Monday, August 1, 2011

My BEST EVER Classroom Management Tool (and it's not the clip chart!)

Today was the official first day back for teachers in my district.  Students come Monday of next week. 

I.  am.  so.  TIRED.  Please forgive any typos that may occur in this following post.  Read it any way.  It's a good one.

When we go back to school many of us like to involve students in the "Classroom Rules" making process.  Many popular rules end up being along the lines of "Keep your hands and feet to yourself", "Raise your hand before you speak", "Do your personal best".

Duh.  They go on a poster board and end up being wall paper for the rest of the year.

I don't do that.

I have automatically have 3 rules when the kids come in to my classroom on day 1.

These 3 rules are:

Red time.  Blue time.  Green time.

I also have posters that go with these rules.

Each color and it's accompanying poster signifies my expecatations of EXACTLY what the little pumpkins should be doing whle the arrow is pointed at one of the posters.

Red time is direct instruction.  If the teacher is talking/teaching the whole group this is what is expected of students:

1. eyes on the speaker
2. mouth quiet
3. be still (no wiggling, tipping in chairs, swaying back and forth)
4. hands  free
5. listen

I have the kids recite the following 5 expectations many, many, MANY times the first two weeks and whenever a pumpkin "forgets" and is caught not following directions we review these rules as a class.

I also emphasize that during red time students are not permited to get up to get a drink, sharpen their pencil, or go to the bathroom (unless it is an emergency).

Here is a closer look at my Red time poster.  I found that hand in a google image search.  It is a Marzano tool called "take 5".  I'm sure if you google search, you can find it too and design your own poster.

Next is Blue time. 

Blue time is independant work time.  Students are allowed to get a drink, sharpen their pencil, and (unless they abuse it) use the restroom without having to ask (or bug me).  My only condition is there is only to be one student at a time doing each.  If a student is already at the drinking fountain, a friend will have to wait until that kid sits down before they get up to get a drink.  Same with the restroom.  One at a time.

Here is my Blue time poster.

Last is Green time.  Green time is only used at the beginning and end of the day in my classroom.  It is unpacking and packing up time. 

I have a laminated arrow that is constantly moved from poster to poster to signal what is expected at that time.  I usually include this on my classroom job chart and have a kid in charge of moving it.

I also made the posters on microsoft word.  Like I stated earlier, I found the hand on google image search and just typed out the rest on word.  I then ran larger paper through our copy machine to copy it onto a small poster size.  Last, I used marker to color in the letters.

Hope you enjoy this and I highly recommend it.  It is cheap, easy, and you will nagg much less often if you use this tool consistantly.

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