Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Week: Taming the Wild!

I didn't get a chance to link up yesterday because vacation got in the way.  Sad story, right? :)

I'm back bright and early this morning, though, and I promise I do have some posts lined up to show you lots of instructional organization so just check back in the near future.  I am especially excited to show you my new organization for word study sorts!

But "taming the wild" day! Ha! Love it!  Classroom management is one of my favorite topics and (I think) one of my strengths.  I believe in setting high expectations for behavior and I find that my kiddos usually follow.  When everything is under control and everyone is being NICE...then we can have FUN and be silly!

Here are some of my tips and tricks for classroom management.  I usually keep a few things in place all year and just add in some others when we need something fresh and exciting...or when I find something on Pinterest that I have to try! ;)

Our guidance counselor is pretty much AWESOME and supports a school wide bucket filling program to go along with this book.
I seriously love this book.  I'm sure you've seen it...but if, by chance, you haven' is a MUST read!

Any time I want to reward the entire class for good choices and "bucket filling" behavior, I put marbles in their bucket. Our counselor takes care of awarding stars for full buckets and rewarding them in small ways.

I'm going to focus my post on what I do in the classroom.

First of all...I only have 3 rules in my classroom.  I can fit anything under one of these rules!

Check out this post to find our more about my rules and grab a free copy of them.

I pass out these tickets from Creative Teaching Press all day long for good behavior. Especially at the beginning of the year...ANYTHING positive gets a ticket.

And I mean anything.   The kids collect these tickets (cute container pictures to come!) and each week...if they have 10 tickets, they get to trade in their 10 tickets for one of these red tickets and they write their name on it and put it in our "raffle basket."

Each month, we do a big raffle drawing with the red tickets for prizes.  The prizes range anywhere from Dollar Tree junk treasures to "lunch bunch" and "bring a stuffed animal to school day" coupons to free books from Scholastic bonus points, etc.

I have just collected ideas from YOUR blogs and Pinterest for ideas that will work in my classroom for the drawings.  My kids' favorite things to win are things that don't cost me any "stinky feet" coupons where they get to take their shoes off all day in the classroom.  Works for me!

I think they key to this kind of classroom management system is to be very liberal with the tickets at first and make a HUGE deal about it when they are dispersed.  They really like earning tickets and keeping count of them. I keep some in my pocket to hand out, but I also have them loose in a basket near my desk so if I'm working with a small group and see one teeny tiny little sweet soul doing what they're supposed to be doing while the rest of the class acts like wild hyenas...I can very sweetly say "! Look at Austin sitting quietly and setting up his math game for his partner.  Austin...go get yourself a ticket.  THANK YOU!"

And I don't have to get up.  Which is good.

 I also LOVE the math that I hear going on as they collect them too.

"I have 6, so I need 4 more to make 10."


I know you're wondering...and YES, I do take the tickets occasionally for negative behaviors.

'Cause I'm a big fat meanie.

I don't take them often, but sometimes it's absolutely necessary...and sometimes I'm in a bad mood.  There. I said it.

The other thing I like about this kind of system is that their whole day isn't judged by where they are on a chart or what "color" they landed on at the end of the day.  That totally works for a lot of classrooms and I have been itching to make a cute clipchart and give it a whirl...but if it ain't broke...don't fix it...right?? And this works for me!

So what else can my little darlings do to earn tickets?

Wellllll....check out this post to get more info on "Mystery Walker" and "Secret Student" AND to get your free copy of these posters for your classroom.

Both of these ideas work basically the same way.  One is for hallway behavior and the other is for any ol' thing.  I've even used "secret student" for school assemblies and field trip.

You choose a student's name and don't tell anyone who it is.  You watch that person closely...and they only get their ticket if they did a PERFECT job on whatever task you were watching.  

And lastly, a NEW thing I'm trying this year are "quiet critters."  I'm sure you've seen a version of this on Pinterest, and I have no idea where the original source came from...but if you search for "quiet critters" on Pinterest you will find tons of ideas!  I can't stand constantly saying "Shhh" but sometimes it's important that my kids work silently...especially if I'm doing testing, etc. with another student.

Most of the pictures I've seen on Pinterest use little pom poms for critters...but I found these ADORABLE little plush monsters on Amazon that I am going to use.  Click the picture for the link.

I'm going to use these little monsters for times when the kids truly must be silent.  Everybody gets a quiet critter to start with, and if they make noise...bye bye monster.  Sad!

At the end of the activity, whoever has a monster left on their desk will get a ticket.

I will let you know how this works since this is new for me...if anyone else has tried does it work?

OK...beach time!

Happy Teacher Week!  Can't wait to read up and find some new ideas. :)


Jamie Neely said...

I love your ideas Amy! Love the mystery walker and secret student! And I'm definitely going to search for some quiet critters! Cute, cute, cute!!!

Anonymous said...

All great ideas Amy ! So glad to have found you ! xox

Aubrey Trescott said...

Also glad I found you! Thanks so much! Quiet Critters are on my list! :)

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