Education Technology

5 Teacher Tips for Classroom Management

Posted 02/24/2023 by Mark Watson

Every teacher knows that having a classroom management plan is essential to running an effective and efficient classroom. There are just so many different strategies teachers can do — where do you start? That’s why we asked our teacher community to share their tips for managing a classroom.

Here are the top five approaches, featuring a few unique styles and techniques, they shared for managing a math classroom.

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1. Relationship building and engagement

Hands down, the most popular approach our teacher community shared was relationship building.

A collection of social posts from various teachers on how building positive teacher-student relationships is a top classroom management tip.

As a fun way of building relationships with students, LeAnn Neel Romine suggested having them pick a word that matches the first letter of their name. Then using those nicknames all year. For example, “Annie Algebra.”

Teacher LeAnn Neel Romine recommends math wordplay to build teacher-student relationships as her classroom management style.

Another helpful teacher tip that can go a long way toward building positive student relationships is the idea of embracing mistakes, and using them as teaching moments. As Brandi Green cleverly pointed out, pencils have erasers the same way calculators have back, clear and delete buttons.

Teachers advocate embracing mistakes as an effective technique for better classroom management.

Many others in our teacher community offered suggestions that focused on building trust and respect with their students, and making the effort to give them a voice.

Responses from the TI teacher community on how building positive teacher-student relationships is key for a classroom management plan.

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2. Consistency, structure and practice

It might go without saying, but having daily routines does wonders for classroom management. It’s a tip many in our teacher community liked to support and promote.

Social posts from teachers recommend routines and consistency as a pillar of a classroom management plan.

Ludin Jimenez thinks structure is beneficial for students and suggested having a routine for everything, such as entering and exiting the classroom, turning in assignments, and setting up notebooks.

Twitter post by teacher Ludin Jimenez recommending routines as his best classroom management tip.

Doug Balmer also believes in keeping his math students focused by keeping them prepared. As part of his classroom management routine, he uses a TI-83 graphing calculator as a random number generator to call on his students. They can never be sure who will be called next!

Doug Balmer stated he uses a random number generator on the TI-83 graphing calculator to call on his students during class.

Of course, different teachers often think up different classroom management styles to figure out exactly what works for them and their own students. Karen Kline implemented a clever folder system in her classroom that students use to turn in completed work. No more stacks of graded papers, and she even saves valuable class time!

Social post by teacher Karen Kline states classroom management strategies should include having efficient systems for tasks like collecting and grading papers.

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3. Student leader roles

There are a number of ways to get students more engaged in learning, and some teachers recommend assigning them leadership-type roles during class. It’s a way to encourage them to take initiative and get more involved by fulfilling specific duties set out for them.

Social posts from teachers who assign students various tasks as a classroom management strategy to promote responsibility and engagement.

Georgina Rivera suggested various student leader roles that could work for a lot of classrooms, including technology specialists, good spirit chair, materials manager or calculator coach.

Twitter post by Georgina Rivera on giving students leadership roles as her classroom management style.

A calculator coach could be an especially important leader role that’s given to a different student each day. As the designated calculator coach for the day, a student can be given opportunities to show other students how to perform important calculator functions step by step. The calculator coach could even lead the entire class in solving a series of practice questions to reinforce what they’ve learned. Whatever duties are assigned, it’s a neat idea that helps empower students and motivates them to interact and be more engaged.

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4. Reward and incentivize

Teachers agree that some type of reward system goes a long way for classroom management, too. Things like baked treats, pencils and erasers, keychains, lanyards and stickers are all great ideas.

The rewards can be given out for countless different things. For example, a student actively raising their hand or participating in discussions, supporting their partners during group work, volunteering for classroom duties (like being the calculator coach for a day!), or even special occasions like birthdays.

For Loves to Teach Bil. M.Ed, rewards are given out for positive self-talk and random acts of kindness to show students that learning goes beyond textbooks.

Teacher Loves to Teach Bil. M.Ed rewards positive self-talk and random acts of kindness to help him manage his classroom.

Of course, teachers have a lot of other fun ideas for what rewards they personally like to hand out. And classroom stickers are most definitely a fan favorite.

A collection of social posts from school teachers suggesting various rewards as part of their classroom management style to motivate student participation.

If you’re interested in fun giveaways to hand out to your own students, you can download and print TI stickers for free.

Our teacher community also offered the idea of a classroom economy, or class store, as another fun classroom management tip that works to keep students motivated. Students are able to earn money to spend on things like supplies and snacks (and of course stickers).

Common classroom management tips from teachers includes implementing a classroom economy, or class store, as part of a student reward system.

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5. Use humor and make things interesting

Who doesn’t love a challenging brainteaser? Or what about subject-related puns, memes or dad jokes to start class? A surefire way to capture students’ attention and keep them engaged in their learning, all while keeping your class on task, is to add some fun to your routine.

Social posts from different teachers suggesting the use of humor as a way to manage the classroom while keeping learning fun and entertaining.

James Carr suggested random facts of the day to bond over, like mathematical facts and stats.

Twitter post by James Carr who suggests teachers use random facts of the day to engage students and make learning math fun.

If you like James’ idea, try asking your math students this one: Did you know x% of y = y% of x? Write it on the board for them to puzzle over, and let them double- and triple-check it on their graphing calculators to see it’s true!

Classroom management refers to a wide variety of teaching skills and techniques, but your classroom management style is just that — yours. Try these classroom management tips and find out what works best for you and your students. As long as it helps you keep the classroom running smoothly, and the students engaged in their learning, there are no wrong answers.

Enjoy these tips? Be sure to share them on social. You can also be part of our teacher community. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @TIcalculators.

About the author: Mark Watson is a Senior Copywriter for Texas Instruments with years of experience in the areas of education technology and teacher and student software. A proud graduate from Texas Tech University, he has a passion for helping educators discover ways to enrich the classroom learning experience and support student success.