Best Ways to Overcome 6 Challenging Classroom Behaviors
The desks are ready, the classroom is decked out, and all of the craft supplies are just waiting. So why are your students still checking out at their desks by 10 a.m., and what can you do about it?
Sometimes, the only thing holding kids back from a great educational experience in the classroom is their own behavior. Unfortunately, with class sizes growing larger, it’s hard to tackle classroom behavior management on top of meeting learning requirements and goals. Have no fear—you can handle it!
Read on for the top 6 biggest issues in classroom behavior for 1st-3rd graders, and how to tackle them so that your kids can learn best. Can you think of more? Let us know on Facebook.
Classroom Challenge #1: “I can’t pay attention.”
This one extends up through high school—and in some cases, even into adulthood. (Hey, corporate meetings are in “bored” rooms for a reason). So how can you keep your students focused on the lesson?
One way is to make sure you’re creating the best environment for learning, including places to problem solve, investigate, and discover throughout the day. When these are set up in stations throughout the room, they’re particularly effective for younger children. The physical task of moving to a new location is a great way to get them engaged right off the bat!
Classroom Challenge #2: “I can’t sit still.”
Speaking of short attention spans, fidgeters—aka kids suffering from a case of the wiggles—have been proven to actually focus better when they’re allowed to move.
But how can you accomplish this without disrupting the entire classroom? By allowing the child to sit, stand, or wiggle while they learn! Try providing ball chairs or ECR4Kid’s Active Stools, which help improve posture and core strength while kids soak up knowledge.
Classroom Challenge #3: “I don’t know.”
If you’ve been teaching for a while, you know that sometimes you have an ultra talkative classroom, and sometimes your classroom is calmer and quieter. If your questions frequently go out to a silent classroom, it could be because your students don’t fully understand the question, or they already forgot what the question was!
Try using a dry-erase board to illustrate ideas and write out questions, and give kids time to think and react. Sometimes, all they need is time to formulate an opinion.
Classroom Challenge #4: “I can’t find anything.”
Sometimes, students will use this excuse to delay work they don’t enjoy. However, it could also be an actual classroom organization issue. In that case, bring in the carts, storage units, and personalized over-the-chair organizers.
You’ll have to do the initial setup for a smartly-organized classroom, but when you’re finished, you can recruit kids for special jobs like “putting the iPads away” or “collecting crayons.” When everything is organized, labeled, and tasks are in place, you’ll rarely hear this complaint.
Classroom Challenge #5: “I don’t like him/her.”
National-Board-Certified 1st Grade Teacher Alissa Kelly believes teamwork is the single most important part of a successful classroom environment. “The best learning takes place when students are encouraged to form relationships and assist others in learning.”
Kelly refers to her class as a “learning team,” and places kids in pairs or groups so children can discuss concepts and teach each other throughout the day.
When you set up your classroom, ensure that you have created a good mix of larger team-sized desks and smaller areas where your students can collaborate with others. A round table encourages communication, which is essential to forging healthy relationships.
Classroom Challenge #6: “I don’t want to read.”
How many times have you heard this? The complaints vary, but the intent is always the same: how can I get out of the boring practice of struggling to read?
Make reading more fun by partnering a more experienced reader with a struggling reader, and make sure books are attractively displayed and accessible. Just remember: no matter how tough it gets, they’ll thank you later.
Teachers have an important job, but not every day feels like it. If you’re a teacher, try using these tips to increase classroom productivity and engagement every day! And if you have other tried-and-true ideas for classroom behavior management, share them in the comments.
Looking for more tips and tricks for the classroom? Check out these posts:
- Teachers Get Ready For Back to School: Tips For Classroom Organization
- Building Optimal Environments for Learning and Development—at Home and School
- Create Spaces for Learning Success: Talk. Play. Move. Create. Learn.
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