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Classroom Management Strategies

Classroom Management Strategies

Underprepared Students

Students who are not clear on course expectations and/or are not motivated.

  • Make sure assigned reading, scheduled tests/exams and other course requirements are clearly detailed in the course syllabus and posted on Blackboard.
  • Remind all students by providing a spreadsheet with weekly activities (specific assignments, quizzes etc).
  • Start the beginning of each class with a quiz or question based on the reading (assign grade and only count top 5).
  • 'Stick in Box' activity which sends a clear message that preparation before class is necessary.

Inattentive Students

Students who find the material too complex or confusing often zone out.  Another potential factor could be that they are unaware of appropriate behaviours for your class.

  • First day of class establish group norms and post on Blackboard.  Remind students of the agreed upon classroom behaviours.
  • Always have a physical presence throughout the room.  Do not hang out behind your podium.
  • Re-visit your lesson plan.  Is the material too complex? Too much theory? 
  • Structure your lesson to be 1/3 theory or foundational knowledge – 2/3 application
  • Plan for lots of activities and group work.  Mix up the groups.
  • Quick and easy approaches to re-engage students: use their name in your lesson, walk around the room, randomly ask questions.

Aggressive Students

Some students will have some knowledge on the topic and feel it appropriate to challenge while others may simply be aggressive and want to influence some power and control by engaging in verbal battles. Either way, it is not recommended that you ignore the behaviour.

Try these strategies instead:

  • Never verbally attack a student. You will lose credibility and appear unsympathetic.
  • When appropriate, address concerns (challenges) in class. Have students debate the issue.
  • Walk to the front of the class which gives the student some space and time to reconsider their approach.
  • Become an “active listener”.
  • Remember that things are NOT always as they appear… what is the source of their aggression?