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Classroom management with little learners

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

During this episode of the edumagic podcast, I interview Dr. Kris McGee.

Kris is an Associate Professor of Literacy at Frostburg State University, a self-proclaimed book nerd, tech junkie, and Co-Founder of #BookYourself. Dr. McGee and I met over Twitter one day and haven't stopped connecting since! This interview was our third time chatting together! She has a passion for teaching future teachers all about classroom management and has a love for literacy in the classroom.

Kris shares her love for reading and how the #bookyourself challenge started. It began by sharing with people you have permission to sit and read. We challenge you to read for 21 days, and let's share what we are learning and doing using #bookyourself. It was an amazing experience for the participants. There will be another chat launching on Feb 29!

Teaching Journey

Kris shares her journey into teaching. First, she started as an elementary teacher. She has taught every grade from Kindergarten through fifth grade! She was also an adjunct for Frostburg, which rolled into her current position. She brought her little learners into her current role as associate professor of literacy. Her world is preservice teachers, and she coordinates the master's program in teaching.

Kris' classroom management strategies

Classroom management is a large topic, but Kris shares her five go-to classroom management strategies. These five techniques can help you think through strategies to support young learners in the classroom. Let's jump right in.

1. Relationships are foundational
  • You can't build anything if you don't have a relationship with every child.

  • Get to know your students and their families

  • Invest in the time to get to know your class.

  • Feel a community and connection

  • Get to know your students first; then, the content will come.

2. Management systems
  • Less is more

  • Model it!

  • Use sticks with numbers - match numbers to their materials

  • Have a classroom manager and assistant manager

  • Brag tags - students get to choose what they want to hang on their brag tag for that week to share

  • Let students get involved in rule creation and display the rules in the classroom

  • Class cash (bonus episode coming soon)

3. Clear expectations
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say

  • Y chart - What does it look like, sound like, and feel like when you go to different places in the school? Shows clear expectations for each place.

  • Hidden rules at home and school - adjust to new environments.

  • Set students up for success and model those expectations

  • It's ok to reset and remind ourselves of the expectations