Creative Positive Classroom Management Ideas

Thursday, January 24, 2019 No comments

Thinking back to college many years ago, I remember sitting in a class on classroom management. You read the books, discuss all the ins and outs of the classroom, the different possible scenarios, and even write the super long paper on your own classroom management philosophies but really I think sometimes it takes being in the classroom with your actual students to really fully develop what works for your particular classroom. No one classroom is exactly alike but finding something that works that really drives the students to stay focused and want to work hard is the key.
So I want to share something that I have found that has worked in my classroom over the years and maybe it will spark an idea for you or even be something that you might want to try.
I think we all have some form of discipline system to teach correction when students have done what they should not have done. In my classroom I use a clips system where everyone starts on "Good Day", then moves to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes off recess, then ends on Principals Office. 
But one thing I want to encourage is having a positive behavior reinforcement system. Sometimes it can be so easy to just say move the clip rather than having something positive in the classroom that students want to work hard towards. So I have 3 modes of positive reinforcement I want to share:

1. Daily Punch Cards: Each week I give my students a weekly punch card that says "Good Behavior for the week of …"  Each day at the end of the day if they have not moved their clip for a behavior issue they receive a hole punch on their card. At the end of the week if they have all the hole punches for the week they can use that card as either 5 bonus points on a homework, quiz, or test of their choice by saving the card and stapling on that particular paper. The other option they have with the cards are to save the cards until they have 3 cards that have been hole punched for the whole week and they may staple those 3 cards onto any worksheet and use it as a free homework pass. The cards do not have to be 3 weeks in a row, just 3 completely punched cards. The kids really enjoy this because they want to work hard to earn that homework pass. 

2. Table/ Row Points: I have my students sitting in a row but have used them as tables before in the past. Each month we move desks on the first day of school for that month. Each row then works to earn points which I keep track of on the board throughout the month. I give points periodically throughout the day for things like: the first row that is sitting quietly with their books open and ready to what we are doing next; the row that is participating the best during a lesson; the row that has the neatest desks for the day; the first row that is packed up and ready to go at the end of the day; and various other things. I give different point values such as 300 or 500 points. I also use points when we play review games for tests and the points they earn as a row I add to each row's total on the board. This promotes team work within the classroom. Then at the end of the month whatever row has the most points I bring them in a reward such as candy bars, cookies, donuts, or whatever they might like. Then we change desks for the new month and start points all over again with new people in the rows. The students love this and really work hard to earn points. It also helps encourage them to want to stay on task.

3. Marble Jar: I have a marble jar that we fill for getting compliments. This is a way for the whole class to work together. They earn compliments from their specials teachers for doing well during music, art, or whatever special they are in. They can also earn compliments from other teachers or administration when in the hall, lunch room, or other places around school. If they receive a compliment they get 5 marbles in the jar. Once the jar is filled they earn a rewards party as a class which is usually a movie with a snack. 

I have learned over the years that having multiple positive behavior reinforcement methods in the classroom is a great way to promote success. With the 3 areas I mentioned above, my students have ways to individually, as a small group (row), and as a whole class achieve success and have a positive classroom.

If you like the punch card idea and interested in trying it out your can check out my "Monthly Themed Editable Weekly Behavior Punch Cards" they come in color and black/white versions:

Sunday, January 20, 2019 No comments
Welcome Everyone to Joyful4th,

As I begin this adventure of blogging about the Adventures in Elementary I hope that you will join me along the way, see some creative ideas, and even share some ideas. 
One thing I love about teaching is that everyday truly is an adventure. You never know what your day will hold, the good, the bad, and yes even the crazy! So let's buck up and enjoy the ride!

Let's start off with a Freebie!!!

With MLK Day coming up tomorrow here is a great writing prompt to get your students thinking about the dream that Martin Luther King had and let them share a dream they may have for our country as well.

Click below for your free download: