Originally Answered: Classroom management tips?
I teach in the city too, and I know it's a challenge! There are a few things you can try...
1) Group of the Day- My students are seated in groups of 5 or 6, and I award points for various things throughout the day. Say, the first group to open their science books to the right page, or a point if everyone is in uniform, or if they are being attentive... There are times I will be specific in which behaviors earn points, and other times I'll just "catch them" doing something I like. The group with the most points at the end of the day get homework passes, a small piece of candy, or some other little reward.
2) I buy raffle tickets and use them to reward kids on an individual basis. Sometimes I'll walk through the room and just drop tickets on their desks as they're working together appropriately in groups, when I see someone helping someone out, when they are in line, etc. On Friday afternoons, I have a raffle. I save up freebies like notepads, stickers, happy meal toys, and dollar store items. They are all just looking to win something, it isn't as important what the prizes are... I usually have ten prizes (I've also used the next week's jobs as prizes, like 'messenger' and 'paper passer.')
3) If I need to get their attention, I clap twice, and they echo with two claps. If they continue talking after the claps, I write a letter to spell "PRIZE" on the board. Whenever we spell the word, they lose a prize in the raffle. We have lost a few raffles, but this is pretty effective in convincing the one out-of-control kid to knock it off. When all your classmates are giving you the stink-eye, you tend to rethink your behavior.
Make specific praise and consistent adherence to the rules your main focus. I'd repost and reteach these rules again. Good luck!