7/10/2014

Behavior Management: Around the Holidays


I'm smack dab in the middle of my Blog Mini-Series: Behavior Management.  I've learned after 10 years that the magic of a behavior plan is to go in with a plan!  It takes multiple components to make it work.  High expectations, routines, communication and teamwork.  

Imagine this:  I'm a 3rd Grade Teacher, it's the end of the 2nd 6-weeks and about 99% of my kiddos understand and follow our classroom rules/procedures.  PERFECT!  Well, now it's the week before Thanksgiving and all of a sudden those little Monsters are coming out!!!
I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about.  They can't walk down the hall in a straight line, they are chatting a little more than normal during group work and they feel a little too comfortable with you and start pushing buttons.  Am I the only one?   

A few years ago I heard myself say, "I know that you understand the hallway expectations, but you aren't following them.  Why not?" When I went home, I scoured Pinterest and found a few solutions.  First, I found the Classroom Elf.  Ahh, cute idea, but it isn't Christmas time yet.  I also found the idea to put letters on my (then) chalkboard that spelled N-O-I-S-E and take a letter away each time the students "got too loud or didn't follow directions". Then, they would lose a privilege. It didn't work for my kids.  They need positive reinforcement, not negative.  

I took the strategy and tweaked it to work for me.  I put the letters P-A-R-T-Y on pieces of construction paper and every time my class (whole-group) followed directions in the hallway, they would earn a letter.  If they earned all of their letters by Friday, we would have a party.  They did and I brought Little Debbie Snacks, but my 3rd Graders NEVER got snack time, so they loved it!  

I want you to know that on a day-to-day basis, I don't hold the whole group responsible for behavior.  I believe in personal responsibility.  I also don't enjoy punishing the "great student" when they were great all day long.  So this incentive doesn't affect each student's daily behavior log.  

Let's be serious, it's a bribe or a ploy.  And I am well aware that it doesn't work in every school or for every teacher.  It works in my school and my principal supports/encourages it.  

If your students need a little behavior incentive prior to a Holiday Break, I've made a special pack just for you!  For the month of July, the pack is $1!  In August it will return to regular price.    
A noise freebie might help you regulate the incentives.  I found 2 free noise meters you should check out.
Picture Courtesy of Totally Terrific in Texas  
Next, I found www.bouncyballs.org an online site that allows your students to self-monitor.  As the balls, bubbles or eyeballs jump up & down it lets the kids see how loud they are being.  I picked the eyes because I thought this would be great in the Fall around Halloween!!  How cute!  FYI - make sure you let the kids get loud, otherwise they will on purpose to see the balls jump around.    

This Little Piggy hopes you can find something that works for you!
 

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