Okay, I’ve begun my second year of teaching middle school, where the kids are cute and so much more. This year I’ve begun using a few new tricks to improve my classroom management. (I know, I sound like a first year teacher, not an 18th year one.) My room has a very nice feel to it, one that I want to maintain. This will only be possible if the students are taught to care for it. So, the new tricks aren’t exactly about that, but they are a little. For instance:
The art supplies are separated into kid-size doses and housed in tennis ball cans. Certain kids are assigned to get them and put them away. No one else. At the end of class a 6 minute timer goes off. Everyone stops what they are doing and waits for instructions. I tell them who will be putting materials away, and instruct them to get their rows in order. I have already written some points on the board for rows that worked well. Once everything is put away and the rows are neat, I get out my little book of questions. I ask for hands and will only give row points to people who raised their hands. At the end of the class the row with most points gets to first. Simple but the kids like it and they totally respond to my putting points on the board. I worried that this would be too difficult to maintain, but so far it’s a breeze.
So, that’s my new little tiny thing for the day that’s working so far. They get loud during class, but in those last minutes all is calm until I dismiss them. Plus they leave the classroom very tidy!