Classroom Management and How I Do It

Classroom Management: Two words that will make or break your year. Having great classroom management will allow you to do what you are supposed to; teach. When students have structure and know what is expected of them they are able to learn. If students are constantly wondering or testing their behaviors, learning can become difficult. Students and teachers alike need a comfortable, organized, and respectful environment to walk into each day. The classroom becomes a second home for the next nine to ten months. 

Although each class of students is different, there are some basics I always incorporate into my classroom. I organize my classroom management into three different subgroups: individual, small group, and whole group. This gives students multiple chances to meet classroom expectations. 

First, individual:

This is the biggie that we spend most of our time on. Students need to be accountable for their own individual behavior. I have seen this done many different ways. My personal favorite is using a clip chart. I picked up this adorable clip chart for free from A Cupcake For The Teacher. Using a clip chart is a quick and easy way for students to monitor their behavior, and they get to do the work for you! It is important students understand all rules and expectations at the beginning of the year. Refreshers are always helpful before and after long breaks. Using a clip chart is simple: clip up for positive behaviors and clip down for negative behaviors using a clothespin. I write students' names on the clip, but you can write their class number or any other way you use to identify students. Each day all students start at green. It is important to concentrate more on clipping up as positive reinforcement makes students strive for meeting your expectations. When students continue to not meet those expectations they will need a consequence. 

Free Clip Chart!
One thing I love about using a clip chart is even when a student has to clip down, they are able to reverse their behaviors and clip up. Given the opportunity for students to clip up, they will change behaviors to meet your expectations.As the year continues and you get to know your kids better, the clip chart can become differentiated. Each student reacts differently to it, and you have to adjust as needed.

First, again, tickets:

I also use tickets in my classroom for rewarding great behaviors. Students are able to collect tickets and exchange them in the classroom prize store. I like to hand out tickets when students are working well independently or in small groups. It is a great quick way for me to reinforce positive behaviors while I am monitoring my students. 

This student who is working on some Winter Printables from my store is earning tickets because he is completing his work neatly and quietly. 

Second, small group:

I do this by using table points. In my classroom, each table has an assigned color. Table points are recorded at the front of the room. To help me give (and sometimes take away) table points, I assign it as a classroom job in the beginning of the year. You can grab my FREE classroom jobs here! Classroom jobs are also a great way to manage students on an individual or partner level. When students have a job, they learn about responsibility and become excited about it. 


Table points are a great way for students to work together to get rewarded. It teaches students to work with other people to meet expectations. I switch table groups each quarter so students are exposed to different students throughout the year. 

Table points also give students who struggle with individual praise a chance to earn positive rewards. When that student earns positive rewards as a small group, it motivates them to ear positive rewards at an individual level. 

At the end of the week, the table with the most table points receive tickets to spend in the classroom prize store. Another way to reward small groups is to set a goal number of points. Once a table reaches that goal, they get tickets. You can try both to see which way works better for your class!

Third, Whole Group:

This has to be a whole class effort with each student working together to receive a big reward. I use two jars and pom poms for this one. I have a jar and the class has a jar. The pom poms start in my jar and as students are rewarded I move pom poms into their jar (I actually have a student do this for me as a classroom job.) Pick up my free classroom jobs here! The goal is simple; fill up the class pom pom jar. Once this happens, I usually have a class party of some sort. Students get so excited about earning pom poms! They work together and help one another to meet classroom expectations, which in turn, helps me! You can use any small object as a pom pom and any sized jar. As you get to know your class you may need to add more or less pom poms to your jars. 

Using these three elements (Individual, Small Group, & Whole Group) management tricks has helped my classroom community through the years. Students get excited about each level of my management plan and they are held accountable in three different ways. 

Let me know how these tricks help you in your classroom!

Happy Managing!!


Sight Words and a Freebie!

Sight words are CRUCIAL for fluent readers! Every class who has those students who are great with word attack strategies and are well aware of grade appropriate phonics rules. But what happens to the words that don't follow American English phonics rules? These are the rule breakers. Sight words and high frequency words. There are always ways to try to teach these words, such as beginning sounds, ending sounds, trying a word and see if it makes sense... These are all great strategies, and are practiced in my own classroom. But, I have found that flash card practice for sight words, works best. 

I have created easy to make sight word flash cards. You can check them out by clicking here or any of the photos! 

Students start with the lowest list they are fluent with. After they graduate from that, they can move to the next list. I have created a useful resource for this purpose. I like to color code the lists. Students get so excited when they can move the next "color." It is also much easier for me to differentiate by looking at the colors. 

These easy to print, cut, and go flash cards are perfect for students to use. They can be used both in the classroom and at home! I like to have my students keep a copy at school to practice during class. I have students cut the sight word flash card and keep them in a plastic bag that they can put in their reading folder or reading box. 

These can also be sent home as homework. It is great for parents to see their child's progress as students graduate to the next color or list. Also, there is no excuse for not having sight word flash cards at home! 

Check out all the sight word flash card freebies in my store here


These are so helpful for me in my classroom. I hope they are as useful to you and your students as they are to mine!

Happy reading!
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