Some teachers may say that I am pretty strict in my classroom the first weeks of school...let me take that back..throughout the school year. lol There is a reason.
I will never forget that we had a faculty basketball game and a friend made a sign that said Terrifying Teise. After the game I actually hung it in my classroom. Keep in mind I had 8th graders at the time. One of my students at the end of the year came up to my and said,"In September I was really scared when I saw the Terrifying Teise sign....but I really loved your class. You expected us to behave a certain way so that we could get our work done...plus you made our time with you fun!" It was with those comments that I felt I was doing something right in my classroom. Also it taught me to not listen to every one's comments all of the time. Behind closed doors I am sure there have been times you have doubted what you were doing?
I think it is very important to establish routines from the minute they come to the door. I greet them individually first thing in the morning. I also tried to be really be observant of new clothes, a new haircut or hair style. I may ask them real quick," How did you do in last night's baseball game?" Show your students that you care.
Once they get settled they grab their materials and usually do a Journal prompt of some sort. This year since I am working with the little guys they are going to pick from my Morning Menu that I picked up from blogger: Michelle over at http://fabulousinfirst.blogspot.com/
The students will either have their choice of a card or from time to time I will choose it for them.
I feel that working right away sets the tone for the day. They will also have their book boxes at their seats.
Before each academic area I basically have a Bell Ringer or a Do Now activity.
Transitioning from one to the next I use voice commands , a bell or a wind chime that I have placed around the room. Also they like when I count down for some reason. It's funny seeing them run around the classroom before I get to 1. I may also have a word that I say,"Marshmallow." They know right away they need to be quiet as a marshmallow falling to the ground.
This year my plan is to include Whole Brain teaching in the mix. I actually have been practicing on my girls this summer. Plus I read this great book :
In addition there are quite a few ideas on my favorite website Pinterest. I am anxious to see how this is going to go over.
Also to keep things under control I number my students on day 1. When we line up I simply say "Line up High Low or Low High." As the year progresses I do odd and even. I allow no talking in the hallway and tell the students we are not going to stop others from learning...if we do, we turn around and return to our class until we all realize the rule.
We will have Bucket Fillers that I have mentioned on a previous post. I have my buckets already for day one. It is important to build a sense of community within your classroom. Students will fill out slips of paper and put nice things about their classmates, or I will self select a student's bucket to be filled for the day. At the end of the day they look forward to what is inside their bucket. The whole concept builds community and self esteem which I love.
Will their be rewards? Of course...I found Brag Tags this summer:
Each student will get a necklace..once I am in my new room I will find an area where these will be on display. they will be rewarded for various things: Having a Great Idea, Reading, Writing, Being a Great Listener, etc...
Also I will have drawers that are numbered..most likely I will be rewarding tickets..at the end of the day or on Friday they can cash them for fabulous prizes! Also I plan on using the Scoreboard from Whole Brain.
So..this year I am sure I will change it up from time to time...because with any management system,students tend to lose interest. I am excited about using some of the new ideas along with my tried and true.
What about you? How are you going to tame the Wild Things?