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Proven Techniques for Managing the Active Classroom

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    Alexis Margolin

In this ASCD Express piece, EL Education staff writer and school coach and Anne Vilen dives into techniques for managing an active classroom.

On a recent learning walk, a team of middle school teachers and I followed the same group of 7th grade students through three different classes. One of the biggest surprises for our team was that in a few cases, a student who was engaged and on task in one class was tuned out or even disruptive in another. In our debrief, we asked two questions:

  • How did the teachers we observed create conditions that prompted students to act so differently?
  • Can we identify the "management" moves that invite students to make wise choices and manage themselves as members of a meaningful learning community?

Our conclusions, based on observations during the course of an ordinary school day, lend themselves to techniques any teacher can use to buttress best behavior in the classroom.

For more on classroom norms, clear and concise directions, nurturing relationships in the classroom, and models for improvement read her ASCD Express piece.