One of the most dreaded things many of my teacher trainees have is classroom management. Managing in this case would include getting students to be on task or to get a loud and rowdy class to quiet down.
While classroom management books are littered with different techniques with how to effectively quiet down a class, nothing beats incorporating some good old tech to lighten the load of the teacher. With that in mind, here are three apps that will help you as a teacher in managing the classroom.
Some of these apps may even put a smile on your students’ face.
I have seen it far too often. Its your first day entering a new class and you are met with a class of 40 students, happy and rowdy after break time. Your options to calm them down are pretty limited. You could hold up a cane, threatening to punish them. This could get you into serious trouble involving lawyers. You could yell and beg for them to stop, except that never works. Your other option of course is bouncy balls.
Bouncy balls monitors the sensitivity of noise around the classroom. If there is a lot of noise in the classroom, the balls will bounce around rather violently, if not, they just stay where they are. This app is based incorporated with some kind of reward or punishment. For example, if the class is not able to stop the balls from bouncing, everyone would get extra homework. Alternatively, if the class is able to stop the balls from bouncing, then they will get extra free time.
This is a great app and it definitely saves you the effort at yelling at the class. This app also fosters a habit. As time goes by, all you have to do is project the bouncy balls on screen and the students will automatically quiet down.
Google Forms For Scoring
While most would use Google forms for surveys, I like using it to keep my students’ score. There are many score keeping apps out there. However, most apps only keep your score for one game. I use Google forms for the long haul, accumulating and keeping my students’ score for the duration of the entire semester before rewarding the group with the best performance in class.
Google forms also compiles the scores into an excel sheet, allowing the students to view how well they are participating and performing in classroom activities. The use of Google forms may be a simple way to keep score, but the point is that with such an app, you can bring your students’ scores anywhere without having some students manipulating the scores during recess.
No, you are not required to send your class into the forest, but this is a great app to keep students focused, especially if you are dealing with older students who are allowed to bring their phones to class. Its rather difficult to stop students from stealing a glance once in awhile at their phones.
This is especially apparent during long lectures when you see some students staring at their crotch and smile. I mean, no one does that unless they are using their phone. Of course, there could be another reason, but we shall not go there. This is where I have found the forest app to be rather useful in keeping my students focused.
The forest app is an app that requires students to stay away from their smartphones and allow a virtual ‘tree’ to go. If the students are not able to resist the temptation of using the phones, the tree would die. How I would implement this is in situations where pen and paper tasks are involved. I would divide my class into groups and set a time when the app would be used.
The students are not allowed to touch their phones until they are able to complete their tasks. Alternatively, during times when students are required to self-study, the app can also be used to see how long students can go without using a phone.
All these apps are of course not foolproof and I have used them in a way that I have found useful. I hope that you have found this post useful, and that you are able to use the tools in this post in your classroom.