Hi All... I am beyond exhausted and kids have not yet even come. My whole second grade team is new to our school... We had our first institute today, and I didn't leave school until 8:00. My team hardly got anywhere as we are even trying to learn how the building works much lesson plan schedules, curriculum, etc. Even with all this going on, I am writing about classroom management because I feel that so much of what we do is classroom management and it can make or break even the best instructional methods.
I like to read How Full is Your Bucket? on the first day of school. We develop ways to be a "bucket filler" and post this in the classroom. Then, we have a class bucket hanging on the wall. The students work to earn smilies (tallies underneath a smile face) on the whiteboard for positive behaviors. For each tally they earn, they earn two pom poms for the bucket. For each frownie they earn, a pom pom comes out. At the end of the day, a hardworking student is chosen to fill the bucket with the appropriate number of pom poms. It requires teamwork and investment from all! Therefore, they encourage positive behavior among each other. When the bucket is filled, we have a class meeting to decide upon a celebration, talk about what we did well, and suggest ideas to improve. The kids love it, and it's a great message to always return to throughout the year.
I also do table points. The table points help me promote students to work together to be encouragers and work as a team to speedy table clean up/follow directions. Speeding up those transitions is always a process!
Lastly, this year I am using the ever so famous behavior clip chart system with my little guys. They move their clothes pin up and down the chart. The idea is even if their clothes pin is moved down, they can always improve their behavior to go back up. Moving up recognizes positive behavior and the opportunities for positive behavior even goes beyond the chart. There are all kinds of ways to jazz it up-- They can get a sticker on their clothes pin when they reach the top. Once their clothes pin is filled with stickers it can be painted gold. If they go up from the top of the chart, they can also clip their clothes pin on you to wear around. We will see how I like this.
I have a lot of special needs and behaviors on my list this year... so I will likely be tweaking or further developing systems based on my students' needs.