Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Throwback: Classroom Management Tools for K-1

When I taught kindergarten and 1st grade I'll admit that I tried to have an easy, tactile classroom management system. I developed a card flip system for my room, and popsicle stick pockets for students to earn rewards.

I used easy-to-read rules (BEST: Be polite, Effort, Share, Truthful) and placed them right above the chart. The stars hold exemplars of the positive behaviors for each category.

Positive Incentive
I always felt it was important to have a positive incentive for students to work toward. My simple way of doing this was carrying popsicle sticks in my pocket and handing them out when I saw students doing good work. During designated times students could come up and place their popsicle stick in their pocket. Once they got the designated number of sticks (the beginning of the year was 10, but I gradually increased it each month) they got to choose something from the prize bin. Simple and easy...

Of course with every positive classroom management plan you want to have something in place for negative student behavior. The only true incentive I could take away was recess, and the kids either walked laps or stood on the wall. Every day the kiddos would start on blue, and each subsequent card flip was time off of recess. The kids were only allowed to flip back "up" one card if they could prove to me that their behavior significantly improved (this way I didn't have a kid that was a terror in the morning, but an angel in the afternoon because they knew they could flip their card all the way back to blue). You can see the consequences for each coordinating color below.

For my 3rd graders I use a tool called Class Dojo, so keep an eye out for a post on that in the future!

How do you manage your K-1 classroom?