My classroom management is NOT perfect by any means, but I'm getting better with it each and every year. My classroom management has improved greatly due to three things: Behavior Clip Charts, Classroom Rewards, and Whole Brain Teaching.
1. Behavior Clip Chart:
I used to use the flip cards for behavior management but each and every year I always stopped midyear because it didn't work. The students who were following the rules were never recognized for their behavior and the ones who were breaking the rules were the ones who were getting up to change their card. My awesome BFF began using her chart in her class and it inspired me to get started with it.
I created mine using my Cricut. The shapes were then laminated for protection and I attached the whole thing using different colors of twine. The clothespins are from Walmart and only cost about $2. Each time that they reach the Fabulous Falcon level they receive a little gem on their clip. If they go above this level I say that they are "off the chart!" and they get to pick where to put their clip. I got this idea from THIS post :)
Each day the students record the color that they end the day on. I use a simple form to communicate the colors with the parents. I use the back of this as their Weekly Newsletter to save on paper. The parents sign this paper and it is due the next week. This paper is placed in my student files and I take them out for parent conferences when I go over classroom behavior. It's awesome!
This year, I am implementing some ideas form Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher to go along with my chart. I will be blogging about this soon.
2. Star Jar
Each time that we get a compliment for walking in a nice line or doing a great job in specials class etc they earn a star. When they reach 15 stars, we will have a small celebration (early recess, puzzle time, computer lab time). The kids LOVE to earn these little stars! They keep a daily count on them to see how many more compliments they need in order to make their goal. I do not recommend taking away stars, but in a serious situation I do take them away. It's a huge deal if they lose stars and it settles the class down quickly.
To add some fun to this I put these little faces on the stars.
I have been implementing some aspects of whole brain teaching and I am loving it! Thank goodness for this website: 3rd Grade Thoughts and this video:
My favorite parts of WBT are:
- The Class Rules
- Hand Gestures
- Class Yes
Our whole team used these elements of WBT. I ended up teaching summer school this year and I was so happy that I didn't have to start from scratch when going over the rules and procedures. It made everything so much easier because they already knew my class rules and Class Yes! I would like to implement more WBT this year, so I will using the WBT website to get some more ideas. Best of all the training for WBT are free at their website right here: Power Teachers
Some other bits of advice I wish someone had given me is that I have to be well prepared every day, especially in the beginning, or else things can spiral out of your control real quick. When the kids are engaged and working, there is no time to be bored, so there is no time to misbehave.
Also, sometimes kids don't know what "good behavior" is or what it looks like. Sometimes we need to tell them and show them what it looks like. I've seen tons of teachers that tell their kids to do something but the kids don't know what she is talking about and therefore don't do it. When this happens to me I stop and teach a mini lesson on what I expect from them. We also practice what it is that I want to see, over and over again. That investment of time in the beginning of the year (also when a new student arrives) is well worth it down the road.
So there is what I have been working on, and learning about classroom management in the past six years. Make sure to link up with Leigh at The Applicious Teacher for her linky this week!