Having a familiar routine and structure is essential for a classroom to run smoothly. Here are some of the routines that I have developed in my classroom.
Every day, my students come in, check if they have jobs, grab their chairs and wait for our morning routine. Whoever has the first three jobs gets a wobbly chair to sit on.
We do a SmartBoard routine including morning message, calendar, weather, counting and growth mindset discussions.
After lunch every day, we do show and tell and after last recess, we do agendas and reading. Establishing these routines have made my students more independent and responsible learners.
I believe that classroom management should be as positive as possible. One thing that has been a success is telling my students that I’m allergic to interrupting. Whenever a student interrupts, I sneeze. The students think it’s funny and they know to make sure their hand is up to talk.
We use American Sign Language to signal to me if they need to get a drink or go to the washroom. This encourages less interrupting and less of a distraction to other peers.
At the beginning of the year, my students and I co-create rules for the classroom and a reward system.
They earn marbles and buttons for student behaviour and they chose the classroom prizes they wanted to win. For example, we had a donut party, a movie party, a water gun fight, etc. They feel a great sense of pride when they earn the next prize as a team.