Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Week, Day 4-- Taming the Wild! Classroom Management

I'm linking up once again with Blog Hoppin' for Day 4 of their Teacher Week series!  Today's topic centers around "taming the wild."  Classroom management is a critical and quintessential part of the school day.  Classroom management is often more important how you teach a lesson because, let's face it, if you do not have classroom management then your students may not have the same learning opportunities.  That is why I set routines and rituals in place starting the moment I have new students step into my classroom.

Students unpacking at the beginning of the day, reading the morning message, signing in with their lunch choice, and starting their morning work sets the stage for the day.  Here is a sample of what my morning flipchart looks like...I want there to be no surprises for my students!

I have many chants and hand motions that I use my class.  "Easy peasy, lemon squeezy;" clapping a pattern and having them clap back; counting backward ("eyes on me in 3, 2, 1, names (of students not looking) in 3, 2, 1, ____); lights off, voices off; and finally, in honor of my blog title, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me" with my students responding back, "1, 2, eyes on you!"

In the past, prior to PBIS (which I will explain in a moment), I used a four-step system called "Steps to Self-Control."  The steps were the following:

  1. Warning
  2. Get Ready Chair
  3. Buddy Teacher
  4. Office to meet with an administrator
Students violating our class pact were given one of the above.  Our pact always consisted of three rules:

  1. Respect yourself
  2. Respect others
  3. Respect the world around you

Most students never made it past the "Get Ready chair".
This chair is a special place for students.  It is not a negative place.  Instead, it is a place for students to gather their thoughts and collect themselves so they can rejoin our community.  This has always been extremely beneficial in my classroom for both the students and myself...and yes, I put myself in the "Get Ready chair" as well!  When students are sitting in the chair, they are there for no more than one minute.  They sit down and have to read the following:

This sign does wonders for my students.  Being told, "You have to go get ready" is not an upsetting thing in my room.  In fact, some place themselves there when they are frustrated or needing a break.  If you click on this link, you can download a free copy of the "Get Ready chair" or "Reflection corner" (as I called it this year) for your own classroom from TpT!

My school has begun implementing PBIS so rather than create class rules and expectations, the committee I am on has created whole school routines and expectations.  Our acronym is SOAR and stands for "safety first," "outstanding effort," "accept responsibility" and "respect for all." Implementation school-wide will begin in another week-and-a-half.  I can't wait!  My class piloted the program this year and it was extremely successful.  I can't wait to get started!

Classroom management takes a significant amount each school day but is so worthwhile!

Check back tomorrow for my final post, which is about tips and tricks!  So excited!!!


  1. Meredith, I LOVE the "get ready" chair- and your precious sign about not being the same without them. That is so sweet. :) What a great post!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together