The Classroom Management You Need for Upper Elementary
Why Classroom Management is Important
Classroom Management is important for many reasons in your life as a teacher. Your classroom management techniques will determine if you struggle to create a cohesive classroom that has organization and students conduct themselves with good behavior.
Students are going to be off task, they will disrupt, and they will talk when they are supposed to be silent! Having a system that eliminates those kinds of behaviors and motivates students to have good habits and behavior is vital.
For, the system to be fair, it needs to include an incentive, time limit, and point system.
Some teachers don’t seem to have a system and their classroom runs on good vibes and fun times. In reality, every good teacher, even if they aren’t talking about it, has a classroom management system.
When you are teaching younger students it can be a lot easier to create fun systems that students are invested in. Finding a system that older students in upper elementary or middle school are willing to invest in can be difficult!
Read on to learn about a classroom management system suitable for students in upper elementary or middle school classrooms!
Battle of the Classes
Battle of the Classes is a managing technique that can motivate different types of behavior or actions.
It can be used as a short-term technique or a long-term technique you use throughout the year! Battle of the classes could even be adapted to do a grade-level competition or department competition in a middle school!
Essentially students in a class earn points based on an incentive and behavior you want to see in students. For example, the class with the most points will have a donut party at the end of the month. Students can get points by acting with integrity, and turning their work in on time! If a whole class turned in all their assignments for one week, the class could get 20 points!
Also, teachers could put a cap on the number of points students get, and then they could pick from the prize bin or be given 10 minutes of free time on a Chromebook! Students live for free time! The incentive and the behavior are simply variables that can be interchanged like an Algebra problem! Teachers should feel free to change the behaviors that earn points depending on what they’re seeing in the classroom. Remember the point system that gives can also take away!
It’s important to make sure students understand that good behavior and bad behavior have effects. Students or classes should lose points when teachers notice bad behavior! Teachers tracking points could reveal unfair teaching practices for yourself if you notice you constantly take points away from the same student or easily give away points to the same student most of the time. It’s always good to take a moment and reflect if the numbers seem disproportionate in any way to ensure an ethical classroom!
Whole schools can develop the battle of the classes into a super fun day where classes compete in physical activity for a competitive field day! School administrators could also choose to modify it to motivate attendance, good dress code, or Chromebook violations by department, grade level, or class! I have seen passing grades be a school goal, and students gaining points to prove passing grades for a whole year to earn a field trip! Only students who were passing for the entire school year could go on a trip to the zoo!
Throughout the year, students could also buy snacks from a cart by redeeming points they earned in their classrooms.
The program is easily transformed to fit several needs within a diverse amount of schools! What if you are a self-contained elementary teacher? If you were a self-contained elementary teacher, you could get another teacher, or a whole grade level to make a competition between classes where one of the classes got a reward that way! It could be other teachers in your hallway or grade-level teammates.
The most popular way teachers could use the battle of the classes is by sectioning students into groups and having the students compete by table group. Teachers can bring a theme to their table groups like the different houses in Harry Potter, Survivor teams, or animal groups. Students could come up with their team name as a way to build student investment in the classroom management system! Another way
Battle of the Classes could be redesigned for self-contained elementary teachers is by using it as an individual motivator. A teacher could keep track of class dojo points or a manual option to record individual student behavior and then give a first, second, and third place!
Jolly Rancher Wars (Idea from maniacsinthemiddle)
Jolly Rancher Wars are another way it could be adjusted to fit a need! Jolly Rancher Wars works pretty much just like it sounds!
The class with the most points at the end of a set time earns each student in the class one jolly rancher! The behavior you want to see in the classroom could range from character words like grit or honesty. It could also be earning points if you arrive to class on time, turn in your homework on time or come to class with all your materials.
The Jolly Rancher Wars are an affordable technique to motivate students for teachers! Jolly Ranchers are a cheap candy that is easy to supply 30 once a month or even every two weeks! Teachers could adjust the time limit to every quarter instead of monthly! The Classroom Wars with Jolly Ranchers ramp up student motivation, and the prize is affordable and easy to provide! The possibilities with the battle of the classes are truly endless!
A management system with all the appropriate elements is key to creating successful classroom and whole school environments. The system creates more buy-in from students and employees as people strive for greatness because they will receive something they care about! It’s also nice as a teacher to reward students. Especially reward the students that work hard in class as well as maintain a certain level of character.
Leave a comment below about how you might use the battle of the classes framework!