This week’s topic is behavior management.
Ahh… what a topic to start with! I believe three main things are the key to good behavior management.
Rules! Rules! Rules!
You have to know what your behavior expectations are before you can manage students behavior. I use the Whole Brain Teaching rules. I really like that they are very simple and have hand motions that go with them.
Follow directions quickly.
Raise your hand for permission to speak.
Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
Make Smart Choices.
Keep your teacher happy.
I think the last one is my favorite, because it could cover some of the ‘gray’ area behavior!
Practice! Practice! Practice!
In all reality, the first couple of weeks of school aren’t really about academics as much as they are about routines. We all know the classroom routines have to be practiced, but GOOD BEHAVIOR DOES TOO! The importance of this step increases exponentially the younger the group you work with!
So… yeah. Lot’s of it. Repeatedly. However, reinforcing positive behavior needs to be balanced with consequences for negative behavior. Otherwise, why bother having rules.
That’s why I really love the behavior charts that let kids move up and down. This is the one I made for my class last year.
Kids started in the middle where it says “Ready to start our Kindergarten Adventure” They can move up to “Swinging through the trees with the best.” to the very top that says “Enjoy the view from the top.” Students could move down to “Time to Start Climbing Up.” and then to “Oh no! We are on the ground.”
I’ll be making a very slight change to the format. For one thing, I’m moving to 2nd grade so I’ll need to change the middle. I’m also going to incorporate some sort of classroom economy.
Last year, I had a problem of kids behaving badly in the morning and then better in the afternoon because they knew they could earn their clip back ‘up’ to a green color. I then had to institute a ‘you can only move your clip up one color after it’s been moved’ type of rule.
Those are my main tips, although I really think behavior management is like a finely walked tight rope. It’s a very delicate balance, but I think these 3 tips will give you a good start!