Summer is O.V.E.R!
On this raining Sunday (well here in the panhandle) it is hard not to feel a bit blue. My summer has flown by with summer school and a cross country move. While I am a bit sad my free time is dwindling I am so excited to meet my new sweeties tomorrow at Open House. My week ended up getting completely busy while I was finishing up inservice and classroom set up so I was unable to post for the remainder of Teacher Week. That is why I am going to add some of my organization and management tips here!
The things in my classroom definitely need to have their own home. I don’t think I would be able to function with piles and clutter. The room has to be broken into sections and then labeled. There is an art area, math area, labeled book bins, etc. This year I used Cara Carroll’s chalkboard organization labels (which I have talked about endlessly about because I am in LOVE with them) to help keep me organized. I used the book bin labels as well as the month labels. At Target I purchased 3 drawer bins to house my centers which I organized by months. Then my filing cabinet contains all my worksheets/templates/etc for all my units. They are again organized by month and unit.
In the white cabinet I have all my art supplies in one section, extra math manipulatives in another and then book bins that I will pull out throughout the year. Then I have a cart (totally forgot to take a picture) that contains labeled math manipulative bins so that the kiddos have easy access. It also holds my table group material bins (with crayons and pencils). Extra supplies are held in my bins by the back sink.
Taming the Wild (Management Tips)
Much like my classroom decor taste my management style is a bit eclectic. I have learned countless techniques over the years and each year I am surprised by which techniques work for my different classes. Management techniques are not one size fits all because no one class will be the same as another. I always begin the year with some Responsive Classroom expectation modeling. For the first 4-6 weeks I rely heavily on modeling every behavior I have for every activity and almost every movement the Firsties will make through the year. I know it sounds crazy but my first year teaching I learned how important it is for my littles to know what is expected. With PBS (Positive Behavior Strategies) school wide I will also be creating “Y” charts for all school and classroom areas. These charts help the students come up with expectations based on our school expectations (be respectful, be responsible and be safe). On the “Y” charts the students and I discuss what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to incorporate all those expectations in the hallway (for instance). We will do this for all public areas as well as classroom activities.
After all of our practicing the little ones know what is expected to help our classroom and school day run smoothly. I have also found that it helps to have a behavior chart. This chart helps the students and I keep track of their choices throughout the day. At the end of each day I send home a behavior sheet to help communicate to parents about their Firsties’ choices. This routine usually dwindles away by Christmas unless their is a major issue.
Also, when discussing the children’s behavior I like to incorporate some Love and Logic sayings and strategies throughout the day. If a student happens to make a poor choice I usually begin with, “Oh, my I am really sorry that…” It is so important that the students in my classroom get logical consequences for the choices that they make.
Reward systems are not my favorite but I do use them throughout the year for some behavior kick starts. I try to instill the importance of making choices that will make them feel good on the inside and not because they will receive something in return. But we all know these ideas and beliefs could get thrown out the window in the first few minutes of the first day (I hope not)! Each year is truly brand new!
Well, that is all I have for you tonight because it is officially a school night! Hehe well sort of! I’m leaving you with a few pictures from our week. We spent a little time on the beach and Baby Blue even met a Weimaraner friend! She did get a little grouchy with his puppy behavior!
Oh, by the way I am joining in the back to school sale on TPT!
Head over there to purchase my products at 20% off! I know I have been doing a lot of shopping!
Enjoy the week!