If you’re a new teacher, or one that’s been teaching for years, there are always continuous new challenges each year. Most often, challenges which universities don’t prepare a teacher for as setting up a classroom to be the most conducive to learning, handling all the grading and paperwork, how to motivate all students to contribute to class discussions, handling forgotten homework, pencils and other materials for class, helping as many students as possible during independent application time, along with 1987 other management skills.
During my last fifteen years of teaching fifth grade, seventh grade, and sixth grade respectively, I constantly tackled such challenges as I aspired to make my room an efficient, no-wasting-time, engaged, producing, and yet still fun-kind of room. Whenever there were problems or gaps to my ongoing scenario, I’d invent another system. With duration on my side, over 100 systems later, my room became one smooth running, well-oiled, learning machine. (Well, maybe 98% of the time.) I now offer you 90+ of these unique systems in “The Systematized Classroom” by Melissa J. Donovan . These positive changing systems include descriptions, easy step-by-step directions, plenty of pictures (many from my own classes), charts, and diagrams which depict the systems in action, classroom posters, scenarios/example scripts of the systems in action, and so much more—as a few little personal system-experienced tidbits here-and-there along the way.
Below, find “The Systematized Classroom’s” sections and what they address:
1. Academic Systems—show fun ways to squeeze in more
content learning from your students
2. Beginning-of-Class Systems –help the teacher and students
make the most of those first five minutes of taking roll,
turning in assignments and giving credit, writing down
assignments, handling students with immediate needs, and
getting down to business.
3. Behavior-in-Check Systems—in easy, fun, and creative
ways, keep students accountable at all times for their
behavior and responsibilities
4. Systems Supporting Grading-and-Accountability-
of-Assignments—illustrate how to keep track of everything,
and at the same time, keep students accountable for all the
steps of their learning.
5. Helping- More- Students- with- Less- Time Systems— gives
countless systematic tricks to multiply learning for all
students—no more wasting time from anyone!
6. Promoting-Parent-Contact-and-Communication Systems—
Phone Home Raffle jar and parts, "Beginning-of-the-Year"
letter with nine important parts, volunteer letter, easily kept
anecdotes. . . . .
7. Promoting Participation-by-All Systems—motivate students
in fun and fair ways to respond to your questions and
prompts; no more “The same few students keep responding!”
8. Responsibility Systems—deter students from
irresponsibility, especially regarding materials needed for
class and absent work
9. Systems Promoting and Rewarding Good Behavior—
guarantee that students will strive to be the best that they
can be at all times
10. The Importance of Room Design—parts necessary for
the most learning and efficiency all year long
11. Systems for Sharing Products—shows how to share
products quickly, efficiently, and at the same time,
re-enforces the learning involved.
Seven Examples (out of ninety) of the Systems Below:*
• “The Beach Ball Beat” (singing and bopping a beat while
• “Attendance Drum Roll” (a one-of-a-kind attendance system
which is fun, easy, and requires little monitoring)
• “Switch-it-Up!” (switching activities in record-breaking time,
and all students have their materials out and are ready to
• “YES/NO” (moving that waiting-in-line for help while helping
more students along the way)
• “Break-it-Up!” (energizing everyone to volunteer and
• “Stop-the-World!” (a great way to reward and reinforce
• “Reader, Take Five!” (super easy way to motivate students
to absorb the reading right in front of them)
I offer you these systems, tips, and ideas in hopes that they add to your classroom (or school if you’re the administrator), make your life easier, motivate different students, cut down on everyday interruptions, and overall multiply your own teaching efforts or support of teachers.
Have a wonderfully productive and fun year, and enthusiastically look forward to the next!
Until Next Time,
*Please see “Preview” for the “Table of Contents” with all the systems
The Systematized Classroom
by Melissa J. Donovan
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License