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A Classroom Management Strategy that Works for Middle School

Classroom management for middle school

A classroom management strategy that works for middle school. Our great behavior

Teachers are always on the lookout for easy and effective classroom management strategies to use with students. Especially when teaching middle school, it can be tricky to find something that pre-teen students will enjoy and buy into. A good behavior grid is a student favorite and is easy to implement.

What is a Good Behavior Grid?

A good behavior grid is a classroom management strategy that uses two simple tools: an easy to make chart and sticky notes.

The grid looks like this: it is simply a 6 by 6 grid labeled along the bottom and left sides with the numbers one through six. Also, the squares need to be large enough to place sticky notes inside the grid.

Do you want an easy to print behavior grid sent straight to your inbox? Sign up at the end of the post!

Click for tips to implement an easy and effective positive behavior classroom management strategy for middle school

How do I use the grid as a part of my classroom management strategies?

The Good Behavior Grid is simple to use. When you see a student who is making awesome choices about their behavior, you give them a sticky note.

The student will write their name on the sticky note. Middle school students love this part because they can write their name with their favorite handwriting style or use a fun pen. Students do not always get to use their “cool” handwriting. They like writing their name graffiti style or in the script they’ve been practicing.

During a transition time, the student places the sticky note on the grid. They can choose any open spot on the 6 by 6 poster.

As students continue to demonstrate good behavior, the grid will begin to fill up. Once the grid is full, the fun happens!

A full grid means it is time to choose some students to receive a reward. Now you will need to roll two dice. The first roll will tell you which number to find along the bottom or x-axis. The second roll will give you the left side number or y-axis. Locate the student who has their sticky note in this part of the grid. Repeat the rolls as many times as rewards you want to pass out!

Why should I use the Good Behavior Grid as a part of my Classroom Management Strategies?

Good classroom management strategies benefit teachers, students, and the learning environment, but why choose a Good Behavior Grid? There are several reasons why this method works well, especially as a classroom management strategy for middle school classrooms.

Immediate and Delayed Rewards

Students receive immediate feedback about good behavior choices. This will help your students become mindful of good decisions and keep those decisions coming. Receiving the sticky note from the teacher is a immediate signal to the student that they are on the right track!

Although a sticky note may be enough for your teacher-pleasers, that just will not do for some of your trickier students. Having a more substantial reward possible in the future is a motivator for students to keep improving behavior. The more sticky notes received, the great the chance to receive one of the rewards. This is a great impromptu math lesson on probability as well! Students also do not always receive a reward, increasing their stamina for delaying gratification.

Whole Class and Individual Strategy

Because each student is contributing individual sticky notes to the grid, they are displaying their own behavior. Any student can receive multiple sticky notes. Whether the student has one sticky note on the board or 20, they have a chance to earn a reward.

There will not be a roll for the rewards until the grid is completely full. This means that the more students who are earning sticky notes with more frequency, the quicker the grid will fill. This makes whole class behavior important, too! If the grid doesn’t fill, there will be no rewards for anyone–so sad!

Inexpensive to Implement

Music to a teacher’s ears–you can run a Good Behavior Grid for little to no money out of your pocket!

The supplies you need to make the grid are simple and available at most schools on hand for teachers. You can literally just print it on plain copy paper. Have the school laminate the poster and it is ready to go! Can you get sticky notes from school, too? Great!

If using sticky notes isn’t an option at your school, don’t worry! There are still tons of really easy no cost options. For example, gather scrap paper that has been printed on one side only and cut it into squares. Students can tape it to the laminated poster.

Do you want to go paperless? When you have the poster laminated, students can write their names directly in the grid using dry erase markers. Just clean it off after each reward session.

Also, you are only giving rewards when the board is full. This likely will give a few days between times that rewards need to be passed out. Usually you will just be “rewarding” behavior with sticky notes.

Middle school students love rewards that have no monetary value! Choose rewards that do not cost you anything. My students loved rewards like:

  • Sitting in the comfy rolling chair
  • Choosing a stuffed animal to hold during class (Yep, I know. Even my thirteen year olds! Middle school kids are a goofy bunch!)
  • Wearing sunglasses during class (I had a couple of cheap pairs at school. Don’t worry! I washed them!)
  • Choosing a song for the class to listen to during math station work.

More free ideas for fun, free or cheap rewards for middle school are coming soon! Make sure to subscribe below to learn more!

What else can I do to improve my classroom management strategies?

Do you still need some classroom management tips to help your school year run smoothly? Check out this article about the BIGGEST game changer in keeping my classroom a positive and well-managed space.

Teach any classroom expectations with back to school task cards.

Display your classroom expectations with “middle school approved” CHAMPS Classroom Management posters.

39 thoughts on “A Classroom Management Strategy that Works for Middle School”

    • I had each class on their own board. For example, if I had four separate math classes, I made a separate board for each class. But if I had the same students for math and science all morning, then switched to an afternoon class where I taught the kids both classes, I only had two boards. So, basically each group of students had their own board.

  1. What if some kids dont get their name on the board? Or you try and get everyone name on the board before you begin?

    • That’s a great question. I was always on the lookout to give praise where I can to those more difficult students when possible so that they could get a taste of success, but I didn’t necessarily make sure that every kid’s name was on the board every time. Especially with a larger class or really well behaved class, you might fill up faster. That’s sort of the beauty of it. Even if they didn’t get there name on it one time, we would fill it up, do our celebration and start again with a fresh blank slate.

      If you are wanting to really try and get a certain student up there or to have everyone up there, you could start with some sticky notes with the student’s name on it so that you remind yourself to catch that kid being good. πŸ˜‰

  2. I tried to submit my email for the behavior grid and it is not working. I am very excited to try this out it my 6th grade class next year!

  3. I also tried to submit and have not received the behavior grid. I am trying this for my 6th grade class in just a week! Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • I will send it to you. Sometimes things like this may land in your spam folder or your “promotions” folder. Let me see if I can get to go through. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for this wonderful idea! This is my 5th year teaching, but my first year teaching middle school. I am having trouble with my 6th graders and I think they will LOVE this! I would love some more ideas for rewards at the end.

  5. I tried submitting my email for the behavior grid download several times, but it’s not going through. I really want to use this with my middle school classes.

    • Oh no! This seems to happen sometimes especially with school system emails. I’ll send it to the email you left this reply with. There is a contact button on the ABOUT page of this website in case you need to email me. I’ll send it along in just a few minutes.


  6. I tried submitting, but it would not go through. I am new to middle school and this sound fantastic! I would love to get it, if you can send it to me.

    • Hi Jennifer, I have you in my email as it was sent on July 13th. Make sure to check your spam folder since sometimes automated emails may land in spam. If you cannot find it, email me at [email protected], and I will make sure you get a copy. πŸ™‚

    • I’ve added you to the list, so you should get it right away. Make sure to check your spam folder as sometimes automated emails end up in spam. If you don’t receive it, email me at [email protected], and I’ll email it personally.

    • Please make sure you filled out the form in the blog post. You should receive it almost immediately. Make sure to check your spam folder as it could land there by mistake. If you still do not receive it, email me at [email protected]

  7. I did not receive the printable either, can you please email to me? Thanks! I love this idea and want to try it with my 4th graders πŸ™‚

    • There is a form in this blog post to enter your email address. Once you do that, it will be emailed to you immediately. Make sure to check your spam folder if you have not received emails from me in the past in case it lands there by mistake.

    • Hi Jennifer!

      To get a copy delivered to your inbox, just fill out the form in the blog post. Make sure to check your spam or “promotions” folder if this is the first time receiving an email from Leaf and STEM Learning. πŸ™‚


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