I have been speaking at a number of early childhood conferences around the country talking about many early childhood topics. One topic that has been of particular interest to educators is my classroom management workshop called, "Classroom Management Should be Easier than Herding Cats." Most early childhood educators recognize that they must have group management strategies that work with young children. The atmosphere of the classroom is critical to learning and providing security for the children in their care. The handout for my workshop is down the right side of this blog, under Conferences. Check it out. It may contain information that will be helpful to you. At the beginning of each fall semester at the university, when I meet with my new group of student teachers, I tell my candidates that I insist they learn how to effectively run a classroom. I know that they can learn the academic content and how to create engaging lessons, but if they can't run an effective classroom setting all the other preparation may be for nothing. I often visit my student teaching candidates' classrooms and model teach for an hour, emphasizing management procedures. Concentrating on that organization and management works every time. My 18 student teachers who are graduating in two weeks are all rock stars! They can run a classroom and the content and engagement followed closely behind. Since my candidates are assigned to very at-risk schools, I feel confident they will be able to teach in just about any setting. In fact, three of the candidates already have teaching jobs for the fall and the rest have multiple interviews in the next couple of weeks.
I do appreciate products that will help teachers be efficient, such as the Visual Schedule. But, products and classroom materials are only as good as the teacher.