By Teachers, For Teachers
There are always a few classroom management things that teachers would love to try out, but never seem to get around to doing. This year is the year to try out all of those new things. You never know when crossing a few new things off of your educational bucket list will change a student’s life or give you a little inspiration. Here are ten classroom management things that you should try this school year.
Vow to have your students use technology in the classroom every day for one month to learn math, reading, writing, science, social studies, or any other important concept or skill. Technology has become a crucial part of all classrooms. So this year, take the time to really use some form of technology in the classroom with your students every day for one whole month.
This challenge may seem near to impossible to carry out, but the point of the challenge is to force you to be creative and figure out ways to go more digital. The reason for this is because all classrooms will eventually become paperless in the near future, and you may find it interesting to see what it will ultimately be like. To get you started, here is an example. Let’s say that you normally send home a weekly newsletter keeping the parents informed of what their child has done all week. Instead of using all of that paper, you would get every parent’s e-mail address and send it electronically or post it to a class website.
While you may think of yoga as something that is trendy in American classrooms, you should know that while it is trendy, it also has a lot of benefits. It not only creates a calm classroom environment and improves your students’ listening skills, but it also is said to ease anxiety and stress, and enhance student focus, concentration and memory. Yoga is all about feeling good and having confidence to try new poses. Try to implement a few yoga poses into your daily routine and give your students the tool to have a healthy body and mind.
Video conferencing is an amazing new way to enhance learning in your classroom. This technological teaching method will not only wow your students, but it will enable them to communicate and learn from other children their age from across the globe. Connect to another classroom via Skype and watch as your students embark on a learning experience like no other.
It’s never too late to instill a little kindness into your students. This year get your students out into the community to learn some values that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Volunteer at the SPCA, spend some time at your local retirement home, or feed the homeless. The goal is for students to learn and connect with their community, and there is no better way than to have them volunteer for a good cause.
Part of being a 21st-century teacher is to try and integrate dynamic learning into our students lives. In this day and age that means utilizing the newest technological gadget of the week. For one week this school year, try and not use any technology at all. This means no computers to type up your reports, no iPads for reinforcing skills, and no Smartboards for teaching students. Show your students what it must have been like to learn back in the day when there was no technology in the classroom. After this experience, have students use technology to discuss what they thought of their “No tech week.”
If you’re looking for a way to keep your students engaged, then you must bring in a guest speaker. A guest speaker exposes students to real-world life experiences from the position of someone who has been there. Students get to see the insight and perspective of the speaker’s particular field. It’s a great way to enhance a students’ educational experience because they get a glimpse into the everyday life of the speaker, which they couldn’t get anywhere else. A professional, experienced guest speaker can really make an impact on your students. Get in contact with your local police station, author, or servicemen to see when they are available to come in.
Music is known for its powerful benefits in the classroom. This year, I challenge you to play music in your classroom. It can set a positive mood, raise energy levels, reduce stress levels, motivate and inspire your students, and even calm your students. Whether you need to calm your students down, or get them up and moving, music is just the thing to try out.
While daily procedures and routines are essential in most classrooms, they do tend to get repetitive and boring. This school year try to change things up by switching your morning meeting to the end of the day, or have students switch papers and peer-correct their work instead of you correcting their work. Think of creative ways change up your routine so that you can keep your students engaged and on their toes all year long.
One thing that children learn fairy quickly is song lyrics. This year have students put what they are learning in the classroom to the beat of their favorite tune. Elementary teachers have been using this method with their students for years and it works! Ask your older students to make up some lyrics to the beat of their favorite song using the information that you provide them. Students will love it!
What are you going to try new this school year? Please leave your ideas in the comment section below, we would to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.