Behavior management can be difficult especially this time of year. Students (and teachers) are ready for a break. Add in the excitement of Santa Claus and students can barely contain themselves! Sometimes when students are all a little antsy, it’s best to use whole group classroom management to help students remember the classroom expectations.
Why Use Whole Group Classroom Management
Students as individuals don’t always feel like they need to behave because their behavior is only affecting them. Therefore, if they lose some class dollars or they don’t get to be the line leader, who cares? However, letting your friends down can be a whole different ball game. This is why whole group classroom management can be a great way to help students not only hold themselves accountable, but their friends as well. So, what are some whole group classroom management systems you can use? I have two great options!
One way to help students behave all day is to make it an unknown person who is going to be put to the test! I put all of my students' names into an envelope. Then, at the end of the day, you pull one name from the envelope. If that student has been a role model student that day, they get a small reward. This might mean being the line leader on the way to lunch the next day. You can also use tokens or a prize from the treasure chest if you use either of those reward systems.
The best part of this reward system is you never know when it’s going to be you! Therefore, you want to be a role model student all day. I often will remind students throughout the day they might be drawn from the envelope. You can also pair this whole group classroom management strategy with the second one.
Build A _________
This whole group classroom management game is great for creating something over time. How it works is you choose a goal for your class. This might be getting to your spot on the rug without touching your neighbor, not interrupting, walking quietly to different classrooms, etc. Whenever your students successfully do this, you give them a piece of whatever it is they are trying to build. It’s like getting a piece to a puzzle. I like to use magnets on the whiteboard, but you can use velcro or tape as well. Because this is something that works all year, you can have several different “puzzles” that tie into the theme of the year.
It's important to post the goal and the reward on the board. By doing this, your students will always have a visual available to them to remember what they are working for. Sometimes, this visual reminder will help students be on their best behavior.
Students love this whole group classroom management activity because they get to choose the prize! Now, I wouldn’t go promising a movie day or anything huge, but I would give students three choices to choose from. This helps give them some ownership as well. If you don’t want students to choose the prize, make whether they get a magnet or not dependent on three students from the class who you draw from the envelope.
Getting students to behave and follow your classroom expectations this time of year can be really difficult! However, changing up your classroom management strategies can be a big help! I also would take this time to practice the classroom expectations you have and remind students of the visual posters you have around your room. You only have a little while longer until a nice long break! Use whole group classroom management to make that time a little bit simpler.