What classroom strategies really work?

It doesn’t matter how long you have been a teacher in a classroom; Your management style will constantly evolve. I have been teaching for twenty-plus years, and I still try new strategies. Below, I will share the ones that work every year.


  1. Create student checklists and labels.
  2. Set up the flow of your classroom.
  3. Design a daily schedule.
  4. Set clear expectations/values.

Create student checklists and labels.

As soon as I know who is coming to me, I load those names into my assignment checklists. These checklists are how I organize classwork and papers that I need to collect. Recently, I made a digital version of this helpful product that you can download for free here. As students turn in materials, I check off their names. It is super easy!

I also create lots of labels for student folders and journals. Creating labels takes just minutes to type but will save you tons of time.

Set up a classroom flow.

Set up your classroom so you have lots of areas to move around. Setting up classroom furniture and positioning everything usually take me a few days. I group desks into tables and arrange everything with the goal of more open space. You don’t want everyone tripping over stuff. I look for the perfect place for students to turn in assignments, sign out for restroom breaks, and read independently. The more you sit back and study the flow of your room, the better!

Design your daily schedule.

I like to visualize when my students are physically in the classroom. I don’t know about you, but I have kids coming and going all day, and I need to create small group times when individual students are present. I take learning blocks and break down times for warm-ups, whole group lessons, and small group/center times. I factor in transition times and bathroom breaks. All of this preplanning will help you with classroom management throughout the school year.

Set up clear expectations/values.

I have used Whole Brain expectations for years. I love the simplicity in these rules and the hand gestures that go along with each. I practice them from day one. I also have my students repeat them using hand motions. After a few days, my students can repeat and explain these expectations to anyone that enters our classroom. Check out this link for a free copy of these rules.

Well, those are the four most effective classroom strategies I use every year. Would you please comment below on what works for you in your classroom? Also, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store for helpful classroom products!

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