Classroom Management



Lesson Plan Development



Burnout & 








Classroom Management: Six Activities

As a teacher you must not only know your content, you must also have the skills necessary to run a coordinated, well –managed classroom.  Classroom management means maintaining a learning environment where students work on meaningful lessons with a maximum of “on-task” time and a minimum of disruptions.  Below are some key components of a well-managed classroom:

Clear expectations and goals

Efficient use of time

Colorful and pleasant environments

Warm and inviting ambiance

Respectful and polite


Organized and sequential tasks

Achievement focused

Student participation and involvement

Success oriented

Predictable yet rewarding


  • To assess classroom management

  • To enhance classroom management

  • To understand the elements of a well-managed classroom

Activity One: Reflections   Write a short answer or response to the following questions and statements.  Your response will help you understand the nature of a well-managed classroom. Note: You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or a discussion group.

  1. Do you use class time effectively and efficiently?  What percentage of class time is “on- task”? Define “on-task.”

  2. Consider the responsibility of teacher preparation.  In short, what does it mean for a teacher to be prepared every day.

  3. Define a “prepared teacher” from a student’s point-of-view.

  4. In your classroom, what can your students routinely and predictably expect of you and your teaching?

  5. Discuss what it means to present clear and objective-based assignments.

Activity Two: Self-Assessment.  Classroom management is the manner in which a teacher organizes and controls materials, lessons, activities, space, students, time and content in order to maximize student learning.  Below is a check list featuring the major characteristics of the well-managed classroom.  Assess your own classroom management level by rating each characteristic with the following scale: Scale: 3=strength; 2=average; 1=weakness

 Identify one change you can make to improve those areas that received a “2” or “1.”

3   2   1

1  foster an “on-task” learning environment?

3   2   1

Students understand that when they enter my classroom they are going to work

3   2   1

Students believe that my assignments are directed, productive, and enjoyable

3   2   1

Students know that the tasks in my classroom are never presented as punishment

3   2   1

Students believe that work done in my class has a definite purpose and objective

3   2   1

6  My classroom is a celebratory environment?

3   2   1

Students understand that they will be rewarded and praised for their hard work.

3   2   1

Students believe that my approach to them and their learning is positive.

3   2   1

9  My classroom is an engaged environment?

3   2   1

Students engage quickly in my assignments

3   2   1

Students know exactly what they are to do.

3   2   1

1  Students are clear why they are doing each assignment.

3   2   1

My classroom ethos is one of mutual respect.

3   2   1

Students know that they must respect one another.

3   2   1

Students are willing to cooperate with me.

3   2   1

Students are willing to cooperate with their classmates.

3   2   1

Students listen carefully to me.

3   2   1

1  My classroom procedures are clear?

3   2   1

Students know what they must do to succeed.

3   2   1

Classroom rules are consistent and fairly enforced.

3   2   1

Students know how much time they have to do assignments and how they will be assessed.

3   2   1

My classroom rules do not appear arbitrary.

3   2   1

2  My classroom is focused?

3   2   1

Assignments don’t “float” or appear “out of left field.”

3   2   1

There is a consistent routine to handing in assignments.

3   2   1

Work time in class is uninterrupted.

3   2   1

Students are expected to settle down quickly and work in class.

3   2   1

2  My classroom is a place where assignments are meaningful.

3   2   1

2   “Throw away” or filler assignments are never given.

3   2   1

Classroom work is not overly repetitive or redundant.

3   2   1

Students are clear about the objectives for each assignment.

3   2   1

3  There is a sense of humanness in my classroom.

3   2   1

Students are treated as human beings who have good and bad days.

3   2   1

Rules rarely if ever override human concerns.

3   2   1

Students understand that my classroom operates from a set of values.

3   2   1

3  My classroom is a predictable place.

3   2   1

There are no negative or unexpected surprises.

3   2   1

What I say in the classroom actually happens.

3   2   1

3  Students stay on task in my classroom.

3   2   1

    When an assignment is given, students do it.

3   2   1

    I expect and require all students to stay on task.

3   2   1

I deal with disruptions in a timely manner.

3   2   1

Student who stay on task are rewarded.

Activity Three: Roundtable. It is exceedingly valuable to learn classroom management strategies from other teachers, both experienced and inexperienced.  One way to do this is to establish a classroom management roundtable.  Teachers who want to participate gather at regular intervals (perhaps every other week) to have an open discussion about classroom management: What works, what doesn’t, personal tricks, particular situations, fears, etc.  Have a volunteer take notes and distribute them after the meeting.  Don’t hesitate to invite educators from other schools.  Be certain to stress the fact that the discussions are not judgmental.  The professional exchange must remain open and honest so teachers can relate both their successes and failures.  Select a facilitator who will keep the discussion focused on classroom management.

Activity Four: Analyzing Environments.  Each classroom has a particular feel to it. Just the look of a classroom may give you some clues to a teacher’s management style.  Visit three different classrooms, preferably in your own discipline or grade level and determine what the environment “says.”  How do these classroom settings compare to your own?  Imagine that you are a student entering each classroom for the first time.  How does the setting make you “feel”? What does the classroom tell you about the teacher who created the environment?  Any telltale signs that this is an organized environment?  A warm environment? A task-oriented environment?  A learning environment?  Etc.

  Activity Five: Management Style Interviews.  Each teacher has his or her style of classroom management; some styles will work for you while others won’t.  In order to find the management style that fits you best, it is helpful to analyze the management strategies of others.  To do this, use the interview questions below and survey three to five teachers who you believe to have different approaches to classroom management.  Once you have completed the interviews, list three to five best practices that you feel will work well for you.

  Interview Questions

  1. How do you prepare for each day?

  2. What management “tricks” do you use to keep students on task?

  3. How do you characterize your classroom management style?

  4. How do you get and keep students involved with the lesson?

  5. What methods do you use to bring a class to attention?

  6. What is your discipline strategy?

  7. What do you do to maintain a sense of classroom clarity and organization?

Activity Six: Management Goals.  As you assess your management style, make a list of goals.  These goals should pinpoint changes that you will make in order to improve your classroom operation. Write a goal for each of the areas listed below:

Management Area:

  • Efficient use of time

  • Clear expectations

  • Colorful and pleasant environment

  • Warm and inviting ambiance

  • Respective and polite behavior

  • Organized and sequential tasks

  • Achievement focused

  • Student involvement

  • Success oriented

  • Predictable teaching


Professional Development Activities (Select a category listed below)






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