Guiding a classroom of children is a lot of work. It requires you to be able to manage the flow of your students and keep everything in control. Managing your classroom is about empowering your students and yourself.
#1 Assign Classroom Bell Ringers
Put your students to work as soon as they walk into your classroom. Start your day off with bell ringers. Bell ringers is basically work that your students do as soon as they walk into the classroom. This helps set the tone and expectation for the day. With an elementary school classroom, this needs to be work that students can complete independently and in a reasonable time frame. This also gives your students something to do as everyone is arriving.
Bell ringer work doesn't have to be complicated or cumbersome on your part. It could be about drawing a specific thing, writing in their journals, or answering a question in their journals that is on the board. Keep it simple, but set the tone.
#2 Have a Calendar Up in Your Classroom
You should have a visual representation of your day. For young children, it is helpful to know what is happening now and what will be happening next. Put up a classroom that shows your routine for each day of the week. Your routine may be the same every day of the week, or it may vary from day-to-day, just make sure that you show your students what they will be doing.
Have a larger calendar that covers bigger topics, like the book you are reading in class, or what unit you are working on in social studies. When your students know what to do, your transitions will go smoother.
#3 Have a Routine & Time for Transitions
Speaking of transitions, do not just expect your students to be able to transition from one activity to the next. Instead, set up a routine for each of your transitions. Practice that routine with your students. If your students forget how to do a particular transition, or you didn't really teach it in the first place, reteach it. Use a timer to guide your transitions to ensure that they don't take too long. Spending time teaching transitions will pay off in the long run when you are able to smoothly transition from one activity to the next throughout the day.
Finally, keep in mind that one classroom to the next is not going to be the same. Each classroom of kids is going to be different, so be willing to make adjustments to your routine and classroom procedures each year and find what works for this particular class of students.