Friday, June 19, 2015

End of Year Behavior Management

I am currently sitting on my couch watching reruns of Friends with my new puppy.


How'd I make it past the hardest month of the year (May) and onto blue skies and butterflies, you ask?

In my classroom, we always get a little restless during the last month of school.  The weather is warmer, summer is on our mind, the sun goes down later (which means bedtimes get pushed back and my students come to school like zombies).

We are very comfortable with each other at this point....almost too comfortable.  Instead of treating each other as peers, we sometimes treat each other like brothers and sisters (and not in a good way)!

As a teacher, I need something, anything, to keep my students engaged and on task and safe!  We do have four weeks of learning left, after all.

How do I keep things sane?

The Summer Count Down Behavior Star Award!

Each day, I remove a star from our white board and the students who were well behaved earn the something special.

I make a big deal about it, and my students always get into it.

On the first day of the countdown, I always have a student who asks what the stars are for.  During our Morning Meeting I explain to students that if they do their job today (learn and not act like a fool keep each other safe) they will get the special star award.

Notice our stars at the top of our white board. It is a great visual reminder to stay on task.

Each day is different, which keeps them on their toes.

On certain days when I know that we will have a few minutes at the end of the day, the star activity will take place then.  But other days I know that we won't have time, so the star award takes place the following day.

Here are some examples that I have used in the past:

- Shoes off
- Play dough
- PJs
- Watercolor
- Bring a stuffed animal
- Free draw (my kids this year begged for free draw!)
- Hat day
- Games
- Extra recess

The key to this behavior management activity is to reward the students who are behaving well.  You can base that off of anything that you use already in the classroom.  In years past, I have used the clip chart and said "if your clip is above blue you may participate in the star activity."  This year I used class dojo and told my kids they could participate if they had any green points for the day.

In my class, the students who did not meet the criteria for behavior missed out in some way.  If the activity took place at the end of the day, the students completed extra work.

This is a great way to keep students motivated, engaged in learning, and on their toes!

I am curious and always open to new ideas: how do you keep your students engaged at the end of the year?
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