For all the different teachers out there, there are that many behavior management strategies. There is not one magical answer to mastering student behaviors. Some teachers use multiple ways with multiple kids. Some teachers have one simple solution. I know that my classroom had new strategies depending on what week of the year it was. It changed all the time.
I'm writing this blog post to bring many different ideas to you, so that you can try out new strategies and techniques! I hope it inspires you to try something new or improve a strategy you're already doing.
Keep them moving.
Many times, when kids are moving or acting out, their mind just needs a break. Looking back on my years of teaching, there are many situations where I've had to get after a wild child or two, but could have avoided that had I given them more opportunities to move.
Brain Breaks became a staple in my classroom two years ago when I discovered Adventure to Fitness and GoNoodle.
GoNoodle is a great and free way to give kids brain breaks.
You can also pay for the yearly membership, which gives even more content!
Happy Teacher has you covered! Click her blog post for a fabulous idea.
Adventure to Fitness is a wonderful tool to use. It is a little bit longer than a five minute brain break, but you can save your progress and the kids can come in and out of their adventures. This is great for indoor recess or a refocusing time after a transition, such as specials or lunch.
Create relationships from the beginning.
Making a student feel safe and secure can prevent many issues of acting out. If they know that they're individually loved and cared for, this may decrease a number of situations where a student acts out in order to get your attention. Treat your students like adults. Shakes their hands when they enter your classroom. Look them in the eye. Call them by their names. Make them feel like they belong there.
Focus on the positive.
Sometimes, you'll have that kiddo that this may seem tough for! But trust me, that kiddo is the one that needs your love the most. Try the 4:1 ratio. Four positives to every negative. That way whenever a student is corrected or called out, they don't feel overwhelmed with negativity. Keep the same thing in mind for parent communication. Send home 1-2 positive notes or emails home about their kiddos before you call home with anything negative. It's too overwhelming to only hear about the negative, but to be reminded of the things they're doing right builds confidence and reiterates what you're looking for in your classroom.
Try the traditional systems.
Clip charts and color changes are your traditional behavior management systems. I started my first two years using the color change system. Although I didn't love the inability for the child to redeem themselves after a color change, it was my district's behavior plan and I stuck to it. Then, I talked to my principal and told him about clip charts that I had seen on Pinterest and TPT. He agreed to let me use it and I never went back. The great things about clip charts is that the students have the opportunity to redeem themselves after a rough start to the day. It also gives a bit of padding if they've had a great day, but maybe melted down in the last half hour of school.
I first used the Lakeshore behavior chart.
Then I started using the vertical system. On the left is what I used first, then I decided the year after to put it next to my rules so that the students could read through the classroom rules after a clip down.
Try the new technology systems.
Class Dojo is a newer technology system that makes behavior management meaningful and fun for the kids! I have never had a class that didn't love their avatars and earning their points.
Haley from My Silly Firsties has great ideas for how to use this as a whole class system.
OR try new noise level systems. Using apps, you can measure the noise in your classroom and let the students be in control of their own noise level.
Give them a safe place.
If you have some serious behavior issues in your class that can be set off no matter how many behavior management techniques you use, you need safety measures put in place to keep all of your darlings safe. One year, I had two E.B.D. students who had violent tantrums. Luckily, I had an assistant at the time who could help with my class while I helped out my buddies. Sometimes, a cool-down station was all they needed. They met with our counselor and our counselor suggested these students remove themselves from any situation before they feel their anger rise. If the students removed themselves from a situation, the cool-down station was where they went to feel better.
(Source: Unknown- broken link on Pinterest)
Experiment with Whole Brain Teaching
Two years ago, I started using bits and pieces of W.B.T. It's a very big classroom system to take on and learn, but it was well worth it. The call/response kept my kids alert and responsible. My kids were always very attentive whenever they knew they were about to call/respond using hand motions. I knew since it was brand new to me that I needed to ease my way into it, but after a while, it becomes natural!
Grab more ideas for Whole Brain Teaching on my WBT Pinterest Board.
Grab more ideas for behavior management on my Behavior Management Pinterest Board.