Classroom Management Tips
JukeBox -Are you tired of your students always wanting to do the same song over and over again? Try using this fun jukebox.
Decorate a shoebox any way you choose. I used contact paper and stickers from a scrapbooking store. I then made up CD's using some of those computer CD's that you can pick up for free. Decorate the CD's and write one favorite song title on each CD. Also put the name of the real cd where the song can be found. Include the song number, too. There are computer software programs available to decorate the CD's and type in song titles. There are also labels you can purchase with designs already on them and you can just write the song title. You can also just write the song on the back.
Place all of the pretend CD's in the box. When you have some time for singing, choose a child to pick out a pretend CD and then the class sings the song that was chosen. FUN! FUN!!
Hall Monitor -Try using this fun poem to keep an eye on your kids in the hall. I use the Folkmanis Snowy Owl puppet (can be purchased from katieandcompany.net). The owl's head can turn all the way around using a little knob on the inside.
How do you do?
I'm the wise old owl who watches the hall.
I look to the front, I look to the back.
I can tell, who's on track.
I'm Mr. Who.
How do you do?
Organize Magnetic Letters and Rubber - StampsKeep all of those magnetic letters and rubber stamps easier to find using these organizers. Label the drawers of the hardware drawers with letters and keep all of your rubber stamps in the drawers. I found this organizer at Wal-Mart. To make word building easier, keep your letters in this notions organizer. This one was purchased at JoAnns.
Stamp Out Tattling - To help eliminate tattling in your classroom, give Bobby Bigmouth a try. Instead of telling you, the kids are supposed to "tell it to Bobby Bigmouth." They have to write him a note. You may want to have fish notes and fish pens in the tackle box. He really works!!
Boo Boo Book - Do you ever get tired of hearing about every little paper cut in your room? Try putting out a Boo Boo Book. The book has a sample page in the front and blank pages where kids can write about where they got a boo boo. They can put a real Band-aid on the picture they drew as well as on the real boo boo. A great book to read when talking about Boo Boos is Scratches and Scrapes by Margo Linn.
Discipline Slips - This is a photo of the chart that I use for discipline slips. Every day the chart looks like this at the beginning of the day. If a child breaks one rule(something drastic or after a warning or 2), they have to give me their slip that says "Super Behavior." If they break another rule, they have to give me the yellow card and be in time out or miss 5 minutes of Free Choice. If they break another rule, they have to give me the next card, they are in time out for longer and I call mom and dad (sometimes the child calls home.) At the end of the day, each child should bring home a behavior slip. If they didn't have to give me their slip, they take home the one that says "Super Behavior." If they did give me their slip, I give them a new one that says, "Like Lilly's teacher told her 'Today was difficult. Tomorrow will be better.' Ask me about my day." Most parents ask their child about the slips every day.
Click here for the Super Day Slips PDF.
This is based upon Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. We talk about how if kids make bad choices, it is not the teacher's fault. We'll start fresh the next day.
I have included the letter to parents and the Purple Slips. Click here to view them
Lunch Count - I use this attendance chart from Lakeshore to not only take attendance, but to have the kids order their lunch. When the kids come into the room in the morning, they have to move their photo card to the velcro under "Hot Lunch" or "Lunch From Home." Later in the year they have a Bag Lunch and Salad Choice that they can put their name under. I have also found it very helpful to use this as a way to take attendance after recess. Some of the kids were being quite pokey in the bathroom after recess. When the kids come in the room after recess, they have to move their photo card down. When they do this, I know if someone is still in the bathroom. I have found that having the first and last names on the cards, along with the photo, is helpful for a substitute teacher that has to take attendance.
Put Your Pocket on Your Pocket - To help each child have his/her own spot when seated on the floor, I have made these pockets. There are 2 pocket cut outs that are available for purchase from your local teacher store. These are from CTP. I put each child's name on a pocket and then get them laminated with the heavier laminating. Then I place 4 pieces of velcro (the scratchy side) to the back corners. Then they attach to the carpeting. Now the children have to "put their pockets on their pocket." It helps you to keep children that shouldn't sit by each other from each other. Also, those children that creep into other children's space, know where they should be. I have one pocket with no name on it for children that have to move to the "special spot." This past year I only had one pocket that was torn by the last day of school.
Rest Time - Do you struggle with rest time in the beginning of the year? I stop rest time in November, but until then here are a few helpful tips. I pass out "Best Rester" awards to the children that our resting quietly. I also bribe them that if they rest well for 2 or 3 days we will watch a video instead of rest. They actually are more peaceful during the video. I have a lot of the Scholastic Story DVDs and my kids LOVE "Between the Lions" by PBS.
Awesome Possum Award - Thank you to Kendra Spicer from Tecumseh, OK for sharing this idea with me. It has been so amazing to help with rest Time in the Fall. To start, I taught the kids about how possums try to play dead. I read the book, Don't Laugh Joe by Keiko Kasza. It is such a great book about Joe the possum who can't play dead because he is always laughing. Then I tell the kids that during rest time they need to be "Awesome Possums" and play dead like a possum.
At the end of rest time, the aide in charge (this is my only prep time) chooses 2 "Awesome Possums". They get an award to take home. I ordered the Folkmanis Possum Puppet from www.katieandcompany.net. It has 2 possums. Each child gets to keep 1 possum in his/her cubby until the next day. The 2 possums get to rest in a special spot the next day.
There are many great books out there to help teach your students about good behavior.
My favorite books about rules are:
If Everybody Did - by JoAnn Stover
Worst Day in my Life Ever - Julia Cook
My favorite books about tattling are:
Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal - Jeanie Franz Ransom
Great books about ADHD and sitting still are:
It's Hard to Be a Verb - Julia Cook
My Mouth is a Volcano - Julia Cook
The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand up to Others - Bob Sornson
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies - Howard Binkow
Bully B.E.A.N.S. - Julia Cook
And for teaching kids "You get what you get and you don't have a fit" this is the perfect book.