This was an easy thing to make. I took a whiteboard that I bought at Target a few years ago and wasn't currently utilizing elsewhere and decided to use it to reinforce good behavior. So many kids are used to having to write their names on the board when they do something wrong. I ask them to write their name on the board when they do something well. I also say thinks like "every kid in the school comes into this room and they'll see your name and know that you did something totally awesome." Old whiteboard with a colorful border and dry erase markers hanging from the edge. It took me about 20 minutes to make (getting it to hang was the tricky part-- 3m hooks are amazing!) and put up. Now they have a special spot in the room to write their name and I've put my whiteboard back into use.
I was really inspired by Artie Almeida's book, "Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!" The problem was that I only had scarves and no ribbon wands and no parachute. Distressed by how much all of those things cost and bemoaning the fact that I have a very small budget I had to get creative.
I don't hand out the recorder cleaning sticks with my recorders because #1 the kids won't really use them, #2 they'll probably just lose them, #3 if they use them they'll probably use them infrequently and incorrectly. So, I kept the recorder cleaning rods and had them in a huge box. After Christmas last year I went into the wrapping paper and found big rolls of ribbon for pennies. So of course I bought the ribbon cut them into lengths of about 2-3 feet and tied them to my recorder rods. They're not perfect, but they're not bad. The rods are free and the ribbon only came out to be about $1 a roll. I only needed three rolls to create about 45 wands. I could make more later if these rip apart or break.
It's cheap, it's really easy, and it saved me time and money. Try it out and see what you think.
As previously stated, I'm a nerd for using curriculum in classroom management. I think that I saw this done on Pinterest but I made it my own. I took my "time out" chair (or for you BIST people, a "safe seat") and used a sharpie to draw on a quarter rest. Presto: The rest chair. Now whenever my little friends lose control of their actions and need a moment to compose themselves (pun intended), they head over the rest chair and sometimes work through a think sheet before coming back to join the rest of the kids. Fun, easy, content connection, win!
This is probably the coolest and most easy thing in the whole world. This is another amazing trick that I learned from Debbie Gray, the wonderful teacher that I student taught with a few years ago.
Here's how it works. Go to Target or the Dollar Tree or wherever and get an empty spray bottle. Fill it with water and if you want you can label it with the name "Cool Kid Spray." I leave my bottles unlabeled but always refer to them as Cool Kid Spray. Whenever you want to use it as a reinforcement bring out the spray.
I love to use it for all sorts of things, but one great time saver is to use it when you line up. You can just say something like, "I've got some Cool Kid Spray here to give away to anyone who can stand quietly in line." or "If you stand quietly and keep your hands to yourself you will get cool kid spray on your way out. I'm watching for kid who are really being good citizens and following directions." If they actually follow the directions I spray some mist on their face as they walk by/walk out of the room. HOWEVER, if they don't follow the directions they don't get sprayed. I warn them about that. "I'm only going to spray kids who actually follow the directions and if you don't you won't get spray." Deny them spray once and they'll be right in your pocket.
My one rule is that you can't ask for it, you've got to earn the spray by doing something great. Cool kid spray is amazingly effective and totally FREE!!
I'm a nerd. I'll freely admit that. That said, I love when you can make classroom management easier and also reinforce classroom content. LOVE IT! So, when I was trying to figure out how I could make hallway procedures easier I came up with this handy little trick that really made my inner nerd smile.
At my school I have to transition kids from my room down to the gym and switch classes with the P.E. teacher. I decided to post markers in the hallway so that I could say "Walk down to the far corner and stop." or "Walk down to the water fountain and then stop there and wait for the P.E. teacher." When I was looking in the closet for a picture or symbol or colored something to hang to mark off the space I came across these posters. I love the instrument family posters (though they rarely get used in my classroom) and decided to hang them at various points along the hallway. Now when I'm walking a class from one place to another I can say to the line leader "Walk down to the harp and stop" or "Walk all the way down the hall until the picture of an instrument from the brass family and then stop."
It's been a really great thing to control the line and free me up but also helps to solidify classroom content. The best part is when you have to stop and address a behavior with a student, or when a second/first/kindergarten student "really has to tell you a very important story" about their weekend. The line can take care of itself and has a natural stopping point. You can walk next to or behind the class and the line leader has a defined place to stop in the hallway. Makes life easier, reinforces content, allows me to breathe a bit more in the hallway between classes... win!
Hi! I'm David
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