We have all been there...you are standing in front of your classroom at a complete loss. It seems as though you are watching animals at the zoo, they are doing strange things you have never seen and you have tried every trick in the bag. What are you going to do?
I have been there.
Wanting to crawl under my guided reading table and simply hide from it all. Reaching out to everyone I can and trying multiple strategies only to have nothing change. It is frustrating, exhausting and puts you in a dark place of total grumpiness.
Today I am going to give you a simple strategy that has turned my classroom around.
It will take you being SUPER consistent with your expectations and focusing on the positive.
I give to you...
Teacher vs. Class
All you will need is a writing utensil and something to display this chart on.
It is a simple T-chart where you will manage behavior with tally marks. Each time students do not follow directions, are off task, blurt, etc. the Teacher earns a point! I like to announce to my class that "Oh no! It looks like I earned a point." I don't call out any specific student, but it let's them know that not everyone was on task or doing what I had asked. In my classroom students can earn points:
- Stopping immediately after a classroom call back
- Following 2-3 step directions in under 1 minute (without running of course)
- Lining up quickly/quietly with voices off and eyes forward ready for the hallway
- Raising hands to answer questions during lessons
You get the idea...
So far, this simple game has helped manage behaviors that were driving me bonkers! It is simple and extremely effective. Now, I am sure you are wondering : Do I keep it running all day? What are students earning that keeps them going?
"Do I keep a running tally all day?"
No, I erase the points during large transitions in our day. We have them run from Morning until Lunch, Lunch to Second Recess and Recess to the End of the day. I noticed that my students had the most trouble with running tally marks, so I decided to split our day into more manageable pieces.
"What are they working for?"
I brainstormed different "rewards" for my students. If they have more points than I do as we approach a large transition, they can go early! I take the difference between my total and their total and that is how many minutes they go out early to recess. I also use the difference to give them time for Free Read, the length of a GoNoodle brain break, or short clips of Pixar movies. All of these rewards are simple and the kids love earning them! I also knock out reviewing subtraction by having them find the difference between our totals.
If the Teacher total is higher, we take those minutes and they owe me that time for instruction, work time, etc. This allows me to cover content we missed to help students during work-time that I otherwise would have lost. It has really helped us stay focused and make up for minutes that have been lost in the past due to behavior.
So there you have, a simple way to help get your class back on track. No need to purchase any fancy items, try any online accounts or anything! It is simple to implement and effective on managing those tough behaviors that seem to knock us into a world of grumpiness.
Give it a shot and tell me what you think! Still have questions or need something clarified? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a message on Instagram (megscrayons) & I would be more than happy to help!
Thanks for stoppin' by!