This summer my job was to work with the school aged students during their summer vacation. Knowing that I would be interacting with students from aged 5 to 10, all from different backgrounds and schooling expectations, I knew I had to develop a foolproof classroom management plan. Inspired by Chapter 6 of Inclusion of Exceptional Learners in Canadian Schools, Climate, Community and Classroom Management (really one of the only useful readings of my entire university experience), I developed a set of classroom rules with the students and a positive reinforcement system.
As outlined in the chapter, I sat down with the students and took their ideas for the classroom rules — both for the students and the teacher. Of course, we had about 30 different ideas which we were able to simplify to six. These were posted in a common area and also around the entire classroom.
To supplement these rules, I used a positive reinforcement tool called “Caught Being Awesome.” This is a reward system that I learned about in pre-internship with my amazing co-op! The students would be given a slip when I caught them following the rules. When they filled up the bucket with the slips, the class would get a reward.
This system took about two weeks to really take hold, but once it did, I had a very harmonious summer 🙂