Classroom Management: The Critical Features

The bulk of this module focuses more on proactive classroom management strategies than reactive classroom management strategies. It is important to aggressively manage behavior in a classroom by teaching and supporting students, preventing behavioral errors in the first place. Five critical features of evidence-based classroom management strategies are discussed in this module and should be implemented based on each classroom in a relevant way.

First, there is the need to maximize structure by creating an organized classroom environment where students have routines and can easily transition. The students should know their whole classroom routine, including what they do when entering the classroom, where their belongings are kept, and exiting the classroom properly (National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019a). Second, there is establishment, review, monitoring, and evaluation of expectations in the classroom. The best way for a teacher to achieve this is to demonstrate and instruct on precisely what is expected of them. Maintain regular follow up with them and ensure they are aware of the high standards set for them.

It is important for teachers to actively engage students in observable ways as it helps to ensure that they are not involved in problematic activities. The theory behind this is that if students are actively kept busy and connected to the teacher during instructions, they less likely to look for their entertainment which could be sexual behavior. Fourth, the use of a continuum of strategies to recognize the set of activities required for improvement. The teacher should have ways they use to recognize and appreciate good conduct shown by the students. This methodology will help to encourage good manners in the students, and finally, the teacher should use a continuum of strategies to reduce the occurrence of inapt behaviors.

Fifth, teachers should develop strategies to deal with challenging comportment displayed by their students. The strategies should include consequences and supporting the students in ways that they can learn and realize their mistakes. The strategies are designed to change the teacher’s approach when dealing with students with bad behavior (National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019a). The teacher should create and modify the classroom into a conducive environment that prompts students to change and maintain good comportment. These strategies are not meant to fix or redesign student behavior but to help adults or teachers to create appropriate environments that help alter comportment.

The key three takeaways from this video are as follows:

  • An organized classroom can make it significantly easier to monitor and evaluate students;
  • Teachers should display appreciation when encountering proper behaviors displayed by students;
  • An encouraging environment will aid in modifying student behaviors and teacher-led approaches.

How to Maximize Structure in My Classroom

The decision to maximize structure in a classroom depends on if there are foundations of effective positive behavior support and if they are consistently implemented. A teacher should look to effectively design the physical arrangement of the facility depending on the type of activities for each lesson. This can be done by arranging furniture to ensure easy movement for students and staff, ensuring adequate supervision in all areas by allowing adults in and out of the classroom throughout the day, and customizing the students seating arrangements either in groups, pairs, or individuals, based on if it is elementary or high school (National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019b). Finally, the teacher should designate enough staff and student areas within the learning space.

In order to have an evidence-based classroom management structure, it is important to develop and incorporate predictable routines for the students. In elementary school, teachers establish routines and procedures for class arrival and dismissal, transitioning between activities, accessing help when needed, and what should be done when activities are finished. High school has similarities to elementary school, but a few more routines and procedures must be considered (National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019b). Routines and procedures include compensating for missed work and activities, accessing materials, especially from the library, transitioning and minimizing interruptions during classroom sessions, and turning in work.

The key three takeaways from this video are as follows:

  • Minor changes in classroom structure have extremely positive effects on student behavior;
  • Routines established by teachers should be very smooth, and the transitions should be rapid between activities with minimal interruptions throughout the class and the school day;
  • Teachers should put a lot more emphasis on teaching and practicing transition behaviors for their students.

How to Define and Teach My Expectations

One should identify expectations they want for their students, develop a behavioral matrix and seal all loopholes. The expectations should be clear, broad, and mutually exclusive but easy for the students to remember. As a teacher, when teaching intended expectations to students, the following steps should be followed, define the concept in simple terms, model the concept for them, create a practice setting, monitor them over time, and acknowledge the students’ rate of learning and adjust if they do not seem to grasp the concept for efficiency.

Teachers should teach rules directly in the context of routines, and the rules should be defined in operational terms and outlined as they would look in a routine. The next step will be to provide examples and non-examples to students of rule-following within a routine. Students should actively participate in lesson games, role-playing, and other activities to monitor their understanding (National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019c). Teachers should use opportunities for practicing rule-following behavior in a natural setting to test if students grasp the concept. Separate classroom sessions should be developed to teach each expectation in the concept of each routine and ticked out for each matrix box. Research has discovered that having clear, consistent, and great expectations in the classroom can improve students’ abilities, learning opportunities, encouragement, and learning outcomes.

The key three takeaways from this video are as follows:

  • Teacher’s expectations can be met when using a practice-based approach;
  • Differences between students have to be acknowledged for better learning outcomes;
  • Routine activities will have a positive impact on how students grasp new material.


National Center on Intensive Intervention. (2019a). Behavior course: Module 3 part 1 [Video]. YouTube. Web.

National Center on Intensive Intervention. (2019b). Behavior course: Module 3 part 2 [Video]. YouTube. Web.

National Center on Intensive Intervention. (2019c). Behavior course: Module 3 part 3 [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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