- Classroom setting- I like to have at least one horseshoe table where I can do my whole group teaching, and generally fits most of my students. I also like to have individual desks and nooks where my students can do their work independently. I also have two computers which I have set up as centers.
- Develop routines with the students- Explain to them what they need to do when they come in the classroom. Also, what they're going to do when they leave the room. This is especially important when I have back to back groups and students are coming in and leaving right around the same time. I wish I had some pictures of the classroom to show you.
- Go over the rules and expectations with the students- I go over my expectations and guidelines in the classroom. I also go over my classroom management system. In the past I've always used sticker charts (fill up your chart and you can earn a prize from the treasure box) I discovered Class Dojo last year and plan to use that as my primary management system this year. If you haven't discovered it I highly recommend it!!
- Get to know the students your working with- It's really important to get to know your students, and develop a rapport with them. It will help a lot when teaching them and prevent a lot of behavior problems. Go through their ieps and find out their goals and the areas of need so that you know how to plan. The first few weeks of school I give a lot of assessments, and plan a lot of getting to know you activities so I can figure out strengths and weaknesses, as well as interests.
- Learn about classroom management- Two of the best books I've read about classroom management and discipline is the First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong and Fred Jones Positive Discipline. The First Days of School is a really good book to read for new teachers. There are a lot of good tips in there about setting up a classroom, creating and communicating expectations and routines and starting off your school year on a positive note. I'd recommend it any first year teacher.
The other book that I'd recommend is Fred Jones Positive Discipline. This book has a lot of good tips about working with students. He talks about the importance of body language and acting like you mean it, as well as proximity when dealing with students that are misbehaving and the importance of not engaging with a student who is talking back.
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