Avatar - Ashton Meeks.jpgClassroom Management Strategies for Structuring the Classroom Environment

When it comes to teaching one of the most important things you need to know is how to structure the environment of your classroom. Creating a learning-focused environment is extremely important, but can sometimes be a challenge for first year teachers. Here are a few strategies to implement in your classroom that will help to create an environment that encourages learning and focuses on effort, continuous improvement and understanding of material
Strategy #1 – Create a learning-focused environment by getting students involved in a high-interest activity.
  • Emphasize the relationship between accepting responsibility and learning.
  • Help students develop self-regulation by involving them in setting classroom rules and by emphasizing individual responsibility.
Strategy #2 – Emphasize understanding.
  • Help students to understand responsibility by treating it as a concept and by linking consequences to actions.
Strategy #3 – Promote student cooperation versus competition.
Strategy #4 – Develop student responsibility. Teach students to be self-regulated learners. Self-regulation is defined as the process of setting personal goals, together with the thought processes and behaviors that lead to reaching the goals. As a teacher, you play a crucial role in helping students develop self-determination, effort and responsibility.
Strategy #5 – Develop teacher characteristics and personal qualities that will increase student’s motivation to learn.
  • Personal teaching efficacy – a teacher’s belief that he or she can get all students to succeed and learn regardless of their prior knowledge or ability.
  • Modeling and enthusiasm – Students will be more motivated to learn if teachers model their own interest in the subject material and if they are excited about learning.
  • Caring – Caring teachers have empathy for their students and invest into their development. They help meet student’s needs for belonging and make them feel safe. Greet students personally, make eye contact with them, and ask them about their day in order to build relationships with them and let them know that they have your full attention and that you genuinely care about them.
  • Teacher Expectations – Have positive expectations for students in order to make them feel competent and to increase their motivation to learn.
Strategy #6 – Create a motivating environment.
  • Make your classroom a secure place to learn. Implement order and safety variables in order to create an environment that supports learning and creates a sense of physical and emotional security.
  • Establish rules and procedures that maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  • Create that "safe" environment by adding a home-like feel to the room. Lamps, rugs, decorations and even music add comforting touches to your classroom.
  • Develop learner self-efficacy through success. Student’s success is shown through learning progress and mastery of tasks.
  • Implement task comprehension – Make students aware of what they will be learning and make sure they have clear understanding of what is expected of them and why this material is important and meaningful to them.
Strategy #7 – Develop interest in learning activities.
  • Attract students’ attention – Implement class starters or introductory focus lessons in order to catch student’s attention right away.
  • Personalization – Use examples that are intellectually and/or emotionally relevant to your students. Help them to make a real-world connection to the knowledge and skills that you are teaching.
  • Involvement – Keep your lessons intriguing and timely so that students stay actively participating in the learning activity.
  • Feedback – Students need feedback in order to determine the validity of their work.
Strategy #8 - Arrange and organize your classroom to accomodate a variety of activities.
  • Allow for movement throughout the classroom.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Clearly define spaces in the classroom for specific purposes.
  • Desk arrangement - Arrange your desks to fit a particular lesson. You can arrange them in straight rows, groups them together, make them U-shaped or even create workstations.
  • Student Placement - Be sure to place students in areas of the classroom that best cater to their needs.

Resources -

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2007). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms.New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.