Fern Smith's Suggestions to Keep a Positive & Kind Classroom Environment!

I believe in two things when it comes to setting up a positive and kind classroom.
1. If you are a teacher, you should really love children, 
you are going to live about eight hours a day with them!
2. You need to let them know that you love them daily!
Since TBA has dedicated today to Classroom Management ideas, I was trying to think about the one thing I personally feel really, really, really works for me. This year is THE GROUP, you know what I mean, Kindergarten teachers still talk about how bad they were, First Grade teachers ran screaming into the hills, Second Grade teachers sadly shook their heads and said, "Next year they are all yours...." with a bleak look in their eyes! But here we are about to successfully finish the school year with happy children and terrific FCAT scores! Also, some kiddos moved.... :)
So what works? Sympathy, I think using sympathy & pride is what gets me happily through my day. 
My team uses it too. By sympathy I mean this...
* I'm so sorry you forgot your homework, why don't you finish it in study hall.
INSTEAD OF: I can't believe you forgot your homework again, go to study hall!
* Man, I'm sorry you were climbing the fence, you know better, come off the playground.
INSTEAD OF: Seriously? Climbing the fence? Get off the playground! 
* I am proud of you for not talking back to an adult, you may go back on the playground.
INSTEAD OF: Get on that fence and stay on that fence and you're not getting off for the rest of the week!
I'm so sorry you brought a knife to school. I hope you learned a lesson and wouldn't do that again.
{'Cause ya' know, that's a child you really don't want mad at you!}
Sympathy & Pride it shows the child you love them, you care for them and that it is OK to make mistakes. It prevents directly yelling at the child and the confrontations when they yell back at you. AND that always makes the teacher look like a complete idiot, to both the students and other teachers. 
In my examples above I have actually heard each "INSTEAD OF" and it is embarrassing to witness a teacher slowly losing control of her room all year, no matter who tries to help or mentor to her.
So with all that being said, here are some of my past posts for a little bit of your summer reading!
Champs is wonderful in setting standards for EVERYONE, fair, equal and positive. If you have not heard of CHAMPS, basically it is about telling the students the classroom expectations in advanced of each lesson or activity. CHAMPS stand for ~C = Conversation H = Help A = Activity M = Movement P - Participation and S= Success! Head over to my blog to see how to quickly set it up in your classroom NOW! and learn the rest later!
I have always done a "Flip Your Card" behavior program. I feel that it really works, it gives ownership to the student for the inappropriate behavior and the classroom behavior plan is not just the teacher yelling all the time, which NEVER works! Some teachers don't like this system, because if you move down in color, it is negative. But I use mine with a more positive spin! I allow my students to "earn it back" when they have to flip their card. If they show improvement they may move back to green. This helps with individual behavior plans too. Read more...
Simply put...
Sit Up!
Lean Forward!
Act Attentive
Nod Your Head
Track the Teacher
Pretty soon you'll just be telling them to SLANT and the lesson will roll right along. 
Here's a cute little idea for your students to sing during transition from direct instruction to written work. It is short and sweet, but just long enough for everyone to get their act together, paper, pencil, SLANT...ready to roll. One of my buddies on my team have their own spin on it. The next thing on your paper is the date. The last thing on your paper is your number. Because some classes need longer than others to get their act together! :)
 One of the quickest, fastest, most instant reward that COSTS NOTHING!

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I'm currently the 3rd grade team leader, Teacher of the Year and blog addict!
I love new followers, come check out my blog and see what you think!

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