Okay, so itâ€™s the first day of school and you have 25 precious little students staring at youâ€¦what are they thinking? What are YOU thinking? You are all probably thinking about how this whole new situation is going to work out. Children in the primary grades are usually silent upon entering, because this situation is new to them. It makes you think, â€œWow! This is going to be a great groupâ€¦look how sweet and quite and still they are beingâ€”and they are all getting along!â€ Well, this could very well be true, but before anyone gets too comfortable, itâ€™s important to â€œlay down the lawâ€. Now Iâ€™m not saying that you should wear your military uniform, Iâ€™m just encouraging you to establish authority through classroom management very early on. Here are some of my tips, tricks, and ideas for managing a classroomâ€¦
1. First things first- TELL THEM THEY ARE LOVED AND THEY ARE SPECIAL. These little ones are most likely going to put you on a huge pedestal and they need to feel that you notice that. I always tell them that I love them now and I will love them everyday from now on. There might be some things I donâ€™t particularly like, but regardless, they need to know they can always come to me and I will always listen. I will always treat them the way Iâ€™d like to be treated and I tell them that I expect the same (towards myself and towards one another).
You Are Special
This is a great book that I always read on the first day. After I read it, the children write about what makes them special.
2. RULES, RESPONSIBILITIES, PRIVELEGESâ€¦We usually have a â€œpow-wowâ€ pretty early in the day on the first day of school. I let them know that they will have so much fun in my classroom (I will sing, dance, wiggle, laugh, etcâ€¦) as long as they can handle it. I have the children tell me what they feel are good classroom rules, and then I show them my list. From this point on, whenever they break a rule, they have walk to the rule chart, tell me which rule they broke and how they broke it. They donâ€™t like this and it usually really works! We also talk about how certain things are privileges. We do a chart that lists the differences between rights and privilegesâ€¦
This is a neat book from Scholastic to use if you are teacher like me- one that really seeks to teach to the senses. I try to include all sorts of learning styles and senses into my lessons (we are always into something!) There are specific ways to go about having an active but controlled classroom and this book will help to get you there!
3. BE POSITIVE AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN! Since day one of my personally teaching career, I have always tried to stay as positive as possible. The children truly respond to praise and will thrive upon it. My students move clipsâ€”they all begin on â€œSunny Dayâ€ (great day!), and most of them stay there. If misbehavior occurs, they are warned, and from there on they move clips (windy day, cloudy day, rainy dayâ€”with consequences for each). For every negative note I send home, I try to send home 2 positive notes (brag notes). The children also know that I try to choose at least one child a week to â€œphone bragâ€ on. I call up the parents and just let them know how great their child is doing. ALL children would love to have their parents praise them for positive behaviors at school. I also award â€œwarm fuzziesâ€ to the children when Iâ€™m proud of them. These are just a few ideas to improve classroom managementâ€¦
The following book is a great way to help you include positive talk into your own classroom!
This book gives many situations and scenarios that happen in a typical classroom and suggestions for settling the issue in a positive way!!
This is a wonderful article from Instructor in which 9 teachers share their ideas and experiences about what they feel works to establish classroom management from the very beginning!
If you have other ideas or tips for classroom mangement, please share them below!