Classroom Management and Organization:
A Game Plan for Success

The following modules are under development as training sessions aimed at assisting teachers in becoming proficient in the area of classroom management and organization. 

  1. Establishing a Positive Climate
  2. Organizing Your Classroom
  1. Developing Rules, Routines, and Procedures
  2. Assigning and Managing Work
  1. Preparing for Instruction
  2. Managing Behavior
  3. Maintaining Momentum

Why Have a Plan?

Teacher success, in relation to both student learning and teacher efficacy, can often be traced to the ability of the teacher to manage the classroom. Research shows that effective classroom organization and management during the first few weeks of school are crucial in determining expectations, behavior patterns, and procedures that will persist throughout the school year. Much of the instruction and social interaction that occurs during the months after September can be traced directly or indirectly to the way teachers initially establish instructional and social systems during the first weeks.

Classroom management, student discipline, and issues related to organization are among the most commonly reported problems by teachers in their first years (Veenman, 1986). Harry Wong (1998) suggests that classroom organization and management includes all of the things that a teacher must do towards two ends:

  1. To foster student involvement and cooperation in all classroom activities; and
  2. To establish a productive working environment.

Successful teachers know how to make an environment that is stimulating and inviting. Room arrangements and displays must be attractive, but also functional. Quality instruction requires that teacher use materials other than assigned textbooks and workbooks. If teachers begin collecting and organizing these items before school begins, planning richer and varied lessons becomes routine, makes the teacher more productive, and reduces work-related stress.

What is Effective Classroom Management?

Edmund Emmer and Carolyn Evertson (1981) state that effective classroom management consists of teacher behaviors that produce high levels of student involvement in classroom activities, minimal amounts of student behavior that interfere with the teacherís or other studentsí work, and efficient use of instructional time. Teachers that are effective classroom managers have:

  • Planned rules and procedures carefully
  • Systematically taught these to students
  • Organized instruction to maximize student task engagement and success
  • Communicated directions and expectations to students.

A well-managed classroom is a task-oriented and predictable environment. Harry Wong, 1998.

In a task-oriented environment, students understand what is expected and how to succeed. Work is focused on learning and students are able to achieve the objectives.

When students understand the rules and procedures, they can follow through with the expectations and know what is supposed to happen in the classroom. They also know what consequences will occur when the expectations are not met.

What Do We Need to Know About Students?

To manage a classroom effectively, it is critical for teachers to understand the developmental progress of students. Specifically, understanding child and adolescent growth and development, as well as issues of studentsí cognitive and cultural diversity, is essential for laying the foundation of an effective and positive learning environment.

An effective teacher understands child growth and development.

  • Children develop through predictable stages.
  • Growth is deeply influenced by culture, personality, and environment.
  • Social and physical development and intelligence do not proceed for all children at the same rate.

An effective teacher understands issues that affect adolescent growth and behavior.

  • Children need to feel valued.
  • Learners need to have fun and freedom.
  • Learning needs to be practical and applicable.
  • Mistakes arise from inexperience.
  • Peer pressure is intense for teens.
  • Emotional energy in teens runs high.

An effective teacher recognizes cognitive and cultural diversity.

  • Students learn through different modalities, styles, and a variety of multiple intelligences.
  • Learning is affected by studentsí cultural perceptions and background experiences.

Game Plan Modules

  1. Establishing a Positive Climate
  2. Organizing Your Classroom
  1. Developing Rules, Routines, and Procedures
  2. Assigning and Managing Work
  1. Preparing for Instruction
  2. Managing Behavior
  3. Maintaining Momentum

New Teacher Resource Handbook (Revised, 2001), Prince Georgeís County Public Schools.

The Standards for Excellence in Teaching (Revised, 2000), Prince Georgeís County Public Schools.

Evertson, Carolyn M. and Alene H. Harris, Classroom Organization and Management Program. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. 1994.

Marzano, Robert, et al, A Different Kind of Classroom: Teaching with Dimensions of Learning. ASCD, Alexandria, VA. 1992.

Niebrand, Chris, Elizabeth Horn, and Robin Holmes, The Pocket Mentor: A Handbook for Teachers. J. Weston Walch, Portland, ME. 1992.

Rowley, James B., High Performance Mentoring. Crowin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA. 2000.

Thompson, Julia G., Discipline Survival Kit for the Secondary Teacher. Center for Applied Research in Education, West Nyack, NY. 1998.

Wong, Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong, The First Days of School. Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc., Mountain View, CA. 1998.

Wood, Chip, Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. Northeast Foundation for Children, Greenfield, MA. 1997.


This site was developed by Jeff Maher and Antoinette Kellaher at  the Department of Staff Development, in collaboration with the Division of Instruction. Questions, comments, and other inquiries may be addressed to Allene Chriest ( or Jeff Maher  (