I hope you are enjoying our new weekly blog format! We are excited to provide priceless teaching tips and free activity ideas for in and out of the classroom!
Classroom Management Tip
Assume the best of every student even when they are misbehaving. NEVER take anything personally and never make assumptions. How do you do this while enforcing behavior expectations? Use humor and understanding like you would when interacting with adults. For example, if a student is talking during independent work time, say, “I know you are SO SO excited about this assignment that you want to share your awesome thoughts with your friends but I have to ask you to wait until its officially time to share out” OR “I must be hallucinating because I know I didn’t just hear laughter from one of my perfectly silent students during an important independent assignment.”
When a student is blatantly disrespectful you can still be understanding by treating every student like your very best student who is having a very bad day. For example, privately say to this student, “It seems like you are having a hard time being in my class right know. I can’t know what you are experiencing but I do understand what it is like to feel frustrated. I am on your side if you need me, but right now I need to teach the class. If you want to take a 5 minute water or bathroom break you can do that now.” Use you best judgement, but often times humor and understanding receive a much more positive response than a warning or even well-intentioned lecture.
ALWAYS provide visual materials for verbal instructions and notes. This means you should write every step-by-step instruction, definition or behavior expectation on the board or PowerPoint slide in addition to saying it aloud. For the 1-4 students who tend to fall behind or slow the class down while taking notes, provide a personal copy of the PowerPoint slide so they can take notes at their own pace. Collect the handout at the end of class to make sure they still take notes as opposed to simply using your notes.
CCSS-Aligned Video Activity
Play the “Why Fame Doesn’t Matter” video and either provide a half sheet prompt or ask students to copy the following prompt into their notebooks: “It’s about the experience, not fame: What do do you want for your experience? What is your goal?”
Inspirational Bell Ringer: Have Students Paraphrase a Quote
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us” Helen Keller
Make “ME time” Sacred:
- Just like you wouldn’t let a day of playing “hookie” go to waste, don’t take your after school time for granted.
- What are your “ME” hours?
- 8 hours from 3pm – 11pm
- 5 hours from 5pm -10pm
- Schedule afterschool activities for yourself to take full advantage of the time you have NOT being a teacher
- Socializing with friends
- Taking a class
- Taking a yoga or kickboxing
- Running in the park
- Throwing a dinner party
- Hosting a movie or season premiere “screening”
- Painting, knitting or jewelry making
- Writing your memoirs
- Meeting a friend for a picnic in the park