Classroom management strategies for middle school are not the same as elementary classroom management strategies. Middle school students are a unique mix of child and teen. Classroom management is a hugely important skill that teachers need to master in order to have successful classroom spaces. Check out this list of classroom management strategies for middle school. These are ideas shared by other teachers.
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Middle School Classroom Management Strategies
- Take time to introduce yourself on the first day of school. Students want to know a few things about their teachers. I share about my pets and my love of Little Free Libraries. If you have a cool hobby, share that as well.
- Structure your classes to a certain routine, i.e. warm-up, lesson, practice. If you will change the routine, let students know ahead of time.
- Co-create the expectations (rules) as a class during the first week. Give students a voice in the expectations and consequences.
- Use attendance questions to keep students engaged during roll calls. Check out this Instagram account for amazing attendance questions in her “Link in Profile.”
- Create a charging station area. Have students place their phones here at the beginning of class and write their names next to their phones.
- Use raffle tickets to reward students for good work and behaviour. Pull a few tickets for weekly prizes.
- Create a Group Points system – allow students to earn points for their team from games, stations, and good work. Reward the winning team with a pizza and ice cream party at the end of the semester/term or grading period.
- Create a behaviour incentive calendar. Write down several desired behaviours/expectations on sticky notes and place them on a grid with different rewards/special privileges. Secretly choose a sticky note category to look for every day, and if the class accomplished it, then reveal the prize.
- Sometimes ignoring a behaviour will make the person stop; if they don’t, go over to them and whisper for them to stop, it’s more effective than yelling.
- Let the students teach. Check out these student-directed learning ideas that can be useful when it comes to classroom management strategies.
- Use a sound system with a microphone so students can hear instructions clearly. It also helps save your voice.
- Teach students to read the front whiteboard for instructions at the beginning of every class.
- Do independent reading or a purposeful bell ringer for the first ten minutes of every class. Choice reading is key to developing lifelong readers.
- Project an online stopwatch timer to assist students with time management.
- Ensure your sub plans are easy to follow and engaging. You can find Middle School Sub Plans on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Ensure your students have a seating plan. Try these Flexible Seating Choice Cards to keep the seating plan changing.
Classroom Discussion Suggestions
I also tried something new to help my students engage more in classroom discussions. When we switched from learning Canadian History to Geography, and my lessons involving student discussions did not go well.
Here is what I did to get more active participation from my students:
- I had them discuss with their seat partners and let them know one of them would be responsible for sharing their thoughts with the class using the Think-Pair-Share teaching strategy.
- I bought a class set of whiteboards to allow students to brainstorm ideas before sharing their ideas in a discussion format.
- I added “stand up” stations work. I just took my regular lesson article and cut it up into 3 sections. Students then moved around the room, taking notes while standing up.
- I gave each pair of students a whiteboard marker at the end of the lesson. I asked them to discuss with each other what they should write on the front whiteboard, where I left a discussion prompt for students to answer.
I think there is something about changing up the learning space and adding non-permanent writing surfaces that are helping my students engage with the lessons. If you are looking for more innovative ways to get students engaged in their learning, check out 18 Effective Teaching Strategies.
Looking for more classroom management strategies for middle school?
- Check out this blog post for more classroom management strategies and ideas.