5-6, Uncategorized

Managing the Middle School Chaos

I was very nerous about teaching fifth grade when I started. I had spent most of my teacher so far with high school students, and I’d long been in awe of lower grade teacher’s amazing classroom management. I’ve learned a lot, and my classroom is one of happily, controlled chaos. Turns out a few good strategies is all you need:

  • Timers work wonders for keeping you and your students on task. I like to set timers to remind us to stop partially through an independent activity for general reminders or sharing out.
  • Build in time for the tasks that always get you off schedule. My students love to show each other what they discovered in class. I dedicate a minute or two (using a timer) at different points of the lesson for them to share with the people at their table. I can remind them of this as a way to re-direct them to their own work.
  • Designate check-in points with the teacher. When students work through a set of activities at their own pace, I leave small stop signs that ask the student to raise their hand for a signature. This helps students stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Have students set goals for a class period during multi-period projects. I usually embed this in the hand-outs for the project by listing one day’s activities per page and chart to set goals, rate their progress, and leave notes for me to follow-up.
Daily goals and self-evaluation

What strategies are working well in your classroom?