The 1st week is always the key stage to set the mood for kids. You can tell the kids are still in vacation mode after 2-month away from school. Like everyone else, I started with basic rules and expectations and a little of something new this time. These are the things I did for the past 2 weeks:
1. I tried a reward system for my 6 graders. I start with explaining plus and minus behavior in class and put on the reward chart at the back of the room (I’ll post the picture some other time). This is probably nothing new for most teachers, but for teachers like me that takes over 13 classes every week, it’s a BIT OF WORK. Somehow I tried to simplified it by assigning a Mr./Ms. Dot as the person who put on the sticky dot on the chart. Every class can see each others’ points and thus kind up boost the competitiveness. The reward? 20 points for one session of on-line learning, 30 for outdoor teaching and 50 for movie time. See the slide below. I was a bit surprised how the 6 graders respond on this system. It actually promotes positive behaviors for those cranky adolescents!
2. I tried to relocate the bookshelves so it LOOKS a bit like a reading corner( the space is just not enough!). I arranged the sofa closer to the reading area and put on the old reading poster I got ages ago.
ok…I know that trash bin is a killer, and the background poster….okay, one in a time….
So far I’ve get rid of that poster but repainting the wall seems like a mission impossible here…
I can’t remember how old this poster is ….must be over 8 years…
3. I assigned 3 classroom jobs in each class and incorporating that into the daily English. These are: light captain, stationery captain, chant captain. You can get a similar idea here from about.com.
4. I also present my classroom rules in the first session with kids. Kids are to memorize them and chant them before class for two weeks. The rules are…
Listen before you ask
Think before you speak
Try before you say no
I wrote the chant according to the experiences I have so far. It works well if you do the clapping at the same time.