As I gear up for another school year I am excited at the opportunity to try out new things. New seating styles, new room arrangement, and new approaches to classroom management.
When I traveled to Spain on a professional development trip last February, I had the privilege of meeting with teachers and watching them in action. In a second grade classroom I visited, a teacher use a positive behavior system where my immediate thought was, genius!
During lessons the teacher would call on students. After the student had participated she would call out “point”. The student would then quietly stand up, walk to the front of the room (without bothering others), and place a sticker on a sticker chart next to their name.
So simple. Yet so effective! Students were eager to participate, and then were rewarded with a mini movement break to put their sticker on the chart. Why hadn’t I thought of something like this?! Well now is my chance to put this idea into action.
I have set up a chart for my students similar to the one I saw in Spain. Instead of using stickers I will be using apple pictures on velcro dots so I can easily reuse the pieces. Each student has their own row to fill up with apples.
At the end of each day, students will fill in a form that I have created letting me know how many apples they have earned that day. They will then turn in their form so I can review it.
So why would students want to earn apples you might ask? Well, I am tying in this participation chart with a behavior management system I already use called ClassDojo. ClassDojo is an online program that allows me to track behavior (including participation) for each student by awarding them points throughout the day. I have an app on my phone and can also award points online at my computer.
The chart will tie in perfectly with this system. I will only use the chart during lessons. It will allow me to award points without stopping during lessons to find the child on the app or at my computer to award the point. At the same time, it will give students a chance for a mini movement break when they get up and add an apple to the chart.
The key to making this work will be lots of modeling and practicing in the first few weeks of school. Once students understand the expectations of the point system (not disturbing others when walking to the chart, being honest and adding only one apple at a time, returning promptly to seat once apple is added) and have a chance to practice I think it will be a big success.
I can’t wait to roll out this new classroom management tool in little over a week! I’d love to hear from you. What behavior management system do you use in your classroom? Are there any tricks of the trade you have learned along the way that you want to share? If so, leave a comment below!