I’ve written a lot about Classroom Management. I’ve podcasted about Classroom Management. It’s my next favorite thing to classroom organization to talk about. So today I wanted to talk about how to implement classroom management routines in your classroom.
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The start of the year is upon us. And many of you are getting ready to start or have already started. During the first week of school it is crucial to roll out your classroom management procedures. But it is also important that when you implement classroom management procedures, you do it strategically and are intentional with holding your students to the expectation.
Implement Classroom Management Procedures Step by Step
During the first day and week of school, we spent a majority of our time discussing procedures. The important thing I did was I made my students a part of that discussion versus telling them how things worked in my classroom.
1. Carpet Time
When I am ready to discuss classroom management procedures with my kids, I call them to the carpet. That’s the first step. Before I call them to the carpet, we talk about how we come to the carpet. Then we practice. If they don’t do it correctly, we go back and try again. (This is essentially the whole process I’m about to explain!)
Once we make it to the carpet, we are ready to discuss.
2. Discuss Ideal Expectations
If we are talking about walking in line, I ask my students to think about how we get in line, walk in line, all the things with being in line. I have them put their hands on their head to show me they are thinking.
After about twenty seconds, they turn to their shoulder partner and do a quick Timed Pair Share about what it means to walk in line. Now, all students are engaged in the discussion instead of just one. (YAY Kagan Cooperative Learning!)
3. Create Anchor Chart
Once the kids have shared, we write down those ideas on an anchor chart. I typically pull popsicle sticks with student’s roster numbers on them. I write down what they share, most of the time
4. Practice the Procedure
The next step is to practice. If it is the first week of school (or I am having to review procedures mid year), we practice it three times- correct, incorrect, and correct again.
This way the class sees what the procedure looks like to be used correctly as well as incorrectly. This is also a great opportunity to have difficult students come up and practice the correct way to do it, showing you that they do know how to follow the procedure!
5. Repeat Practice as Needed
Once the class has practiced multiple times, they are ready to use the procedure during the school day. If there ever comes a time when the procedure isn’t being practiced correctly, we take some time to do Recess Academy and practice until we get it correct. (More on that below!)
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Discipline in the Classroom
A few weeks back I was coaching a First Year Teacher and she asked me about discipline. This isn’t the first time I have been asked about discipline so it shouldn’t have been that hard for me to answer. But I had to take a minute to think about my discipline practice.
I told her a few strategies but honestly thought, wait…how do I handle discipline? Now that I’ve had a few days to reflect on that question, I realize that my “discipline” plan was hard to pinpoint because it didn’t really look like typical discipline (i.e.- moving a clip, sending to the office…don’t get me wrong, I definitely sent kids to the office but it wasn’t a regular things. Except for one year, hah!)
Here is how I disciplined my students
For the common student, a simple redirection was enough to get them back on track. Kids are kids, they are going to talk and misbehave. I tried to make my redirections discreet by simply walking near the kid, whispering to them if necessary, or by finding a student near them and thank them for something specific. If one kid was talking, then I found a kid near them who was working quietly and thanked them for staying focused and on task.
If the discipline needed to be applied to the whole group, I used Recess Academy which is an idea from the book Setting Limits in the Classroom. The idea of Recess Academy is to be intentional about matching a consequence to a behavior during recess.
A common issue in my class was talking while working or talking in line. So I would give the students a warning- “I notice we keep talking in line, show me that we can walk in line quietly or we can practice at Recess Academy.”
If they continue talking, then at recess time I would tell them it is recess time but we need to do Recess Academy. So let’s chat about lining up expectations. Kids would share the expectations with each other and to the whole group. Then we would practice two or three times.
I did not ever tell my class “you owe me a minute” each time they were not following directions. Some years classes would never have recess if I did that.
Plus, recess is really important to kids developmental growth and learning, so taking it away is not an option for me.
If a student continued acting out or misbehaving, then they got put on an individual behavior plan that rewarded them for the positive choices they made instead of disciplining them every time they made a mistake. You can read more about that process in this blog post on managing challenging students.
No matter what behavior management plan you use in your classroom, the steps listed above can help you implement classroom management procedures. This is a great thing to do that the beginning of the year- in fact, I encourage teachers to discuss and practice routines the whole first week, at least!
You can also use these strategies right before or after a break to remind students of the expectations.
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In my ebook, The Simply Organized Classroom, I write even more about Classroom Management routines and how you can implement them in your classroom. As well as ideas of plans you can use in your classroom. Grab your copy here.
Classroom Management Blogs you might find helpful!
Until next time,
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