A New Day of Learning: August 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Classroom Management

Hi all! I have a such a treat for you today! I am so excited to introduce Tamara Russell of Mrs. Russell's Room as my very first guest blogger! She is going to talking about classroom management and getting ready for the beginning of the year! Her ideas are perfect for brand new teachers and veteran teachers alike! She has such great ideas, and I can't wait to implement them this year! In addition, she just celebrated a TpT milestone! Congrats!!

Hello everyone! :)
I'm excited to be guest blogging for Michelle today! ;)
I was so honored to be asked! 
A few years ago, I developed this list of questions to help me get my mind wrapped around the expectations I have for my students.  It's a great tool that I reflect on often before the year! :)

Click HERE if you'd like to download this free item for your own files! :)

Michelle wanted us to chat a bit about how I use this tool in my classroom, so, I thought what I'd do is highlight a few important points that are underscored by the questions in my management freebie! :)
Let's get started!

This is a super busy time for you!
Know what you will and won't allow during this time, and practice these things with the kids.
A fun idea that I tried this year was the Don't Bother Me Hat from Today in Second Grade.
If I just needed a minute to gather my thoughts at my desk and my hat was on, the kids knew...just wait at your seat until the hat comes off! :)

I like to use a mailbox system in my room.
The kids know that they put their homework in it every day.  This is something we practice doing often at the beginning of the year.
Don't have cardboard mailboxes?  How about a milk crate with hanging folders?
Just make sure the kids know how to file it before you leave them to do it independently.

Make sure that you have high expectations for this.  As the year goes on, you will get more laid back...so, if you are too laid back, transitions will last FOREVER! :(
Make sure that the kids know they need to take the quickest route to where they need to go.
In order to go to the bathroom, you don't need to stop by Jimmy's desk, pick up the pencil on the floor, and throw out your tissue. LOL! :)
Reward students, table groups...or a whole class if they're quick and prepared to begin when you are! :)

Especially as a new teacher...it's important that when your students are out and about that their behavior reflects the character that you work on in the room.  I love these line up chants from Jennifer over at Herding Kats in Kindergarten!  They are a great way to cue the students to what kind of behavior is appropriate with a light touch! :)

This a tough one...especially as a new teacher.  What is too hard?  What is too soft?
Well, if you are CONSISTENT with both rewards and consequences, you will find that the students will work within the boundaries you set.
I just recently blogged about how I tie my clip chart system into my pirate themed classroom! :)
Click HERE to see the post!  Make sure that you are verbal and varied in your praise.  Don't just say...good job.  Say...That was a great choice! :)  I also like to praise my students with specific things that relate to their character.  A few years ago, I had a boy in my third grade class who jumped to steady me when I wobbled on a stool while I was getting something.  I turned to him and said...some day, you'll make a good husband.  You know...that boy never saw me get up on that stool again without coming beside me to hold my hand and steady me...or to take what I was holding from my hands.  Verbal praise is POWERFUL! :)

Keep your centers simple.  Make sure that the students are able to embrace the routine.
Have a plan for what they do when they are done.
Think about this a lot before you start to implement anything! :)
Daily 5 is a great structure, if you don't know where to start! :)

Especially when you are new, the temptation to NOT communicate is strong.
You are afraid to be vulnerable...I get it. :)
The lower the grade, the more parents want to know you.
In my class, I do a weekly update.  I use this template from Laura Martin over at Peace, Love & First.
I have an email list for my parents and send them the updates electronically.  Earlier in my career, I just printed them weekly for the children. 
I also like to try to make positive contact with ALL my parents about their children...but ESPECIALLY if there are a few that I think will have a few calls about negative behavior.  Remember, parents are human too, and they want to hear that their sweeties are doing well...it hurts to hear that they are not.  Be careful how you share your frustration with them. Always have HOPE...even if you don't know a solution just yet! :)

It can be tempting to get busy packing your bag, or sending off last minute emails before the kids leave.
Make sure the last contact they get from you is sincere.
Do a high five or a pound.
Ask them what they liked best about the day...what they look forward to tomorrow.
When you remember it the next day...for the kids...its PRICELESS! :)

When in doubt...love it out! :)
At the end of the day...if you love this job, and you love your kids...most of this will come in time! :)
You've got this!! :)
I hope these tips and links are some that you feel you can come back to throughout the year.

Click HERE to visit me on my blog! :)

You're welcome anytime! :)

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