Student Hallway Behavior Tips Freebie!

Hallway behavior can be a fine line between colleagues who love to see you and your students – or colleagues who consistently need to shut their classroom doors when they hear you coming down the hall.

Whether you teacher middle school or elementary, managing your class behaviors in the hallway is imperative to teacher good manners.

With a few of the ideas listed below (and a free eBook!), you can find some fun, no fail tricks for having a ninja class in the hallway that goes undetected by anyone.  And you’ll score some teacher BFF bonus points in the process too!

Hallway behavior can be a fine line between colleagues who love to your students or who need to shut their classroom doors when they hear you coming.

I had been teaching for about 5 years when I had an abnormally rambunctious group of students.  From the first week after meeting my angels, I had reoccurring nightmares about then taking over control in the classroom and in the hallway.

And you know what was more frightening?

The hallway nightmare.

At least if they were having a field day in my classroom I could shut the door and most wouldn’t be the wiser, but if they were raising cane in the hallway they were now not only interrupting my day, but also the learning of every class we passed along the way to specials, lunch, recess, and more.

Not to mention how they acted during a fire drill.  For ALL the school to see, including the administrators.

I was losing sleep over it before I even had a serious reason to worry.

Nonetheless, I was tired of being tired (from not getting enough sleep), so it was time to put my foot down and find a method that would quiet these chatterers when it was important to be quieted.

Prepping to Walk in the Hall

The first step was to line up correctly.

Lining up correctly is NOT saying:  “Let’s get lined up to go to Art.”

I love this graphic from Erin Waters at Elementary Education:

Hallway behavior can be a fine line between colleagues who love to your students or who need to shut their classroom doors when they hear you coming.

It sums up it up so perfect, I would love to have it as a poster, an anchor chart, video, song, and anything else that students might remember it better.  HA!

Having a calm and organized method for lining up seems to work better for me and for my students.

And shaking it up a bit each time is even better.  They have to be sitting quietly in order to hear when they are able to move out of their seats (which they very much want to do).

Using one of the following, I will have students line up as they meet the criteria:

“I would like students who ___________ to line up quietly for Art.  Quick reminder that if you are talking, touching someone else, or are farting around in line, I send you to the back of the line.”

  • Students who are wearing {color} shoes.  {example:  white, black, blue, etc.}
  • Students who are wearing {color} shoelaces.
  • Students who have {color} hair.
  • Students who have {color} eyes.
  • Students who do/do not have a pet at home.
  • Students who arrive at school via {bus, walker, parent drop off, etc.}
  • Students wearing {color} shirt/pants/shorts.
  • Students who can roll their tongue.
  • Students who can balance on one leg for 30 seconds.
  • Students who are sitting at table {table number}.
  • Students who {packed, brought lunch, or are buying milk}.
  • Students who had completed homework every day this week.
  • Students who wore a hat to school.
  • Students who have at least 1 sibling at home.
  • Students who live with a grandparent.
  • Students who have a nonfiction book from the library.
  • Students who love pizza with bacon on it.

…and so on.  It gets fun to come up with different variations.  And students who aren’t listening will always be last, so they learn very quickly to pipe down when it’s time to go.

Hallway Rules and Procedures

Even if your school is not a PBIS school, management expectations and consequences are super critical to training your students the right (and wrong) way to behave in the hallway.

It might take a few (hundred) times – or so it seems, but if you stick with it and require the best behavior while walking outside of your classroom walls, you’ll be known by others teachers – and their classes – as the group to imitate.

Colleagues will be very friendly in the hall instead of avoiding your group at all costs.

You might want to check out:

Classroom Management eBook Cover

Need some new ideas for classroom management? This 126 page digital book has you covered!

Includes 23 articles from Organized Classroom, including topics such as:
-Using Peer Pressure to Solve Behavior Issues
-Utilizing a Simple Plastic Cup for Your Mgmt Plan
-Creating a Simple Token Economy
-A Character Building Game
-Game Show Management
-Learning Student Slang
-Group Work Mgmt Tips
…and even more!

Also 5 additional freebie files! Now available in our Bookstore!  And the second copy to share with a friend is half price!  

See it HERE.

And this in turn encourages students to work even harder to maintain their level of respect in front of their peers.  It really is a win-win.

Some quick ideas for making the mundane activity of walking or waiting in the hallway more fun:

Stopping and Starting

While this isn’t a particular “fun” activity, I have found it the most useful when first teaching students what you will tolerate from them in the hallway and what you won’t.

After leaving the classroom, you always follow at the end of the line.  Have students know where to stop periodically throughout the journey so that the students stay compact and you have a visual on each one.

If you see a student who is not following the expectations, stop the group and either go back to the last checkpoint – or return entirely to the classroom to begin again.

{Note:  your specials teachers might not be thrilled as you may be a bit late to their class, BUT this honestly only takes it happening once or twice before students fall in line.  If you are heading to lunch, they fall in line even faster.}

The students realize who is not up to par and peer pressure sets in so they are immediately encouraging the “talker” to zip it so they can get to the next activity.

I think the longest journey I ever had from my classroom to our destination was 10 minutes.  It should have taken 3.  But after that, it was rare we had to start over again.

Play a Quick Game

Depending on your grade level, this could be skip counting the number of steps you take or if you are waiting in the hallway for a bathroom break, it could be a quick game of higher or lower or “I Spy.”

I personally love the counting steps option as it incorporates math and students are usually very excited to tell their number as they pass me for the last time when they head into their Special class.

Pass the “Buck”

Kind of a fun way to encourage behaviors you wish to see more!  Grab a fake money bill and hand it to the student who is being exemplary in the hallway.  Then, pass it on to another student.  Keep it going until you reach the destination.

That student starts with the token when returning as a class back to the classroom.

Whoever has it when you get back, gets a special treat (new pencil, piece of candy, a good note home, extra 5 minutes on computer, or just a group class applause for being a role model to others).

Earn Extra Team Points for Compliments

I love rewarding my class for compliments they receive in and out of the classroom!  It also instills a sense of pride in them as well.

Each time someone compliments the group, make a tally on the board or some other prominent place in the classroom.

Once you hit a certain number, have a class celebration!

The celebration may just be an extra 15 minutes of recess, a dance party for 10 minutes, taking their shoes off for the afternoon, or a full out movie party with snacks.  Have the students help you choose the reward for the maximum impact.

I also asked my Facebook fans to post their best hallway behavior management technique and they surely exceeded my expectations!

So, I thought I would compile them together in case anyone wanted them all in one place!  They are fantastic!

Make sure to click on the picture or the link to download your free copy!

There are almost 40 great tips and suggestions!

Would you like to know even more great hallway tips?

Register for our FREE Helpful Hallway Transition Tips Workshop – complete with an additional cheat sheet. It’s only 20 minutes long!

If you have a new teacher on your team, wouldn’t this be so nice to print in color and place in sheet protectors that are in a binder or three-brad two-pocket folder?

I sure know I would have loved to get my hands on these ideas!

Perhaps you are a principal who is looking for ideas to assist those few teachers who don’t quite have the knack for traveling in the hallway quietly.

Make a copy of this file and place on the tables in the staff lounge for teachers to peruse through during their lunch.

Are you one of the authors listed in the book?  Make sure to show everyone you know – you are a “published author!”  Put it on your resume – I will vouch for you.

I am so excited to share this awesome resource with the world!  Great advice from teachers for teachers – yay!

Hallway behavior can be a fine line between colleagues who love to your students or who need to shut their classroom doors when they hear you coming.

How will you utilize your copy of the Student Hallway Behavior Book?  Tell us in the comments below!


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