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Monday, June 16, 2014

Diggin' into Behaviour Management and a Freebie!

I am back again this week to link up with Laura from Where the Magic Happens to bring you the next topic in the "Diggin' Into Next Year" serious. This weeks topic is Behaviour Management.

To be perfectly honest, this is the area that I think I am great at, I think it comes down to growing up with a mom who was a teacher and who had a pretty amazing "teacher look". I perfected that look early on in my teaching career. In all seriousness though, most days after school when I was in high school, I helped out in my mother's classroom. I learned a lot about classroom management from her. I have also taught at some tough schools. Being sworn at, having chairs thrown at me or being pushed into the wall were weekly if not daily occurrences.

When I first started teaching  I had the opportunity to attend a week long TRIBES workshop.  The main idea behind TRIBES is to build a learning community in your classroom, and I honestly feel that when that is built, a lot your classroom management issues disappear. TRIBES has really shaped my philosophy on classroom management. Does anyone else use the TRIBES program?

I have tried a few things that I quickly decided that I wasn't going to use. I thought I would briefly touch base on them and tell you why I personally chose not use them. Please note that if these programs work for you that's great. They just weren't for me.

Coloured Card System
My second year of teaching I was introduced to a strategy. Each student was given a pocket on a chart. In each pocket there was a green, yellow, orange, red and black card. Every morning students started with the green card at the front. If they made a mistake or a poor choice the card was changed to yellow, and then orange and so on. At the end of the day the students filled in a square on the calendar with the colour that they ended the day on. 

I don't use this system because I feel that this system draws attention to the bad behaviour or the unwanted behaviour. It also singles out the student that is making the poor choice, everyone knows that the student is in trouble.  

 My oldest daughter's class used this system in first grade. Every day she would come home and tell me that she was on green. She would also tell me if someone got on red. The day that she had to change her card she was devastated. If I hadn't already chosen not to use the card system I would have stopped immediately. However, she probably never spoke when she wasn't suppose to again.

1-2-3 Magic
Another strategy I tried last year, since my teaching partners were using it was called 1-2-3 Magic. All of the students start on 1. Each student has a clothespin, if they make a poor choice the students clothespin is moved up to 2. If the students clothespin gets to 3 they have to take a 5 minute time out. I personally didn't like this program for the same reasons above. I found that students felt singled out. As well, it was disruptive when students had to leave during a lesson to have a time out.

That being said I found that this strategy worked well at home with my own girls. We went through a rough patch when we needed a system like this. 

When it comes to classroom management I try to encourage the positive instead of the negative.

Class Agreements
One of the first things I do with my students in September is to make a set of class agreements. These are things that we will do, not things that we can't do. (i.e. We will raise our hands, instead of "No yelling out!") I try to keep it to about 5 or 6 agreements, but I let the students come up with them. When we are happy with them the students sign the bottom of the chart to say that they agree to them. 

Class Goals
Throughout the year we make class goals. It's something that the students think they need to improve (this is student created). This month our goal is to work quietly. When the students are working quietly I will colour in one or two gumballs. They also chose a prize when they fill in the all of the gum balls. This month's prize is an extra gym period.

Click HERE or on the picture to download a free copy of the goal setting sheets I use in my classroom. 

Class Store
Each of my students has their own wallet, I use an envelope that each student decorates and is responsible for.
An example of a student's wallet. It has definetely seen better days!

 I have photocopied and cut out pennies on brown construction paper, nickels and dimes on grey construction paper. The money below is about four years old, it lasts a long time. When I see students making good choice, I will give them a coin. That they store in their wallet.

Counting how much money she collected. Man my hands are getting old looking. :(

 Every other week, we have a class store and students can buy items. I have a 6, 12, 18, 25, and a 50 cent bag. Some students love to save up their money while, other students love to spend right away

Here are some examples of the prizes in each of the bags.

What I love...
I love that students get practice counting money and making change. They also have to be responsible for their wallet and money. It also reinforces positive behaviour.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Don't forget to hop back over to Laura's page and continue through the hop.

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