all year and show them off to their family and friends!  You can read all about how Elyse over at A Is for Apples has been using them in her kindergarten classroom.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

How about this table points idea from Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools?!  I really think it helps build team relationships and collaboration skills.  Plus, I bet it motivates the groups to stay on task!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I'm going to try really hard to find room in my classroom to set up a VIP table this year.  I already bought some fun supplies and table caddies to keep at this special table for my VIP rock stars, and I know they will work extra hard to make good choices and earn this VIP status.  Check out how Aimee from Primarily Speaking and Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher organize their VIP tables and supplies.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!
Another fun classroom management idea I found was this "Mystery Walker" tin from What Happens in First Grade.  Before leaving the classroom, she chooses a student's name from the tin... but keeps it a secret.  That person is the mystery walker, and she is watching them the entire time.  If the mystery walker follows the rules of the hall, he/she gets to clip up or fill his/her bucket.

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!


Staying organized also really helps the overall climate in the room.  One way I stay organized is with absent folders.  If a student is absent, I have his/her table partner grab an absent folder and place all of the work and notes the absent student missed inside this folder.  My folders are nothing fancy, but I seriously adore these ones from Primarily Speaking!  I think I'll be updating mine soon!  Thanks, Aimee!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

I hope you have found some classroom management tips, tricks and freebies you can use in your classroom this year!




Don't forget to head over to Proud to be Primary to check out some more classroom management tips and tricks!

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

You can also check out my "Classroom Management" board on Pinterest for even more ideas!


I'd like to conclude this post with an image a coworker sent to me that I think is very fitting...

This post is loaded with 30 classroom management ideas for the Kindergarten, primary and elementary classroom!  Classroom management tips and tricks for whole brain teaching, alternative seating, bucket fillers, and so much MORE, including a behavior bingo FREEBIE!

Remember to encourage your little learners!  They will always remember the way others made them feel!

13 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Ashley! I don't have enough time to sit and read this whole post now, but I am coming back for it! It's AWESOME! You have filled it to the brim with amazing classroom management options. Several of these I do, but a few are new to me and I can't wait to add them to my toolbox this year! THANK YOU for compiling all of this info into one post....and for making everything CUTE too! So important! Ha!

    Jill
    ABCs and Polkadots

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Jill! You just totally made my day! The post was definitely a labor of love! It took me FOREVER to finish it. I'm glad you were able to find a few new classroom management ideas... and yes, cute is very important! :)

      Ashley

      Delete
  2. Amazing post! Thank you for all the ideas and resources!! Love your honesty, too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. When they add a team point to their gumball machine/tree/etc., how do you stick them on there - tape?

    Thanks
    Courtney
    P.S. I'm so excited to try these ideas - thanks for the wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Courtney! I actually use Velcro that I attach to the game board and the game pieces! Don't forget to laminate the pieces first, and then add the Velcro!

      Delete
  4. Hi Ashley,
    I read your post when you first put it up and keep returning to it. :)
    Would you mind giving me the dimensions of your T stools (what size wood piece, PVC length, rubber stopper size)? Were the kids able to use them without falling? I asked my husband if we could make some and his first concern was the students' safety. :) TIA! lorepuckett at gmail dot com

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  5. How am I just seeing this post now?!?! And thank you for sharing #17! I pinned away!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kristen! I absolutely love your table points idea... so simple yet so effective!

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  6. Oh my goodness! You have given me so many great ideas for next year...and some freebies...and some things I've added to my TPT cart for later! I love all of the ways to promote positive behavior in my classroom!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! Thanks for the wonderful post! I am pinning to come back to it later. I LOVE the "scoop rockers" but I can't find them anywhere online! I need alternative seating with my small classroom - any clue where I can find them now? Thanks!

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  8. I found the scoop rocker today at Walmart for $4.88 each. I scooped up 6! They were near the bikes.

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  9. The schedule cards are no longer in the A Year of Many Firsts TpT store. :(

    ReplyDelete