At the beginning of the year, teachers are very good at going over classroom expectations and procedures. I am going on my third week of school and I have been spending a lot of time teaching my students how I run my class and what is expected of them. Even though half of my kiddos were in my class last year, I know they need reminding and the dynamics of my class is different.
I always go over the expectations, rewards, and consequences the first week of school. I am still going over procedures like getting the computers to and from the cart, how I do math rotations, and how we collect papers. I usually make charts for the procedures and I will have then up for the first 6 weeks of school. I have my expectations posted in the room all year long.
One thing I am working on is my call and responses with the kids. I want to be able to get their attention quickly and have them quiet down. I noticed I spend a couple of times reinforcing the energy I want them to use and having them place their hands on the desk with their mouths quiet.
Here are a few of my favorite call and responses.
- Cool beans…… Warm rice
- No bees, no honey…..No work, no money!
- Shark bait!……Ooooh, ha ha!
- Holy moly…..Guacamole
Another area I am focusing on with my students is they need to work quietly while I am interacting with individuals, guided groups, or strategy groups. My students are practicing this as I am conducting reading assessments. My students are doing well after two weeks of reading or writing silently. This week I want to introduce centers and have students work in groups. Staying on task and working at a low voice level is always hard to achieve, but I will keep stating my expectations, rewarding those who do it correctly, and redirecting the students who aren’t meeting my expectations.
The next step is being consistent during the year. It is natural to teach the expectations and practice them in the beginning of the year, it is harder to be consistent during the rest of it. I am always reminding myself to be consistent. If I have to step back and review or have students do it again for practice – I need to do that. We spend so much time in the beginning of the year training our students our procedures and expectation, we just need to revisit them occasionally so students keep up with them. If we get tired and aren’t consistent, that is when the behaviors we don’t want creep in to our rooms.
One of the things I do to remind myself of being consistent is I write sticky notes and put them on my computer. Then I can remember to revisit and reteach rules to students if needed. Below is a picture of my students this last week finishing several art pieces and projects for Back-to-School Night. I am glad to say they are learning how to work in an environment that allows them freedom to walk around, choose where to work, and do it respectfully, so others can work too.
The school year is off to a great start! Stop by next week where I will reveal a new product and review a TpT product from a fellow seller. Have a fantastic week!