Classroom Management Checklist

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15 thoughts on “Classroom Management Checklist”

  1. I have the most good-natured set of students than I think I have ever had in my 13 years of teaching. That said, I do have some kids that blurt in English or engage in side conversations, especially my p8 class is, like 30 students, half of which have IEPs. (I think it’s great I have them p8 when they won’t tolerate anything else besides moving around and having fun.) So, I’m thinking of trying the following chants.

    For a student that puts their head down:
    Duerme sí. Duerme no.
    Duerme en silencio.
    Duerme no. Duerme sí.
    Duerme ___(name)___ así así

    For a student that’s putting their hands on someone else:
    Manos abajo.
    Manos en el cuerpo.
    Manos abajo.
    Manos a tu lado.

    For a student that keeps talking in English:
    En London hablan inglés.
    En París hablan francés.
    En Moscow hablan ruso.
    Aquí hablan español.

    I was thinking of creating a job, calling it the Chant Leader, who, at any point in time that they see such infractions, calls on a student to say the chant (which will be on a poster on the wall).

    With my p8 especially, chants accompanied by a little dancing has been very powerful. I’d love to hear how others use chants.

  2. The word team chunk game totally works for those students who feel lonely and unengaged in class. They need to feel important so I make them the score keeper or the judge of synchronized gestures. I had a leader hiding in the rough who kept motivated and narrating the action!

  3. We just played the WCTG today in 8th grade (beginners+) even though it’s only Monday morning. It was 1st period and they needed waking up. They liked it.
    One thing I noticed was the trouble they had understanding some what I see as very familiar words in the silly and unpredictable context of these short sentences. We’ll be playing this often, for that reason as well as all the other good reasons to play.
    Next time I’ll find someone who needs to be scorekeeper/judge.

  4. I’ve been doing CWB for 4 years now and have liked it since day 1. Yesterday, I noticed the power yet again. I had a corner of students who had an attitude as soon as they came in—two boys who have already taken French and failed (one who is on an IEP) and one girl who just wasn’t quite on board with the rest of the class—she joined the class late and wasn’t with the program yet. One of the boys started making some snide remarks (“Class, are you ready?”—whole class responds “OUI!” and he responds “NON”). I immediately pointed to the rules and smiled.) The other boy and girl were giggling. I knew whatever I did next would set the tone for the rest of the trimester with these 3—and potentially the whole room. I decided to start talking about the girl who likes playing volleyball. She ate it up. I went to the boy in front of her—oh he likes playing volleyball too—and video games! The classroom went from having a black hole of energy in that corner to shining light. By the end, I found out the boy likes playing video games with a girl on the other side of the room—and guess what? She likes playing with him too! Ooh là là. There was so much trust built with this boy by the end of the hour that he told me he has a girlfriend, brought her in the class and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?” I didn’t talk about the other boy (with the IEP) yet, but he stopped making any negative remarks when he saw that the rest of the class was on board. I can still see his smiling face. Any advice on how to keep this energy going? I feel like I am balancing on an edge and it could go either way. We are going to start OWI today (this is our 10th day of class).

    1. Oh, and what jobs would be good for these students–particularly for the boy with an IEP who has difficulty interacting appropriately with classmates? He tends to be bullied, but incites negativity at the same time from his peers. He would be good with something that doesn’t require him to be on the spot.

      1. You can have him use the timer or a stop watch to calculate how many minutes you are in the TL. Maybe an artist if his work is iconic and big enough. Otherwise I am stumped.

        I usually ask but already have a kid in mind to do a job. I let kids know that they can apply to be _____. Or that they can transfer.

    2. Great to hear, Emeka. I really think that as long as you have a critical mass of students playing the game and enjoying the class with you, the party-poopers will just be overwhelmed.

      And if you can do CWB and engage everyone then I think OWI will be even easier. OWI sparks kids imagination, so I’ve seen, and they like it.

      1. What is CWB? Would any of this work for elementary school kids? I just totally lost 40 minutes of classtime bec the side conversations would not stop. We were playing the kids against me.. .everytime they were listening, using gestures, etc they got a point; when they were calling out, etc, I got a point. Once they saw I was way ahead they just stopped trying. Help! It’s the beginning of the year and I am a new TPRS teacher!

        1. Yeah Mindee that game didn’t work. Counting in general, and I include Blaine’s Pagame System in that, doesn’t work.

          Circling with Balls is what the CWB acronym stands for. It can be searched here and I have some YouTube vids on it.

          Classroom management can be searched here as a term as well. Obviously there is more to say than we can write up in a comment here. You can do this Mindee. Bumps in the road will occur, but just keep reporting back in here and we will do what we have done for new TPRS teachers for years and support you and answer your questions. Don’t give up. Discipline precedes instruction. Lots to do. We are a ten year old community. We can keep this dialogue going. Search categories, use the search bar.

          The red flag is in what you said here: “…we were playing the kids against me…”. We find success in just the opposite way. You will see.

    3. …he stopped making any negative remarks when he saw that the rest of the class was on board….

      This is so key right here. You have made a big dent in the fears that direct their lives and have actively responded to their need to feel loved and important in your classroom community. How else could we do that but by talking about THEM in class? Teachers of other subjects can’t do that, and so they got marginalized over time, but we can, because we teach language and can talk about anything we want.

      You asked a good question on how to keep it going as well. The first thing I would do is separate them into the four corners of the room, dividing and conquering. Classroom dynamics are severely tested by small groups of kids who are allowed to sit together. They will complain but you are the adult and not enough teachers, it seems, are willing to confront and lovingly insist on seating charts, so that the kids, upon seeing that, do what most kids do, push further than is their right.

      Also I would play a ton of Word Chunk Team Game with them in charge. That will bring them into the fold as important, and that is all they really want, to feel important to the class since they have not been allowed to do that in their other classes, as teachers have egregiously labeled some in the class as stupid by rewarding the so-called smart ones in a never ending game of inequality.

      Also asap I would write up everything you said about them and use the short form of the Reading Options to process that information, perhaps adding more and new funny items about their volleyball, etc.

      This is a very nice report Emeka and thank you for the kind words on CWB. It has been a big winner for twelve or thirteen years now.

      1. Thank you for the responses! Today we did our first OWI and it was a success. It lasted 20 minutes with a pause for a brain break in the middle of two 10-minute deals. One of the students I talked about from above was the artist (I had two and put them in the back of the room with clipboards and comfy chairs). I liked how Ben had the artists sitting together in one of the videos I watched this summer and it worked out well today. He even got a nickname as his middle name from another classmate–Michelangelo! Moving him to the back also split up that little group. I’m writing up their CWB descriptions before I leave tonight. It’s a class of 35 so it’s going to take some time to make connections with all these people.

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