Monday, August 15, 2016

Is Your Classroom Management Headed in the Right Direction?

All Signs Point to YES! This is such an easy, SIMPLE and effective strategy to try.  It works for both elementary and secondary students!  There are SO many uses for these little paper arrows and mine got used so much that I needed to make new ones mid-year! (Middle school kids are not the most gentle creatures.)

So what is it? Paper arrows glued to magnets.  Yup!  That. Is. It. 

Step 1:  Print them, glue magnets on the back.

Step 2:  Post them on your board in an easy to access place and then assign every student a number.  (Have them write it on their notebook just in case.)
Step 3:  Start using them! No, seriously once they are up you will be using them all the time.  There are so many possibilities!  

Here are some ways that I have used them in 6th grade:

Best Practice Use: Tracking learning progress of a current learning goal.

I used this target during an unannounced observation and it was a home run.  I had done it a number of times with kids before and it was a stream-line way to have kids come full circle at the end of the lesson and reconnect with the learning goal.  Take that Marzano! (Deep breath...I get a little crazy about all this teacher eval &#%@)

I don't have a ton of whiteboard space so I make charts and then put them up depending on my needs for that lesson.

Anyone else struggle with writing learning scales that don't sound lame to middle school kids?

Realistic, every-day classroom uses:
Homework Check 

Student Choice Groups

Teacher-Assigned Groups

NO more popsicle sticks for random participation! I started using my arrows by mixing them up and randomly grabbing one.  

Group Rotations- Where is each group starting today's science stations?  This can help keep track of each group because kids move their arrows when they move to the next station.

Other ideas!
  • "Please see the teacher"  I often forget to touch base with a student who was absent and this could be a reminder to the student if their number is posted.
  • "Behavior Warning" See a student off task?  Move their number as a visual warning during a lesson!
Think this might work for you? Here is the basic file for you to print arrows for your classroom.  Nothing Fancy Folks....just a time saver not to make it yourself :) 

Thanks for visiting Kate's Classroom Cafe!  Join our email list for (very occasional, not everyday annoying) messages about upper-grades lesson and strategy ideas! 


  1. I love this idea! This will be perfect for my 7th and 8th graders!

  2. So simple yet such a great idea. I agree that it's perfect for middle school students.

  3. Thanks my friend for these wonderful tips! Well dear have just shifted to Phoenix and need to enroll our daughter with some good Phoenix pre-k. Can anyone please share some guideline that we need to consider while choosing preschool for him?

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