Classroom Management | Student Handouts
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Classroom Management
Create trust through honesty.
In order for kids to respect you and your rules, you must show them respect, and explain your rules–and the reasons behind them–in clear, easy language and terms that they will understand. Evaluate your rules to determine if they are too severe or lax. Kids respond best to fairness and honesty. "No talking in class unless you are given permission to do so" can be explained "...because (1) it is difficult for other people to hear over your voice, and (2) it is rude to me."
One teacher was able to nearly eradicate insults and rude comments in her classroom by using anecdotes and poking a bit of fun at herself: "I don't know about you, but when I come to school, I don't want to hear the other teachers telling me that I look like I gained ten pounds over the summer, or that my clothes are out of style, or that my last haircut was a really bad idea. I don't think that any of you roll out of bed with a huge smile, wondering what sorts of charming observations your classmates will make about your appearance. Nobody is perfect and nobody deserves to be treated like garbage." By making fun of herself and having the students recognize the absurdity of adults "slamming" or "dogging" one another, the students realized how silly such behavior is. Students started shutting the "doggers" out, and pretty soon the "doggers" stopped.
Creating Great Readers
WHY? This is because readers have worked their way through words, sentences, paragraphs, stories, articles, etc. Readers know how complete thoughts look on the printed page. Encourage your students to read, and better writing will inevitably follow.
WHAT? It does not much matter what kids read, so long as they are processing the (correctly) printed word.
HOW? The textbook is a great place to start, but it is certainly not the only source of reading material.  Bring your old magazines into class.  In addition to magazines, you can keep a bin of free used books for students to take. It does not matter what the books or articles are about (so long as they are appropriate)–it only matters that the kids are reading. The student reading People or Car and Driver will be a better reader and writer than the kid reading nothing at all. Encourage your students to always carry a bit of reading material with them at all times. Remind them of all the time you have spent sitting in your car for an hour during what is supposed to be a 20-minute oil change!
WHERE? Try keeping a "reading area" stocked with content-related books and magazines.  In a math class, try books of logic puzzles or math mysteries.  In a social studies class, try historical fiction.  Keep in mind that colorful pictures pique student interest.  Keep an interesting, eye-catching classroom library. It may seem silly, but junior and senior high school students love pop-up and picture-heavy books as much as elementary students. The Guinness Book of World Records is a perennial favorite. The "Eyewitness" series is also popular. Check out the nonfiction items in the children's section of your local bookstore.
WHEN? Many teachers and/or schools designate school-wide reading times (e.g., "Stop, Drop, and Read").  You may plan just such an activity.  You might also instruct students to read after the completion of assignments (such as following a test).
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