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Does managing student behavior in the classroom seem like a daunting task? Are you struggling to find something that will work with your classroom this year? Trust me, I know the feeling. Some years it can seem like what worked for one class is absolutely not working for another. Sometimes we just need to regroup and refocus and try something new. Read on for some of my tips for managing student behavior in the classroom. Here are a few of my quick tips to help you manage your classroom this year (or any year to come!)
Reviewing Class Rules Constantly
This is a big one for me and honestly, it’s been a game changer ever since I started. We spend a ton of time at the beginning of the year going over our classroom rules, what they look like, what they don’t look like, how following the rules makes for a positive learning environment, etc. But I don’t stop there. I find plenty of time to review the rules on a consistent basis. I like to review classroom rules after a long weekend or extended break, after there are issues in the classroom, when new students join our classroom, morning meeting… you name it! My students know these rules like the back of their hand and it’s important to look back and reflect on them. We often talk about what we are doing really well with and also, what we might need to improve upon. It makes for great classroom discussions!
Wireless Door Bell
I saw this in a colleague’s kindergarten classroom and thought it was GENIUS! I loathe raising my voice to students and I despise talking over my students as well. I was always looking for new attention-grabbers for my classroom. This was a perfect idea. The teacher would wear a doorbell on her and whenever she wanted her classroom’s attention or it was getting too noisy, she would just ring the doorbell, it would chime and students would put their eyes on her! She didn’t have to raise her voice and the students knew exactly what to do. It can be used to remind students they need to speak quieter, give out new directions, transition to a new activity… it just works! Try it out and I promise you… you’ll be using it forever! I like this doorbell. Just hot glue a clothespin to the push button to clip onto your lanyard. Below is an example from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.
I am all about recognizing students who are doing a great job in the classroom. I like to do this WAYYY more than bringing attention to negative behavior! And I’ll tell you why. Students that are exhibiting unfavorable behavior are *usually* doing so for attention. They want to be noticed by the teacher and their peers. I don’t like the message that it sends to my classroom if I’m only bringing attention to negative behavior. You know there is always that student that is going above and beyond all day and what better message to send the praising the student that is doing what was asked! Instead of saying “stop doing that” or “be quiet” all day long, I am saying things like “I love the way you work” or “you are being such a positive role model.” Students look, watch, take notice, and aspire to be the one praised for something positive. Plus at the end of the day, I feel SO much better and less exhausted from correcting negative behavior all day. Your words have power. Use them for positivity.
In my classroom, I use this reward system for my students. This fuzzy reward system is from Mel D-Seusstastic. My students earn fuzzies which they can trade in for coupons. Check out the pictures below to see how I organize this in my classroom. You can display your coupons using this pocket chart. Check out these FREE reward coupons you can use to get your system started.
Class Dojo is another wonderful positive reinforcement tool to use in your classroom. This classroom management system allows teachers to give students immediate feedback on their behaviors and it also tracks this information for parents as well. Students will earn points when they do something positive in the classroom and those points can earn whatever rewards you choose such as sit by a friend, lunch with the teacher, extra tech time… the possibilities are endless and it really focuses on the positives!
I hope these few ideas will give you some inspiration for your classroom this year or in the future! I'd love to hear your feedback on what you might try or what's already working for you in your room!