1. Engage Hearts.

Building relationships is an important piece of teaching and learning.

Start the year with activities to build community and learn about your students. Check out 14 Ways to Cultivate Classroom Chemistry from the Teaching Channel. It is also a good idea to continue building relationships with your student throughout the year. Learning more about building positive relationships with your students in this article from the National Education Association.

2. Engage Minds.

“Everything is interesting.”

We’re intrigued by the Brightwork’s school philosophy quoted above. Curiosity is the most basic of human behaviors. Heck! It’s the most basic of animal behaviors! Are your students interested in what you’re teaching? Consider Project Based Learning, or PBL: BIE.org We want to share great sites to inspire… but also suggest you check out some innovative schools on Twitter to see how our philosophies of learning and how we truly view kids shapes the way we teach: @TinkeringSchool or @BIEpbl for ideas in Project Based Learning. Think outside the box! Ask yourself if you’d want to be a student in your own class.”

3. The <3 of destructive behavior.

“What are they really trying to tell you?

Yes, it’s really frustrating and disruptive when a student misbehaves. But, before you react, it helps to a) have an understanding of what a student is trying to gain, and b) how you will handle it. PLAN AHEAD. Period. Knowing why will help you take it less personally. Knowing how you will respond will enable you to handle it without having to think about everything in the heat of the moment. In this handout, you’ll learn 4 common behaviors and how to address them. Finally, write a response plan for each behavior for a more automatic and consistent reaction. Learn more from Olivia’s post below!”

Student learning is directly related to classroom control established the first week of school. Harry & Rosemary Wong

Revisit your classroom management.

Classroom management should be in place before students enter the classroom for the first time. It is so important to have routines, policies, procedures, the physical environment as well as materials management in place. Try teaching the expectations and behaviors during an activity. For more ideas on taming squirrels, read Edutopia’s The Art of Managing Middle Schoolers. CHAMPS, as you may have heard, is a comprehensive approach to classroom management. Learn more…

Check Pathlore for Challenging Behaviors and Rules & Procedures.

“You have a lot of power to shape behavior!”

Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools presentation really resonated with me. He urges us to consider whether our discipline plans are punitive or preventative. He suggests you follow these five steps:

1. Structure/organize all settings for success.
2. Teach students how to behave in those settings.
3. Observe and supervise students.
4. Interact positively with students.
5. Correct irresponsible behavior calmly, consistently, and immediately.

Notice anything? Each point forms the acronym STOIC. Like Olivia said, fluency in rules and procedures is key. Use this Worksheet to reflect on your classroom management plan.