It is important to establish your classroom rules and procedures the first week of school.
Discipline is a prerequisite to being able to teach any class no matter what subject you are teaching.
Post the following on tag board and keep where it is in view for students at all times.
Classroom Rules should be followed at all times:
Give rewards, lots of them... verbal compliments and smiles, many "goodies", and also give special privileges.
- Show courtesy and respect for others.
- Raise hand to speak during classroom discussion.
- Stay in seats during written assignments unless you have permission.
- May get up to get drinks, sharpen pencils, get help from teacher (only one person at a time at the pencil sharpener, getting a drink of water, and using trash basket...).
- Keep hands and feet to yourself as to not disturb others who are working.
- Complete all assignments and bring all books and materials back each day.
Idea for "goodies" should be an immediate reward, such as a ticket for purchasing larger prizes or an inexpensive reward like a couple pretzels etc etc ...
For elementary teachers the following is a suggestion for making discipline simple and an easy way to follow through with procedures and offenses.
The classroom procedure that follows is how to make/use a pocket chart:
Classroom disruptions to educational program will result in the following disciplinary action:
- Make or purchase a pocket chart with the number of pockets needed for your class.
- Get index cards and number four different colors for each student and /or put the student's name on each card. (As yellow, blue, red, green). Each student has four colors as you will see below, so you can "pull" the cards for each offense daily. On the top row of the pocket chart use a sentence strip and label it, "How is your day going?".
- Post the following rules/offenses on your bulletin board and explain it to your students. Also give a copy to the students, and parents of your classroom procedures. If you have a back to school night discuss these procedures with the parents.
- Each time a student disrupts the class pull their card and place it in the top row of the chart. This will show which cards pulled for each day so you can tell which color they have pulled by end of day. Then place the cards back in the student's pocket for the following day. Also the following day post or inform any students who owe recess time, or what your choice for discipline is on the yellow or red card.
(This also includes any disruptions that are caused during recess and takes classroom educational time to resolve).
* Means you don't include it on your posted rules as it is for your understanding/information only.
- 1st Offense = Blue Card - warning (do not log in the grade book).
- 2nd Offense = Yellow Card - lose 5 minutes of recess the next day.
- 3rd Offense = Red Card - lose all recesses the next day, written assignment and /or time out in another classroom, phone call or note home.
*If a student gets red cards pulled more than once a week and the parents have been contacted, a behavioral referral should also be given to the principal.
*If the parents cannot be contacted, write a note and call the next day.
- 4th Offense = Green card - phone call home, discipline referral to parent and to principal, and lost of privileges for a field trip or special class reward.
You should also keep a daily log in your grade book so you can show how often a card is pulled.
Code the log "y" for yellow, "r" for red, and "g" for green.
This gives you accountability if you later need it for report card grades or conferences.
Behavior such as fighting, stealing, etc. will result in immediate phone call home and discipline referral.
As the year progresses, other changes might have to be made for special students. Through conferences with the parents you can try to work out what is best for the individual student.
Again, no matter what procedure you choose, you must follow through with what you set up for your discipline policy.
- Keeping parents informed of incompletes by using the assignment book is also a way to keep them aware of their child's work habits.
- Write your daily assignments on the board.
- Let the students know it is their responsibility to get their assignment book home.
- Another good idea is to have the parents sign that all daily homework has been completed. The student can then be rewarded using your reward system.
Good classroom management is the "key" to being able to teach the subject matter.