Before the Lesson

Classroom management starts with preparation well before entering the classroom.

Effective teachers will:

  • Decide on a clear classroom management strategy (e.g. rules, procedures, rewards systems)
  • Identify possible “problem areas” in the content and transitions
  • Consider ongoing behaviour of the students
  • Have a backup plan in place

Highlight two questions that you think most important in each category.


  • What are my classroom rules? Do the students know them? Is there a visual? Do I have non-verbal cues for them?
  • Do we have common language around the procedures and routines in the class? Have we practiced our routines? Are the expectations clear?
  • Will I use a reward system?
  • What are the appropriate disciplinary measures at this school?
  • What is the seating arrangement?


  • Do I have all materials and tools?
  • What is the key learning goal of this lesson? Is there enough variety of tasks (stirrers/warmers & settlers/coolers)?
  • What is the timing of each activity?
    Is it an appropriate length and approach for their age?
  • Is there an activity that could be risky if not played properly? What can I do if they are not playing properly/safely?


  • What task can I give students while I set up/take attendance? How will the first minutes set the tone for the lesson?
  • How can I explain the stages of activities clearly and simply? What ICQs (Instruction-Checking Questions) can I ask?
  • Will the seating arrangement impact the activity or complicate transitions? Will they move around the classroom?
  • What attention-getter would be most effective for a noisy activity? Will I need to remind them of the signal before starting the activity?
  • Will I remember to speak slowly and not rush my demonstrations? How can I remind myself?

Student Behaviour

  • Are the tasks at a suitable level? How will I keep stronger and weaker students engaged?
  • Are the students going to be intrinsically interested in the topic, or do I need to provide stronger motivation?
  • Is there a behavioural goal for the lesson? How can I involve them?
  • How can I manage the persistently noisy or disruptive student(s) in this lesson? What will I do if they misbehave again? Do they know the expectations and rules?
  • Are there any events that happened before the class that could affect their behaviour? What time of day is the lesson?

Backup Plan

  • What can I do if we start late or run out of time? If we finish early?
  • If students don’t understand, how can I clarify? How can I refresh their interest and engagement if they lose interest?
  • Does the activity rely heavily on materials or tech? What is there is a tech problem?
  • Is this a new activity? If it doesn’t go as planned, what could I do to still reach the lesson objectives?

Write a checklist to complete before lessons.

    • e.g. Rehearse instructions
    • ______________________________________________________________________
    • ______________________________________________________________________
    • ______________________________________________________________________

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