Friday, June 13, 2014

Behavior Management

Creating a safe environment where everyone feels safe, cared for, and respected is key to having a well managed class. I spend all of September and into October establishing routines and creating a friendly working environment with lots of team building activities. I have included a number of team building activities in my ‘Back to School: Twenty Activities for the First Month of School’ package that you can check out these activities include: a people bingo game, class goal posters, interview a classmate, and a getting to know you agree/ disagree game. 

It is also important to have very clear expectations that are established from day one, and consequences that ‘fit the crime’ for students who do not follow the classroom routines. For example students who do not get their work done because they are talking all class might have the consequences of getting their work completed during recess. It is so important that the consequence fits the crime and that the student is aware of the cause and effect of: ‘if I do this’ then ‘the consequence will be…’. I also believe it is so important that you as a teacher never hold grudges against students. It is important to make sure that students understand that even though they have misbehaved you still like them. Make sure to tell students that you do not like their behaviour, but they are not their behaviour, and they can learn and grow from their behaviour and do the right thing next time. 

I have tried many behaviour management  strategies. The ones that seem to work the best for me are the ones that include the student and  everyone involved with the student. This includes the student, teacher, and parent. As soon as I notice that it’s going to be a struggle I plan a meeting with the parent and I make sure the student is involved too, so that they know we are all on the same page. During this meeting we come up with a plan that is going to help the student be successful. This is a also a good time to ask the parent what strategies they use at home in terms of managing behaviours. Whatever the plan may be communication between home and school is now very important. 

One way to reinforce positive behaviour and to foster communication between the home and the school is to use a sticker chart taped to the student’s desk. On the chart have a column for the blocks of the day and a column for stickers. If the student meets expectations they get a sticker for that block of time on their chart. (The expectations whether that is not calling out, staying in their seat, keeping their hands to themselves, or getting their work done on time needs to be established ahead of time). If they do not not meet expectations thats okay, they can still work towards getting the next sticker. These daily sticker charts can then be glued into a communication book that can be brought home for a parent signature and then brought back to school the next day. Parents and teachers can also write notes back and forth in this book. This communication book is a great form of communication between the school and home, and the student feels great when they get their stickers and a congratulations from their parents when they get home after having a great day at school. 

You can find this sticker chart and more tips, strategies, and resources to help with behaviour management in my  'Behaviour Management Resource Package'. 

Check out other great behaviour management blog posts from the fabulous blogger teachers participating in the 'Diggin' Into Next Year Blog Hop'. 

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