Let's start with my philosophy on behavior management...I believe behavior management is strongly rooted in classroom procedures. When there are clear expectations and those expectations are clearly articulated to your students, behavior management takes care of itself.
A friend and co-teacher of mine has taken me on as her mentor project, so to speak. She lent me some of her materials from Harry Wong, THE behavior and classroom management guru. One of those items she lent me was an audio book. One of the comments that Mr. Wong made in that audio really made me rethink my entire behavior plan in my classroom. He clearly explained the difference between rules and procedures. We shouldn't be overly focused on rules, per se, and we should only have 5 real rules at the most. (I've included mine in the photos below; these are my adaptations from WBT.) He explained that broken rules have consequences...on the other hand, procedures are what you should really have the most of in your classroom. Procedures are what make your classroom run effectively and efficiently. When a student doesn't follow a procedure properly, he or she doesn't get "in trouble" because no rules were broken. When a student doesn't follow a procedure properly, you and the student (or the class as a whole) simply review the procedure! This may seem overly simple, but I had just never thought about it quite that way...and then I started reflecting on how to bring it to action in my own classroom.
As an itinerant teacher, I need to make the most of every second I have with my students. (Of course, we all do, but the less time I can spend on correcting behaviors and the more time I can spend on instruction, my students and I both win!) I've been thinking about the procedures I want to implement this year, and here's what I have so far.
- Classroom entry and exit
- Supply management
- Broken pencils
- Emergencies and drills
- Visitors and phone calls
- Data notebooks
- Classroom library
- iPad assignments
- Class Dojo
- Delivering materials to our classroom
- Word Wall
Feel free to leave your advice and suggestions for effective procedures in your classroom that make a difference in your behavior management. I'm always open to new ideas.