Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday's Spotlight: Classroom Management

So, it's Sunday.... is the weekend really over? I've had a restful weekend but it's time to go back to work and school mode. Tonight, I'm joining up with An Apple a Day hosted by Leigh at the Applicious Teacher!

My team uses a variety of management systems to target individual and group behaviors... First, our team uses a dollar system as part of our behavior management. Students earn dollars by coming to school (just like a paycheck) and they can earn extra dollars for good behavior, great grades, or going above and beyond. We have laminated ones, tens, and twenties that students can cash in and exchange. We pay our students the following week either on Monday or Tuesday as part of our morning homeroom time. Students can cash in money at our store every other Friday or they can choose to save up their money. If students need to go to their lockers, talk, forget homework, have a no name paper, or need to rent a pencil, etc. they lose dollars. We all have a "MENU" posted in our classrooms that states the cost of various "items." This system works really well for most of our students. Students also an "buy" their way into some of our class parties or rewards with extra dollars if it is not earned. It's a big motivator especially when the store is fully stocked. We have parents donate to our classroom store 2-3 times a year to stock up on food, posters, school supplies, etc. We also have a raffle for $5 gift cards to Target, Game Stop, iTunes every other week. Students can use their money to purchase tickets at the store for the raffle. $1 for one ticket or 6 tickets for $5! This management system is idea for individual students.

With that we also have team "write-ups" that we call cautions (they used to be a bright yellow). We give four different types of write ups during the week. These write ups are labels that go into the planner so they can not be removed (it's noticeable if they try) and parents must sign. We chip in at the beginning of the year to buy all the labels and then print them out. We have a green homework caution, an orange disruption (talking, not following directions, etc) caution, a yellow behavior caution (more severe than talking or an on going problem), and a pink signature caution. All cautions are worth a value of one, except signatures which are worth 1/3 (The Logic: It's not always entirely the students fault for parent's not signing the planner or take home folder). It seems a little complex but the kids catch on very quickly. Here's the letter we send home to our parents.

Another clever trick of the trade are our, "homework receipts." These are a blessing when quickly trying to assess what homework has been turned in! They are also great records during conferences of "crazy excuses" and/or the volume of missing work. It's great documentation all written out by the student!

We collect ALL homework during our homeroom time in the morning. There is no sneaking, no mom bring it to school (not fair to working parents) and then we have chance to grade it in our minute free time. If a student does not have homework, then they fill out a No Homework Form. They fill out one per assignment. This is usually on bright yellow paper so that we know who is missing an assignment even if its collected in another classroom. It works out really well and then I list all my missing assignments on my white board and students may erase their names as they turn in the assignments. On our team, students have one week to turn in late work and then it's a zero. To save paper, we only copy these homework forms on half sheets of paper.

In addition, we have a separate whole class management plan. We have an a "500" race between each homeroom. The goal is to get 500 "laps" like in the Indy 500. Our "laps" are marbles. Every time a homeroom earns 50 "laps" they get a car cutout placed on a pictograph outside our classrooms. Once a class earns all 500 laps or 10 cars, they get a class Wii Party! This is a huge motivator for many of our students - especially since the other homerooms do not get this party. It's for VIP's in the Victory Circle ONLY!

We tally the laps at each of our team meetings on Fridays so the students always know which class is in the lead. One of the classroom jobs is to be the "Car Driver" and carry the "car" aka a tub from IKEA ($2.99 for a three pack!) from class to class.

The class earns laps for good behavior (above & beyond expectations), homework complete (100% class completion earns 2 laps!), following directions, teacher compliments, and highest test/quiz averages. Conversely, the class can lose laps for not following directions, talking, getting a bad report from a specials teacher, etc. We usually get through two rounds of competition within a typical school year (depending mostly on homework completion). This year we made it through one official victory and a partial victory. We're an extremely competitive team and it really drives some of the bubble kids to put in that extra effort to do their homework or study a little harder for a test/quiz. It's a system we don't have to "manage" since the students carry the cars and count the laps once they are given out.

Phew! It seems like a lot but since all four teachers use the same plan, it really works out. The plans benefit both the class and individual students who are making good choices!

 I can wait to see everyone's management ideas!


  1. These are great ideas! :) I love the behavior system. Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. These are great ideas! I can't wait to figure out how to fit these within my classroom. I'm not on team (I teach 6th grade math resource classes and intervention classes), so I've got to adapt a little bit. LOVE the homework sheets. Thanks for taking the time to type up such a details post :)

    Shenanigans in 6th Grade Math

  3. Wow, I love the label ideas! I think I'll be sharing this with my team members and trying really hard to convince them to do this! I'm glad to have found your blog!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  4. I've always admired the money system. Love the idea of a homework reciept! Thanks for linking up and sharing!

    The Applicious Teacher


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