Bright Ideas for Managing the Positive Classroom

By: Peter Clutterbuck


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Pages : 128
ISBN : 9781904424512
Format: Paperback
Published: February 2005

The kind of classroom environment that students experience is critical to the development of their own behaviour. Peter Clutterbuck has compiled an essential collection of ideas and activities to help the busy teacher be an effective teacher and at the same time build a positive classroom environment.

Topics covered include:

  • Activities for a positive start to the day
  • Clever ways to attract and keep students' attention
  • Thoughts for the week
  • Indoor gardening
  • Getting to know each other
  • Classroom displays
  • Student roles
  • Games for forming groups
  • Co-operative rule-making
  • Student rewards

Picture for author Peter Clutterbuck

Peter Clutterbuck

Peter Clutterbuck was a prolific author of educational texts for many years. As a practising and wholly committed classroom teacher, he was able to collect tried and tested activities and create and trial interesting new exercises that have proved to be not only educationally successful but also eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by both students and teachers. Peter's books are practical and user-friendly. The activities challenge students and generate an enthusiastic desire for learning.


  1. A very useful textbook for intending and/or new teachers in the secondary and possibly primary sector. Whilst the activities are not, in the main, suitable for the post compulsory sector, many useful ideas are listed that could easily be adapted for any age range.
  2. Time for fun and games

    When their minds shut down, teachers welcome lists of things to do. Bright Ideas for Managing the Positive Classroom is full of them. It's a compendium of activities for getting to know a new class, for the first 10 minutes of the day and for wet playtimes. There are also many suggestions for attracting and keeping children's attention, forming cooperative groups and devising shared rules and appropriate rewards. Some are old favourites; others are party games adapted for school use. Few require anything more complicated than a pile of newspapers or some orange pips.
  3. It was a nostalgic experience for me, reading this book. I found myself saying "I used to do that!' on more than one occasion and also "what a great idea!' Peter Clutterbuck has not felt it necessary to refer to truckloads of research or quote from highly respected educational gurus, because it is self-evident that the ideas presented are not only educationally sound but engaging and motivating at a deep level. They are reminiscent of the sort of primary school activities that used to be a regular feature of good child-centred practice before the advent of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Schemes of Work. In that respect it is encouraging to see a book like this because it suggests that the pendulum is swinging again, back toward a more varied curriculum ; there is a whole section on growing plants, for example.

    Imaginative, yet seemingly simple ideas are sprinkled liberally throughout the book " for example, Word Relays, in which the class is divided into teams which race to complete letter blends on the whiteboard. Clutterbuck has even thought of ways of managing different year groups; if you ever come across a school assembly with all the children doing the Hokey Cokey, it may be as a result of this book.

    The book is divided into sections "Getting to know You'; "The Attentive Classroom' "Ten Tips to Encourage Student Participation' and several more. There is also one on starting the day " excellent for settling the class down and getting them into a state of readiness for learning. A substantial part of the book is geared toward social and emotional developmental activities, something that is identified by the Government (Department of Health) as needing increasing attention in our society. Education can of course play a major role in this and this book gives educators the tools to do it. At the end is a section on physical activities and these could be used by anyone working with children, school-based or not.

    The format is very easy to access; in fact one could pick up the book, open it at a random page and find an activity that will inspire and engage; this is because of the open-ended nature of most of the ideas. There are on average three or four ideas per page, enlivened with cartoon illustrations. There is also some more general advice about class management and handling individual students ; the importance of careful planning in the longer term to ensure that learning is a positive experience.

    A recommended addition to any staffroom, but buy several copies because it won't stay long on the shelf!
  4. Accessible and practical usage for all Qualified Teacher Status Students.
  5. The title of this book is immediately intriguing because most of us as adults tend to err more to the side of caution and/or negative thinking until we learn that positive thinking coupled with an attitude of adventure is far more rewarding. So was this a book written by an educator who had had enough of following the "old' rules and wanted to find a way to make learning in academic situations more positive for students?

    Well what a surprise " this author has recognised how important it is for each individual to be acknowledged for WHO they are and has some excellent ideas on how to help others appreciate another. I can remember experiencing feelings of envy when one or two children were the focus of any classroom and/or my siblings seemingly got all the attention from my parents (of course none of you have experienced that have you?). Social graces and skills really are so important if we as a global society are going to learn to value our differences thereby creating tolerance of each other. So to have active exercises to encourage appreciation and learning of another's individuality and "specialness" is such a wonderful idea!

    Also, I love the ice-breakers for starting the day in order to create focus through game playing. What a wonderful way to a student's heart and also all of us enjoy playing games. It is a great attention grabber and demonstrates how educators could become very inventive with their students as well as increasing general knowledge, or even specific knowledge to their subject. Another suggestion by this book is to focus on what students do well through activities that recognise this. So much of what I remember about being at school was how "wrong answers' were focused on to the exclusion of what I had done right. I believe educators who can demonstrate that it is okay to get wrong answers, to recognise that "failure' is an opportunity to seek new solutions and answers, is giving their students a chance to succeed in their adult life. So to have exercises that help students to work as teams, to develop their listening skills which helps with hearing others communicate their needs and desires, learning service/contribution through becoming a buddy and accountability by having a buddy are definitely important skills to develop whilst learning academic subjects. So the author has some exceptionally useful tips for educators on how to develop these skills with their students. And although there is some focus on the younger members going into education, the book is inspiring enough for educators to find something that they can adapt even for adult learners or to share with parents who can implement some of the ideas at home.

    The other thing I appreciated about the content of this book is that the activities firmly place learning into the student's responsibility. The activities encourage research, sharing, contribution, compassion, willingness to risk and find solutions. Very helpful tips which can be adapted to suit your own situation. Gone are the days when students just had to absorb facts and figures and leave school and not remember anything after their exams " learning to manage a positive classroom is far more about developing the skills of life long learning so that each student no matter what level of academic achievement, has the ability to know they can do and become who they desire to be. Thus the tips in this book are positive in that they give the teacher the skills to empower their students for life long learning " and even challenge the teacher to become inventive and creative to suit their own situations. An excellent introduction to being focused on a variety of solutions and esteem building from an early age.
  6. This is a clearly written collection of practical tips and activities which will be invaluable for all primary and lower secondary teacher and support staff. With the increasing emphasis upon emotional learning, promoting friendship groups and interactive learning, the book is a valuable resource for all staffrooms. The section on tips and ideas to encourage student participation re-enforces good practice and stimulates ideas and activities which actually work. An easy read, highly recommended.
  7. Excellent, inspirational resource. Full of practical, easy to implement ideas that will motivate and engage the most reluctant of learners. Anti dote to the National Curriculum and genuinely innovative. Like the way its draws on Emotional Intelligence approaches in a way that will appeal to teams. Best book of its kind I have seen for a while.
  8. Classroom management can be a challenge, not only to the novice, but also to the experienced teacher, who, it is sometimes wrongly assumed, can deal with any situation. So, any ideas to lead to positive outcomes are always most useful and welcome.

    This book, by Peter Clutterbuck, contains so many useful strategies to engage even the most disaffected and disengaged student that you almost spoilt for choice.

    I feel sure that any teacher would want to own this book, which is both a very good support and support - a real lifebelt to hang on to in moments of doubt and despair.
  9. The book is a must for every teacher: the newly qualified as well as the seasoned and experienced. Its truly a treasure trough of tips for every class situation you can possibly encounter. I was thrilled to find ideas I have never thought of myself nor seen used by other teachers. The very new and original are mixed with some many of us have used and frequently forgotten about...
    The book will help all teachers enrich their repertoire of activities and will serve as a 'bag' to dip in when their busy and tired minds need support. A wonderful addition to teacher's bookshelf!

    Dr Eva Hoffman, Author, Founder and Director of Inspired Learning
  10. Bright Ideas is exactly what it suggests " a welcome and comprehensive collection of creative, easily-implemeted tips and techniques to enliven your primary classroom. Designed for hard-pressed teachers, this book will give you ideas when ideas are lacking!

    Ranging from short, snappy activities to more substantial approaches, the ideas brought together in this volume will help you to deliver the kind of personal, social and thinking skills upon which effective learning depends.

    Peter has drawn on old and new, on familiar and novel, and presented the material in such a straightforward, quick-fire way that you will be inspired by just a cursory glance at almost any page.

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