Vernier Science Education - June 2024


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Early Childhood

Classroom Management During Activites

Author Post
Tamar Devorah Tamar Devorah 399 Points

Hi, I am a pre-service teacher and I was wondering what classroom management skills I can use when the students are engaging in very active activities? I want them to be able to have fun and be fully enagaged but, I am worried that it may go out of hand or become too rambunctious. Any advice?

Patricia Owenby Patricia Owenby 1180 Points


Since you are planning more than 1 activity it is always helpful if you can divide into smaller groups and have one adult available for each activiyt. If that is not possible you can always have yourself, the teacher, and then one independent activity. Just make sure the activity is something that can be done independently and some students may finish before others so make sure they can have something to do if they do.  Make sure you give clear directions for each activity and in the past I have given out rewards to those students that are following directions and participating. By finding activities that are engaging the students will be interested and will be more involved in the lesson.

Patricia Owenby Patricia Owenby 1180 Points

Lauren Wolbers Lauren Wolbers 1920 Points

Hi Tamar, 

I'm also a pre-service teacher and thought about classroom management in a science classroom. I think that there are simple ways to create curriculum that keeps students engaged, which will then promote classroom management. I read an article that highlighted using a block center to create ramps and pathways for a physical science lesson. The kids are actively engaged because they were posed a challenge. The floor had tape on it of a random shape. The students had to create a ramp with blocks within the shape and try to make the marble gain the most speed. Simple uses of every day centers can create opprotunities for enriching curriculum. I also think that any way to get students up from desks. The students will be more disengaged sitting at desks and listening to the teacher talk. Getting students up will immediately grab their attention. One way to do this would be through stations. Students are doing something different at each station, so they will constantly be engaged. 

Valerie Green Valerie Green 480 Points


I am also a pre-service teacher.and I can share some things I have seen from other teachers. From my experiences in the classroom with little ones (Pre-K), it seems like keeping the groups kind of small if you can, or giving the students something to do seems to work, rather than the teacher standing in front of a large group just demonstrating everything. Sometimes this can invite unwanted behavior if someone becomes unfocused. If the students each can have a small job, adding an ingredient, holding a model, just something that gets them involved, and then you can switch the participants out frequently so they know they may get picked next, so pay attention! 

If you are doing physical activity where everyone is active at the same time, be very clear to set up concrete boundaries in the beginning. Such as maybe having those colored dots to stand on, and making sure everyone has enough room to do what is asked without infringing upon someone else, so making sure the environment is conducive to the activity.


Teresha Sutton Teresha Sutton 325 Points


What is a pre-service teacher?


Teresha Sutton

Tamar Devorah Tamar Devorah 399 Points

A pre-service teacher is someone who is still studying and training to become a teacher. I am a pre-service teacher because I am currently in college and taking courses in order to receive my teaching certification so that I can become a certified teacher.

Gabriella Fiorino Gabriella Fiorino 395 Points

Hi Tamar,


I found that I have the same issue with classroom management. When it comes to a classroom filled with 20 hyper children, it can be difficult at times to try and keep everything orderly. I found that if you are doing an activity that involves movement in the students, it can help a great deal. Not only are they using their minds but also their bodies! A simple song or dance pertaining to the topic that you want to teach has always helped me! I hope it helps you too!

Kristine Pasker Kristine Pasker 2875 Points

Hello, my name is Kristine and I am a student in my last year at the University of Northern Iowa.  First and foremost, make sure you have clear, set, expectations for your students.  Let your students know what you expect of them.  How to handle materials, what voice level you want them at, and anything else you expect of them BEFORE you start your lesson.  Reassure them that you want to have fun and want them to learn, but this can only be done if expectations are followed.  Also, let students know what consequences are to follow if expectations are not being followed so they are aware ahead of time of what can and will be done, if they choose to not follow these expectations.  Science is a time where students should explore and learn on a different level and in different aspects.  One last thing.  Make sure you follow through with your expectations and don't have 'empty threats'.  Students need to know that you are serious about expectations and want them to learn and take away as much information as possible. Hope some of this helps.

Lizzie Walsh Mary Walsh 3100 Points

Hi! I am studying to be at teacher at the University of Northern Iowa. I am currently in a science methods course and we have been learning about science in an early childhood classroom. In Kristine's post above, she provides great information about setting expectations for your students. I agree that students need to have clear expectations in the classroom because it helps them stay on task and keeps the learning at the center of the classroom. One idea that we have been talking about when creating expectations for your students is having the students create the expectations. Students can't make the expectations for every lesson, but they can help set year long expecations for the classroom. Instead of asking students to come up with a set of rules, ask them open ended questions that allow them to start thinking about what they should do classroom and what they shouldn't. Examples of this could be: What should our classroom look like? How should we make our friends feel in our classroom? When students take part in creating the classroom expectations they will mean more to them. When they mean something to them, they will follow the expectations. I hope this helps!

Carisa Meyer Carisa Meyer 2780 Points

Hi! Im a student at the University of Northern Iowa where I am studying elementary and middle level education. I am in a methods of teaching science course right now and learning about teaching science in early childhood classrooms. I do not yet have my own classroom or my own experience with applying classroom management skills in the science classroom but I have seen some ideas from my field experiences I have had and some things that we have talked about in my classrooms. Making sure that students know that the objects  they are using in there experiements are to be used as tools not toys. This surprisingly helps more than you think it would. Setting expectations is really important as well and making sure the students know what they need to get done and the consequences if they do not get it done or if they are using the tools incorrectly. 

Cami Scovill Cami Scovill 1940 Points

Hey! I am a student and University of Northern Iowa studying Elementary and Middle Level education. I am in a Science methods class and classroom management class currently. In management we talk alot about keeping the students on task and having less distractions. I would reccomened modeling how to use the tools. Make and expain a poster with all the directions of how each tool should be used and what they should be doing during that time. When they know how to use the materials there should not be any missuse of them. Telling them what you should see from them when you walk around lets them know exactly what they need to be doing. Stray away from saying don't throw don't run ect. stray away from the negative directions.  I also reccomened using small groups as you walk around to monitor the class. I hope this helps!

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

HI Cami -- I like your idea about staying away from negative directions. 'Don't run' is a different message than 'Stay at your table.' If students moving around is an issue, one of the group roles could be 'Go-fer.' This is the student who can go to the equipment table, find the teacher, etc. while the others stay at the table. It is also essential, as you noted, for the teacher to mingle and monitor during activities. This is also a great time for formative assessment -- asking questions of students, observing their safety behaviors, noting the interactions they have with others, etc. -- Mary B

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