12 Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” No matter what your style, it will help all students thrive.
Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.
Featuring 
Becky Thal

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

12 Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” No matter what your style, it will help all students thrive.
Chapter 
 | 
 🚀
 🥤

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

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12 Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” No matter what your style, it will help all students thrive.
By 
Becky Thal
 | 
March 23, 2022
Register Now

About the Event

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

Register Now

About the Event

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

About the Presenter

Becky Thal currently works as an edtech consultant in the field of marketing. Previous roles have included 5th grade math/science teacher and advertising executive. Becky is active in many online communities, as well as her local community. She is always open to collaborating on new projects! In her spare time, Becky enjoys trips to the beach, trying new restaurants, and attending her kids’ various sports games and events. She lives with her husband, three children, and Labradoodle, in New Jersey.

12 Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” No matter what your style, it will help all students thrive.
By 
Becky Thal
 | 
March 23, 2022

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

All Reward Ideas for Students

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Grades K-5
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Grades 3-8
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Grades 6-12
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Grades 6-12
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Grades K-12
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Grades 6-12
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Grades 3-12
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Grades K-12
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Grades 6-12
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Grades K-5
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Grades K-12
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Books
Grades K-12
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All Virtual Reward Ideas for Schools

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Grades K-8
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Grades K-12
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Grades K-12
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Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
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Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
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Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
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Podcast
Grades 3-12
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Donate $1
Grades 3-12
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Grades 3-8
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Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
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See all Rewards

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Learn more about the author, 
Becky Thal
 

12 Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” No matter what your style, it will help all students thrive.
By 
Becky Thal
 | 
March 23, 2022

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

Elementary classroom management is not something any traditional teacher preparation program can really prepare you for. It requires years of practical “on-the-job” experience and a lot of fine-tuning before you start to feel you have the hang of it. And even then, you will be thrown a curveball when you least expect it.

The past two years have undoubtedly made us question everything we ever thought we knew about classroom management. There are many students who have not had a “normal” school year yet! Older elementary students forget what it’s like to be part of a traditional classroom setting.

Simple tasks like taking turns, sharing, and raising hands to speak, are proving difficult for many students to understand and follow. Therefore, it’s worth discussing some classroom management examples and providing some strategies you can start implementing immediately.

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom management is a philosophy, as well as a set of strategies and actions, that a teacher adopts to ensure his/her students are progressing academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.

Different teachers will have different classroom management styles. No matter what your style, however, being able to maintain a sense of order is what enables all students to thrive in their learning environment.

What is Elementary Classroom Management?

Classroom management for elementary teachers looks very different than it does for middle or high school teachers. The benefit elementary teachers have is that students are still young and typically most of them want to please you. They inherently want to do the right thing, and they crave the approval of their teacher.

You’ll often hear parents talk about how excited their younger students are to go to school, and how much they like their class. As an elementary teacher, it’s wonderful to be able to capitalize on that excitement. There are ways to motivate and engage students, and still maintain order. Having good classroom management does not mean you can’t have fun!

Elementary Classroom Management Ideas

Elementary classroom management is never “one size fits all.” Below are some classroom management ideas you can try out to see what works best for your unique group of students. By no means should you feel you need to implement all of these - at least not right away. You can start with one or two ideas and build your elementary classroom management plan from there.

1. Set expectations.

Whether you start with a class at the beginning of the school year, or you come in at any point mid-year, it’s important you let the students know from the get-go what your expectations are. Be sure to include expectations for completing assignments, working with other students, communicating with teachers, and overall behavior.

2. Collaborate on classroom rules.

Rather than dictate to students what the rules are, have them help you create the rules. Students can work in groups to come up with a list. Typically kids come up with a wide variety, but ultimately you can group them under broader titles such as, “Be respectful.”

Once these are decided on, transfer them to a poster and have the students sign their names to show their agreement.

3. Provide structure.

Kids (and let’s face it, many adults too) thrive on structure. School, by nature of having to follow schedules, has a certain amount of built-in structure. However, even within set blocks of time, your students should come to expect a certain pattern of events.

For instance, perhaps you have a five-minute warmup activity, followed by a whole group lesson, and then you hold small group conferences. This may not be the case every period, but the general structure of class should be fairly predictable.

5. Allow for “voice & choice.”

Students like to feel that they have a say in what goes on in the classroom. Not every lesson or activity lends itself to this, but where possible, ask students what they would like to do. Give them options. If they need to demonstrate learning, give them a choice of activities - i.e., create a poster, drawing, song, video, or podcast. This will also help you address the needs of every type of learner in your classroom.

6. Have options for early finishers.

All teachers have heard it before, “I’m done….now what?!” In order to prevent a lot of downtime, which can lead to classroom management problems, have a variety of activities on hand for those who get done early. These may be enrichment activities, STEM activities, digital activities, or a combination.

7. Write down the day’s plan.

It may sound simple, but this goes along with structure. It helps when students know what’s coming next. Have the day’s schedule easily visible.

8. Incorporate SEL activities.

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzphrase over the last few years. Whether you’ve adopted a school-wide program, or have chosen smaller, independent activities, SEL helps keep students engaged. It doesn’t need to be formal or take a lot of time.

For instance, practicing meditation or breathing exercises every morning can set a great tone for your students’ day!

9. Give rewards.

Whether you use an online program to keep track, or you use a more traditional ticket system, students love rewards! It’s nice to have a classroom rewards system in place for the whole class as well as for individual kids. These don’t have to be the same rewards system either.

10. Build relationships.

It’s never too late in the year to start doing this! Ask your kids about some of their favorites - animals, colors, movies, you name it. Write these down and reference them now and again. You’ll be amazed at the smiles you get when the kids realize you remembered.

11. Personalize instruction.

Children will procrastinate less, be less bored, and be more focused if they are doing work that is on their level. Holding small group or 1:1 lessons and conferencing is also a great way to build relationships with students.

12. Have fun!

It’s ok to play games with your students, start singing, or be silly now and again. Go ahead and dress up for all of those spirit days! Students enjoy seeing this side of their teachers.

Whatever classroom management strategies and philosophies you adopt in your elementary class, be sure to communicate them with all stakeholders. This will help to avoid questions in the future.

Trial & Error

Even the best laid elementary classroom management plan will not guarantee you won’t have problems or issues that arise. However, it will guarantee you will be in a much better position to handle them. If you do start noticing a recurring problem, be sure to address it immediately, before the situation gets worse. It is common to revisit classroom rules and expectations at different points in the year, especially after an extended break.

Classroom management involves a certain amount of trial and error. A lot depends on your personality and the personalities that make up your class. What works for one group of students one year, is not necessarily going to work for a different group of students the following year. Similarly, what works for your co-worker down the hall with his/her students, is not necessarily going to work for you and your students.

Be patient with yourself and with your students when trying different classroom management tips. Keep in mind that not all students may have had good examples of classroom management in the past. It will take time to find what works best for everyone, but keep at it. Your students may not realize it right away, but they will thank you later.

All Reward Ideas for Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
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👑
🎁
Bonfire
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Decades Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
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🎉
👑
🎁
Design the Bulletin Board
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Emcee the Announcements
Grades 6-12
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👑
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Holidays Around the World
Grades K-12
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Family Feast
Grades K-8
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Event
Deluxe
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👑
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Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
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👑
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Silly School Leader
Grades 6-12
Student
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Teacher v Student Competition
Grades 6-12
School
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Tutor
Grades 6-8
Student
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Loudspeaker Shoutout
Grades K-12
Student
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👑
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Early Lunch Dismissal
Grades 9-12
Student
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👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
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👑
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Holidays Around the World
Grades K-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Theme Party
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
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🎉
👑
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Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
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👑
🎁
Extra Reading Time
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
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👑
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Final Fridays
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
Grades 3-12
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Event
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👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
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👑
🎁
Camp Read Away
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
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👑
🎁
Class Jobs
Grades 3-8
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Board Game Party
Grades 3-12
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Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
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School Supplies & Merch
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Grades 3-8
Student
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🎁
Art Contest
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Class/House
Event
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👑
🎁
Dance Party
Grades K-12
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Dance Party
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Music Fest
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Glow Party
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Theme Party
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Final Fridays
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Karaoke Night
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Amazing Race
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The A-List

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Locker Choice
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👑
🎁
Class Book
🎉
👑
🎁
Play Games
🎉
👑
🎁
Homework Pass
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Messenger

All Reward Ideas for High School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Early Lunch Dismissal
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
“Let's Make A Difference Week"
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Play Games
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Anime Themed Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
School Supplies & Merch
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Parking Spots
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Video Game Rewards
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Snack Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
TikTok with the Teacher
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Locker Choice
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Karaoke Night
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Free

All Reward Ideas for Middle School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Meme Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Family Feast
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Emcee the Announcements
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Brain Break
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Gift Cards
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
♟️Chess With the Principal
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher v Student Competition
Grades 6-12
School
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Graduation Celebration
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Deluxe

All Student Reward & Incentive Ideas

💰
🎨
Class Book
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Silly Science Experiments
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
💰
🎨
Snack Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Talk Time
Grades 6-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Homework Pass
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
♟️Chess With the Principal
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
TikTok with the Teacher
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Operate Equipment.
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Loudspeaker Shoutout
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free

All Virtual Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Classroom DJ
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Brain Break
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
See all Rewards

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Learn more about the author, 
Becky Thal
 

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