Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Classroom Management Ideas

Part of my internship this year was to create some type of classroom management idea to implement during my 5 weeks of teaching. The thing that we did in my classroom as well as a couple of other first grade classrooms was the "stoplight." This is a simple stoplight that I made out of construction paper, Velcro, and then laminated at the end. Each color is stuck onto the light by Velcro. There is only one color up at a time. Red means that it is quite work time, yellow means that they must stay in their seats and whisper and then finally as I am sure everyone could guess, green means they are free to talk in inside voices. This was hard to implement in my classroom during my weeks of teaching because it was not established on the first day of school or during those crucial first couple of weeks. It did work for my students most of the time, but could have been much more effective if done earlier in the year. I really recommend this idea with the younger grades but have even heard of some teachers using this idea in their fourth grade classes. I am really interested in different classroom management ideas that other teachers have used or have heard of so I thought that this would be a good one to share with others. It worked most of the time for me, and could have been more effective so I hope that it will be of some use to others.


Kelly said...

The teacher I interned with used the stoplight as well, but in a different way. She had clips with each child's name on them and moved their names accordingly along the stoplight. However, she did this on a weekly basis. If a child was already on red by Tuesday, they didn't care about their behavior the rest of the week. Needless to say, when I took over the classroom, I implemented a daily starchart that worked much better. The way you used the stoplight with your students sounds like an effective way to control talking in the classroom. I will keep it in mind if I teach a lower grade :)

Elizabeth Houston said...

When I originally scanned your stoplight article, I thought it would be used as Kelly suggested. Each child would be represented by an object, and they would move between the lights based on their behavior. I like your idea, too. It sets the tone for the classroom. If students aren't able to control themselves at the "yellow" or "green" level, do you move up a level? What if only certain students are having trouble keeping their voices at the accepted volume? I am really struggling to come up with a classroom management plan for the computer lab, so I like the fact that your system has been used for different elementary age groups. I am interested in what you do if kids don't stay at the appropriate color level. It's going to be more difficult for me to enforce discipline next year, since I won't have a classroom of my own. I won't be in as much daily contact with parents and can't do things like taking away play time, so I'm taking a look at a lot of different classroom management plans.

Classroom said...

Wonderful article on classroom management! I know of an excellent website which speaks about classroom management. The amazingly simple methods for gaining class control, building relationships with difficult pupils and de-escalation strategies are shown here.