Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Classroom Management Tips and July Behavior Freebie

As many of you know by now I spent last school year being a substitute teacher after 8 years in the classroom.  I chose to do this as I wasn't happy where I was at and was unable to get a transfer.  I did do a short term in 5th grade.  Many told me how difficult it is to sub especially because you don't have enough time to build relationships with students.

I set out to prove that theory wrong!  Here are things that I did that brought me wonderful relationships with nearly every class I subbed for some classes became very special to me as I subbed for them multiple times.

1. Come in the door smiling at everyone: children, parents, administration, other teachers, etc.  Others feed off of it!  A smile is contagious, trust me on that one!

2. I tell the students straight up that I have taught for 8 years and I know what I am doing.  Fooling around, misbehaving, and not doing work will not work with me.  It is in your best interest to make good choices and you will have a fun time, learn a lot, and be rewarded!

3. Use whatever reward system the school or teacher has.  I've been in schools and classes that use links (a kind of ticket), tickets (like they give out at the fair to go on rides), cut out stars, skittles, m&ms, etc.  If the teacher does not have a system in place come up with your own for the day!  Reward children constantly for doing the right thing: completing their work, being a good friend, using manners, being a leader, standing up for someone, participating, being helpful, etc.

4. If you have a long term subbing assignment let them cash in their tickets, stars, etc. for rewards.  You come up with the system unless the teacher has left you a plan for it.  The children I subbed for a month and the ones I taught in the short term loved taking their shoes off in the classroom and eating Jolly Ranchers.  The little ones were very happy with stickers.  They almost all seemed to love peppermints, which I used a lot and you can buy a bag for a dollar at Wal-Mart!

5. As children are talking to each other eavesdrop on their conversations to listen to their interests, notice pictures of what they have on their folders, books they are reading, etc.  Talk to them about it.  Tell the child you noticed they love horses.  I noticed you love basketball.  I noticed you always have a book in your hand.  I noticed you wear purple a lot.  Is it your favorite color?  The ones I subbed for responded to the nice things I said to them and always complimented me back in some way or would go out of there way to do so later.

6. If the class was so good at the end of the day or the majority were give those who were good a Positive Behavior Note (see free one below), a piece of candy, a sticker, a special pencil (they love the scented ones), or paper bracelets (Really Good Stuff has these and great pencils).  Children will remember you and will beg for you to come back and be even better behaved!

7. Praise them for doing the right thing as often as possible.

8. If you sub for them often write a nice message on the board first thing in the morning.

9. If you have subbed for them multiple times and you see a child in the hall after school, before school, on the way to the restroom, etc. have mints, jolly ranchers, or something in your pocket and just hand them one.  They ask me what is this for and I say "just to make you smile!"  Trust me it works!

10. Eat with them if you have subbed for them often.  I should have done this more and will next year if I land my own teaching position or sub for the same class often.

Those are some of the things I tried in various grade levels and I was able to get some of the more difficult children to have a pretty good day with me and the others were usually quite excellent.

Here is my hoppin' Positive Behavior note for July.  It would really work for any month, but be sure to check out the other free Positive Behavior Notes in my store!  It's amazing that I have had over 5,000 free products being used in classrooms all over the world.  That makes me smile so much!

As always thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings and making me smile.  Keep smiling!

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