Thursday, February 19, 2015

Managing Our Management

Blogging ... wow. It's a gift really. I get to blog when my son is asleep. He isn't a typical kid ... he doesn't sleep much through the day ... or the night ... or at night time really. Ha. Oh well! I love this life. So, even with bags under my eyes, I won't complain. Onto my wisdom experience with classroom management.

First off - why should you keep reading this post? What do I have that you don't have? NOTHING. Honestly, I wish I were better at a great many things. My TEAM evaluations say I need to work on a few more things to be considered "perfect." However, I do have 8 years of averaging 4-5 in my environment, classroom, and behavior management. How in the world do you do this, you ask? By the grace of God.

Second - I will not tell you these are the ONLY methods. I also won't tell you these are the BEST methods. To do so would be to consider kids and their experiences equal. That is just foolish. Every kid is different and needs different management. I am praying that this transfers over to my little boy when he gets older.

Here are several methods that I have used and have passed on to other teachers.

Hallway Behavior:
This all starts in the classroom. I found it difficult to get the kids to line up quickly and properly in one line (I required shirts tucked in all the way around, hands behind their back or in the or in their pockets, feet on the 3rd block/tile from the wall on the right side of the hallway, facing forward, and at a silent Zone 0.) However, this can be remedied quickly if you put a little incentive in it for your kids. First of all, I always have 2 lines - a boy line and a girl line. I would call either the boys or the girls to line up. Now, this is where it gets tricky. If there are ANY problems (and I was VERY picky) I would send the WHOLE team (boy or girl) back to their seats. It was not unheard of for my class to get up and have to sit 4-5 times at the beginning. It's all about expectations.
In having 2 lines, you can have a comparison line, 2 teams, and 2 line leaders (I'll talk about that in a moment.) This sets them up to want to prove themselves better than the other team. I always let the line that was ready first/best to go first. So, if my boys were doing an excellent job, they would go to the hallway while the girls' line would follow their line. This creates that one line that hallways need.

While in the hallway, I would have "Stop spots." These were just locations along our route that the leader would stop at for me to catch up, correct, or compare. If I notice at a Stop Spot that the girls are doing betting in the hallway than the boys, they would get to "pass" them - like in a NASCAR lap! The boys really like this part. They always work so hard to pass the girls. This is where 2 line leaders come into play. You can have a boy and a girl line leader! So, they're like your captains! Also, this keeps all of the boys and girls focused and paying attention to see if they get to go around the other team!

In doing this, my class would receive MANY compliments through the day. I decided to keep track of the compliments in my room on a board. I decided that when the kids received 25 compliments we would have a party! They worked sooooo well in the hallway trying to get to the party!

Compliments:
These are verbal! Any teacher/sub/staff/faculty member/visitor can give them. Obviously, you want the compliment to be earned, so the teacher DOESN'T give compliments. The way it worked in my room was that we put a thumb tack on a "Hall of Fame" board. When we got to 25, we had a party. Each time we had a party, we had to earn 5 extra compliments the next time!

Party 1 = 25 compliments              
Party 2 = 30 Compliments      
Party 3 = 35 Compliments and so on.

Also, I don't know about your kids, but there were some special classes that they didn't really enjoy and acted up... a lot. Soooo, I made specials teachers compliments worth 2! The kids behavior changed drastically! So, here were our compliment school board!

Principal/Assistant = 5 Compliments
Dining Hall Workers = 3 Compliments
Specials Teachers = 2 Compliments
Substitutes = 5 Compliments
Regular Teachers = 1 Compliment
Visitors = 1 Compliment

This picture shows compliments at the top of the whiteboard ... it's just little neon green diamonds held up with thumb tacks. I put it there to remind the kids every time we lined up.

Table Points:
Also in the picture above, you'll see a little page with colored dots on it. Each dot has a number in the center. These numbers correlate with numbers in the center of your students' clustered desks. Beside the dots on the whiteboard (easy access while you're teaching) tally marks are kept for clusters that are working well together. At the end of the week, the team with the most tally marks go to the treasure chest! 


Treasure Grid:
This was a newer management style. Primarily, it'd used to make sure kids complete work! When they return notes, supplies, or homework, the kid gets to write their name in one of the squares on the grid. I used it for GREAT behavior during the day! At the end of the week, draw one of the numbers from a hat! ANYONE who has their name in that square (more than one person can put their name into each square they earn!) get to go to the treasure chest!


Classroom Jobs:
Did you know that your kids take their jobs VERY seriously? Of course you did! Well, in my room, it was a privilege  to have a job... not a right. So, if a child is having difficulty during the day, I "lay off" my students. I do give warnings, but only 1-2 per student. So, they get laid off :( This keeps them in check!


Clip Chart/Cards:

Clip Chart Freebie!!!  This is the chart that my WHOLE team used! We LOVE it. Basically, you buy some clothes line clips (I get mine from from the dollar store), number or label each with a different student's name, and start the kids on green. Throughout the day, kids move their clip up for good choices and down for poor choices. I took time from recess for the kid who was on yellow (5 minutes) or orange (10 minutes). Students on red got NO recess and a note/phone call to their parents.


Punch Cards:
 These were a hit. I went to www.Vistaprint.com and got some of their business cards. I created them to be punch cards. I use these along with the clip chart. Kids' clip determines how many punches they get ...
Green = 1 punch
Blue = 2 punches
Purple = 3 Punches
Pink = 4 Punches

When a kid filled a card with punches (20) they could "spend" or "save" it. They could spend it on Reward Coupons and use the coupons when they wanted!

Welp ... that's all I have for y'all today! I hope that it was informative.

Love you all!


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