K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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students working

(Photograph by Kathleen Casson. More about the photograph)

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Related pages

  • Arranging for independence: Erin Espinoza's kindergarten classroom encourages children to learn on their own. A classroom profile.
  • One room, many uses: Patty Berge converts her eighth-grade science classroom to suit multiple instructional methods. A classroom profile.
  • Working with available space: Despite a space with limited possibilities, Becky Smith has organized a high school biology classroom where she can work and her students can learn. A classroom profile.

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Running your classroom is about more than just discipline. Experienced teachers know that effective classroom management begins before you ever meet your students and carries through every aspect of teaching. It’s about preventing problems, not just cleaning them up after they occur. Instead of looking at student behavior in isolation, our resources for new teachers consider it in the context of classroom design, curriculum, and instructional strategies.

Designing your classroom

Effective classroom management begins before you ever meet your students, with the way you design your classroom. There are standard classroom setups, but do they really fit your teaching style and your instructional goals? And what if you’re stuck with a strangely shaped classroom and limited resources?

This series of articles begins with a look at the basics of making your classroom attractive, comfortable, and functional, examines the way classroom space affects your ability to meet your instructional goals, and offers some sample floor plans. Next, five classroom profiles give you a virtual tour of real North Carolina classrooms, with photo slideshows and insight into how the teachers used the space and materials at hand to design effective classrooms. Profiled are a kindergarten classroom, a fifth-grade classroom, an eighth-grade language arts classroom, an eighth-grade science classroom, and a high school biology classroom. Finally, some tips on using bulletin boards and links to resources on the Web are available.

Getting organized

Once you’ve designed your classroom to meet your instructional goals, look at our articles on keeping track of teaching materials, your students, and their work. Some tips on handling paperwork and links to organizational aids on the Web are also available.

Effective day-to-day management: building classroom culture

Classroom management is an ongoing process, and it starts on day one. Managing students’ behavior is about more than just setting and enforcing rules: it’s really about effective instruction. Our articles on building classroom culture will help you prepare students for learning and engage them in the learning process so that you have fewer problems to solve later on.