Classroom management can be a struggle for so many reasons. However, if you find a way to involve students in your classroom management plan, you’ll have better success. I have used this tried and true classroom management plan for the last 20 years and it works great! All you need to do is group your students together, get some containers to hold points, and grab some small items to use as points.
Starting Your Classroom Management Plan
To make my classroom run smoothly, I like to put my students into groups or teams. If you have tables, it’s easy to make individual tables teams. However, if you have rows, you can always put your students into groups which is just as effective for this classroom management plan.
Materials Needed for your Classroom Management Plan
All you need to make this classroom management plan work are something to represent points and a container for each table group. I like to use something students aren’t super tempted by for my points as well as things that aren’t common so no one can “cheat the system.” I like to use items like marbles, bingo chips, poker chips, or beans for points. For containers, you can use anything from a plastic cup, an old container of some kind, or cute little buckets from the Dollar Tree. Finally, you’ll need or want some prizes, but I’ll talk more about that later.
Create and Practice Clear Expectations
After creating teams, we talk about what my classroom expectations are for all the activities we do in the classroom. Whether this is returning your library book, getting your agenda signed, or working in your own space at an appropriate level, we discuss what the expectation is and practice it. It’s important to practice the skill. How long you practice before you start the classroom management plan is up to you. Personally, I would start implementing it after the first week.
Getting Points for Your Team
Once students have had time to learn and practice the classroom expectations and classroom routines, you can start to “catch” them behaving. When you catch a student doing what they are supposed to, his/her team gets a point. I am always careful when I do this because I want to make sure it’s not always the same student getting the points over and over again. When students earn points, I let them put their point in their team bucket which students love!
Sometimes, if I need to have some bribery, I will give each team a point if they are all working quietly when I have to step out for a minute and come back in. In addition, I will also give them all a point if they are working well together as a class.
Consequences for Not Great Behavior
We all know students aren’t always going to follow the rules. When I see a particular rule is not being followed over and over again, I will often start taking points away when a student doesn’t follow that rule. For example, I cannot stand interrupting. When students start to interrupt often, I will stop and say, “You interrupted, you need to go get a chip from your team bucket and bring it to me.”
Eventually, I just have to hold my hand out when they interrupt and they go and get the point. Now, this is not something you want to do all the time, but if it’s a rule that needs to be reinforced, taking points away can be really effective. And you only have to do it one of two times before the behavior stops. That’s how effective this method can be.
Prizes to Complement Your Classroom Management Plan
What do students get for having great behavior? Well, that depends on you and your budget. At the end of the week, I count all of the points. Whichever team has the most points gets a prize. I have used pencils, erasers, class coupons, or actual prizes from the Dollar Store. It is really whatever you want to use as a prize and what can fit into your budget. I do keep track of which team wins and try to make sure it’s not the same team every single week. One way I combat this is by mixing up my teams or groups every term.
There are so many great things that come from this classroom management plan. The main one is it helps put focus on reinforcing positive behavior. This is reinforced more because you are allowing students to both give themselves points and take them away. In addition to reinforcing positive behavior, this classroom management plan helps students work together. This helps build community and classroom culture.
In honor of Earth Day this week, I’d like to offer up this adorable free craft for your classroom. Just fill in the form below and it will go straight to your inbox.