Six Positive Classroom Management Strategies

“Students don’t care how much you know, until they know
 how much you care!”  John C. Maxwell.

Take time to get to know your students.  Give each student the opportunity to talk, write, or draw about themselves each day for the first two weeks of school.    Do they participate in a sport?  Do they have a pet or pets?  What do they love to do when they have free time?  What do they like to do with friends?  Would they rather spend time working alone or with a friend?  Who are the members of their families?  Keep these drawings, writings, and notes that you take when a child is sharing orally in a file for each child.  These will be valuable when you need to give a student assignments that fit his or her interests.

Grab the students’ attention before transitions.  I would often break into song.  The songs were usually made up on the spur of the moment, but some were favorites that I used year after year.  During the crazy holiday season, I would sing, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly.”  The children would sing, “Fa, la, la, la, la.”  Then we would all but our fingers over our lips and say “shhhh”, very quietly. This was very calming to the students and to me.  Clapping hands, turning off the lights, playing a chime, are just a few of the strategies for getting the students’ attention.

Establish routines, and model, model, model!  Once in the middle of the school year, a new student joined our class.  He did not speak or understand English.  This is when I learned the awesome power of modeling behavior expectations.  I would pull out a card with a situation such as walk quietly to the carpet.  I would demonstrate an incorrect way to follow the direction, and then call on two or three students to act out the correct way.  The whole class loved this.  Anytime the class needed some reminders of routines or expectations, we would act out the incorrect and correct way to follow the directions on our behavior choice cards.

Correct students privately.  No one likes to be criticized in front of his or her friends.  If it is a small correction, quietly whisper to the child.  If a serious talk is needed ask the child to meet you at the door, step out into the hall and talk quietly with the child.  Remember to keep the door open, so you can hear what is going on in the class, and stay very close to door.  Don’t scold, use a quiet voice and discuss the situation. 

Keep your composure.  School can be overwhelming for both students and teachers.  If you feel stress building, take a deep breath and center yourself.

Let your students know that you love them.  Establish routines and remind students of the routines whenever needed.  Model the routines.  Remind students of classroom expectations in supportive ways.  Be firm and kind.  Sometimes your tone of voice can make all the difference.  

What are your favorite tips for classroom management?  We would love to read your comments.


Our Newest Self Correcting Interactive PowerPoint Activity

Which Fact Does NOT Belong?

Do you struggle with adding rigor to math activities?  Are you limited in making copies?   Do you want an interactive, self correcting game that requires no copying of the game in expensive color ink, no cutting, and no laminating?  Do you want to easily differentiate instruction without using or using fewer worksheets?
This activity can be used with PowerPoint 2010 and newer.  It may be just what you are looking for.

Students love the self correcting feature of this game. When a student clicks on, or touches a correct answer he hears applause and sees a slide that says "Way to Go!".   If a student clicks on or touches an incorrect answer he hears a breaking glass sound and sees a slide with "Oops Better Luck Next Time!".

Once your students have had practice with constructing fact families, take the instruction one step further and have the students find the fact that does not belong.  Learning fact families is often challenging for students.  With this interactive, self correcting PowerPoint Slide Show game, Fact Families Which Fact Does Not Belong, you can easily differentiate instruction for students who have a strong understanding of fact families.

The apple theme is perfect for fall, but this activity could be used any time of year.  There is No Prep needed for this game.  Just download onto your computers and play.  There is a response sheet and an answer key provided. If you choose to use those you will make one copy of the answer sheet, and a class set of  response sheets. There is no copying of the game in expensive color ink, no cutting, and no laminating!  


Glorious Spring.. Allergies Everywhere!! What can help.

Achoo!!  Gesundheit!

March 20 was the first day of spring this year. And for many it was the first day of allergy season. Oh yes, the sun crosses the equator, day and night are the same length. Achoo!!
It is the beginning of 2017 allergy season. For years I lived in the Texas Hill County where there are some of the most beautiful natural sights to be seen anywhere. There are trees of every size and shape, and flowers of every color, and there is pollen. There are lots and lots of cedar trees in that part of the country. Every day the news would put up the Daily Pollen Count and at the top is cedar and soon to follow oak. The weather guesser would tell how hot it would be and then tell how many parts per cubic meter of pollen could be found in the air. The allergy became known as Cedar Fever. It is the worst of the worst for allergy sufferers. Many new comers to the area would chuckle and say there is no such thing. Oh, but give it a year and you too would enjoy the Cedar Fever.

What to do??? As for helping yourself, some basic advice is to use a HEPA air purifier. You may need more than one. Try to keep the humidity in your home constant. Once you come indoors change your clothes, the pollen is in the fabric of your clothes and will come in with you. Wash your face and hands. Use a damp cloth and run it over your hair to help remove the pollen. 

In the classroom always wash your hands and face. Use a damp paper towel to wipe your face and pat dry with a clean paper towel. 

See your doctor. The doctor may be able to write a prescription to bring a little relief. In the mean time keep a box of tissues near by. Go outside and enjoy the sights, sounds, and beautiful days of spring. AAAACHOOoooo!  

Subtraction Within 20 Interactive Digital Activity

Do you need a fun and engaging way for your students to practice subtraction within 20? This self correcting, interactive PowerPoint slide show with sound effects might be just what you need.

Students will click on a random symbol on the home page and be taken to a subtraction problem. Students work the problem, record their answer, and check their work by clicking the picture next to their answer choice on the slide. If the student clicks on a correct answer, a slide with “Way to Go!” will pop up and the student will hear applause. If the student clicks on an incorrect answer a slide with “Oops Better Luck Next Time” will pop up and the student will hear a breaking glass sound effect.


Reflexology has been around for thousands of years. The idea is that there are small and specific areas of innervation in the feet that correspond to specific muscle groups or organs. Through the application of pressure or massage on specific areas, reflexology is said to promote relaxation, improve circulation and help support the normalization of the related area in the body.
Reflexology it is intended to reduce stress and help the body reals and help with optimal balance of the body’s biochemical and other systems.  Having the feet rubbed is an enjoyable and relaxing experience for most people, there is little doubt that reflexology can help reduce stress and promote a sense of wellbeing much the same as any other form of massage.
Most reflexology session run from thirty to sixty minutes. Shoes and sock are removed and the client is made comfortable. Some reflexologists offer a foot bath at the beginning. Pressure is applied using the thumb and finger in a rolling or walking pattern. This give a gentle stretching and massaging of specific zones.
Chinese Reflexology Massage is considered acupressure, sharing the same principles as acupuncture but utilizing them without the needles. Reflexology massage is believed to have been practiced as far back as 2450 B. C. in China and Egypt.

Does it work?  I don’t know. But I like it.

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