Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild: Teacher Week Day 4

If Max could tame these Wild Things, I know we can all do a great job with our sweeties!  I met my students today, some for the first time, others, I knew.  I didn't notice any monsters (see above), or even any wild things at all, but just in case, here are my classroom management plans:
First of all, I LOVE Class Dojo!  My kids love it, too.  If you haven't found your mojo yet, check out Class Dojo!  Click the logo above.  Class Dojo allows you to enter each child's name into a software application that you can connect to your i pad, cell phone, and laptop to award behavior points.  Parents can login, with a unique code for each child, to check their progress, and a beautiful individual report is available to print weekly.  Also, at the end and beginning of each day, you can review the day's points by class, individual, or by behaviors to set goals for the new day!  My favorite feature is that after a few days with the site showing on your board, the kids get used to the positive and negative sounds.  Then, you can leave the program up and running, but not showing on your board, and still give those points.  Let me tell you, if either the positive or negative sound is heard, every single child is immediately perfectly behaved, because they have no idea who just earned the positive (or negative) point!

Secondly, I use the clip chart system by Rick Morris, with a little color change.  If you're not familiar with the clip chart, I suggest reading his free e-book {here}, and if you've thought about the clip chart, but you just still love that flippin' a card chart, you should really read the e-book!  The best thing I can say about the clip chart is that everyone starts out on an even scale, and throughout the day, has the opportunity to earn both positive and negative feedback.  It really goes hand-in-hand with Class Dojo, which is perfect for me!  The clip chart and Class Dojo have moved my focus away from negative behaviors ("flip a card!") to really taking note of positive behaviors, and that is SO much more effective!  PLUS, those kids who always do the right thing, actually get rewarded, not just ignored.  The chart above is one I send home, as an explanation to parents.  In my room, the descriptors are not listed, just the colors and headings.  I also just made the walking clip chart, which I can't wait to use.  It's too easy to believe:  use a yard stick, paint it like the clip chart, and put your clips on it.  It goes in the hallway with you, to the cafeteria, to related arts, even on fire drills!  No more trying to remember who needs to move a clip up or down when we get back to our room - it's on the spot!
Thirdly, we're a class of bucket fillers, and I just love that!  When I see kids doing nice things for each other, it warms my heart, and I know it does theirs, too.

Lastly, we work really hard at the beginning of the year, and revisit whenever needed, just plain old doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, because it's the right thing to do.  I think, more than anything, that expression sinks in, makes kids stop and think, and makes a lasting impression.  And isn't that what teaching is really all about?  I think we all probably teach because we want our world to be a better place, and that begins with education, but must include just plain being nice to each other and doing the right thing!

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  1. Hi! I found your blog through Blog Hoppin’ Teacher Week! The summer went too fast and I cannot believe it is that time of year again!
    Check out my Wednesday and Thursday Teacher Week blog posts: Now Teach and Taming the Wild!

    I have seen Class Dojo on Pinterest before and I have to give it a look. Your explanation makes me want to go right over and check it out now.

    If You Give a Teacher a Treat

    1. Lindsay, you really should check it out! It is the best thing since sliced bread, and if you use the clip chart, the two are super complimentary with each other!


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