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Classroom MEME Management

I have learned that the quickest way to an upper elementary/middle school student's heart is with memes. I wanted to share how I incorporate them into learning, and how they help keep everything together.

Here is a bit of what a class looks like in regards to transitioning, getting started and keeping their attention:

We have interactive notebooks and each class I put everyone’s notebooks out on their desks and when they come into class I say hello, and then tell them to find their notebook and have a seat. Seats change everyday this way nobody gets too comfortable.

The night before I go through and think hard about who is going next to who based on previous class behavior. I sit quiet with loud and shy with outgoing, I sit friends apart. This isn't to punish anyone, or to keep anyone from socializing (trust me we do a lot of that) but it helps keep everything flowing nicely and it allows everyone to engage with everyone versus having the same partners, groups, and seat mates all of the time. This is a nice way to keep moral up and conflicts low. I will say, we have never had "assigned seats", rather they are "suggested". The students come in, find their notebooks, and have a seat like I asked and have never had a problem with it. I never demand anyone to sit in a certain spot, on occasion they will end up rearranging some, but I don't have issues because I think they know I can ask them to return to their original seats if things aren't working out. This eliminates time wasters such as arguing over who sits where and next to who.

When they arrive I have a meme on the board with some sort of prompted discussion point. This gives them something to discuss among themselves that is related to our content for that day vs having 50 different off topic conversations while we are getting ready to get started. Redirecting multiple unstructured conversations is a lot harder compared to being able to join in with them, discuss, debate, ask questions, etc… and then from there, smoothly shift into the lesson.

I will put a photo up like this:

As they arrive to class and find their seats, they all start talking they’re like “OMG Mrs Ashley really?!" and maybe an eye roll or two. Usually at least one will speak up with a relatable story to tell everyone “My uncle wrestled a crocodile” or “I know which one is which” and they all start talking about alligators and crocodiles which was on topic for that day. Easy slide right into the lesson.

This was also a great one that lead to really interesting discussions:


Be relatable, jump into their world in order to bring them to yours. Kids LOVE memes and jokes. They LOVE sharing about themselves and LOVE being heard and listened to.

If they are talking and not paying attention to your lesson, there is something about your lesson is not keeping their attention. I use memes and jokes throughout the entire lesson I’ll post below an example of my slides. I keep them short and sweet and we flow right into an activity!

I like to keep them on their toes, they never know what to expect and this is what keeps them engaged! I like to end class on a good note, with everyone happy and laughing. The sneaky Rick Roll was their favorite so far. I showed the following video and before I played it I told them that I found a really cool animation I wanted to share with them. They were totally into it, eyes and ears glued, saying things like, "Oh wow, this is pretty cool "What's the secret?" the BOOM it hit them with the Rick Roll just seconds before class ended. They were all dying of laughter gathering their things, dancing and singing, as they headed out of the classroom with ear to ear smiles. There is no better feeling!

Classroom management isn't so much about "management" rather than being able to captivate and connect with your students. When given the opportunity, students want to learn. We must take into account that this developmental period is stressful, and if we remove most of the stress, we have receptive, engaged beings ready to learn! Also, respect goes both ways if you start off dictating and making demands they aren't going to be eager to listen to you. Instead, we should join them where they’re at and take them with you learning.

Behavior is communication, it is our job as adults with the skills to help them learn the skills lacking by modeling and giving them an opportunity to learn them. By removing majority of the stress in their learning environment, they are able to better focus on their lessons and learn the skills they otherwise would be too anxious to learn.

Happy Learning!

Below are a few of my Meme lessons and resources, I will be adding to my TPT store, so keep checking back! If you have a need for a particular topic/subject shoot me an email and I'd be glad to make one for you.

Some of our fun games, perfect for social emotional learning:

Social Skills UNO grab it here:

Emotional Charades grab it here:


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