The one about rebooting classroom management

Classroom out of control? Management reboot is here.

If you’ve been here for a minute, you know I take classroom management seriously. Maybe you took my free course to kickstart your classroom management at the beginning of the year. But it’s January and we’re wayyyy past the honeymoon phase. There are times throughout the school year when your students seem a little out of whack. Sometimes this happens because you have a lot of schedule interruptions (meetings, testing, assemblies, quarantines) or students are hyped for holidays or breaks. Being in a school on a military base, I often have groups of new students in January and March that might change up our dynamics. Time for a reboot!


Pick a day to revisit each part of your system. If you took my email course, you know I build my classroom management around relationships, routine, and structure. First, I check in with my students to make sure they know they’re part of this classroom too. Second, throughout the day, before each transition or part of our routine, I’ll initiate a discussion. How do we go from morning meeting to math? When we go to specials, what do we need to do first? How do you get my attention? Is this working for us? Finally, at the end of the day, we rate ourselves on a scale of 1-5. Did we do a good job following our routines? What do we need to work on? After this type of reboot day, I’ll continue to plan for reminders about different routines we need to work on.


A big part of this longer reboot for me is using picture books, having brain breaks, and practicing routines. Since it’s the middle of the school year (or maybe just November!), I don’t want this to be a punishment. The goal is create a positive learning environment, where we can do our jobs (learn together!) and grow as human beings. Keep that in mind as you plan out your process.

Using a scaffolded approach, I go back to the beginning with my students. I’ll pull out the lessons from my classroom management kickstart series so we can rebuild from the bottom up. We reflect on what’s happening in our classroom and what’s supposed to happen in our classroom. Sometimes, we’ll fill out “What Our Classroom Looks Like/Sounds Like/Is” and complete it to show what’s happening currently and what we want it to be like. Because I’m going back to the beginning, I plan on spending most of day one discussing and practicing our routines. And reading picture books!

By day 2, we’re doing a little less practicing and more verbal and visual reminders. It’s also important to check in with students throughout the day. Let’s rate ourselves right now. Are we following our classroom norms? What are we doing well? What do we need to work on?

The following days 3-5 are focusing on building relationships again, reminders, and practice as needed. Each morning meeting will be extended to read a picture book and have a solid discussion about how the theme applies to our class. Then we’ll work through most of our day with simple reminders about routines, but taking extra time for areas where we need more improvement. For example, my class this year struggles with small group time (aka DON’T INTERRUPT ME!). They love when they’re working with me, but can’t manage to problem solve on their own or figure out how to work without me. When I do a reboot with them, this will be the routine we practice the most. Instead of pulling groups the whole time, I’ll facilitate their independent time to give them reminders.


Don’t be scared to take away from instruction time to do a longer reboot. Without classroom management, your students aren’t learning anyway. Putting in the time both at the beginning of the year and later through reboots will benefit your class exponentially! You’ll have more time to focus on learning once your students know how your classroom runs. The consistency of your classroom routines and structures allow you to build relationships and grow a learning community.

WANT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT? This resource includes a routine checklist, recommended picture books, and visuals you can use in the classroom. Click here to get the download to your inbox.

Classroom Management Reboot

If your class needs a simple follow up, try this DIY classroom incentive idea I shared in this post. Easy to create and implement!

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