Classroom Management

50 Classroom Management Ideas That Just Might Work!

After the first few weeks of school, you might notice students testing you more and more. The freshness of the year is over, and you may become a bit lax on your rules as you get busier.

It’s time to introduce some fresh tactics to manage the classroom. Remember, what works for one group may not work for another, so it’s good to have a long list of tricks in your bag. Have fun exploring the ideas below. Use what works, and leave what doesn’t!

Teacher Language, Actions, and Tools

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Student Activity and Movement

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Rewards and Incentives 

  • Enter students with positive behavior into a weekly drawing for prizes.
  • If your school uses a positive reward system, like Character Counts or PBIS, fully integrated into your art program.
  • Put positive behaviors into a jar when you see them and then read a few at the end of class.
  • Choose a mystery student to watch during clean up. If the chosen student is on task, they receive recognition and a sticker at the end of class.
  • Try novel incentives like, “take off your shoes while working at your seat” or “sit in the teacher’s chair for 10 minutes.”
  • Put three identical items, like plastic cups, on each table. If the table is noisy or not following directions, take one away. The goal is to keep the items on the table.
  • Keep a marble jar. Students earn marbles for good behavior and receive a reward when the goal is met.
  • Write the letters ART on the board. Loud classroom volume results in lost letters. When the letters are gone, students must work silently for the rest of class.
  • Use a stoplight image for class behavior. Move from green to yellow to red and implement consequences when necessary.
  • Apply the principle, “Three strikes and you’re out” to a variety of situations.
  • Develop a point system for table groups.

What classroom management tip is your favorite? 

What else would you add to this list? 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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