4 classroom management strategies

4 Simple and Effective Classroom Management Strategies

Classroom management is critical. Without it, time is wasted, teachers are frustrated, and learning is halted.

Visiting a variety of classrooms is a great way to pick up classroom management strategies. Over the past 14 years, I’ve had the good fortune of being able to visit over 60 different classrooms and learn a wide variety of classroom management techniques.

My experience in those classrooms was invaluable!

To help my readers get a glimpse into other classrooms, I’ve invited teachers, psychologists, and counselors to share their favorite classroom management strategies.

Please join me in welcoming Laurie Merrick from Discovering Hidden Potential as she shares 4 simple and effective classroom management strategies!


As teachers relax and rejuvenate over the summer, it is a great time to continue adding different strategies to one’s classroom management “toolbox”. Some behavior interventions can get complex in nature, but these four simple and effective management strategies have had proven success in the classroom.

1. Statement Cards

non-verbal behavior management redirection cue card free download

Inconspicuous corrections to student behavior are generally more effective than public displays for all students to see and hear. Public reprimands increase the chance of escalating the problem and can take away some of the student’s dignity.

Statement cards are a great alternative strategy to use. The purpose of statement cards is to allow the teacher to redirect the student without stopping instruction and possibly becoming entangled in a power struggle.

The teacher simply places the card on the student’s desk and continues with the lesson. It is just as important to reinforce positive behavior, especially in students who typically have behavioral issues.

Generally, in order to change negative behaviors, the positive behavior must be reinforced at a more frequent rate than correcting negative behaviors, so you should also have cards with positive statements.

These cards can also be used in conjunction with an individual behavior plan that incorporates a point system. Teachers can give students chances to earn more points if they receive a positive card or use the corrective cards as warnings before points are taken away.


2. Mystery Hero Student

This strategy is helpful when a couple of students are creating most of the behavior problems within the classroom. The teacher explains that there is a student’s name written down and kept in the mystery hero student envelope.

Throughout the day, the teacher will be watching this student to see if they are following classroom expectations or some other set criterion (ex: staying in seat, raising a hand, keeping hands to self).

If the mystery student meets the set criterion or expectations, then the whole class receives a reward and the name of the student will be revealed. If the criterion is not met then the name of the student is not revealed (you do not want to embarrass the student) and another chance is given the next day.

Another option could be putting all the student names on popsicle sticks and place them in a jar. At the end of the day, the teacher would pull out one stick.

If the student whose name was drawn has followed all the expectations throughout the day, then the student will get his/her name put on the “Mystery Hero” wall and be given a mystery hero certificate.


3. Appointment Cards

make an appointment free download

Many inappropriate behaviors occur because the student is trying to get attention or avoid a task. Appointment Cards gives students the attention they want but at a more appropriate time that is designated by you.

As the teacher, you need to give them the message that they are not in control of your classroom and that there is a more appropriate time to address the issue.

If you do not want to stop instruction, then you can use appointment cards to formalize the process. Let students know that you want to talk about the issue, but not at that moment and they can make an appointment to talk with you at a designated time.

You can also use the appointment cards when YOU want to make an appointment with a student to discuss their behavior.


4. Reward Menus

One of the most difficult parts of behavior plans is finding reinforcers that are effective and long-lasting.

Many times I hear in meetings that the behavior plan worked for a couple of weeks, but now the student is no longer interested or motivated by the rewards. Many students become tired of a reinforcer unless it is regularly changed.

Reward menus are a good strategy to use to prevent this problem.

Instead of designing a behavior plan around having only one reward for accomplishing the goal, try letting students select among several possibilities.

Depending on the needs of the students, the reward menu could be used at the end of a week, the end of a day, or for especially challenging students, it can be used several times throughout the day.

You can make a reward menu for students based on their individual interests and rotate the rewards every couple of weeks. Many schools have PBIS “dollars” or “bucks” which are a good option for one of the choices since typically the students are working towards a bigger “prize”.

Rewards choices do not need to be large or tangible…..just being the line leader is a choice that many children may want or make a positive phone call home to their parent.

Intervention Central has an awesome FREE rewards generator you can check out here or by clicking the image below!

Intervention Central Free Rewards Menu Generator

Do you have a favorite behavior management strategy? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!






4 responses to “4 Simple and Effective Classroom Management Strategies”

  1. Laura Avatar

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to share some tips on your website!! It is greatly appreciated! Hope you have a great school year!


    1. Heather Avatar

      Absolutely! Thank you for sharing your story with my readers. 🙂

  2. Suzanne Mann Avatar
    Suzanne Mann

    I am new to teaching first grade. I have been teaching for 17 years and have never had so many and extreme behaviors as I do this year. How to I get the appointment cards and statement cards? I clicked on them and it just allowed me to pin it to pinterest and then it just kept taking me back to this blog. Please help.

    Thank you,
    Suzanne Mann

    1. Heather Avatar

      Hello Suzanne,

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ve fixed the links at the bottom of the post and I’ve inserted links into the images as well for the appointment and statement cards.

      Best wishes,

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