When your caseload has 60+ students, it is SO important to have strong classroom management. I'd love to share more with you about some of the supports I use.
This is the 3rd year our school has participated in MiBLSi (Michigan's Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative). The idea behind this program is that schools will create systems that are data driven to help students be successful in the classroom. But student success is not solely defined by academic performance, it includes behaviors. The goals behind this program are to increase academic performance and reduce behavior problems! When we first started this program, I was beyond excited because of a few key points I had read about.... TEACHING behaviors and expectations to students and using EVIDENCE BASED supports and on-going assessments to help guide our interventions (I couldn't sign-up fast enough for our school's team:)
There is a huge reading and academic component to this - but today, I am focusing on behavior. I work in an Elementary building and we picked 5 values we would focus on as a whole school: respect, responsibility, cooperation, safety, and kindness. Because that is a mouthful, we focus on being GREEN! Each and every room in our building is equipped with these visuals:
Our team created movies, lesson plans, songs, and games to teach these expectations. My social story skills came in very handy! The entire school reviews these expectations at the beginning of the year and throughout the year as needed (ex. Christmas vacation). I love that our staff is using universal language to set our expectations. For example, we talk about one way to show respect is to listen to the speaker. When we are listening, we are using a level 1 voice (no talking). I also love that we start this with our youngest students (preschool) - by the time some of our students enter Kindergarten, they know exactly what it means to be GREEN!! Our school also gives green smiley bracelets for teachers to hand out individually.
Not only do we teach and celebrate as a whole school, but we also do this within each of our own classrooms. Because my role is different than that of a typical teacher's, I had to think of something where I could track each of my speech or language group's behaviors. Thanks to Sublime Speech I think I have found the perfect way!
Speech Slides and Language Ladders allows me to reward my individual groups when they are being GREEN (aka meeting my classroom expectations)! At the end of each session, I let them move their group pin anywhere from one to five spaces (depending on how GREEN they were). When they reach the top of the chart, we are celebrating with a pizza party filled with music and games during recess!
A few things...
- I always try to remember the 4:1 rule - acknowledge 4 positive behaviors for every time you acknowledge/correct a negative behavior.
- We do not use the word "Rules", rather we like to encourage the word "Expectations".
The best part about this is that we celebrating the POSITIVE things happening in our school and classrooms! With so much chaos and negativity in our world, it is important to take the time and acknowledge our students for their hard work!
Want to know more about what our school is doing, leave us a comment. Also, we would love to hear what you do in your classrooms!