Classroom Management

6 Classroom Management Strategies for Elementary Teachers

4 Min Read
Classroom management strategies for elementary HERO

The start of the school year is a time of great anticipation, new faces and friends, and, importantly, new routines. With a full elementary school class, you want to create a welcoming environment that’s structured for both you and your students’ success this year. It’s an exciting time, and you can get off to a great start implementing these classroom management strategies for elementary teachers.

Classroom Management Ideas for Elementary Students

Strategy 1: Greet Students at the Door Each Day

Set the tone for your classroom with a welcoming classroom management strategy. Get to know your students better by greeting them at the door and following these best practices:

  • Make eye contact with the student.
  • Say the student’s name.
  • Use a nonverbal greeting your students are comfortable with like a handshake, fist bump, or high-five.
  • Say a few words of encouragement to the student (e.g., “I am so happy to see you today,” “I can’t wait to hear what you thought about last night’s reading,” or “I know you had a rough morning, so please let me know if you need anything”). Or simply ask how they’re doing.

Strategy 2: Create Clear Expectations and Routines

Establish your classroom rules early in the school year so that your students have clear expectations from you about their behavior and participation in the classroom. Do you have a certain area to place backpacks? Let them know. Are there classroom jobs you’d like them to participate in? Ensure they have the information they need to sign up and what the commitment looks like for them.

Another way to approach expectations is to allow students to create their own classroom rules. Allowing them to participate in the process will get them more invested in the classroom culture.

Strategy 3: Give Anonymous Feedback on Student Behavior

Here’s an elementary classroom behavior management strategy to try: instead of announcing behavior that needs correction to the entire class and potentially causing embarrassment to a student, try to give feedback anonymously. This feedback allows all students to think about their behavior and may look like, “I’ve noticed there is still some talking happening. We need to be silent for a few minutes for this next activity.” Addressing the group allows students the opportunity to correct their behavior before speaking to them directly.

Strategy 4: Practice Mindfulness with Your Students

According to retired teacher Kim Block, mindfulness has plenty of benefits for young learners, including:

  • Developing self-regulation
  • Demonstrating compassion
  • Improving concentration
  • Decreasing stress or anxiety

So, how does mindfulness benefit the classroom setting? Gauging how your students feel at the beginning of the class can help you set them on the right track by using a mindfulness activity, such as positive affirmations. Read our blog for more mindfulness tips to help your students succeed inside and outside the classroom.

Strategy 5: Teach Goal-Setting and Self-Management

As discussed in one of our blogs, being able to set goals for oneself and then self-manage to achieve them is a critical skill in and out of the classroom. Though you can work with your students any time of the year to set meaningful goals, having them set personal and academic goals at the beginning of the year provides ample time for them to track their progress. Setting and working toward goals also builds decision-making skills that can help your students succeed in the classroom. How can you help students set goals? One idea is to pass out blank cards at the beginning of the school year. Then, task students with identifying long-term, academic and personal goals that they would like to reach by the end of the school year.

Strategy 6: Celebrate Hard Work

Make sure you take time to celebrate your students. Whether they complete a difficult assignment or behave through a long assembly, try to find time for a celebration so that their work is recognized. This could look like a special snack on a school day or decorating your bulletin board with praise. This will give your students something to look forward to after each of their successes. Find more ideas for classroom rewards.

More on Classroom Management Systems for Elementary Teachers

Ultimately, it’s up to you, the teacher, to create your classroom culture. Share with us your favorite classroom management for elementary teachers strategies you use throughout the year on Twitter (@HMHCo) or Facebook, or email us at


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