Classroom Management

Some tips and tricks to help make your volunteer experience great. Get started using this general guide:

Classroom Management Strategies

Attention Getters

If You Can Hear My Voice

The facilitator yells out “if you can hear my voice, clap once…” and the group responds with a clap. The facilitator may repeat the call by repeating the original phrase, then prompting for the group to clap twice, or perform another action, until attention is gained.

Quiet Coyote

The facilitator raises their arm with the quiet coyote symbol, placing both the middle and ring fingers on the thumb with the index finger and pinky raised. It is expected that, when noticed, the group also raises their arms with the quiet coyote symbol, becoming silent.

Peace Signs Up

Similarly to Quiet Coyote, the facilitator raises their arm with a simple peace sign and the group follows as noticed. A variation of this gesture is to place the peace sign in front of the lips to remind the group that they should not be speaking at the moment.

Make It Rain

The facilitator should introduce the phrase “make it rain” to the group. In response, the students each make a shushing sound as they stretch out their arms at about the level of their heads and move their fingers like rain as they bring their arms down to their sides.

Catch A Bubble

This concept should be introduced to the group before it is used as an attention getter. The facilitator yells “catch a bubble,” and the group responds by opening their mouths and making a gulping sound as they pretend to ‘catch a bubble’ in their mouths. 

When I Say Peace

The facilitator yells out "when I say peace, you say play," then shouts "peace". When noticed, the group responds by shouting "play". The facilitator then shouts "peace" again. This call and return may continue until the entire group responds and attention is gained.

More Phrases To Try

1,2,3 Eyes on me... 1,2,3 Eyes on you!    |    Hands on top... everybody stop!    |    Macaroni cheese... everybody freeze!    |    Shark bait... ooo ha ha!

Conversation Starters

A great way to build relationships and make the students feel more comfortable in the classroom is by engaging in direct conversation. Asking some simple questions is an easy way to start up a dialogue and can further be used to engage shy or quiet students. One topic you can always discuss is school. Try asking the student how class was that day or what their favorite subject is. You can further get to know them by asking questions about themselves. For example, what was their favorite part of their day? Or, what do they want to be when they grow up? You can use these basic questions as a stepping block to conversation or come up with some of your own. Happy chatting!