Hey there! This is Gretchen from Always a Lesson educational blog.
I am so excited to write a guest blog post for Nicole from Teaching with Style. I am new to the blogging world and this is my very first guest blog! Thanks Nicole :)
I am very passionate about behavior management, but even more so about silent behavior management-the kind you can't see because everything is under control. The teacher who yells at her class to quiet down or children calling the shots in the room is not what I will be referring to. When you walk into a teacher's classroom and it is a well-oiled machine...that's behavior management. You think to yourself, "Gosh, I want to be like that. How does she/he do it?" You may think there are no visible signs of managing behavior and that the students are 100% angelic. That is not the case. The teacher has done a fabulous job creating a strong classroom community built on trust and communication. Expectations were laid out, students follow the agreed upon rules, and receive rewards/consequences based on their ability to follow the desired expectation.
At the beginning of each school year, I reflect on the behavior successes and difficulties of the previous year’s class. I then set goals for the upcoming school year. I select specific strategies I want to implement and then I visualize how I want the actions to look as they are being carried out so that I can teach students step-by-step. It is very important that the first few weeks of school are spent introducing the expectations for behavior, demonstrating them for students, and having students repeatedly practice the actions. It may seem redundant while going through the process, but by spending large amounts of time upfront on behavior management, less time is spent during the year on corrections because students are aware of expectations, are held to a high standard, and act accordingly.
I want to share with you a few hand-picked strategies, mostly procedural expectations that translated into appropriate student behaviors throughout the school day.
Redirections happened most often in actions with a *
The most difficult procedure to maintain expectations is marked by **
Successful behavior management procedures are marked with a √
If procedural behaviors were not followed according to the expectation set at the beginning of the year, the student records their behavior on a classroom street light. All students begin with their designated number not on the street light. Their first warning, they move their numbered clip to green, receive a note home, and five minutes off recess. After their second warning, students move their clip to yellow and receive a note home, 10 minutes off recess, and silent lunch. Lastly, if a student’s behavior continues to progress, they move their clip to red and receive a note home, 15 minutes off recess and the principal is contacted.
I believe in second chances. So, if a child has moved their clip but gets their behavior back on track throughout the day, I let them move their clip back one level. If I did not do this, students who struggle with behavior and move their clip early in the morning chalk their day up to a "loss" and continue to act out. However, by giving students an opportunity to try again, they are motivated to correct their behaviors.
It’s very important to set boundaries and limitations for children, especially in a classroom of 20+ students. The more children a classroom holds, the stronger the teacher's behavior management. Otherwise, chaos will easily ensue. Also, beginning the year stricter than your natural style is a good idea to set the standard for behavior expectations. As the year progresses and your relationship grows with your students, easing up a bit allows everyone to become themselves within the established boundaries. Remember, you are the leader in the classroom- establish that role early!
What is your behavior management style?
What procedures do you have in your class that keeps student behavior in line with expectations?