Today is Taming the Wild Thursday on Teacher Week 2013 over at Blog Hoppin'! It's all about classroom management ideas for this post.
After attending a Whole Brain Teaching seminar my first year of teaching, I decided to try some of their management ideas and strategies in my own classroom. That year I attempted the rules and the scoreboard, and both were great for classroom management. Nowadays, the only part of Whole Brain Teaching I use on a consistent basis in my classroom is the 5 rules. I absolutely love them because the students take ownership of the rules themselves and they love reciting them while doing the motions! It's also a great way to redirect a friend who may not be making a "smart choice" by having the students remind them of the rule instead of it coming from me all the time. I downloaded these ADORABLE Whole Brain Teaching rule posters for free on TPT HERE!
In my classroom, I usually like to have 3 types of management reward opportunities: whole group, small group, and individual. For my whole group reward system, I do a marble jar. I put marbles in the jar for following directions, quiet/hard work, kindness, receiving compliments from other teachers, and "good thinking" responses. When the marble jar is completely filled up, they earn a marble jar party. Usually this involves some sort of special treat or snack that they don't normally get at school: popcorn, donuts, root beer floats, etc. I've been using the marble jar every year I've been teaching and it is very effective for student behavior! They love earning them every chance they can.
For small group rewards, I use a table points system. Each table can collect points for an entire week. Whichever table has the most points by the end of the week earns a trip to the prize box! I tell you, the prize box isn't filled with anything too exciting (stickers, pencils, erasers, bracelets, etc.) but to a kindergartener, my box may as well be filled with a million dollars! They love it!
As a grade level we also use the green, yellow, red behavior system. If they do have to change their card for whatever reason, we always give them an opportunity to earn back to green. We feel like this is a much better motivator for good behavior than if they were just stuck on a red or yellow forever. This gives them a chance to change it up and improve. If not, they stay. We mark what color the student got daily in their take home folders on their responsibility sheets.
For individual behavior rewards, I used to use incentive charts, but as I mentioned in my blog post on Tuesday, I was terrible at keeping up with them! So for this year, I've nixed them, but I may figure out a different type of individual reward for students who stay on green all week... perhaps putting their name into a drawing for an extra prize/activity. I'm still hashing that out, haha! But for now, this is what I'm using. My students are all in on each management system we have, which is half the battle! So far, so good on the behavior front... (knock on wood!)
Click on the picture below to see other great classroom management posts for Teacher Week '13!