So, things are getting better. At first, I didn't think they ever would, but, I can now truly say that they are!
I implemented a new behavior system, which seems to be working even better than the original. Instead of saying to the kids, "you have a punch." I now say, "that's a strike." Either way, people who hear me and don't know whats going on probably think I'm beating the kids! So the strike thing is just like baseball, 3 strikes and you're out! The first day I sent 5 kids to the A.P.P.L.E. Room and they weren't happy. The next day I gave 5 detentions that were to be served the following week on Monday after school. Today, I decided I would give time-outs. I ended up with a desk outside my door, which is working out really well. I make the kids go outside and finish their work. It was perfect that this desk ended up outside my door for several reasons. Not only are the kids removed from the situation, but they are getting their work done! They know they aren't allowed to come back into the classroom without having their work done. So far, no one has been happy about leaving the room to sit in the hallway! Mission accomplished! Overall, the behavior problems have gone down as a result!
Consistency, consistency, consistency! I believe that should be the key word taught in the school of education at any college you go to! I have learned so much about the importance of this concept. If you aren't consistent, the kids catch on! They either think you aren't serious about consequences, or they get easily confused!
Practice makes perfect! So, my kids think I'm joking when I say to line up quietly. I've learned that they hate spending time practicing lining up or walking quietly in the hallway. Much to my advantage, I use this as a threat! Anytime the kids aren't quiet lining up, I make them all go back to their seats and sit down! We start all over...sometimes it takes several tries...lately we have been down to only having to line up once or twice! Things are getting better!
Organization! Finally, we have had some free days after school. The beginning of the school year for a new teacher brings about a LOT of meetings. Thankfully those meetings have died down and I have had the chance to get caught up with my piles on my bookselves behind my desk. I was able to put all of the papers I used each week in their own folder. I was also able to come up with an effiecient way to organize my centers, allowing both the math centers and language arts centers to be set up at the same time without being in each others way. I even had a chance to make labels and organize my baskets for each center! Not only that, but I found an easier way to get the students to their first center every morning without me having to remind them! Every center is now labeled with a number and color. The student's center folders have a color dot placed in the top right hand corner. This tells them which center to go to first. The rest is as easy as pie, because after the first center, they simply rotate around the room in a big circle!
Things are getting better! :-) Sorry I don't have any pictures of my classroom to post! I no longer take my purse to school, which means no camera!