This week, I’ve been at the American Association of School Libraries National Conference. Of course, the presentations and materials are focused on libraries, but any curriculum component (whether it be library or history or english) needs classroom management to succeed. I noticed how many of the curriculum projects we were introduced involved effective classroom management.

For example, a really neat project involved students working in a group to author and illustrate a graphic novel and podcast about the process. Before the students did anything on their project beyond a basic introduction they were taught a lesson on negotiation. Next, they were taught how to create a podcast, using their new-found skills in negotiation to create, edit, and post their podcast in a manner that the entire group could agree on. The topic of their podcast? Their goals for the project and…. Negotiation!

How powerful would it be to include this type of lesson (or review) at the beginning of each long-term project. Remind students of how to work together before putting them in groups. Classroom management is only effective when students are taught, and then practice!