Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Classroom Management {and a freebie}!

Today I am linking up with Ashley from The Applicious Teacher for her weekly 'Apple a Day' Idea Share and with Ashley from Just Reed for her Ten Pin Linky Party to discuss this week's theme~classroom management.
I use a variety of techniques in my room, but most importantly I believe consistency and routine are extremely crucial so that each little one knows the expectations while at school. I have a classroom chart on display at all times.  I saw this at a conference a few years ago and adapted it to fit my class rules.  It uses Mr. Potato Head pieces hot glued next to the particular rule.
I also remind my students of our circle time rules before we begin and sometimes during, if it is necessary.  These rules follow the "Give Me Five" philosophy.  They are simple, but effective.
They consist of 
  • Waiting hands
  • Sitting crisscross (usually my little learners sit on the floor during circle/learning times, but occasionally I will split them up with half on the floor and half in chairs, depending on my class size)
  • Voices off while the teacher is speaking
  • Listening ears
  • Eyes on the speaker
Last summer I found and pinned this freebie book that fit perfectly in with my Give Me Five rules.  
I also have a visual schedule of my circle time so my little ones can follow along and know what to expect next.  I have my pictures attached to a long piece of velcro.  Once we finish an activity I remove the picture icon.  My kids let me know if for some reason I have the wrong picture up or have forgotten a picture!

Another behavior management tool that I use in general during the entire day is the smiley face system.
I have three large circles cut out of foam.  (Green with a smile, yellow with a straight face, red with a sad face) Each student's name is written on a clothespin.  Everyone starts out on the happy face.  If a student is not following a rule, I will move that clothespin to straight face as a warning and sad face if necessary.  A student does have the opportunity to change behavior and get moved back to the happy face. My little sweeties hate having their clothespin moved, so this is an effective system for me. My daily note has the same smile, straight, or sad face system that I fill in at the end of the day.
If I have a little one who needs something more I have different options I will use.  I often use a smiley face system where just by sitting and participating randomly a smiley face will be colored in.  After one, two, or three smiley faces are colored in the student will receive a small prize, such as a sticker, mini m & m, or a skittle.  I also have large individual picture cards to show what I expect, such as a picture of "quiet", "hands in lap" or "raise hand to talk".  That way I don't have to stop teaching, but can simply hold up the card.  I would be happy to provide a PDF document for anyone interested in these types of individual picture cards.
I have a treasure box that my students are able to pick a prize if they have had a good week.  They LOVE it.  I ask parents to send in small trinkets and pick up treasures from the Dollar Spot from Target or Michaels.
I try to keep discipline positive and have found that just by noticing and commenting on appropriate behavior.  My sweeties are young and enthusiastic enough that they want me to say something about them to so everyone will follow that person's good example.  However, some of my students require more visuals to help them calm down.  There is a plethora of amazing teacher blogs with lots of ideas.  Here are some of my favorite tools I have pinned on my classroom management pinterest board.

Something I have wanted to learn more about is Whole Brain Teaching (WBT).  I have incorporated tiny bits here and there, but haven't done the whole thing yet.  It is for kindergarten and up so I would have to adapt it to the pre-k population.  There are many great freebie resources out there.  Here are some of my pins from my WBT teaching pinterest board.
I can't wait to hear about other teachers' discipline rules and routines.  I think it is important to keep in mind that not every little one responds the same to discipline.  It's always good to have some extra tricks up my sleeve!
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)


  1. I LOVE how your daily sheet includes pictures of toy choices for the week and the students can use it show their parents what they did that day. Love love love it! I might have to try that for next year. My students either have autism or communication delays so I always send home a detailed daily sheet, but I love how this makes it interactive!

    Creating & Teaching

    1. Thank you so very much! I think our classrooms are probably very similar. I either highlight or circle things we do during that week, but I also want the little ones to communicate to their parents the the things they chose to play with during centers, etc.

    2. Where can I buy a copy of your daily sheet?

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Mr. Potato Head listening chart. That is so clever! Your blog sure is cute!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  3. I love the Mr. Potato Head pieces on the chart, such a great visual. I'm just getting into WBT & so far what I'm seeing I love. Thanks so much for sharing these great pins.


  4. Do you a tpt or a site where I could get a copy of your communication template and "think it over" template-I love them!!!

  5. Yes, do you have some where to access a printable copy of your school/home communication, think it over, give me 5 and the when I am upset sheets.

  6. Love it. How can I get the sign "When I'm Upset" please

  7. Love the "When I'm Upset" how can I get that? Thank you!