Back-to-School Strategies That Rule


teacher classroom management blog


Strategies That Rule



Back-to-School Strategies That Build Success

It's back-to-school time. This issue is filled with terrific back-to-school interventions to stop classroom management problems before they start.

Our new back-to-school ideas are crafted to work with elementary, middle and high school students, and are great for special ed students too.

The back-to-school interventions included in this issue work so much better than just re-stating the school and classroom rules. These lively devices actually teach kids how to be prepared, motivated students. Best of all, these intervention tools prevent classroom management problems before they ever start.


A Back-to-School Intervention to Teach
Motivation for School

back-to-school poster 149Poster 149, shown at right, can be used verbally, or put the message shown on the poster, on your laptop or tablet device.

You can add audio effects as well. This is a great intervention for elementary school students who may not read once you add the audio element.




A Back-to-School Intervention to Teach
Motivation for School

Teach students that dropouts can afford 1/2 the house, 1/2 the possessions, 1/2 the necessities, 1/2 the fun that grads can afford. Ask students if they would rather "Stay or Pay," meaning would they prefer to "stay" in school or "pay" forever for dropping out.

For elementary school students, use toy houses or paper houses to illustrate the concepts, and do the same for the other elements too. You can skip this addition for middle and high school students.


A Back-to-School Intervention to Teach
Appropriate Dress

Stop hassling with students about their inappropriate attire. Instead of reminding your students about the rules, actually teach them the skills they need to comply with your standards.

Ask your class members to generate posters showing What Never to Wear to School, and be sure they include tiny skirts, teeny tank tops, slippers, pajama bottoms, and pants that are way to big.

Post their art work on the wall so it becomes a lasting, vivid, concrete reminder of your standards. For the rest of the school year, no student will ever be able to say "But, I didn't know we couldn't wear swim suits to class!"

Notice how this intervention can work even when parents don't teach their offspring about appropriate dress for school.


A Back-to-School Intervention to Teach
Discussion Skills

Don't just expect students to figure out the nuances of being in a class discussion– teach them those skills instead. So, have the students devise responses to situations that they are likely to encounter in classroom discussions.

For example, have students identify and memorize what to say when…they don't know what to say; they don't want to participate; they don't understand the question, etc. Post their responses on the wall so students can use the information all year long.

You may be surprised how much bad behavior can be avoided using this simple intervention all school year.

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A Back-to-School Intervention to Teach
Appreciation for School

Students often see school as a waste of time. Show them that school is actually their key to survival.

To potently convey how difficult life will be without an education, give each student a page of text that is written in a foreign language that is unfamiliar. Offer each student a terrific prize for explaining what the page says. This will really motivate your class members to read the document, but of course, none will be able to.

Let your students vent about being very frustrated, feeling angry and incapable of completing the task. After the students have finished venting, note that this experience is similar to what life may be like without education.



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About Ruth Herman Wells

Author/Trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. In 2011, Ruth was rated as a Top 10 U.S. K-12 educational and motivational speaker by Speakerwiki and Speakermix. She is the author of several book series, a columnist, adjunct professor for two universities, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Ruth's dozens of books includes Temper and Tantrum Tamers and Turn On the Turned-Off Student.