Classroom Management Tips for the Silly Season

I think every teacher has two key indicators that signal that Christmas is on the horizon: 

  1. Glitter and glue start appearing in the classroom on high rotation (gotta love those Christmas craftivities!), and 
  2. The kids reach new personal bests when it comes to the sillies! 

Yep, I stopped wondering why they called it ‘The Silly Season’ after my first year in the classroom! I don’t know if it’s just that kids have a sixth sense for teacher tiredness, but sometimes I wondered if they’d all made a secret pact during recess to push the boundaries to the absolute limit! 

By the time December rolls around, you’ve spent the better part of a year setting (and maintaining) behaviour management expectations - so it can be tempting to embrace that finish line a little early, knowing that these kids will be someone else’s problem in a couple of weeks. 

But BFFs, end of year classroom management doesn’t have to be an unwinnable battle! Here are a few classroom management tips I picked up to keep those sillies at bay, and to end the year on a high note for both you and your students.  

Revisit your classroom behaviour policy 

One of the best ways to set your end of year classroom management expectations with your students is to remind them of the system you’ve built over the year. 

This isn’t to say that you need to play the bad cop here - approach your behaviour policy with positivity, celebrating where your students have excelled so far and reminding them of what you expect over the final few weeks of school.

Having a visual reminder of your behaviour policy and expectations throughout the year can make things a little easier when it comes to end of year classroom management!

I’ve always found that giving students ownership of classroom rules and putting it on them to uphold them (rather than on you to enforce them all the time) is the most effective way of making it through to the end of the year with your expectations (mostly) intact! 

Let your students blow off some steam 

I swear that kids’ attention spans decrease by 99% in the last three weeks of the year! Even the kids who are usually pretty happy to sit quietly will start to get a bit restless and silly come December. 

Rather than fighting this pent-up energy, one of my best classroom management tips for you is to give your students an outlet to release it. Schedule in some dedicated ‘brain breaks’ to your day where the kids can get up and about - whether it’s classroom yoga or GoNoodle, having a structured activity that lets your students use up some of that energy will mean they can focus a little better afterwards. Or at least they’ll be too tired to disrupt you every 5 seconds!

Cartoon graphic image featuring some of the characters from the GoNoodle platform - to help with the end of the year classroom management

One of my biggest classroom management tips for the silly season? Outsource your students’ entertainment! GoNoodle is an online platform with hundreds of videos and activities designed to get your kids up and moving.

If your school allows it, taking classes outside can also help to jazz up your usual lessons. That feeling of excitement and something different from the usual routine can often be enough to placate those more disruptive students. Just don’t forget the sunscreen before you head out! Rudolph should be the only one with a red nose at Christmas.  

Tap into your students’ interests 

With reports done and dusted, and your curriculum content mostly ticked off for the year, December’s a great time to lean into what your students enjoy and give them some time to work on activities or projects of their choice. End of year classroom management is just as much about giving opportunities for positive behaviour as it is managing the negative!

Getting the creative juices flowing is always a great way to channel all that energy into an exciting narrative! My Narrative Writing Unit includes step-by-step lesson plans, so you can slot this into your week minus all the extra work (yes please!). For the students, it includes graphic organisers and activities for your students to plan out their stories and bring them to life.

A photo of a desk covered in narrative writing resources, with three colourful highlighters resting on top of the worksheets. To help with the end of the year classroom management

Working through a project like my Narrative Writing Unit can help to keep your kids engaged in learning at this time of year!

If you prefer something a little less structured, or something more hands-off if your kids are a little older, then these Writing Prompts are a really easy lesson to set the kids up with and leave them to it. Pick out one prompt card for the whole class, or let your students choose a prompt from the deck. 

I’ve also got some Non-Fiction Lesson Plans which could be a great way to tie in your recent curriculum, and a unit on Non-Fiction Writing with planning sheets and organisers for your students to create their very own non-fiction book!

An image of a student’s non-fiction book, with an illustration of an echidna on the left page and some echidna facts handwritten on the right. Also on the desk are some cards that outline the different features of non-fiction texts. To help with the end of the year classroom management

Wouldn’t you love to read your students’ non-fiction creations! I have generic units along with lessons focussing on sea life, bugs & minibeasts and Australian animals on my site!

If your students are a little older, you can also recruit them to help you with some special teacher tasks (they’ll love the extra responsibility). This could be for jobs like laminating and reorganising your classroom library, or packing up displays and getting them ready for your new grade. 

There you have it, BFF! My classroom management tips to make it through to the end of the year without wanting to pull all your hair out - it is possible! 

Do you have any go-to activities to curb the silly season behaviour issues? I’d love to know how you keep your students positively engaged in the last few weeks of school. Tell me in the comments below, or join our discussion in my Facebook group!

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