Classroom Management Tips

Teachers are always looking for classroom management tips. Whether it is the start of the school year, coming back from a long break, or just needing to change things up. This article shares strategies for Classroom Management in Elementary Classroom.

Have you been scrolling through Pinterest in search of new and creative ways to boost your classroom management skills and enhance your classroom culture? We’d like to share some of our favorite tips and ideas with you.

12 Classroom Management Tips

1. Get students’ attention quickly

Attention signals are a necessary management tool to regain and redirect your students’ attention. Many attention signals follow a call and response pattern where the teacher initiates the sequence and students react with a predetermined response. One of our class favorites is, teacher: “E.T.” … students: “Phone Home!”

To avoid overusing one attention signal, pick a handful of structured routines that you love, teach them to students, and then be sure to mix it up throughout the day!

Click here to read our blog post on more of our favorite classroom ATTENTION GETTERS!

2.Transition smoothly from one activity to another

Transitions are routines that are used regularly as a way to smoothly shift students from one activity to another in an effort to save valuable instructional time. Learn how to use classroom transitions that go beyond “quick and quiet.” By using our efficient and effective transitions are THE most critical classroom procedures you can teach your students.

Consider planning structured transition procedures for these times of the day:

  • Entering the classroom
  • Starting an activity
  • Changing activities
  • Exiting the classroom

3. Group students in collaborative groups

Making collaborative groups can be a daunting task for a teacher, but when students are constantly working in the same groups with the same students they become complacent and comfortable. It is a good idea for teachers to mix the groups up. Using grouping cards provide the teacher with a quick and easy procedure for grouping students. Learn how to quickly and easily change your collaborative groups with these fun with Grouping Cards.

4. Increase student engagement through acknowledgements

Help your students stay more motivated and engaged throughout the day by using positive reinforcements to acknowledge their positive behavior and academic achievements. Consider these times to acknowledge your students:

  • Say thank you
  • Celebrate positive behavior or cooperation
  • Recognize effort or perseverance
  • Reward academic performance
  • Praise individuals

Find out more about our classroom SHOUT-OUTS here.

5. Take mindful brain breaks

Focus on your students’ needs throughout the day by offering quick and simple brain breaks to help them focus on their own mindful practices in the classroom. The purpose of these mini-breaks is to establish focus, refocus, energize, or calm your students. Mindful breaks can take less than 5 minutes. Read More about Mindfulness in the Classroom , Mindfulness For Distance Learning, and Mindful Affirmations.

Practicing Mindfulness in the Classroom gives students permission to pause, breathe, and take a break during the busy school day.  By offering your students mindfulness practices, you can instill strategies to help them independently manage stress in a healthy way- which in turn helps them to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.

Mindful Brain Break Ideas we use:

  • Mindful Affirmations
  • Mindful Journaling
  • Mindful Calm Down Corner
  • Mindful Brain Breaks

Mindful Practices take a few short minutes and are meant to be used anytime during the school day or class period. The benefit of these practices is that they are adaptable to YOUR classroom! You may choose to implement Mindful Practices once a day or multiple times throughout the day. You may also establish a schedule, choose to have students suggest what they need through a choice board, or determine needs through your own intuition.  

You can get our thorough Mindful Kit here!

6. Greet students at the door

Take time to stand at the classroom door and greet students formally as they enter. This simple change will make a world of difference in immediately impacting your classroom culture!

You can even post morning greeting signs outside your classroom door and have students choose the way they’d like to be greeted. Get our colorful posters by clicking here.

7. Hold morning meetings regularly

  • Build a climate of trust
  • Help students feel significant
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Create empathy
  • Support social and emotional learning

Visit this blog post to learn more about components of morning meetings for primary grades.

8. Schedule opportunities for communication between classmates

Find natural places in your instruction to include daily opportunities for students to communicate authentically.  Set aside time throughout your lesson plans for students to share and reflect on their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Also consider creating regular moments when the class can work together to solve current classroom issues or discuss ways to improve their personal character development.

Tip: Carve out time to allow for student-led morning meetings. Find a great student led morning meeting

9. Take time to just have fun

Once in a while, focus on fun activities that encourage a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Provide activities that allow students to succeed and fail together in order to collaborate, solve problems, or practice sportsmanship. Teaching students lessons of trust and collaboration through fun and games will be sure to boost your classroom climate. We strongly recommend you join in the fun right along with your kids.

Visit here to get 36 of the team-building activities we use.

10. Let students track their own data

We strongly believe students learn best when they take ownership of their learning. Every teacher needs formative assessment tools that will deploy quick, effective strategies that keep kids engaged and accountable during lessons and inform instruction along the way.

Student friendly data folders, sometimes called trackers or portfolios, help students take ownership over their learning. When students to track their growth and set goals it makes their learning more meaningful. Using data folders makes students take pride and ownership of their learning. We promise you will notice a difference in your classroom when you start using this self-assessment strategy.

11. Use Exit Tickets to check for understanding

Exit tickets are a quick formative assessment strategy to informally check students’ understanding of lesson learning target(s) or objective(s). Exit tickets give students an opportunity to reflect on and demonstrate understanding of a concept or learning target. They are a great self assessment tool for any classroom.

To easily check students’ level of understanding using exit tickets click here.

12. Incorporate fun formative assessments into your daily lessons

Formative assessments give students the opportunity to identify when they are struggling to understand the learning target/objective. They also allow the teacher to address students’ needs by offering differentiation and specific feedback.

Formative Assessment strategies are informally used by teachers and students to track what students understand throughout a lesson in relation to the learning target/objective and can include:

  • Non-Verbal Check-Ins (self reflection)
  • Whole Class Status Checks
  • Written Response 
  • Verbal Response (accountable talk)

Formative assessment strategies guide teachers and students to make immediate adjustments throughout the lesson to better master the learning target/objective.  These strategies also guide teachers to make informed decisions about when the time is right to move on to the next learning task or objective. Read this article to learn more about how you can use fun and engaging formative assessment strategies in your classroom.

What have you tried that has helped improve your classroom management, classroom culture, or students led assessments? We’d love to know!


Thank you! We've sent you an email. To receive your 12 days of Christmas free holiday email series, please open and confirm your email address by clicking on the link in the email.