An article at Education Week was about the "best classroom management advice" that teachers had received. (You can read the entire article here.) I've posted one of them below because I think it would be a pretty good strategy to use in alternative education classrooms:
8th grade English teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y. and blogger of On the Shoulders of Giants
"Madeleine Ray, my mentor at Bank Street College, always encouraged me to build in some time with the whole class to talk about how the class is going—whether things are going well or poorly, little things or big things. We never know what they are thinking until we ask. Just open up the discussion with: What's working? What's not?
"The chance for students to voice their perspectives and concerns goes far with them and provides invaluable information to me. Don't take the opportunity to lecture students, but also don't give the impression that your goal is to satisfy all of their "wants." Listen, ask questions, and look for opportunities to negotiate small changes that might better serve the needs of students and create a more democratic classroom. Whether the conversation lasts three or 30 minutes, it will build your credibility as a group leader and help support everything else you are trying to accomplish with your students."