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Let’s talk about something that can make or break a lesson – student behavior. There are so many strategies and resources that a teacher can implement, but honestly it all can be overwhelming. I am going to share with you three different systems I use in my classroom to put more accountability on the students and make it less work for me.
Let me preface this by saying – when I am going over routines and expectations, students know that they have to be supportive of one another and not yell at someone who isn’t making good choices. We go over that it’s okay to feel frustrated when someone around you isn’t making a good choice, but how to express that frustration in a respectful way. I remind students of these skills regularly in order to maintain the peace, so to say!
I also do my best to instill a Growth Mindset in my students, which helps tremendously with behavior management. Students that see that you believe in them will believe in themselves, and in turn will behavior for you and respect you as their teacher because they see that you are only there to support them. It’s tough at times, but I am always as positive as possible and have many things around the room to remind me to stay positive, including my Shout Out wall. I post a Student of the Week on the Shout Out Wall, which is one of my individual reward systems.
I’m not going to lie – I struggled to come up with an idea for small group behavior management in the beginning. For my small group system, I use a table tallies. I have the tallies on the board, clearly labeled and I have award each table a tally for perseverance, respect, and going above and beyond for each other. I’ll even give a tally to the table who packs up the quickest & quietest – nothing wrong with some friendly competition. The table with the most tallies each day gets the VIP Table Bucket, that I put special pencils, pens, and Expo markers for them to use!
The tally system has been a complete game changer for my classroom. Students who are usually chatty and off task want to earn tallies for their table, so they make better choices. And because we go over expressing frustrations appropriately, students are supportive and help each other to be their best self.
One of my goals as a teacher is to build relationships with my students and have them build relationships with each other. To do this, I emphasize that our class is one family unit.
The whole class system that I use is a tally system. I have table tallies, and theres a spot for whole class tally too. This means the whole class was on task, doing the right thing, and being respectful to one another.
For individual student motivation, I use a ticket system. When a student goes above and beyond, adds to the conversation, uses a great math vocabulary word, demonstrates excellent citizenship, or anything I think warrants a reward, I give them a ticket. I used the double roll of tickets and when they earn the tickets, they get both sides of the ticket. One ticket, I collect with their name on it and one they hold on to. The one that I collect that day with their name on it goes in the weekly raffle and the one they hold on to I let them redeem for prizes once a month.
Another form of individual student motivation is Class Dojo. I use this to give students points for perseverance, remaining on task, doing the right thing, and basically anything that they would also earn a ticket for. This also helps tremendously with parent communication. This year, I am emphasizing the importance of students being proud of their effort and work, so they ask me daily to take a picture of them with their work to upload to their Class Dojo portfolio. Parents love seeing how their child is doing in class. See my post on Class Dojo for more information on that!
I know there are so many other strategies to manage classroom behavior, and let me tell you I’ve tried so many of them! These are the major ways I use in my room, mainly because it’s easier for me to wrap a layer of tickets around me and hand them out as I see fit. I hope you find this post helpful & as always, contact me if you have any questions!