Why You Need to Spend 6 Weeks Teaching Classroom Routines

I remember the first time someone told me I needed to spend 4-6 weeks (4 to 6 WEEKS!) teaching my students how to do simple things like putting their names on their papers, bringing their notebooks to class, and closing the classroom door quietly. I felt overwhelmed and panicky, and my first thought was, “I … Continue reading Why You Need to Spend 6 Weeks Teaching Classroom Routines

Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading

When my class was out of control, I didn’t get much work out of my students. I was wasting so much time on power struggles, warnings, arguments, and waiting for the class to be quiet that there wasn’t much time left for class work. Once I got my class under control, I started to have … Continue reading Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading

Should Students Sit Where They Want?

No. End of story. Have a nice day. Haha! Just kidding. I can actually think of two good reasons for students to choose where they sit: As a reward or incentive. So the teacher can learn which students are dysfunctional when they sit together and separate them when making a seating chart. On the other … Continue reading Should Students Sit Where They Want?

Avoid Teacher Burnout

As any educator can tell you, the beginning of the year is the most time-consuming, crazy-busy time there is. It’s like moving in to a new house, starting a new job, finishing up your Master’s thesis, and hosting a big party all in the same week. I’m not sure there’s any way around it. Everyone … Continue reading Avoid Teacher Burnout

Reflect So You Can Relax

Before you lock your classroom door, turn in the keys, and turn off your teacher brain, I recommend you reflect on anything that didn’t go well this year. Whoohooo! It’s finally the end of the school year! Time for some R’s – Rest, Relaxation, and Rejuvenation! If you had a tough year this year (as … Continue reading Reflect So You Can Relax

Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It

The top definition of Spring Fever in Urban Dictionary is: wanting the present moment to become summer slacking off in school because the year is almost over wanting to be outside every day rather than inside Teachers encounter Spring Fever on two levels – we have it and our students have it. It seems everyone … Continue reading Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It

Cell Phones in Class – Yes or No?

There are lots of great uses for cell phones in school, if we can just get students to use them without distracting themselves. As part of the Classroom Management Strategies That Work seminar, I ask teachers to brainstorm a list of student behaviors that drive them crazy. Cell phones are always on the list. Always. … Continue reading Cell Phones in Class – Yes or No?

Should Teachers Take Away Fidgets and Toys?

Whirling, twirling gadgets with levers, switches, and knobs Troll-doll pencil toppers with fluffy pink hair-dos Modeling clay that snaps, pops, and bounces Spiky neon squeeze toys that light up and flash If you’ve been a teacher 2 minutes or so, you’ve certainly run across similar items in your classroom. Or if by some miracle you … Continue reading Should Teachers Take Away Fidgets and Toys?

Helping Students Manage the Social Cost of Doing the Right Thing

How many times have you heard thank you after you correct a student? Not many, I bet. Have you ever had to separate students because they were distracting each other? Me too. In fact, it’s a rare day I DON’T find myself saying something along the lines of “Do you think you two can stay … Continue reading Helping Students Manage the Social Cost of Doing the Right Thing