1-2-3 Come Implement A Classroom Management Technique With Me
If you'd poll teachers on what is one of their top classroom management problems, I think you'd find "chatty kiddos" and a "too noisy classroom" high on the list.
Young children need to be trained about voice volume. To them, it's simply loud or soft. Little ones are just learning that there are varying degrees to those, and that they will be required to adapt their volumes and voices when inside the classroom.
There are plenty of "Volume" posters on the internet; but I wanted to design my own, to go a bit farther, to not only explain things to your kiddos and remind them of voice levels, but offer up some real classroom management that made a world of difference with my Y5's.
I truly believe that if a parent or teacher, raises their voice and starts yelling, that they will escalate the craziness and increase the volume.
Some of the tips I offer in my voice choice packet, give you absolute peaceful and calm control, by whispering or not saying a word!
The entire key is that you've trained your students ahead of time, and you offer these techniques up as a challenge. Believe me they'll rise to the occasion.
The class will actually self-monitor, as they truly desire to be successful. Your challenge has made this a sort of game. They want to win. Rather than be a chore, it's now more fun for them to be quiet! Woo hoo; win-win.
Here's an example: "Zippy" is a poster that simply says: "Please zip your lips." He's in the packet and is also the featured FREEBIE today.
Without saying a word, hold up "Zippy". As students notice, they make the silent motion of zipping their lips & raise their hand. Eventually everyone has their lips zipped & their hands raised. Even the stragglers get the message.
They too copy the appropriate behavior, because everyone is doing it; they don’t want to be left out, so they conform because of their desire to fit in and be a winner too.
This positive peer pressure is a powerful motivator. You are in control and it is blessedly quiet.
Simply train your kiddos that this is what you want them to do when you hold up Zippy, then challenge them to see who can be the first to notice.
Also challenge them to shorten the amount of time it takes them to have everyone participating.
Actually time them, then jot down the number on the board where Zippy is conveniently located. No need to offer prizes, beating their last time is incentive enough. Your kiddos will LOVE this!
Everyone is working as a team, without you having to do a thing but stand there and enjoy the absolute joy of being quietly in control.
There are several options in the Voice Choice packet. You can display the cards in a pocket chart and go through them with your students or hang them on your white board and put a magnet next to the level you want your students to be at.
Simply gluing a smilie face to the back of a large, glass flat-backed "marble" and attaching a magnet, is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to make one.
If board space is limited, hang up the mini poster and then clip a colored clothespin to the appropriate voice level.
You can also explain things via the large posters. Show each one to your students and read the examples for when they should be using that voice.
You can begin by showing them the picture and reading the name of each voice level, in the appropriate volume.
i.e. If you are showing them the volume level 1 Whispering poster, whisper to your students: "When do you think you would use this kind of voice?"
After they have shared their thoughts, read the list and add anything else that's appropriate for your class. Finally, reinforce the sound of this level, by having students model the volume of that voice, as they too "whisper" the name and number of that level.
As a review, after you explain the voice choice concept, put the number cards in a container, and have students pick one. They share when they would use that number voice level.
Another way to play this game, is to have students say the words “Voice Choice” in whatever number level that's on their card and have the other children guess what number they are modeling.
You can also use these voice-level number cards to remind students what level they should be on. Without saying a word, quietly place the appropriate number on their desk or group table.
They notice & adjust their volume, flipping the card over, so you can pick it up and re-use it when necessary.
Another thing you can use the voice-level number cards for, is to make a class book. (Templates provided.) Whatever number a student picks, is the voice level that they write about and then draw a picture.
Collect and collate the pages and add the cover, then read as a whole group with the entire class. Each child comes up and shares their page using the #4 sharing voice level.
Besides the number cards, I also made several designs for "Quiet Cards." Print, laminate and trim the cards and keep them in a narrow basket on your chalk sill, under your voice choice poster.
As with the number cards, without a word, you place the appropriate card on a child's desk or group table. This is a great way to silently encourage students, as well as have children adjust their behavior or voice levels, without disturbing the class or bringing negative attention to someone.
Another quiet way to remind your students to adjust their voice level, is with the paper STOP sign. Simply run off the pattern on red construction paper; fill in the letters with white crayon or paint; laminate; trim and put on a craft stick.
Silently, and with a grand flourish, (they'll spot the movement) hold up the sign when students are not at the appropriate voice level. With your other hand, hold up the appropriate number of fingers to show what voice-level number students should be using.
Unfortunately, there always seem to be a few stragglers, who need a bit more reminding. Self control was probably one of the top reasons I always had more boys than girls in my Y5's classes. With them in mind, I designed some positive reinforcement voice control activities for you and included them in this packet.
Z is for zipper and ZIPPING your lips. You can send one of the "I'm having trouble zipping my lips" poster-notes home to a child's parents, or have them color it while they sit in your Time Out or Think chair. This is an easy way to communicate with parents and enlist their help.
Every year I had at least one child with ADHD. An effective behavior modification technique with them, was to earn the right to connect a dot on their paper to make a mystery picture. Whenever they modeled the appropriate behavior that we were working on, they got to connect another dot.
This was super-simple, quick and easy for me. If they completed their picture that day, they received the agreed upon "prize." If not, they could continue the next day.
Thus, I also made the "Z is for zipping" paper, into "color a star and connect it to the next one" -- voice control worksheet. Besides encouraging kiddos to adjust their volume, you can also work on interrupting, and not blurting inappropriate things out.
Click on the link to get my Voice Choice Classroom Management packet. This sanity-saving, stress-buster is just $2.95.
Besides Zippy, I have another FREEBIE for you today. It's a set of "Signal Me!" posters.
Going hand-in-hand with quielty managing your classroom, is dealing with the constant interruption of "Can I go to the bathroom, sharpen my pencil or get a drink of water?" requests.
I solve this problem, by again training my kiddos, and hang up the "Signal Me!" poster as a reminder. Students simply hold up the appropriate amount of fingers.
I can see at a glance who needs what; make eye contact and nod yes or no. If it's no, to alleviate a disgruntled response, I mouth "later" or a designated amount of time, like 5 minutes.
I truly hope that these techniques that have worked so successfully for me, in effectively managing my classroom, will also work for you.
There’s nothing better than having a well-behaved class, where teaching and learning can truly be enjoyed.
The satisfaction and peace that brings, is priceless.
"One who smiles, rather than rages, is always the stronger." -Old English Proverb
1-2-3 Come Have Fun Learning About Verbs With Me!
One of the things I used to do with my Y5's, was to help them "get the wiggles out". When I felt they were getting a bit antsy, I'd say: "Quick! Jump up! Get those wiggles out!” (We’d wiggle, giggle & shake.) Then I’d say “FREEZE.” (Everyone froze in place in utter silence.) I'd quietly and slowly say: “Now-carefully, peel those frozen wiggles off and throw them out the window!” They’d toss their wiggles out, and we’d wipe our brows and say: “Whew! Wiggles gone!"
Sometimes, after they had thrown their wiggles out the window, I’d exclaim, “Uh oh!” (Then whisper:) "Shhh! A wiggle snuck in! Catch it and toss it out again!” We’d very slowly and quietly reach for the stars, grab a wiggle, and toss, it slow motion, out the window once again.
As a teacher, you mime the movements and they will follow your lead. "Monkey-see, monkey-do." The quiet voice and very slow actions will calm your wild ones down and give you control of the class.
My Y5's absolutely LOVED this, and were ready to get back down to business. Brain breaks are so important with little ones, especially during that first month of school, when they are getting used to a long day of routines.
With that in mind, I designed the Ready! Set! Action! packet. It's an interesting and fun way to help your students learn about verbs, at the same time acting as a classroom management technique. Students enjoy the action of the game, while you reinforce the grammar concept.
Explain to students that verbs are words that describe an action, then ask them for some examples. (I don't get into "state of being verbs" with my kiddos, but if you teach older grades, by all means, give them the full definition.)
Print the action poster on card stock and then put it on the front of a container (shoebox, ice-cream pail, basket)
Print off the action cards, laminate and trim. (I've included 45 verb cards, plus a blank set for you to program with whatever.) Put the cards in the container.
When you are ready to get the wiggles out, or want to transition to another activity, choose a child to pick an action (verb) card out of your container. They show the card and everyone reads it. That person can demonstrate the action, or everyone can do their own version.
I've included small blank clacker cards, for you to program with your students' names. Just another fun little detail to match the theme.
There's also an "It's time to wiggle" poster. Show the poster and have students call out a verb. Choose one and do that action to “get the wiggles out.”
You could also use this as a way to transition children over to the action verb activity explained above. Show the sign, pick a student, who picks a verb card and then children chant: “Time to wiggle. Time to giggle. Time to ________ (jiggle)." or whatever word card was chosen. Have students do that activity in place, or have them transition to the next activity by doing that action.
I wanted to give a shout out to Michelle over at 3am Teacher for the cute "movie clacker" clip art. As you can see, it was just what I was looking for and perfect for this packet. I have a "real" slate clacker that I bought at the party store for only $2.00. I thought it would add to the fun. Click on the link to view/download the Action Verb Packet.
While doing verb research, I discovered that the term originates from Latin. (Who knew? And I took it for 5 years!) I also found some super-helpful sites that you might like. Enchanted Learning has a wonderful (school appropriate) alphabetical list of verbs. My personal favorite site for verbs is Verbs 1. If you're looking for a verb that starts with a specific letter, then this site's for you. Simply click on whatever letter you need and you'll find an alphabetical list starting with that letter.
For 2,000 action verbs, Grammar Check Dictionary is also a nice resource. Finally, Woxikon, is a database that helps you with a verb's individual meaning, forms and conjugations in 8 different languages!
Well that's it for today. It's Saturday and summer is calling! (My husband is too, as my computer time is up and we're off to the fair.) I'm wishing you an action-packed day, over flowing with fun.
1-2-3 Come Learn Some Hand Signals With Me and Take Control of Interruptions!
Ask any teacher what their students' most frequently asked question is and "Can I go to the bathroom?" will be in the top 3. "Can I get a drink?" and "Can I sharpen my pencil?" Will be right up there as well.
If their question was grammatically incorrect, as with the above use of "can", to help teach appropriate grammar, I'd often reply: "Yes you CAN, but NO, you MAY not." I'd explain this from the beginning and pretty soon all of my students were learning the proper use of the word "may".
Young children, simply being kids, are often interrupting. An obvious remedy to this problem is enforcing the raising of hands. Because this is easily understood, I thought I'd take it a step farther.
If you want to go to the bathroom you make a fist and stick out your thumb. Displaying a specific number of fingers, to signal a need, has been around since I was a child, however, instead of putting up 1 finger, I found it especially helpful, to do the "fist and thumb" for a bathroom request, simply because my Y5's were often raising and waving their hands, but never with a fist. I could then see at a glance, who needed immediate attention.
This technique is so simple, yet really works. Start out by teaching the concept on the 1st day of school. Choose one of the posters, print several copies, laminate, and hang up in several "sure to be seen" places in your room, and then practice a bit.
The hand signals are especially helpful when you are explaining something. No need for a child to raise their hand and state their need out loud. They just put up a hand signal; you make eye contact with that student and nod yes or no. This also avoids children getting out of their seats to ask you, and lessens "copy cats." Have you ever noticed how many kiddo's all of a sudden need to do something, just because one child got the ball rolling?
Some teachers add "Get a tissue" as another signal, but I feel if you need a Kleenex, because you just sneezed and snot is running down your face, no need to hesitate, just go get one and take care of business. I let students know from day one, that they could get a tissue whenever the need arose, and then follow up with a squirt of hand sanitizer shortly after. In all of my years of teaching, no one ever abused the privilege.
Click on the link to view/download the Signal Me anchor chart-poster, and let the training begin! I've also designed a few more classroom posters for back-to-school week. To view the 2nd article I wrote for today, simply scroll down.
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"In the garden of my loneliness, trespassers will never be prosecuted." -Ashleigh Brilliant
Two posters to alleviate interruptions while you teach. If a child signals by displaying the appropriate number of fingers, you can tell at a glance what they want. You also don't have to say a word. Simply make eye contact and nod yes or no.
These 8 bookmarks match the birthday notes and are a cute addition to your birthday goodies.