Whew! We just finished up our first full week and boy is it an adjustment! Friday was Day 6 and we are still going strong on learning procedures and routines. I usually teach procedures and routines for the first 2 weeks before actually diving into standards, just so that we have them down pat and second nature. It is so very helpful to have a class that knows what they're supposed to do and follows through - it enables me to do so much more with them when I don't have to worry about how they're going to behave.
One of my new classroom management ideas was born because of this Creative Teaching Press product: A Colorful Crop which is in the Painted Palette collection:
It comes with a ton of apples - the red ones have 3 different styles! The tree itself is only 2 pieces, so it literally took 2 minutes to hang this in my hallway! My plan is to recognize each child in my class and give specific examples of when they are being a "Good Apple". When I catch someone doing something kind or following our procedures, I grab an apple, jot down their name and a quick note about what they were doing right, and then the next time we head out of the classroom they get to stick the apple on our tree!
So far, my students have earned them for such things as: translating for other students (I have 3 ELL students and I don't speak Spanish, thank God for Google Translate and my 1 little girl who is a real trooper and helps me explain things to the other 2!), giving sincere compliments (seriously, I wish her mama could come give lessons on whatever she did to make this little girl so polite and inclusive!) following directions quickly and quietly, setting a good example in the hallway (that was when the 1st graders were passing us and they were NOT doing the right thing!) and sharing and taking turns with our center time toys.
There are enough apples that everyone will be able to put an apple on the tree within the next week. I'll be looking for something positive in each child so that by Friday we all have an apple on the tree. After that, I'm going to ask the other teachers in our hallway to take the extra apples and award them to our class when they see us doing something that's worthy of a compliment - paying attention at an assembly, walking quietly in the hallway, cleaning up after ourselves in the cafeteria etc. This will help to reinforce all of the procedures and routines that we are still working on.
I know this will be a big help in recognizing positive behavior in my classroom and reinforcing our classroom procedures!