At the beginning of the school year, I collaborated with my students, all 4 groups of them, to come up with our classroom rules. We read Do Unto Otters, and created lots of anchor charts about being on a team and playing by the rules. After each class gave their rules suggestions, I took one or two from each class and created our class rules poster.
Over the summer, I read a little bit about Whole Brain Teaching, and loved some of the classroom management strategies I saw. So, I put "Class Class" and "Hands and Eyes" into effect. I incorporate a gesture with hands and eyes, which ensures (most of the time) that students have their pencils down and are focused on me.
Moving around the room you'll find our clip chart, which is centrally located right at our reading rug/gathering area. I got it free from Second Grade Cup of Tea. She has really cute materials, and some of them are for ESL- go check her out!
If someone is on Outstanding at the end of the week (I don't do by day since I don't have them all day) they can earn M-C money. They use M-C money to buy prizes from the prize box. M-C money is also earned by winning a game we play as a class.
I usually pick up a prize or two...or six or seven whenever I stop by Target.
However, the only way the entire class can access the prize box is if they fill up the marble jar. They can earn marbles by walking quietly in the hallway, being good team players, helping clean up, or following directions quickly. We haven't earned many marbles lately...more on that later.
Those are the material and immaterial things I do in class; I hold classroom management extremely high on my list of teaching priorities.
Here's my problem: I have a handful of students who have forgotten about the "Raise Your Hand" rule, and clipping down is only marginally effective. It doesn't seem to be effective for the long-term. Part of the reason, I believe, is that some of my kids won't talk in their mainstream classrooms because they are intimidated, so by the time they get to me they are pent up with things to tell me. That results in lots of interruptions and shouting out. I don't want to curtail any production of language, or intimidate them so that they stop talking in my room. So what do I do?
One of my friends suggested using Quiet Critters- something like these:
I bought the materials at AC Moore and I'm going to use this snowy weekend to cook and make some critters. But what else do you suggest? How can I encourage my kids to speak and produce language, especially the ones who have recently exited their silent period, but not shout out? Help!