One, I got rid of some of the teachery things I used to do that actually added to my stress. Like, morning work for example. It became a pile of papers I never wanted to look at- and actually didn't even NEED to look at, because it was never part of the report card. So do my kids run wild every morning? Absolutely not. Half of them are eating breakfast at their desks. The other half are either reading a book, writing a story, free drawing, or helping me with a chore. Just last week, one kid asked if he could clean the desks with baby wipes, and when I turned around, everyone had gotten a baby wipe and was cleaning the whole room. GEMS, I told you. Little treasures of skin and bone, each one of them.
Cleaning up in general is pretty breezy because I've put it to music. It turns out, that they love this song:
It's our "whistle as you work" anthem. All I have to say is "the room has to be completely clean by the end of the song". If they finish before the song is over, they can go to the carpet and dance. Works like magic. I rarely have anything left on the floor, and my stuff is put away exactly where I told them to put it. Best part is, I hear them humming it under their breath all day long. Haha! Makes me snort.
I'm also concentrating on the positve this year whenever I talk with them. It's all very much about what WE CAN DO as oppossed to what we shouldn't be doing. Kids can come up with the wrong ideas on their own, they don't need my expertise on it (and I knooooow how to misbehave, my lovelies) but they do need a lot of help thinking up WHAT TO DO instead. I've found that since I start the ball rolling with mentioning what could be happening, they internally try to do what I suggested since they already know that I like it, and they come up with new ideas when I get all super sappy butt kissy when they do. Any idea they come up with is always the most fabulous thing I've ever heard.
A lot of this goes does in the morning meeting on Mondays. I've really been enjoying them this year. We always go over the things we think we did well the week before, and then think of some goals we'd like to work on for the current week. The last thing we talk about is IF anyone has a problem they'd like to find a solution to. And then we get crafty for a few minutes. We keep it all charted on the promethean board, and then I print it out afterwards and put it in our meeting binder. How do I get kids to open up and talk? Heh heh. I put their name after whatever they volunteer for the board. They are now crazy to be quoted. Yes, yes, everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame. EVERYONE.
In November, we'll make new tags and feature a new attitude.
I've also been dabbling in Whole Brain Teaching techniques. We've got that class/yes deal down. They looooove doing Mirror. We just started trying out Teach/OK and they thought it was a lot of fun. I never did get going with the rules though- but I think I'll be adding that in, even though tardily. Haven't needed a score board. And not sure if I'm sold on that part of it yet anyway- BUT overall- I really enjoy it. And so do the kids. Which is enough for me.
I think I've decided to talk about management every Sunday as a regular gig. So I'm going to end for now. Besides, dinner is ready. Yummo.