Seven Steps To Good Classroom Management - Creating a Serene Learning Environment
A serene classroom setting makes teaching so much more enjoyable - and a rowdy classroom tends to bring on that migrain that we all try to avoid.
So what causes a class to get noisey? Generally, the issue is an overabundance of energy. You have two basic choices, and you may have to try both to see which works better for your situation. One is to bring the energy level down and teach through tranquility. The other is to harness the energy through lots more tactile and kinesthetic activities.
With increased class sizes and sugar loaded children, bringing tranquility to the classroom can most certainly help, so here are a few ideas.
Step 1 - Create An Atmosphere of Serenity
Seek to make your classroom as tranquil as possible. Let your students know that this is what you expect in your learining environment and strive to maintain this throughout the year. Invest in soft music, lamps instead of overhead lighting, light lavender scents, muted colors. Tell the students that your goal is to provide a place where they can be more relaxed for a while in the midst of the hectic day. Be careful though, not to make them fall asleep - especially after lunch!
Step 2 - Set the Stage
Don't leave your students to their own devices, begin to manage your class before they walk through the door. Stand at the doot to greet them as they come in. Exchange pleasantries quietly and remind them to take their seats quietly. Consider having an interesting, short assignment on the board, and emphasize that they should start working on it immediately. The assignment doesn’t even have to relate to your subject. The important thing is that it is truly interesting to your students.
Experiment with puzzles, “what would you do if…” scenarios, beautiful photos or art they could write descriptions of, activities that would involve drawing instead of writing, and so on. Occupy them from the moment they wanlk through the door and strive to maintain that level of captivation throughout their time with you.
Step 3 - Think Outside Of The Box.
Consider a making use of breathing techniques, yoga poses, games, activities, relaxation, and visualization. This may only be for three minutes at the beginning of your class, but I have seen how countless number of times an angry child becomes a prepared child after a few quieting moments.
Step 4 - Quiet But Engaging
Preparation is always required for success! Prepare ahead of time to engage your students throughout your class.
Focus on activities that will be extremely engaging but will keep the energy level low. Raucous games are out of the question, however you don’t want them to get bored though, so balance this carefully with your specific setting.
Step 5 - Keep The Energy Levels Moderate
Don't allow the energy levels of your students to get out of control. Create an energy level barometer in your mind. As soon as you see someone’s energy level escalating, remind them that, “our goal is a serene work environment”. Have conversations as often as possible outside of class with those who tend to be the ringleaders or the most overly talkative. Ask them to help you keep the class as relaxed as possible. Ask them what helps them to relax. Ask them for ideas about what they’d like to do in class. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Step 6 - Speaking of Communication
Nobody knows your student like they know themselves and their friends (for that matter). Take a few moments of your day to find out what they think about their work environment. Do they think it's working? Don't be afraid to brainstorm ideas for what they can do when they sense the energy is rising too much in the room.
Step 7 - Persistence
It may take a couple of weeks, but a doing this (emphasising serenity) consistently will help them learn to be more focused while also enjoying a point in the day that is more relaxing. In addition, the students will come to expect this and eventually begin to enjoy the relaxtion that they experience in your classroom. And of course, you will be in a better position to manage your students.
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