Classroom management is a critical piece of any successful school year. Students must know how to wait their turn, work out conflicts, stay on task – the list goes on. There are so many components teachers need to orchestrate well in order for learning to happen.
Get organized then hop over and request your invite to our VIP teachers’ club, The Plato Pack, so you can get 24/7 access to THOUSANDS of playful, ready-to-use centers your students will beg to repeat.
Our roundup of 32 must-try classroom management hacks includes our favorite tips for reinforcing positive behavior, placing kids in groups, taking mini brain breaks when they need to burn off some extra energy and so much more.
Add a marble to a jar each time kids do something positive. When the jar is full, give them a reward. // Minds in Bloom
Have each table color in a square on their bravo chart every time they do something positive. 3 boxes in a row and they earn a reward. // Blog Lovin’
When students are caught doing something kind, add a warm and fuzzy pom pom to the class jar. // A Love 4 Teaching
Keep track of class brownie points by adding (you guessed it!) brownies to a cookie sheet. // First Grader at Last
Compliment one student each day on a framed “You rock because…” poster. // Fashionista Teacher
Make a classroom brag board where students can post compliments for one another. // Teaching 4 Real
Taking Brain Breaks
Brain breaks are key to good classroom management!
When kids need a little break from learning, roll a couple brain breaks. // Your Therapy Source
Play a fun round of Too Big, Too Small, Just Right.
Pick a DIY activity stick from a jar and get moving. // Keep Calm and Teach On
Wiggle along to a brain break song. // Learning Station Music
Roll a physical activity cube and get some exercise. // Little Family Fun
Class Job Charts
Use library pockets to make an easy to switch job chart. // Stickers and Staples
Assign kids to jobs with clothespins. // Stickers and Staples
Put student numbers on a magnet so that you can easily reuse the chart year after year. // 3rd Grade Thoughts
Helping Kids Calm Down
These calm-down strategies are the perfect way to ensure successful classroom management throughout the day.
Grab some playdough and balloons and make some wacky sacks kids can squeeze when they’re feeling anxious. // Somewhat Simple
Give kids a DIY calm down jar. // Preschool Inspirations
Have kids color in a coloring book or practice handwriting.
If you have a student who likes to wiggle, have him try sitting on a stability cushion. (Amazon affiliate link.)
Have the class take a break and read a book out loud to them. Dimming the lights and letting kids lay down can help take their energy down another notch too.
Make a squishy marble maze. // Therapy Fun Zone
Place a colored dot sticker in the corner of each student’s desk. Use the colors to call kids over. For instance, “Students with orange stickers may line up!” // Owlways Be Inspired
Make a simple partner spinner to pair up kids. // Fabulous Fourth
Stick colored dots on the bottom of Hershey kisses. Pass them out and have kids pair up with classmates who have matching dots. // Studio DIY
Write each child’s name on a popsicle stick. Place them in a bucket and randomly pull out two names at a time to assign partners.
Put colored bracelets in a paper bag and have each kid pick one. Place students with the same color in a group.
Small Group Time
Use our FREE editable lesson planner and organization pack to group, plan and keep track of small group instruction (plus tons more!).
At the start of the year, make a What If? Chart with the class so that kids can learn how to be self managers when you’re working with small groups.
Have kids ask two students their question before they can ask the teacher.
When you’re already working with other students, have kids with questions clip their name to an “I have a question” sign. // Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom
Assign one student as the “Ask Me” person other kids can go to during small group work. // Frogs and Cupcakes
Teach kids about personal space by sticking sheets of construction paper on to your small group table with contact paper. // K Fundamentals
Free Lesson Planner
Get a bright and colorful teaching planner and organizer delivered straight to your inbox!
Snag your set and then hop over and request your invite to our VIP teachers’ club, The Plato Pack, so you can get 24/7 access to THOUSANDS of playful, ready-to-use centers your students will beg to repeat.