For many students, sixth grade marks the beginning of middle school. Middle school students thrive on independence and responsibility. Effective teachers recognize this and create classrooms to accommodate these student needs. Therefore, we have developed an awesome list of 15 favorite classroom management strategies for you to implement in your classrooms.
1. Jolly Rancher Wars
Promote positive behavior with Jolly Rancher Wars! Use this as a weekly challenge for classes to compete against one another. Students earn points during class for meeting classroom expectations. They also lose points for not meeting them. Whichever class has the most points at the end of the week is classified as the winner, and each student receives a Jolly Rancher on Monday.
Learn more: Maniacs in the Middle
2. Make-Up Work
Providing an area for an absent student to locate missed work upon returning to school alleviates taking instruction time away from others to catch the previously absent student up on missed assignments. Students know they must check this area immediately upon their return to school.
Learn more: Mowder’s Middle School Muddlings
3. Hand Signals
Hand signals work great with sixth graders! This successful classroom management tool saves lots of time and keeps distractions at a minimum because students will no longer have to use their voices to ask common classroom questions. The teachers can even approve or decline a request with a simple thumb gesture.
Learn more: North Dakota Teaching
4. Classroom Jobs
Sixth graders can benefit from jobs in the classroom. They will develop a sense of ownership, take responsibility for the classroom, and have a sense of belongingness. Students begin the process with a job application. The jobs are filled by the teacher on a monthly basis. Accountability sheets and other documents may be used for this classroom procedure.
Learn more: Math with Meaning
5. Extra Student Supplies
One of the most brilliant ideas for classroom management is making sure all of your students have access to the materials and supplies they need for the learning process. You should create an easily accessible space in your classroom for students to get the supplies they need to complete their classroom assignments. Replenish the materials as needed.
Learn more: The Hungry Teacher Blog
6. Library Check-Out System
Managing the classroom library can be a difficult task, but this awesome classroom management strategy makes it much easier. All you have to do is complete a Google Form and share it with all of your students. Each time they check out a book from the classroom library, all they have to do is record it on the Google Form.
Learn more: Soaring Sandy
7. Daily Agenda Slide
Learning will not take place in a chaotic classroom. 6th grade students thrive on routine. Therefore, this terrific idea for classroom management will deter much of the disruptive behavior that middle school teachers may face in the mornings. Simply, create a slide and project it where the entire class can see it once they enter the classroom.
Learn more: Dr. Loftin’s Learning Emporium
8. Trash Your Troubles
Foster communication and support with this awesome classroom management tool. The trashcan creates a safe environment for individual students that may be struggling with something. They can write it down, crumple it up, and toss it in the trashcan. The students can write their names on the papers if they need to talk to the teacher or the school counselor.
Learn more: The Blessed Doc Diva
9. Voice Levels
6th graders love to talk, and talking disrupts the learning environment. One essential key to classroom management is controlling talkative students. This idea leads to a better-managed classroom and helps you teach your students when it is appropriate to talk and when it is not appropriate. As the teacher, you must model your expectations about each of the voice levels.
Learn more: Pinterest
10. Blurt Beans
Another way to stop unnecessary talking in the 6th grade classroom is to implement the Blurt Beans activity. Create a bean jar and give each student 3-5 beans per day or one bean per lesson. If they do not disrupt class by talking unnecessarily, they may put their beans in the jar to win a class reward.
Learn more: Create Abilities
11. Students Vs. Teacher
This game is a fun classroom management tool that can be used with all grade levels. It helps the teacher monitor behaviors in class. The students will be awarded a point when they are meeting the behavior expectations, and when they are not doing so, the teacher receives a point. Make sure you keep the points close and competitive, so the students stay motivated.
Learn more: Miss Giraffe’s Class
12. Brain Breaks
Brain breaks are important for all age levels, but especially for sixth graders. They provide a quick break during long periods of instructional time to decrease frustration and improve attention and focus. Brain breaks usually consist of fun activities that can last 1-3 minutes. You will find 9 fun ideas for brain breaks through the provided link.
13. Cell Phones
Cell phones can be a terrific technology tool that can lead to engaging lessons; however, many times they are a huge distraction to instruction time. One terrific idea for effective classroom management of cell phones is to provide students with pencil pouches that are attached to their desks. They can safely store their phone here and be responsible for their own.
Learn more: Pinterest
14. Hall Passes
School and classroom rules usually entail students taking hall passes with them when they leave the classroom. This is a wonderful classroom management idea that can be used with all age levels. When students are in need of a hall pass, they can take one of the lanyards that represent their destination and simply place it around their neck.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
15. Substitute Binder
There will be days when the teacher will not be in attendance at school; however, the learning must take place. The Substitute Binder is an amazing classroom management tool that will allow that to happen. All you need is a binder, creativity, and organizational skills. The teacher should fill the binder with a variety of information and lessons that can easily be completed by the students.
Learn more: Wife Teacher Mommy