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The First Days
Some Management Tips

The First Days is a collection of tips and ideas. These pages are not geared for any specific grade level. Please pick and choose what works for you. Feel free to copy and use the sample activities, and to copy these pages to share with others.


  • Throughout the week help the students establish appropriate behavior in the school building. Students can work as groups to determine the guidelines for certain areas. For example: Behavior in the hallway. Students can create posters or pages for class books, illustrating appropriate manners at school.
  • Have the students develop the rules for their own class. Once they have been decided, post them in the room and send a copy home to each parent. Explain to the parents that these guidelines were developed by their children.
  • Students must have consequences if the rules they develop are not followed. Be sure these are crystal clear to your class. Carry them out fairly and consistently.
  • Have the students help you determine places in the school building where good manners are needed. Example: Cafeteria, classroom, hall, during a fire drill, the bus. Create a web of their suggestions. Begin with the classroom. Have the students suggest possible guidelines for the class. Try to help phrase them so they are written in a positive way. Example: "Don't hit your classmates" would become "Keep your hands and feet to yourself." Try to have no more than five rules. Rewrite the rules on a chart and you and the students sign the chart.
  • The students also need to understand how the classroom is to run during the day. T-charts are helpful when organizing and understanding personal interactions with classmates. Have the students generate a list of the behaviors that need to be in place in order for everyone to get along. (Examples: Cooperating, sharing, taking responsibility.) Prepare a t-chart with the main focus at the top. The students answer the question of cooperation. This can also be done for academic areas. What Does Reading: Look Like and Sound Like. What Does Science Lab: Look Like and Sound Like.
    Source: The Collaborative Classroom by Susan Hill and Tim Hill, Heinemann ISBN 0 435 08525
  • Classroom management is a complex and crucial issue. There are a myriad of techniques, books, and beliefs in this area. Observe and consult with colleagues, read, experiment and develop a system that fits your personality and needs. It will be something that will grow with you throughout your career.


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