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Classroom Management w/ Student Teaching


New Member
I have a month left of student teaching and I don't know how to get control of my class. My CT didn't have a classroom management system when I came and then I was put in charge. Her way of classroom management is yelling and it doesn't work for me or the students. I have tried little things here and there to try and gain control but then I find myself yelling at the students too just to make the behavior stop for a short time. I am so frustrated and don't know how to get control for this last stretch of student teaching. I feel you have to start classroom management on the first day of school.... not with 2 months of school left. I need something that will keep me sane during this last month and will work for the children. Any ideas are welcome!

PS: I am teaching pre-k


Full Member
class management

In the past I have used penny jars. Each child has one....I would use small plastic ones with pre-k. Are they out of the stage of putting stuff in their mouths? If not this won't work....I gave them pennies when they were following rules. Then I had a "store" where they could buy things.

Another idea is to use a Marble jar. Whenever the whole class is following the rules, listening quietly, etc. You put marbles into a jar. When the jar is full have a "party". I usually give the kids a cookie and let them watch an educational video. They think it is great and try to help each other remember the rules.

I teach first grade - so these may be too much for pre-k. I hope it helps you some! Good luck!

Sharon D. W.

Full Member
Talk to the K teacher...

Sounds stressfull. I feel for you. Should I assume that these kiddos are about 4 or 5 years old by now. Maybe you should talk to the K teacher if your school has one and "steal" an idea or 2 from this teacher espeically if they will be his/her students next year.

Although you don't have much time you might have to pick something and focus on it really hard for at least 3-5 days before you'll see the change you want/need. I teach 1st and we take a good 3-6 weeks to establish our basic routines and expectations - that is in September! Not sure if this would be good for your age group but here is what I use. My student-teacher who is taking over full-time in a week for 3 weeks also has been using this as well.

We have a section on the board where I print their name and if they need to be spoken to a second time they get an X and that equals a detention. You could try 3 chances or strikes which I have used in the past but by this time of the year 2 chances is all they get. NAME XX = detention... :) You could use it as a warning and if they refocus then you could erase ther name. Now I have pre-established consequences for detention times but if you can't take away recess or the like you could have them serve a few minutes of heads down if they use up their chances. This hopefully will give you a break and give them a chance to calm down. You could do this immeduately or at choice time/free play.

I have called entire class heads down when it is just too crazy. I have also taught them that when I call an emergency heads down it is a safety issue. I don't use if very often but review it 3-4 times a year just incase. I've used it twice since my student teacher has come in! Once was for a sick (vomiting) child and today we had nuts found in our classroom! We are a nut aware school. We were able to find out where they came from and remove them from the room immedately. Also we now had a teachable moment to review why we can't have nuts in the classroom. I have a new student who started yesterday so this was a good review for him.

I wish you well.



Senior Member
oh boy!

Similar to the pennies and marbles, you could try the old popcorn jar. Put a small scooper of unpopped popcorn in a jar when the class is listening and when it's full everyone gets a popcorn party.

I'm sure you've tried this, but could you up your use of finger plays, poems, and songs to get their attention? Maybe go online and get some new ones? (I use call and response from our favorite books, but I change them a lot so they don't get stale) One of our favorites is: I say, "Chicka Chicka" and they say "Boom boom."

Try beginning a follow the leader game. Begin tapping your head and shoulders rhythmically until everyone has joined in. As the days go on, your motions should become more difficult.

Use a puppet. It might feel cheesy to you at first, but the kids won't sense it because they will be absolutely enthralled. I teach first grade, and I used to think I would feel too embarrassed to use my puppets at that age, but they eat it up. Usually, if I can't get their attention, the puppet can. He talks to the kids, but also whispers things in my ear about kids who are doing a particularly good job. He leaves notes throughout the room with positive comments.


a special person

One idea that could work is the mystery or special person. Pick a student at the beginning of the day but don't tell the kids who it is. Throughout the day you say things like, "My mystery person is sitting quietly just like I asked or my mystery person is not doing what he/she is supposed to right now, etc..." The kids bounce right up as if they were the mystery person. It gets most kids to think about what they are doing even if they are only 4 or 5. At the end of the day you can say who the mystery person was and give the student a treat or you could really be mysterious and only tell the mystery person. You have to tell someone or they won't buy into it. I've found that it only works for about a month or two, so it could be an idea for you. Good luck!