Teaching Strategies

Classroom Management and Building Routines

In What Helps Students Learn? a thorough analysis was completed to determine factors that influenced student learning the most.1 This analysis developed a 28-category conceptual framework for factors that influenced learning. The study concluded that direct influences (e.g., teacher influence) had a greater impact than indirect (e.g., district policies) on learner outcomes. Various factors impacted student performance including home life, parental involvement and meta-cognition. However, the number one most influential predictor of student learning was classroom management.


“Early Attention to classroom management at the beginning of a school year is a critical ingredient of a well run classroom”2


Classroom Management is not only one of the most important predictors of a successful learning environment, but it is also one of the most challenging aspects of a teacher’s job. There are multiple strategies and resources available that assist with classroom management, including whole school and classroom interventions, disciplinary consequence handbooks, and Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems to name a few. In a meta-analysis of various classroom management strategies, 5 critical features of effective classroom management were identified.3

  1. Maximize Structure
  2. Post, Teach, Review, Monitor and Reinforce Expectations
  3. Actively Engage students in observable ways
  4. Use a continuum of strategies for responding to appropriate behaviors
  5. Use a continuum of strategies for responding to inappropriate behaviors


For the sake of ease and simplification- more details about the 5 critical features can be found in this infographic: click to view

new-piktochart (1)


For ideas and tips on how to maximize classroom structure take a look at these Classroom Design Video Tutorials:


In addition to classroom design, one of the most important aspects of classroom management is developing rules, procedures and routines. When routines are set in place that promote a cohesive classroom environment, many behavioral challenges can be avoided and instructional time can be heightened.


In Marzano and Marzono’s Classroom Management that works: Research Based Strategies for Every Teacher routines, rules and procedures in a classroom fall into 6 main categories:

  1. General Expectations for Behavior
  2. Beginning and End of day/period
  3. Transitions and Interruptions
  4. Materials and Equipment
  5. Group work
  6. Teacher led activities2 


Routines are the hidden gem of a strong classroom environment and any given moment can have several routines going at once without much consideration. The key is to develop productive routines and habits in order to create success in the classroom.  This checklist (pdf) indicates various routines that should be considered for each of the 6 main categories: routines

routine checklist


The list is just a general idea of areas/concerns that a teacher should develop routines for. Each classroom will implement their own routines, based on their personalities and style of teaching. For more ideas on examples of how to design and implement routines check out the following: 


Scholastic Teacher Routines and Procedures – slideshows and videos

Pinterest Pins of classroom routine ideas


When developing and reinforcing your classroom routines it’s important to use the following strategies:

  • Teach Expectations Directly: define and give examples
  • Actively Involve Students (matrix, beh. posters, role playing)
  • Provide Opportunities to practice rules following behavior in natural settings
  • Display Visual Prompts (posters, cue cards)
  • Use Pre-Correction Strategy (verbal reminders and behavioral rehearsal before activity)
  • Active Supervision (Move, Scan, Interact)
  • Reinforcement (provide reinforcers/rewards)
  • Catch errors, give corrective feedback


Overall, classroom management is the most important aspect of student success. However, it is not as simple as developing rules and implementing discipline. As the documents, infographics and links above show- classroom management is complex and requires planning and development of classroom structure, routines/expectations, engagement and planned responses to both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. With time and practice, classroom management can become easier or more natural. Observing other teacher’s classrooms, discussing routines during professional development, and getting constructive feedback of your individual classroom management approaches can help develop these skills.


Do you have any other sources or tips to add? Please comment and share ideas!


Additional Resources you may be interested in using:



For more ideas on routines, rules and classroom management see my next post :

First Weeks of School







Work Cited

1 http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED461694.pdf

Classroom Management that works: Research Based Strategies for Every Teacher by Marzano and Marzano

Evidence -based Practices in Classroom Management: considerations for Research to Practice : http://dropoutprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SolutionsFeb2011_Simonsen_Fairbanks_Briesch_Myers_Sugai_2008.pdf



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