Darlene Abbott | Music Mom

Snapshots of Classroom Management 2: Habits




Good planning habits are essential to success in any classroom whether it be in a church or a school. It’s hard to be successful as a teacher without the necessary tool of having a plan. Let’s look at 3 simple habits that can help in the area of classroom management.

Have a Plan MAN:  Have a lesson plan and know your lesson plan.  When you know your lesson plan and are prepared, you can keep the pace moving, so students do not have time to create something to do. If you are using a curriculum that does not utilize transition songs or attention getters, then pencil them in. And plan more than you need. If something is not working – chunk it and use an activity that does work.  Evaluate later why it didn’t work. However, in the moment keep the pace moving to the next activity.

Move MATE: Move around the room.  Don’t always teach from the same spot. Simply walk closer to children when they are talking or being distracting. Proximity seems to dissipate distractions. Going from a standing position to a sitting position or leaning on the desk helps to redirect attention.  And as in the previous post “Attention Getters” are very powerful in helping to reset the attention span. Keep it simple, just pick one “attention getter” and learn it. Get in the habit of using this new “attention getter” in your lesson plan.  Once it becomes second nature, then add to your repertoire.  In your lesson plan write in some places to move – either you or them.

Be Clear DEAR: State the rules in the beginning of the year.  Clearly, explain what you expect from students. Last, lay out the consequences if rules are broken or expectations are not met. In my experience, it is difficult to enforce an extensive list of specific rules.  Rules can be broad and yet be encompassing of several very specific rules. For example:   An extensive set of rules may include:

1.  Do not hit your friends.
2. Do not damage the instruments.
3. Do not damage the room or school equipment.

A more broad rule would say: We will take care of each other and the property.   It is much easier for you and the kids to remember and encompasses all three rules previously listed.

Start with these simple points and make them habits. Once those become more of who you are as a teacher, you can continue to improve and add more.

Get to planning and have a great year, but whatever you do….

Keep Singing,

Mrs. Darlene






  1. Elizabeth | | Reply

    I agree with all of these points- great post! I especially was reminded of the importance of moving this year. I broke my toe in March and was forced to glide around in my rolling office chair most of the time, so I stayed at the front of the room a lot more than I normally do. It’s definitely a lot harder to teach that way! #fermatafridays

  2. Jennifer Hibbard | | Reply

    These are all great tips! I always found that the more I moved (even erratically sometimes), the more I was able to keep my students’ attention. Thanks for sharing :) #fermatafridays.

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