The Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist for Back to School

The Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist to get your room going this back to school!

( words) minutes to read 

This back-to-school classroom management checklist is designed to help you remember all the caveats of your classroom management! Especially, if you’ve enjoyed your summer break like you should have.

However, if you didn’t get the full dose of rejuvenation from summer break, then you need to leave this article. Spend 2 days trying some of these teacher rejuvenation ideas or these happiness tips. You owe it to yourself!

The ultimate classroom management checklist will help you create a class climate with the best learning results. The tone and expectations you set now will determine success for the rest of the school year.

If you’re still reading, let’s look into all those classroom management areas that need to be addressed during back to school.

So here’s the ultimate back to school classroom management checklist. It’s organized into three areas:

  1. Routines and Procedures
  2. Expectations
  3. Whole-class Intervention Plans
Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist - TeamTom Education The Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist to get your room going this back to school! pin

 Classroom Management Checklist Part 1

Routines and Procedures for Students

Routines and procedures can turn your classroom into a well-oiled machine. What routines and procedures will students use to:

  • Sharpen pencils
  • Get a pencil
  • Get paper
  • Get journals or notebooks
  • Get tablets or computers
  • Recharge class tablets or computers
  • Shutdown class tablets or computers
  • Recharge personal devices
  • Store or use personal devices
  • Have snacks
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch and stay awake
  • Take care of personal needs like tissue or restroom
  • Get new materials
  • Organize personal materials
  • Use classroom materials
  • Ask a question
  • Talk to a friend
  • Take a mental break (or not)
  • Pass a note (or not)
  • Move around the room
  • Turn in work
  • Organize work
  • Organize academic journals and notebooks
  • Find work after an absence
  • Redo an assignment
  • Sign up for tutorials
  • Ask for help from the teacher
  • Ask for help from peers

Classroom Management Checklist Part 2

What are your Expectations for Students?

How do you expect the class to operate when students are there? Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize what you want your class to look, sound, and feel like.

…I’m waiting, and you’re not rolling your eyes, are you? Really, visualize it.

Okay, what did you see and hear? Your vision of the classroom will make or break your expectations for the students.

Let’s continue the ultimate back to school classroom management checklist.

We need to make sure we cover all the most critical expectations.

How do you expect students to…

  • Participate when you talk to the class.
  • Participate when they talk in pairs.
  • Participate when they talk in small groups.
  • Use structured conversations and sentence stems.
  • Use anchor charts during class discussion.
  • Respond when you assert your dominance in the room.
  • Respond when another student is disruptive.
  • Respond when you offer corrective feedback.
  • Respond when they feel stressed, overwhelmed, or angry.
  • Follow posted rules.
  • Follow verbal directions.

A whole other article, even a website, could be devoted to classroom management expectations. As a matter of fact, here’s a good one from Edutopia.

Your vision in the classroom will make or break your expectations for students. Click To Tweet

Classroom management is the single variable that has the largest impact on student learning. Students cannot learn at their optimum levels in chaotic and unstructured environments.

Clearly defined expectations are the foundation of effective classroom management. They provide the appropriate structure for optimum student learning. But the act of defining expectations is not enough. They must be clearly communicated.

Let’s flip the coin and continue the back to school classroom management checklist by asking…

What are your Students’ Expectations for You?

Hold tight. I know that sounds a bit strange. But yes, smooth transitions and effortless classroom management are a result of excellent two-way communication between students and teachers.

This is an unspoken part of classroom management. Those teachers who are just “naturals”. They do this stuff without even realizing it. Let’s realize it, and do it.

How will you ask students to

  • Tell you they’re learning preferences.
  • Tell you their triggers – those points that push them in negative ways.
  • Tell you their interests, so they can be tied to learning.
  • Tell you when they feel mistreated or feel injustice.
  • Present their complaints in an appropriate and non-disruptive way.
  • Seek help from peers before they interrupt your small group.
Students can not learn at optimum levels in chaotic and unstructured environments. This list shows how to scaffold fairness, cooperation, and self-regulation.Click To Tweet

How will you show cooperativeness by…

  • Involving students in adding a class rule or two to your list.
  • Involving students in developing the progression of consequences.
  • Giving students a voice in certain areas.

How will you show fairness by…

  • Enforcing rules and procedures for all students.
  • Maintaining a no-embarrassment policy.
  • Ensuring a risk-free environment for participation.
  • Ensuring picking and taunting is not allowed.
  • Maintaining control of the class.
  • Modeling respect, even when you’re stressed or upset.
  • Modeling professionalism, even when students don’t.
Authority + cooperative + fair = good classroom manager.Click To Tweet

Classroom Management Checklist Part 3

Whole-Class Intervention Plan

We normally think of intervention as individualized. But the best teachers know classroom management is about intervention. It is about preventing disruptions and distractions.

Let’s continue the classroom management checklist with…

Strategies for Whole-Class Intervention:

  • 3-5 positively stated expectations
  • Positive consequences posted
  • Negative consequences posted
  • Reward systems
    • Group rewards and incentives
    • Individual rewards and incentives
    • Point systems or token economies
  • Recognition systems
    • How will individuals be affirmed for positive behaviors?
    • How will groups be recognized for teamwork and good citizenship?

How will you gather data? The classroom management checklist continues…

  • Will you use a clipboard to note severe class disruptions?
  • Will you use a digital resource like Class Dojo?
  • Will you have a communication log (on paper or a Google form)?
  • What basic form will you use when individual misbehavior persists?
  • What variety of tools and coping techniques will you have ready for students with severe needs?
A clear, concise, and consistent classroom management plan is only good if you follow it.Click To Tweet

A Classroom Management Checklist is No Good!

Yes it’s true. A classroom management checklist is no good if there is no follow-through! 

You’re plan needs to be concise and clear. But most importantly, it must be followed consistently.

Clear, concise, and consistent.​

That’s what makes classroom management work.

But no matter how clear your plan, it is not good enough. It needs action. Without follow through, you’ll lose respect. You’ll lose your students.

What is on your classroom management checklist?​

It’s your turn. Please share your thoughts.

You can find other strategies here: back to school teaching ideas.

I’d love to hear your ideas. Please share or leave a comment below…What classroom management strategies did I miss? What do you think is most important when you organize your classroom management checklist?​

Bonus: Get Free Teaching Resources!

If you found some valuable nuggets in this Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist, then you’ll probably love receiving free teaching resources each month.

About the Author

Matt is a learner, creator, and educator with k-12 teaching, administrative, and research experience. He tracks trends in education, travels the oceans, and fails at fishing.

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