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Early Childhood

Classroom Management During Projects

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I am a pre-service teacher. I was wondering if anyone has any tips for ways to keep control of the classroom while doing an engaging science project? It seems like it might be hard to let the kids be independent, but also be in control of what is going on in the classroom. Thanks for the help! 

Ethan Schoenlein Ethan Schoenlein 510 Points

I think that part of engaging in scientific learning experiences is breaking the bonds of typical classroom characteristics. What I mean by this is that I think that children probably should show a certain (and appropriate) degree of loudness, wildness, and unpredictability when exploring science. Science education in the early grades is all about inquiry-based learning and should be hands on. With this style of learning, children will hopefully be excited and enthusiastic. Obviously, when they are feeling this way, they will in turn have a little more tactile-kinesthetic orientation, and will most likely be a little more audible. This is okay! Though your principal may have some questions for you, should he pass by your classroom during this activity, you'll be fine as long as you can justify your methods.

Kelsie Dartayet Kelsie Dartayet 1515 Points

Take the time to explain your expectations and procedures before starting the science project. Clearly state what you expect your students to be doing and what they shouldn't be doing. Having a student model the expectations is a great way to keep your students attention while you are covering the procedures. During the project, as long as they are on task and working together they shouldn't be talking too loudly and now how to properly handle the equipment. As the project is taking place, as a teacher I would be walking around the classroom to monitor their interactions and thinking process. By walking around you are also showing the students that your attention is on them and note on your emails, grading papers, talking on the phone, etc. This way they know that you mean business and it doesn't give them the opportunity to goof off and get off track.


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Caitlyn Baeza Caitlyn Baeza 920 Points

This was very helpful! I love the resource you provided! I am a pre-service teacher too and am looking for any advice I can get!

Jenny Nguyen Jenny Nguyen 1320 Points

I recently just did a science project with my first grade students, the students were very excited and were loud at times. I just reminded the students that they had to keep their voices down in order to continue on with other activities. I also created a score chart for different tables, whichever table that participated and was the most quiet would receive a point, at the end of the week the table that has the most points will get to go the treasure chest. This work well for my students as I hope it will work for you as well!

Anisa Cummings Anisa Cummings 1025 Points

The most important thing is to pick an activity that will be engaging and challenging but not too challenging. You don't want some students finishing too quickly nor students becoming over whelmed with the task at hand. Before you start, have students tell you some of the expectations. They may be more susceptible to the expectations if they are the ones to come up with them (teacher guided of course).

Hannah Bennett Hannah Bennett 1740 Points

Assign roles within project groups. Giving students responsibility helps to reign them in during exciting projects!

Victoria Wilt Victoria Wilt 1015 Points

I, too, am a pre-service teacher and I understand it can be overwhelming when wanting to let the students at this age be independent in a science project, but also needing them to be focused and on track. I personally make an effort to explain all of my expectations for the students and what I want to see and hear. Check out PAX Good Behavior Game. This is a wonderful tool to use for behavior management, which is actually what I am trained in. Always make sure the students know what you want to see and that they know that you are fair in your classroom.

Heejin Jeon Heejin Jeon 435 Points

Hi Maddie! I think classroom management rules can vary depending on the group of students and age group they are in. Despite the distinctions, when the teacher states the rules and the behaviour that is expected of them prior to working on the project, the students have the rules fresh in their minds and are able to abide by them. If that doesn't work, having an incentive or reward system could encourage students to have better behaviour. For example, the teacher could have a point system where if a table group followed the directions, worked quietly and efficiently, and cleaned up after themselves, she/he would give a point to that group. At the end of the day, the table group with the most points could pick something from the treasure box, throw paper balls at the trashcan like basketball, etc. I think it's important as the teacher to discover things that interest your students and try to develop a system that could encourage them. Good luck!

Dayse Pena Dayse Pena 880 Points

Hi, I think a good way to manage a classroom would be to explain your expectations and remind them of classroom rules. Another good thing to try out is setting up small groups and assigning leadership positions within that small group.

Amy Lu Amy Lu 990 Points

I agree with the previous posts and I really think that setting your expectations and explaining them to your students before you start is a huge factor in classroom management! The students should know what is expected of them and what should happen if they do not follow their expectations. Also, you might want to have them practice how you want to get their attention before you start as well!

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