This is the third installment of my Summer Projects to do list! The next section of my classroom that I decided to examine and update is the "Rules, Consequences and Rewards" area.
- The content says what I want it to say.
- The kids love their "Gingerbread men."
- Not so much "what works" but "what is required to stay the same" is the Kelso anti-bullying poster. I'm allowed to move it of course, but I can't take it down and create my own.
What I need to fix:
- *Cringe* I am keeping it real with these photos! So ugly!
- Okay, seriously. Those manilla posters have got to go. If I only redo two posters this year, I am redoing those. On white. With doodle borders. I'm thinking of typing them up and doing a more vertical list like the cute ribbon projects I've seen on Pinterest, just with the content I need.
- Kelso kept falling down all year, but it's finally been secured thanks to a top border of Duck Tape. I'm thinking I just need to move it to the far left to make room, continue the border all the way around it, then fit my vertical project on the right. It's going to require measuring, I but I'm sure I can do this.
- The calendar math countdown underwent an improvement this year, (link brings you to a previous blog post) but is by no means perfect. I don't love that it stretches all the way to the door there. I just don't know what else to DO with this thing. It can't be made smaller; those little pieces came with our math kit and I'm not redoing them all just so they can each be 1/4 inch smaller. I can't think of another wall to put it on because they are all covered in shelves or closets. I can't raise it up higher or the kids can't reach it. I'm kind of stuck!! It's very low to the floor, (about 2 feet up, so it's under the front whiteboards) so I might just have to keep it the same (then again, being that low, it's not very visable).
- I'm rethinking the stoplight behavior management system. I love it for many reasons (I made it myself out of felt, durable wooden figures, and Velcro). I file down the little guys every year to repaint black and then carefully handwrite my new students' names in white paint on the head of a pin. It's just one of those rituals that I love to do because it feels more personal. However I do always feel a little guilty putting that first kid of the year in "red." I give a verbal warning and reminder of the rule that they break again before I do it, but still. Those 5 step charts I've seen on Pinterest are so much gentler and positive sounding. The music teacher in my school uses one, so the kids are familiar with it. The numbers on clothespins instead of names would be less humiliating. I dunno, I'm kind of torn! Anyone have an opinion?
Oh, and one more piece to this area. We created these posters for our classroom rules (link brings you to a previous blog post) this year. It was a great lesson that's evolved over time, one that now requires them to sort and reorder sentence strips. The result was a whole window-shade beside my desk that has been taken up by rules. I don't mind the space, but it's NOT attractive. I'll need to think of a prettier way to frame these sentence strips once the kids finish with their end of the project. This may involve some combination of colorful poster board, commercial bulletin board borders or Duck Tape.
Like most teachers, I spend so much time on classroom rules at the beginning of the year (and throughout the year!) There's no excuse; this area of my classroom needs attention so my kiddos can tell the importance of it.