A Poster Idea for Managing Groups

By on October 20, 2014

In this post I’d like to talk a bit about classroom management. I am going into my 15th year of teaching and I have always been proud of my classroom management skills. I rarely send kids to the office and usually am able to develop a strong sense of community in my classes so major discipline issues have never been a real problem.

This year however, I have a class of freshmen who are feral. They are so squirrely, that I’ve told them I’m going to start charging them for my increasing hair dye expenses (I’m getting too many grey hairs).

But seriously, I realized I needed to take a step back and re-train them on some of my basic expectations. In my AVID class we move desks a lot. We are constantly moving in and out of tutorial groups, partner work, small group work, and back to individual work in rows. I really need my students to be able to move their desks in and out of these formations quickly and efficiently.

So I created a poster based on one I had seen in another teacher’s classroom. This poster clearly outlines to students how long it should take them to move their desks into the formation I want, how their desks should look, and explains how loud their voices should be when working in each setting. I am a complete stickler about the times and if they take too long to move the furniture I make them move it back and do it again. (They detest this, because ironically freshmen are squirrely, but also incredibly lazy.)

The poster and its clear expectations have worked wonders. My freshmen understand exactly what is expected of them and there is a clear visual reminder that I can refer to if they start to slip back in their old ways. I’m sure there’ll be more posts to come on this year’s adventures in classroom management, so stay tuned.

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Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
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