Keeping students busy at all times within a positive learning environment requires plenty of planning before the lesson starts. Each lesson plan needs to include clear objectives or essential questions (Emmer and Stough, 2001). This will help me to keep the lesson focused without straying off topic. Straying off topic is essentially the same as a transition because the class will need to be redirected back to their work eventually. Transitions create opportunities for misbehavior. Coming into class with a great plan is one way to manage the classroom.
Coupled closely with planning is providing a variety of learning opportunities that appeal to a wide array of learning styles. This is difficult to do, but is essential in managing the modern classroom. Most classes are heterogeneously groups so a variety of abilities will be found in each classroom today. Students engaged in work that is too easy for them or too difficult will tend to get off task. This is one of the key times that misbehavior begins. A variety of instructional methods such as cooperative learning, simulations and experiential learning must be offered to the students. This will ensure a greater degree of connection with the course work for more kids. Differentiating instruction is vital for keeping students engaged in work as well (Tomlinson, 2000). Students need to be working within their zone of proximal development if they are to really be learning. Students that are not offered assignments that engage them intellectually will find something else to do. Often, these off task behaviors are distracting to other students. Differentiating instruction and appealing to a variety of learning styles will keep students engaged and out of trouble.
For some students, prevention is not enough. An unwillingness to engage in academic work or a poor attitude about learning will typify a few students. For these students,