Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here we are, at the beginning of a new school year! I have my first ever student teacher this fall, and things are going great so far. On the last (of three) inservice days I suddenly decided to change my entire classroom management system. Here's what we are doing this year, and I tried to site my sources by linking the titles of each picture, if you're interested.

Class Points
 Each class period the kids can earn up to four points. The points are for:
1. Come in quietly and sit down right away.
2. Listen to instructions and raise hands.
3. Work quietly and stay on task.
4. EVERYONE helps clean up.

When they earn a point, I move a laminated check mark to the box next to the task.

Our schools use "Above the line", "Below the Line", and "Bottom Line" behavior terms. One of my schools added "Top Line" for the kids that are going above and beyond what is expected of them. I took these and translated them into Superhero terms. All of the classes started at "Ready to Fly," the middle category. If they earn three or four points from the previous system, their class clothes pin will move up one category. Two points and it will stay where it is. Zero or one point means it will move down a category. I also told them if they stay in the "Kryptonite" category for long I would have to talk with their classroom teacher to make a personal plan for their class to improve.

I love this one, so far. I have a spot for each of my table colors on our "Bravo Board." The first two tables that are cleaned up and sitting silently get a tally by their table color. At the end of our six day specialist cycle I will look at which table has the most tallies and that table will get a trophy on their table for the next cycle. The kids are really getting into this so far. I have to find/make a really cool trophy so they really want it! My student teacher had the great idea that they could somehow add onto it, but I haven't figured out how to manage that without the table fixating on that instead of the lesson I'm teaching.

All of my previous years of teaching I have used a "helper table." It works fine, but I liked the idea of getting all the tables involved. One of my schools has five tables and the other has six, so I just added a "day off" for the sixth table. Here's the breakdown of the jobs: 

1. Supply Coordinators: Pass out needed supplies
2. Table Folder Collectors: Pick the table folders up from each table and put them on their class shelf after the Bravo Board points have been awarded.
3. Volume Control Specialists: For this job, I really pump how important they are because their reminders could help them earn their class point for working quietly and staying on task. These kids are in charge of reminding the kids when they are getting too loud. If they do get too loud and I need to take away one of the "ART" letters, these kids move it for me so I can continue working with whomever I happen to be working with when they get loud.
4. Table Washers: I have wipes, and I also got a spray bottle and towels from the custodian. After the "Bravo Board" points are awarded, this table will wipe all of the tables. 
5. Sink/Floor Inspectors: I have the kids tell me the difference between an "inspector" and a "cleaner" to make sure they know they can't leave the mess for this table. They simply double check that nothing was missed, again, after the "Bravo Board" points are awarded. 

Jobs 2, 4, and 5 are after the points are awarded so that those tables have a fair shot at earning the Bravo points.

In/Out box

This was actually my idea (woah!). Last year I ordered a Classroom Keeper for my construction paper. The company actually sent two of them  when I asked for the quote and I had  not yet decided to order them. Actually, I didn't have enough money for them! Our awesome secretary saw the panic in my eyes and called the company, who told me to just keep them and I'd get credited for the amount! SCORE! I used one for the construction paper as planned, and ho hummed about what to do with the other one. I decided to make an In/Out box for completed artwork. Before now, the kids would just add it to an ever-growing pile and it would get to be too much. Now there are two shelves for each grade: and "In" for newly completed work and an "Out" for work I'm ready to pass back. I plan on keeping the classes divided within these shelves.


Rina said...

Great classroom management tips! I pinned them all!

Tracie Kiernan said...

Great tips! Do you use the same bravo board for all of your classes? Or is there a different one for each class?

Jodi Youngman said...

I use the same one for all the classes. At the end of our six day specialist cycle the table with the most tallies gets the trophy. I think it limits the "it's YOUR FAULT we didn't get the trophy!" at least a little bit.