Teacher Week 2013: Taming the Wild

15 August 2013
Classroom management is sort of a catch 22, the better you are at the harder class you get.   The result - "you're the strict teacher."  Umm, thanks parents but I prefer to be called "structured" and be acknowledged for creating an effective learning environment.  Students are kids and they need to move and have fun, but you also need to be able to teach them at the same time.   Teaching cannot be done while students are fighting, yelling, or walking around the room to go pass a note to a friend.   Sorry, kids are just not that great at doing two things at once.  One thing needs to be said and remembered, not all students can be held to the same accountability as others, some cannot help but be more fidgety or less in tune with social cues.  Despite my reputation for being "the strict" teacher, my students still love me, hug me, draw me pictures, and enjoy being in my class.  They just learn that certain behaviors are not going to fly.  If you ever have a chance to hear Ron Clark speak, please do so.  I heard him in Vegas and his classroom management style is amazing.   I am so jealous and impressed that Hope King's husband is working at the Ron Clark academy this year!

The poster above explains appropriate listening skills to students.   Having "Whole Body Listening" is one of my classroom rules.   "Whole Body Listening" is a term coined by Susanne Poulette, a NY speech pathologist.   You can read more about "Whole Body Listening" in this post and grab the packet for free!
Here is a link for an article about Susanne Poulette. 

*Susanne Poulette, a New York speech pathologist coined the term "Whole-Body Listening" with this article (click {here} to read it): Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills, Susanne P. Truesdale Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Vol.21 183-184 July 1990.

Below you will find my classroom plan, star chart and warning board.  These are available in my Back to School Organizational Forms and More Packet on TpT.

Last year, after reading a post by Deedee Wills,  I started using Class Dojo in addition to the Warning Board.  I was much easier to give a negative Dojo for something like passing notes or being chatty, than to give a warning.  With Dojo, a student can work out of an negative by doing something positive.  I love giving tickets for positive rewards and have found that Dojos are even better!   The students love going up to the Smartboard or computer and clicking their name and giving themselves a positive Dojo.  At the end of the day, if a student has three or more positive Dojos, he/she earns a prize from the prize box.  

Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten, also has an awesome post explain Class Dojo.  Click here to check it out. 

For more managment tips, hop over to Blog Hoppin'.


  1. I always say strict doesn't mean mean. It means consistent and fair. :)

  2. I'm so glad you have posters of boys and girls in your packet. I got a sneak peek at my class list and saw I have 17 boys and 8 girls next year! Thanks a bunch!

  3. I love Class Dojo!!! I love how you referred to classroom management as being structured :) I blogged today about how I've been called a "control freak!" Structured sounds much better!!!

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  4. Love this post!! Can't wait to read more about the whole body listening articles! thanks so much for sharing your freebie! Super helpful!


    Table Talk with C & C

  5. Thanks Erica for the link to that post. I part of a team at my school doing an in service for iPads in a week. Just found out yesterday~ yikes! Now I am on the hunt for some great k-2 iPad apps and Class Dojo was one I was already going to use!

  6. Class Dojo is a great resource! I used Class Dojo for three years until this past year when, in March, my class piloted our new PBIS expectations plan. That being said, Class Dojo had to go. :( While I love PBIS, I miss adding and subtracting points easily.

    1, 2, Eyes On You!

  7. I once had a special education director call me, "firm, fair, and consistent." I love this description as it sounds so much better than mean or strict. I like to think I have high expectations. Thanks for sharing it's nice to know I am not the only "mean" teacher.
    Kindergarten is Dazzling


  8. Being called a 'strict teacher' always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable - yes, I have high expectations but, like you said, children need to be focussed and tuned in to learn. I wish those people who just referred to me as 'strict' would come into my classroom and see how much the kids love being there. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  9. I love the whole brain poster. My school is implementing whole brain this year. This would be a great poster to show them.


  10. We do whole body listening too ... love your ideas :)

  11. I'm interested in this whole body listening! I'm going to have to check it out! Love the poster!! Yeah, I prefer to be called structured too!!! :)



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