Change #1--Remind Students of the WHY
Very soon, my students will be heading to 4th and 5th grade!!! They need to be reminded that we still have lots of learning to do...focused attention and hard work right now are necessary for them to get prepared for next year. By reminding them of our true purpose for being here, it creates an urgency to our learning.
Change #2--Zero Tolerance for Outbursts
This seems so obvious and yet, it has become a problem in my room. My students have gotten into a bad habit of blurting out answers without thinking. At first it was cute. Then it was annoying. Now it is distracting us from learning. I decided that upon returning to school, I could not accept blurted answers. Students need to become thoughtful thinkers so I will need to re-train them to Stop-Think-Raise your hand-Speak clearly.
Change #3--Greater Accountability for Class Assignments
We now have a daily goal for what needs to be completed during a class period (with the focus on writing). If the work is not completed, students must finish during recess. While this is not my favorite form of consequences because I believe students need their recess time to play, it has been effective. If work does not get done because it is challenging, that is one thing--I allow more time. But if work isn't completed because of behavior, I must address it. So far only one day of recess has been served--I think kids are realizing that I am serious!!
Change #4--Don't Forget the Fun!
As I looked at my lesson plans upon return to the classroom, I was shocked at how much needs to be done in these last two months. Although some of it will be stressful (testing), some of it will be awesome (a field trip)! I need to remember that school IS fun and I want kids to love being here. I must not let the daily stresses of being a teacher bleed over into the classroom. I need to enjoy these last few months with my class because summer will be here before we know it!!
--What changes did you make to your classroom when you returned from Spring Break? Share your responses here!