Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Behavior Management

School has been in session for over a week and, while I know the kids in your class are sweet baby angels that love to sit still and practice their handwriting, I have found that some sort of behavior chart is necessary to make the day go smoothly. A lot of people remember something like this when they were growing up (I know I do):

I STILL remember the day I was told to move my clip in first grade. Strikes fear  in a child's heart.

It's just so tragic when you get on red, isn't it? Well say goodbye to the traffic sign and HELLO to the pocket chart!
TADA! We love pocket charts in elementary school! 
A little close-up to see the tallies.

Ok so here's how it works. Each child has a pocket with their name printed on a card (blacked out in the picture). When they come in in the morning, they take a little yellow person and put it in their pocket. BOOM. Attendance at a glance. Then, throughout the day, they can earn good tallies or bad tallies for their behavior. Good tallies stay in their pocket all day, but bad ones can be earned out if they "turn it around and make better choices". If you want to make one, the tallies are just strips of laminated construction paper, and the little people are also laminated construction paper. The name cards are about the size of business cards and have each child's name written on them. Hang up a pocket chart and you're good to go! Here's a breakdown of tally options posted above the chart:

Hmmm are you making appropriate choices today?
The biggest thing I've learned about discipline the past week has been to be super firm the first month or so. Every experienced teacher I've talked to has told me that if you don't assert your authority at the beginning of the year, the kids will eat you for lunch (or as one teacher put it, "eat your lunch". Not sure which is worse!). So our policy has been one warning and then a tally! As we give bad tallies, we jot down a note on a pad of paper so we can remember what it was for and so we know if someone gets it taken out. For example, we would write: [Jennifer- yellow (talking in line going to recess)].  At the end of the day, we write in the planner about good and bad tallies, even if they get it taken out for turning it around. If you want more deets, here's the letter sent home to parents explaining it. Hope discipline is going well in everyone else's classes! Good luck and don't let the kids eat your lunch haha!

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