Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back To School Linky: Behavior Management

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and found this fun linky for Back School ideas. Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees are hosting a Back to School Weekly Linky and it looks super fun!

So week 1 is all about behavior management! This is something that I am ALL ABOUT people. As a now 4th year teacher, there is a TON that I still have to learn about being a teacher, but my classroom management is something that I often get compliments on from parents, other teachers, and administrators.

I set HIGH expectations for my kiddos from the very first day of school. I find that it is much better to be stern and stick to the rules from the beginning to have a well behaved class all year long!

Hallway Management
I feel like hallway management is a huge part of behavior management. I make a HUGE deal out of the hallway being the pathway to the "learning zone" and we will not be distracting other students while they are learning. There are a few ways that I make this happen with my kinder babies!

Line-up Songs
I love line up songs! They are such a fun way to get your kiddos ready and quiet to enter the hallway. I change them up all the time so that they never get bored with what we are singing. These are a few of my favorites:

Get them for free here!!

Line Order
I am a big believer in having a line order. Butting in line, shoving to be first, crying about being last....I'm having none of that. My kindergartners start with line order the first day of school and they CAN do it. They need a lot of help in the beginning, with numbers/names on the floor to show them where to stand, but they catch on quick! 

(These are my feet from last year. They worked fine, but I'll definitely change to something smaller this year as these fell off pretty quickly!)

When I taught 1st/2nd grade, I would send the line leader to the end of the line each week. This gave everyone the chance to be first. But with my kinders, we just choose a new line leader each month and the rest of the line stays the same. These little guys don't know any different and they honestly DON'T CARE. Having the same spot all year keeps my behavior problems and talking in the hall to almost zero!

Mystery Walker
Mystery walkers are such a great way to encourage good hallway behavior! I have a box with each kiddos name on a stick in it that I carry with me. At the door, I choose a stick and cover it with my hand. If the kiddo shows good hallway behavior, they get a point (Class Dojo, I'll explain below). If not, I don't acknowledge them at all, and they go back in the box. I want to reward good behavior, not make a child feel bad!

I just make it a habit to carry the box wherever I go! As a special treat, I include a stick that says "whole class" and obviously, if the whole class has good behavior, we all get a point! This is the only time that I let them know if they did not earn it.

Behavior Management
These are the actual tools I use as behavior management in the classroom. I use a multitude of different things, all working together to create a wonderful, well behaved class. Obviously, not every management tool is going to work for every student, but there are what work best for me!

Class Dojo
I love love love Class Dojo! If you have never heard of it, Class Dojo is an online behavior management tool and it's FREE! You just have to sign up for an account, set up your class, and then you are good to go!!

 This is the set-up for my class for last year with no points. It displays the child's first name, their dojo and their points. This next screen shows the kiddos with some points. 

Students can get points for WHATEVER you want them to!  They are customizable! I made them according to school rules, character traits, or something I wanted the kiddos to work on (like superstar pictures)!

You can also make different awards worth different amounts. For example, kindness is a BIG deal to me. So if I catch a kiddo being kind, in addition to putting a ribbon on the kindness wreath, they also get 2 points! The possibilities are endless. There is also an option to add negative points, but I choose not to do this. I find this is much more successful when I keep it positive!

This website is also phenomenal because you can track your kiddos behavior!! This is a much more beneficial aspect of the website if you are using both positive and negative, but I like to reward my kiddos who are being extra kind or extra responsible.

The last wonderful part of this website is the ability to communicate with parents. You can send home reports daily, weekly, monthly, etc. They can see what behaviors their child was awarded what day and at what time.  It's a great tool for conferences! 

They way that I use Class Dojo in my classroom is for the students to reach a goal of 50 points. When they get 50 points, they get a reward (prize box, coupon, etc.). Then I reset their Dojo points to zero, and they start all over again. This way, NO ONE KNOWS if a certain special friend takes much longer to get to their reward than others. They just get super excited for whoever reaches their goal, whenever they reach it!

As you can tell, I'm a HUGE fan! I've used clip charts in the past and they have worked just fine for me. I just feel that this is a better fit for me as a teacher!

Kindness Wreath
Out of all of the traits that I instill in my kiddos throughout the year, kindness is the most important to me! I really praise my students when they are being kind! I use this kindness wreath as a symbol of each kind act a student has performed. We start with an empty wreath at the beginning of the year, and by the end, it is full of ribbons!! I make a HUGE deal out of getting to put a ribbon on the wreath, meaning maybe only once or twice a day. Thanks to Debbie Clement for the idea!

photo of: ARK Wreath: Acts of Random Kindness, Teaching Kindness to Children

In addition to having an individualized behavior management system, I also have a whole-class management system. Using turn-a-letter, my kiddos are working together as a class to earn a party. Each time they receive a compliment, or are super-well behaved as a whole class, they get to turn a letter. In the end, the letters all spell out what type of party we have!

This year we had: ice cream party, popcorn party, movie party, glow in the dark party, Frozen party, popsicle party, no shoes party, etc. I'm so frustrated I don't have a picture to show it to you in action. I'll find one soon!!

Character Education
I am so into character education it's not even funny. I integrate character ed. into pretty much any teaching situation. That's how important I think it is! I teach it all year long because I feel that it is  a pivotal part of behavior management.

I'm working on a character education pack that will hopefully be finished by the school year! Depends on how much of my pool time I want to squander :)

(Coming SOON!!!!!)

Happy summer! I don't know about you all, but as much as I love talking about school, I still value my precious summertime.

Link up for next week!

1 comment:

Jonna G. said...

I also try to instill kindness in my students all year long. I love how you use the Kindness Wreath to reinforce this virtue. Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to try it next year! :)

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