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50 Brilliant Classroom Management Ideas & Strategies

Are you looking for some new classroom management ideas? Look no further, this post is packed with creative ideas that you can try in your class this year. There are ideas for keeping kids engaged with learning, organizing your daily routines, helping students manage emotions, setting classroom expectations, ideas to motivate positive behavior and more.

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Classroom Management Plans

Planning is key to effective classroom management.  The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to set your plan for the year.  You can revaluate your plan throughout the school year and make changes as needed. Here are some of the questions to ask yourself when creating your classroom management plan:

  • How can I set class expectations?
  • Are their classroom management tools that will make my life easier?
  • What daily routines can I implement to make transitions smoother?
  • What can I use for classroom rewards?
  • What tools can I use to help students manage emotions?
  • Do I want students to have classroom jobs?
  • What seating options will work best?
  • What strategies can I use for independent work and group work?
  • How can I help manage class time?
  • What techniques will help to manage class disruptions?
  • How can I help facilitate positive relationships in the class?
  • What form of parent communication do I want to use?
  • What are some simple Brain Break ideas for the class?
  • What are some ideas that other teachers use that are successful?

Read on to check out classroom management ideas to help you answer all of these questions and create the plan that works best for you and your students.

Classroom Management Tools

Take advantage of tools, such as classroom timers, noise monitors, and seating charts to maintain order in the classroom. Education apps and websites can also be helpful for keeping students engaged and on-task.  In this post we'll explore the best classroom management tools that I've found to make your job a little easier.

Best Classroom Management Strategies

Some of the best strategies include:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise or reward good behavior to encourage more of the same.
  • Non-verbal Cues: Use hand signals or visual aids to communicate expectations without interrupting the flow of the class.
  • Smooth Transitions: Establish routines and procedures to help students transition between activities efficiently.

Classroom Management Ideas for Daily Routines

Don’t you love when you find new classroom management ideas that makes your daily routine a little more organized and efficient? Well, I've found some ideas for you that do just that.

This Includes a way to eliminate pencil sharpening during class time, an idea to have a reference for everything you need with you at all times plus, more ideas to streamline your day.

1 | Attention Getting Strategy

wireless doorbell classroom management ideas
WIRELESS DOORBELL | FIND IT HERE

Have you tried a wireless doorbell in your class yet? You can use this tool to avoid yelling during class or organize class activities. This one comes with five different transmitters which you can use for different attention getters.

For example, one could be voices off, another could be freeze, line up, clean up, or rotate to a new station. There are 50 different chimes that you can use.

2 | Doorbell on a Lanyard

doorbell on lanyard for classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | COFFEE.AND.CURRICULUM

Taylor, a 4th grade teacher from Nashville, puts her doorbell on the back of her lanyard so that it's always with her to save her voice from trying to talk over the students.

3 | Daily Check-In

daily check in classroom idea
IMAGE SOURCE | YOUCLEVERMONKEY

Here's a fun way to have your students check in every morning. They find their name and put it in the connect four game. Love this idea from You Clever Monkey!

You can also change the “games pieces” to ask a question and have them put their answer in the game.

4 | Brain Breaks

Include short breaks or activities to help students relax and refocus, such as stretching, breathing exercises, or a quick game.  You can also search YouTube for videos that you can play and provide a much-needed brain break for your students or you can play them during transition times.

Here are some Brain Break Videos on YouTube to check out:

  • Sandtagious- Is a video that shows cutting colored sand that is actually very relaxing.
  • Dory’s Reef Cam- Calming video of Dory and her friends playing.
  • You can also search calming classroom videos and find your favorite!

5 | Activity Reminders

classroom activity reminders
IMAGE SOURCE | MISS.GORTONS.CLASS

This teacher from Australia uses these pretty cards to remind the kids of what activity they should be working on.

6 | I'm Done Choice Board

I'm done choice board for classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | ACUPCAKEFORTHETEACHER

Here's a smart way to keep fast finishers busy while you're helping kids that are still working on their assignment. You can create an I’m done choice board and encourage students to silently choose an independent work activity to do while they wait for their classmates to finish.

7 | Independent Crate System

classroom managment idea for early finishers
IMAGE SOURCE | TALESFROMAVERYBUSYTEACHER

Take a cue from this self-proclaimed busy teacher and let your kids take control.  Set up milk crates with extra copies of assignment, make-up work, and early finish ideas so that they can help themselves.

8 | Grab & Go Sheets

grab and go sheets classroom management ideas
IMAGE SOURCE | DISPLAYLADY

Mrs. J. from the UK uses these colorful wipeable pouches for changeable displays. She also uses them to hold papers for students to grab.

You can put some assignment sheets in each with a description for the kids. There are so many possibilities with these. You can find some here.

Student Jobs

Create a sense of responsibility and ownership by assigning students specific tasks or roles. Jobs may include the clean-up crew, line leaders, door holders and pencil sharpeners.  Check out some ideas below of how other teachers are managing student jobs in the classroom.

9 | Now Hiring

classroom job display
Image Source | missjbever

Copy this idea and create a now hiring section on your classroom wall to display your class jobs.

10 | Job Display on Whiteboard

student jobs on whiteboard
Image Source | 2ndstateofmind

Create a display system for your classroom jobs on your whiteboard in the front of the class.  This can help keep the job list organized and help motivate students to each do their assigned task.

11 | Student Job Lanyards

student job lanyards classroom jobs ideas

IMAGE SOURCE | THEGREEKSENDTEACHER

For student duties consider creating lanyards for them to wear.  This teacher from London says her students love to have a responsibility for the day and take pride in wearing their duty lanyard.

Pencil Organization Systems

Are you looking for a new way to organize the sharpened and unsharpened pencils or to keep students from having to sharpen pencils during class? Check out some clever ideas below to do that.

12 | Straw Containers to Organize Pencils

straw containers to organize pencils in classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | SAILINGINTOSECOND

This is one of my favorite ideas to organized unsharpened and sharpened pencils because it just looks so cute. These are re-purposed straw containers. You can find a straw holder here.

13 | Pencils In a Toothbrush Case

classroom management ideas for pencil storage
IMAGE SOURCE | MISSPS_STYLE

This is a travel toothbrush case that this teacher uses to take control of all the pencil struggles! Each holds 5 pencils, one for each day of the week. At the end of the week each student turns their case in with all of their pencils sharpened.

That way they are ready to go each morning and at the end of the month the pencils are replaced with new ones. Here is a pack of travel toothbrush cases that would work perfect for this!

14 | Pencil Patrol

pencil patrol classroom management idea
IMAGE SOURCE | ROOM10SHENANIGANS

Ms. Wenger, a second-grade teacher from Illinois, has a pretty good pencil routine that you may want to follow. She has one class job, a pencil patroller, and they make sure everyone has a new pencil in the morning.

If a kiddo’s pencil breaks or becomes dull during class, they can just exchange it for a sharp one. At the end of the day the Pencil patrol will gather the pencils again and sharpen them and return to the sharp bucket.

Flexible Seating Options

When you're thinking about classroom management ideas don't forget to consider seating options. You may want to offer various flexible seating options, such as standing desks, bean bags, or exercise balls.

Flexible seating can help students feel more comfortable, engaged, and focused on learning.  Check out some flexible seating ideas below to get you inspired.

15 | Chair Cushions and Floor Desks

flexible seating options for the classroom
Image Source | firstwithflair

A great flexible seating option is cute chair cushions with floor desks.  These can easily be moved around for group work or used for independent work as well.

For tons more flexible seating inspiration check out my post…Flexible Classroom Seating (29 Creative Ideas)

Group Work Management Ideas

Next, let's talk about classroom management ideas for group work. Establishing clear guidelines and roles for group work will help students be more successful and productive. Set up systems in advance to help collaboration work run smoothly.

Check out some creative ideas that other teachers have come up with to maximize the effectiveness of small group work.

16 | Flex Space for Group Work

flex space for group work
Image Source | sylestines_cubs

This teacher set up a flex space station for students to work on group work.  The teacher set up clear expectations for how the space is to be used including staying on task, keeping voices low and holding each other accountable.

17 | Visual Aid for Groups

group work class management idea
Image Source | gradesandgrace

This first-grade teacher, Mckay uses the hush puppy as a visual aid for her students.  He sits on the small group table and when the hush puppy is lit up students can not interrupt the teacher led small group.

Cultivating Positive Relationships

Build trust and rapport with students by engaging in one-on-one conversations and learning about their interests. This connection is so important for their learning and their sense of belonging.

You can also use techniques to help build positive relationships among students and a sense of community.  Check out some great positive classroom management ideas that other teachers are using to build community that you may want to steal for your class.

18 | Positive Sticky Note Messages

positive sticky note messages in the classroom
Image Source | sweetnsauerfirsties

Provide a stack of sticky notes and encourage students to write a positive note to a classmate on a bulletin board, especially someone that they don’t always talk to.

19 | Student Shout-Out Wall

student shout out wall in classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | THEHOMESTYLETEACHER

This fourth-grade teacher created a student shout out wall for students to cheer and encourage each other. I love this idea of positive reinforcement among peers.

Effective Communication in the Classroom

Open lines of communication are key to creating strong relationships in your classroom.  Encouraging students to ask questions and voice concerns to you directly.  Find ways to deliver positive feedback in addition to addressing negative behaviors.

It’s also important to have effective and positive communication with parents.  When families are involved and in the loop they feel more engaged in their child’s education.  You can set up systems to make this communication easy and consistent.  Check out some classroom management ideas for parent communication below.

20 | Classroom Newsletter

Classroom newsletter
Image Source | atouchofclassteaching

Creating a classroom newsletter is a great way to keep parents informed about what's happening in the classroom.  This can help parents feel more engaged in their student’s education.

21 | Happy Mail

positive reinforcement mail classroom management idea
Image Source | missmcraesteachingtales

Happy mail is an easy way to focus on positive reinforcement for students and communicating with families.

22 | Parent Communication Calendar

parent communication idea for teachers
IMAGE SOURCE | FULLERLITTLEMINDS

This teacher from South Carolina uses these calendars instead of emails to quickly communicate with the parents. She gives each student one in their take home folder, and she'll quickly fill in a face and sometimes jot a note down before dismissal every day.

Then she asks the parents to check them every night and initial them. She's teaching her students to reflect on their day and set goals on how to improve. Love this idea!

23 | Resources at Your Fingertips

Classroom management idea for teacher resources cheat sheet
IMAGE SOURCE | PRIMARYGRAFFITI

This first-grade teacher from Florida made these resources so that she could have all the essentials, like schedules, student numbers and parent contacts with her at all times. She even made an extra for the sub.

24 | Morning Routine

classroom management idea for morning routine
IMAGE SOURCE | TEACHCREATEMOTIVATE

Ashley created these slide templates to put on the board each day. So, that when the students come in every morning they know where to find their morning expectations.

Motivations and Rewards

When putting together your plan you'll want to consider classroom management ideas for motivation and rewards. We all know that students love to be rewarded for good behavior and it works. Half of the fun of the reward for the students is the anticipation.

Check out below some brilliant ideas that teachers have come up with to get their students super excited to receive an award and motivated to be on their best behavior.  I'll show you ideas for rewards for the whole class and individual student rewards as well.

Whole Class Rewards

These next few ideas are creative ways to reward your entire class for good behavior.

25 | Pom-Pom Reward System

pom pom rewards classroom management ideas
IMAGE SOURCE | MADEFORFIRSTGRADE

Here's a great way to keep the entire class motivated to be on task. You let the kids earn a scoop of pom-poms when you observe the class working hard, listening to directions and showing respect.

You can have kids with excellent behavior scoop the pom-poms into the jar. They'll love this! When the jar is filled up, they earn a whole class reward like extra recess, popcorn, or whatever you choose.

26 | Kerplunk Reward System

fun classroom reward system
IMAGE SOURCE | DIARYOFAPRIMARYTEACHER

Ms. Clarke a third-grade teacher from Australia pulls out a stick every time she catches a student following the class rules. If all the marbles fall by lunch time, then the class will get a special reward.

Students love to anticipate the falling marbles.  If you love this idea too, you can find the Kerplunk game here!

27 | Positive Sticky Notes

sticky note classroom idea
IMAGE SOURCE | FLOURISHINGWITHMSFLORI

This 5th, 6th and special education teacher puts a special reward on a piece of paper and then covers it with sticky notes. On the notes she writes positive behaviors that she wants to see in her class.

Then when she sees a student displaying one of the positive behaviors she removes the sticky. When the reward is revealed the whole class has earned it.

Individual Student Rewards

Many teachers like to reward individual students for behavior that they want to see in their class as well.  Check out some creative ideas for student rewards below.

28 | VIP Desk

vip desk for the classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | THEHOMESTYLETEACHER

This teacher created a VIP desk with all the best stuff! Students can earn a spot at this desk for a full day based on good behavior. Would your students love this?

29 | Quiet Critters

reward idea for students
IMAGE SOURCE | HEYY_MRSCARTER

Sarah, a kindergarten teacher from Sydney, Australia, uses these little quiet critters when the class is a little noisy.  Quiet critters like quiet learning.  Each student gets a quiet critter that sits on their desk and likes to watch them learn.

These critters don’t like to be touched and they hate noise!  If the student is too loud, they'll lose their critter.  This tool promotes quiet classrooms and respect towards others.

30 | Earning a Ticket for Good Behavior

classroom ticket reward system
IMAGE SOURCE | CREATIVELYTEACHINGFIRST

This first-grade teacher lets her students earn a ticket and place it in the pocket that relates to their behavior. Then at the end of the week she picks a ticket from each pocket for a small reward.

Then she counts all the tickets for each student that can go toward their totals which can also earn prizes. I love how visual this reward system is!

31 | Reward Coupons

classroom reward coupons
IMAGE SOURCE | STORIESBYSTORIE

This teacher from Ontario decided that the cheap dollar store items were not working for her class so she created these reward coupons that kids can earn for good behavior. These are things that the students actually want and bonus they're free!

32 | Secret Student

secret student classroom management idea
IMAGE SOURCE | FULLERLITTLEMINDS

This first-grade teacher from Washington breaks out her secret student trick when she sees that the class expectations are starting to slip.  Her tip is to not use it all the time or it'll lose its magic.

What she does is randomly chooses a student and then writes their name in a hidden spot and doesn't show the kids. Then when the class is not quite meeting expectations, she'll say, "I hope my secret student is lining up quickly and quietly" etc.

At the end of the day she decides if that secret student did a good job meeting the class expectations and if they did, she reveals the name and they get a fun prize.

If they didn't, then she doesn't reveal the name and says something like, "oh that’s too bad the secret student was not on task today hopefully tomorrow’s secret student can follow the class rules."

33 | Classroom Store Cart

classroom store teacher cart
IMAGE SOURCE | TEACHINGWITHMS.HATCH

Brook, a fourth-grade teacher from Texas created this classroom store cart to help with classroom behavior management.  Students can earn class money for good behavior, participating in class discussions, and completing assignments to spend in this fun class store.

She also picks a secret student everyday and if they are on task all day they earn $100.  She said her classroom behavior is very pleasant since she started this new system!

34 | Bubble Gum Machine Rewards

bubble gum machine rewards
IMAGE SOURCE | ROOM10SHENANIGANS

Mrs. Wenger, a second-grade teacher from Illinois, uses a bubble gum machine filled with pencil top erasers as a reward for student good behavior.

The kids love to get a reward out of a gumball machine! You could mix it up and try other small rewards too.

If you love this idea, you can find the bubble gum machine here.  It comes in a few different fun colors!

If you're looking for some more ideas for classroom rewards, check out this post...

41 Clever Rewards for the Classroom

Classroom Management Ideas for Behavior Expectations

These next few classroom management ideas will help to teach your students what their behavior expectations are.  These are great to start at the beginning of the year or when disruptive behavior is starting to be a problem in class.

Classroom Rules and Classroom Expectations

Setting classroom rules and class expectations is important because it helps students understand the behavior that is expected of them while they’re at school. Setting clear rules and student behavior expectations will also help them learn how they can be a successful, productive and responsible classmate. It also helps to provide a safe learning environment for the class.

35 | Classroom Rules

If you would like to see some examples of classroom rules and expectations that you can copy for your class, then check out this post...Classroom Rules & Class Expectations Examples

36 | First of the Year Expectations

First of the Year Classroom Expectations
IMAGE SOURCE | THRILLSANDRILLSINTHIRD

Here's a great way to set expectations for your class at the beginning of the year.

Managing Disruptions

Having a plan for managing class disruptions is an important part of your classroom management strategy. You’ll want to address disruptions promptly and fairly, enforcing predetermined consequences and avoiding any favoritism. Try to understand the root of the issue and help the student find a solution, rather than simply punishing the behavior.

Check out some ideas below to help you to minizine disruptions in your class.

 

37 | When to Interrupt Board

when not to interrupt board for classroom management
IMAGE SOURCE | CHALKBOARDCHATTERBOX

Katie, a kindergarten teacher from Texas, uses this, when to interrupt board, as visual reminders for the kids to understand her classroom expectations. You could also read them The Interrupting Chicken to help bring the lesson to life.

38 | Using a Counter

classroom managment ideas with counter
IMAGE SOURCE | THEUNIQUECLASSROOM

This teacher uses this simple counter to count blurting. Think of all of the uses, even counting positive behavior that you see in your students.

You can find a counter that would work for this idea here.

39 | Blurt Beans

blurt beans for classroom management
IMAGE SOURCE | MRSSANDERSSMARTIES

Here's a fun idea from Mrs. Sanders, a second-grade teacher from Texas. She's trying to cut down on the blurting out during class. So, she gives each student three beans at the beginning of class.

Then she'll remove one if they interrupt her or another student. Then at the end of the day they get to add their leftover beans to the reward jar.

If you want to try this idea in your class you can use a couple of clear food storage containers like these.

40 | Bouncy Balls

bouncy balls for managing classroom noise
Image Source | sweetnsauerfirsties

Have you heard of bouncy balls?  It’s a site that helps students see how loud they are.  The balls bounce as it picks up noise from the room and if they get too loud it will say too noisy for all the students to see.

41 | Using Music to Keep Volume Down

Another idea to keep the volume in your class down is to let the students pick out music.  Then tell them that they cannot have a higher volume then the music or it will get turned off.

42 | The Waiting Room

waiting room idea for classroom management
Image Source |  jessicas.jeans

This idea will help you manage class time and also avoid disruptions.  You can create a waiting room and have students take a number when they need your help and then return to their seat and continue to work until their number is called.

43 | Phone Management Idea

phone management idea for classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | ADDIEWILLIAMS_TPT

Addie, an ELA teacher, came up with a great idea for classroom management for older students, she'll take a student’s phone if she sees it during class.

Then she'll put it in a brown paper bag, staple it shut and then return it to the student. They can’t open the bag until class is through. That way she doesn't have to be responsible for the student’s phones and she can make sure that she has all the students' attention on the lesson.

44 | Fix-It Ticket

Classroom expectations idea
IMAGE SOURCE | LIFEBETWEENSUMMERS

Shannon, a second-grade teacher, uses these "fix it tickets" as the next step after a warning has been given and behavior hasn't improved. She has them evaluate their own behavior so that they can do a little self-reflection.

This is used as a starting point for a conversation with the student on how then can improve. You could either send these home with the students or you could show the parents during conferences.

45 | While You Were Out

classroom management idea for students that are out
IMAGE SOURCE | THETEACHERBOWTIQUE

Robyn, a fourth great teacher, may have found the best way to organize and help kids out that had to miss school. She creates a while you were out folder and fills it with the work that they can do at home when they miss school and then lets them know when to return it.

Managing Emotions

These next classroom management techniques will help your students to self-manage their feelings and emotions and let them know that it's ok to struggle sometimes.

46 | The Struggle is Real

managing emotions for students sheet
IMAGE SOURCE | ROCKYMOUNTAINCLASSROOM

Here's another great classroom management idea created by a 5th grade teacher. It shows the students what it means to struggle. It also shows them what they can and can't do when they are struggling.

The personalized Bitmoji makes it fun. Plus, it's a great reminder for the students how they can work through their struggles and help them remember that the struggle is real, and we all have them.

47 | Calm Down Kit

classroom calm down kit
IMAGE SOURCE | THECHITOWNTEACHER

This first-grade teacher from Chicago has created a calm down kit as a tool to help kiddos self-manage their feelings. It's important to have tools for students to identify and self-manage their emotions and to teach them how to use these tools.

This kit is filled with a variety of little things that can give students that need it a brain break and help them focus on positive emotions.

48 | Coping Strategy Dice

coping dice classroom managment ideas
IMAGE SOURCE | LITTLE.BUDS.IN.BLOOM

These coping strategies dice would make the perfect addition to a calming corner in your classroom.  When your students are feeling overwhelmed, or upset they can retreat to a calm spot in the class and roll a die and follow the coping strategy.

These could also be used as a take home tool for struggling students that may need additional support. You could give them to individual students to take home and use when they need it.  Click the link under the picture to find out where to order them.

Clever Classroom Management Ideas

The next few ideas that I'll show you are clever ideas that teachers have found to overcome some of the new challenges faced in the classroom like online learning.

49 | Online Learning Engagement Strategy

classroom management ideas for online learning
IMAGE SOURCE | THELALALANDTEACHER

Do you have a hard time keeping the kids engaged during online learning?  Well then take a cue from Kim, a first-grade teacher from Los Angeles.

She told her students if they were able to explain to the class how they solved their math problem and become the “teacher” that she would put a sticker on her face.  Turns out it worked, the kids thought it was hilarious and were eager to become the teacher for class!

50 | Keeping it Clean Strategy

classroom management ideas for cleanliness
IMAGE SOURCE | TEACHINGWITHAPOINT

Lindsay, a fifth-grade teacher from New Jersey, created these cute smart sanitizer and anti-bacterial brain booster covers for her classroom cleaning and sanitizing products.  What a cute idea to encourage the kids to keep clean and stay healthy.

If you're looking for fun classroom management ideas, how about desk pets?  Have you tried them yet.  I wrote an entire post about it...You can check it out here- Desk Pets | Why to Add Them To Your Class This Year

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective strategies for new teachers?

As a new teacher create a classroom management plan with clear rules and consequences. Develop consistent routines and procedures to maintain order and keep your class running efficiency.  You'll also want to be flexible and change the plan when you discover what works best for you and your class.   Pick the brains of experienced teacher to find out what works for them. Remember to take care of yourself first so you can better support your students.

Which tools can help with classroom management?

You can use various tools to help manage your classroom effectively. Some popular choices include timers, visual aids, online platforms for communication and organization, and attention-getting techniques such as clapping or call and response chants.

What techniques work well in a preschool setting?

In a preschool setting, it's important to establish clear expectations, create visual schedules, and engage students through hands-on activities. Be consistent with routines and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Develop routines for transitions between activities and provide clear directions to help students understand what's expected of them.

How can I develop my classroom management skills?

To develop your classroom management skills, start by reflecting on your current practices and identifying areas for improvement. Learn from experienced teachers by finding online resources, attending workshops, or joining a professional teaching network. Observe other teachers, seek feedback from colleagues, and continually adapt your strategies based on what works best for your students.

What's the significance of the 5 P's in managing a class?

The 5 P's for managing a class are Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This principle emphasizes the importance of being well-prepared and proactive in your approach to classroom management. By establishing clear routines and expectations, setting up a supportive learning environment, and anticipating potential challenges, you'll be better equipped to handle any situation that arises in your classroom.

Now you've seen the 50 best classroom management ideas and strategies to try in your class this year. A big shout out to all the inspirational teachers that provided ideas for this post. Give them a little love by clicking on the link below the picture and giving them a follow on Instagram.  If you liked this post, click the buttons below to share it and you can click on the picture to save to one of your Pinterest boards.

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