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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inspiration for Classroom Management

Since I'm a looping teacher, the first year a loop is critical for classroom management. It's nice that we are able to take the time in the first few weeks/months of school to learn behaviors and routines because we will have essentially the same students for two years.

At the end of last year I had a chart like many:
It was quite motivational! I actually had my colors flipped from the picture above- you wanted to get to purple and stay away from red. Most kids stayed on green ("Ready to Learn") and would move up to blue if they were caught going above and beyond the call of duty. Purple was reserved for those who were stellar- great listening, no reminders, helpful, etc. If you got to purple, you got a special note home. The kids had keychains (just those little silver ball keychains) that they tried to earn beads for and if you were on green or blue at the end of the day, you got to choose a bead. Purple kids were able to choose from special animal beads. If you needed reminders, you would go down to yellow, orange, and red. Red meant that  you got a call home. At any point in the day kids could move up or down. I constantly reiterated that if you were on yellow, you could get back to green just by being ready to learn. 

This year I might try this again, depending on what my team decides. I wouldn't use the beads and keychains again, though- it was a lot to remember at the end of the day. I like Wild About First Grade's idea of the gems on the clips- that was cute. 

As far as rules go, our school has four that encompass most of what we'd like the kids to do. Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Prepared. We usually spend a day on each rule- we read a story, talk about examples of that behavior, write down what it would look like, sound like, etc. At the end of the week, I make large posters of each rule and the kids walk around in groups and write reminders and notes of each rule. 

I love focusing on the positives in the rules- saying "I will remember to walk quietly in the halls" instead of "Don't talk in the hallway." Here are some other fantastic ideas from Pinterest, just click on the image for the website: 

From Farley's Scribd

I also love these ideas for discussing active listening (click on the image for lesson ideas, too!):


And I will continue to do Bucket Fillers- there are so many ideas out there for this! We have been doing this for a few years and I'm glad to see there are many more resources now than when we first started! Click the image to see how Clutter-Free Classroom uses this book.

Curing the blurts from Scholastic:

And I usually re-read these two amazing books to remind myself how to start the year:

And I'll also include this article from Scholastic in case I forget anything!

Classroom Expectations List
One quick question, does anyone do Envoy by Michael Grinder? There was a discussion about it at my school last year and I'm curious about the pros and cons. Thanks!

Tomorrow's inspiration is just for fun- things I have found that I'd like to try.

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