- Classroom Set-up; Think about the colours of the decor and theme for your classroom. Ensure that it flows through all your boards, like Maths Board, Literacy, Reading corner, Rules, Birthdays etc. Check out Pinterest for colours and themes if you are stuck. You could choose a theme such as owls, smiley faces or chalkboard and hessian for Tropical Island theme. For Subject only in High-school you might theme it to what you are studying. I remember one of my fellow colleagues doing a Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe theme; she did the life-size lamp placed in Narnia and Life size Aslan cut out of cardboard, it was stunning.
- Welcome gift. Welcoming each student and putting worth and value on them as an individual should not be underestimated. Why not make each child a welcome gift sitting on their table ready to be explored. These can be erasers, pens, water bottles, little bubble blowers, quotes, magnets, 1 x lollie.
- Words and language; I truly believe words and how we speak can lift and build into a student. So research some amazing quotes to inspire them as an individual, incorporate these around your classroom
- Don’t let students manipulate you with their emotions.Have you had a student start bawling when you gave them a detention? Have you experienced a student’s explosive anger when they don’t get to go to morning-tea or lunch? Many times the student’s emotions are genuine, but often times students will play up their emotions to see what you will do. The trick is to remain calm and stick to your consequences and rewards. Once your students see that you will remain calm, resolute, and unshaken in the midst of the storm of their emotions, students will typically try those tactics less and less.
- Rules and Procedures; If teaching higher grade levels please take note that some procedures need less time especially during the first week (see last weeks post). Keep your rules visual, simple, clear and consistent. This could be : Respect yourself, your peers, your teacher and your surroundings. Raise your hand silently to speak, Follow all directions quickly the first time they are given. Then Make a list of consequences. These could be documented; Warning, Complete a Behaviour Think Sheet and move seats, Parent or guardian contact, Referral to deputy or HOD of Grade.
Written by Nicole Alder