Sunday, April 26, 2015

Classroom Management

I wanted to create a classroom environment where my students are excited and ready to learn. Here are a few things I have implemented in my classroom:

1. Class Dojo
  • Has a built in TIMER for those times you want to use one in your lesson or keep them on task for a specific amount of time. (I use it as part of my morning routine)
  • Keeps the students engaged by MONITORING BEHAVIOR. Sounds will go off for positive and negative points.
  • Tracks behavior DATA to show the parents during those fun parent teacher conferences or student meetings.
  • EASY TO USE! Even if you are not a technology guru, you can use this website! It is a stress-free reward system so you won't have to write down who was good/bad that day.
  • APP for mobile devices. (I walk with my phone in the hallways and award points for specific students in line. Or I control it if I am away from my computer.)
How I Use Class Dojo:
I've found this is the best way to keep my students engaged! It is FREE to create an account and easy to use. First, you set up a class by making a list of your students. I did this for my "homeroom" students. It will give you a code to print out so the students can update their avatar on the screen. You can also print out parent codes/letters for them to stay connected with their child's behavior that day in class. Since my school departmentalizes for math and science, I have shared my class with the math teacher (and visa versa). This allows me to add or take away points for any student I teach at any time of the day. The best part is when you want to randomly select a student to see if they are on task. They hear a timer and it selects a name. If they are on task it gives them a positive point *DING or a negative point *BONG if they are off task. It always makes the class go super quiet so they are listening for the positive sound! Sometimes I choose to keep the screen hidden so they don't see who is awarded the points. But it is also nice for them to see how many points they have earned that day/week. The great thing about this is it calculates the total points for EVERY student. This way I can keep track of what students have a certain amount of points.

Why would my students WANT to earn points? At the end of the week/month (it depends) I allow them to spend or save their points. If they save their points, they know they will get to "buy" awesome prizes at the end of the quarter. If they choose to spend their points, I have a treasure chest (read below) labeled 25, 50, 75, and 100 points. They get to look at the rewards chart and choose if they want to earn a prize from the bin or save their points. They know the more points they have, the better the rewards they can get. This keeps my class focused and working hard!

2. Treasure Chest

  • Rewards good behavior!
  • Keeps my students excited about learning!
  • Easy to manage! (depending on how you want to use for your class)
How I Use My Treasure Chest:

I created labels for my 4-drawer organizer to separate the points. The higher the points the better the rewards! I started by finding a few things from the dollar store or target "dollar section" and placed them in the bin. I also have decided to let it gradually run low so I don't have to replace anything. I use a chart to let the students decide how they want to spend their points. If you don't want to buy items to put in a treasure box then you might like the chart I use:

Or you can use this idea and roll with it. Check out my TPT store for a template you might like.

3. Table Group Points

  • Gives cooperative learning a chance to thrive.
  • Instead of individual students being praised, it gives the WHOLE group a point.
  • Easy to keep track of!
How I Use Table Points:
I like to award my groups for working together. I created a template that I laminated (or put in a sheet protector) and posted it on the whiteboard. It is a way to TALLY points for each group I have in the classroom. For example: If all the groups are ready with materials everyone gets a point. If one group was talking instead of taking out their materials, no point. The group with the highest amount of points gets a special reward. It could be: come in for lunch with the teacher, first to get to the treasure box, etc. That all depends on what you think would be an appropriate reward. I have usually done the lunch with teacher every other week. It is such a motivating reward because they students LOVE to come in for lunch and watch kidsnippets videos or listen to music while they eat their lunch.

You can customize this to fit your needs. But it really is simple and works great! Grab this FREE printable from my TPT store and enjoy!

More photos coming soon!