I realize that every class is different, and that what works with one group will not work with another. I also want children to desire to do their best, but sometimes it is important to acknowledge good behaviour.
I have been using rewards as a substitute teacher, because the reality of being in the classroom for one day is that I don’t have much time to implement other systems of behaviour management.
I like to acknowledge individuals and the group when it is appropriate. Some examples of Individual Rewards could be : a treat at the end of the day, extra computer time, getting to sit next to a friend for the day (or just one class), lunch with me, ‘caught being good’ draw entries.
Some Group Rewards could be: Extra time outside, a game at the end of the day, a class party, marble for the class jar.
Some of the signals to get children’s attention that I have used before are:
- Turning the lights off
- A noise maker such as a bell
- Saying “Hands on top” and children respond with “that means stop” (while putting their hands on their head)
- Saying ” If you can hear my voice…” followed by an action such as clap once, or put your hands on your head. This is repeated with different actions until everyone is looking and listening.
- Using a countdown from 10 to provide time to stop, look and listen.
As I have not have my own classroom I do not have classroom procedures that I have tried and know to work. However, I have seen many procedures in use in different classes, some of the procedures that I like are:
- As students come in have them get out agendas and proceed to work on a ‘Bellwork Book’ while I check agendas and do attendance.
- Have a ‘Helper’ for each day and have them learn how to do the Calendar time. This also allows me to evaluate if each child is understanding what we are learning as I would try and build in math concepts and other relevant information into the calendar time.
Calendar Time/Morning Meeting:
I believe that it is important in Primary Grades to start with some kind of morning meeting and calendar time. I again have not set one up myself, but I have seen lots of things that I like, and I have listed some below.
- Check in, start by asking students how they are doing that day. One way to do this is by talking about if their ‘buckets’ are empty, full, or half full. We would talk about their buckets being their feelings and how they are feeling. If they had a fight with someone, or are hungry then their bucket might be half full or empty, and if that is the case then we would know that as a class we need to try and help them feel better that day, whether that be an encouraging note, or some extra compliments that day. This also helps me to know who may have struggles that day.
- Counting the days of school, meets math curriculum outcomes, and can be adjusted to practice skip counting, and other math concepts such as patterns.
- Days of the week, date, month and weather.