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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild - Classroom Management

Hello!  I'm linkin' up at Blog Hoppin' to dish a little about my behavior management.

I work at a school that uses PBIS - encouraging school-wide rules & rewards for positive behaviors.  This year I'm on the PBIS committee {I was last year too} & we revamped our "incentive" system.  Every student gets a punch card, with 25 spots for signatures - it looks like this:

At 5 signatures the kiddos go up to the office for a prize, at 10 they get a different prize, & at 25 they get to help a teacher/visit the treasure box.

We also do 2 positive phone calls home a month - the principals do this from their various offices.  We also have a "Husky Roo" slip that awards students for academic achievements.  Finally, our enrichment team has a Wall of Fame in the front foyer, a student is picked for each enrichment (in each grade level) once a quarter - this award is to recognize students who excel in the arts & athletics.  My team got on board & chooses to give academic awards at this time too - for reading sight words, counting to 100, tying shoes, zipping coats, & knowing all 52 letters.

So, about 9 days ago - right before school started, I attended a training for 3 days called Capturing Kids Hearts.  The premise of this philosophy is that you can't teach a child, unless you have their heart/respect.  This training allowed our staff to develop relationships & bond in a way that has changed how we interact with one another.  The outcome of this training is increased relational capacity with our students & amongst ourselves.  I see teachers greeting one another, making verbal & written affirmations, shaking hands of kids at the door, creating and maintaining social contracts in their classrooms, & students self managing/checking themselves & peers.  It has been an INSPIRING start to the year & I'm excited that students are solving their own problems, the know "there will be consequences if Miss King has to get involved!"  The 4 questions are working too - when kids test the boundaries of the timeout/check/foul system we've established.

To develop our school-wide relational capacity, we shared an item of value/significance.  When we started school, we decided as a staff to share "Me Portfolios" or "Me Bags."  In Kinder, we sent home a gallon Ziploc baggie & instructions to fill the bag with 5-7 items of significance.  The students all shared their bag & used my super cool Audio Enhancement microphone:

To manage my verbal warnings this year I decided to try something new.  I saw many of the colored clip charts out there & have given it a whirl - it is working too!  I love that kids & parents are having discussions about "why they're on yellow" or "how they can get a blue/purple" day!  Having the visual chart helps me make less warnings & not have to go directly to "refocus sheets" when defiance occurs.

Ultimately I am a HUGE Love & Logic fan.  It just works!  This behavior management is about I messages, delayed consequences/letting kids "sweat it out," & really just using logic & love when dealing with children in relation to discipline/consequences/rewards.

So I manage my classroom by:
  1. Creating & signing social contract with kids, their words - I'm the pen {our rules are: listen to one another, safety/careful, kind/nice, & responsibility - 3 of which are school-wide PBIS (freaky, just worked out that way!)}.
  2. Having students move clothes pins along the "color chart."  Reporting daily color via a monthly calendar that is colored/signed each night.
  3. Giving punches for movement up the chart - blue, purple, & pink.
  4. Getting students on track using CKH 4 question model.
  5. Handle disrespect using CKH 4 question respect model.
  6. Using "time" & choices as a tool to help me handle discipline - let kids "sweat it out" instead of me getting worked up.
  7. Positive affirmations, filling buckets, & cheering - students beam when I give them Love Notes, they get compliments, the get claps/applause from peers, etc.
If/when the clip chart ceases to be effective - let's get real, nothing works FOREVER!  I will use some Whole Brain Teaching strategies - these rules are posted.  I will introduce Glinda vs. Elphaba {teacher points vs. student points} for no-cost rewards like: class dj, shoes off science, costume party, movie party, stuffed animal day, hat day, etc.

Good luck managing those Maxes,

Kristan King :0)

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