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How Good Can They Be?

Red Light? Green Light?
On a large sheet of poster board, sketch a classroom traffic light. Write each students name on a clothespin and clip the clothespins near the green light on the traffic light. If a student misbehaves, simply move the clothespin with that students name from the green light to the yellow light. If you must talk to the same student a second time that day, move the clothespin to the red light. At the end of the day, collect all the clothespins that are still clipped near the green light and drop them into a hat or bucket. Have a student reach in and draw one clothespin; the student whose name is on that clothespin gets a special reward. Send a preprinted note home to the parents of all students whose clothespins are clipped near the red light on the traffic light. Parents must sign that note and the student must return it the next day (or else the student starts that new day with his or her clothespin clipped to the yellow area of the traffic light).

Disruption Interruption

More Tips

For even more Classroom Management Tips, check out our Classroom Management Tips Volumes 1-41.

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Print several copies of a simple disruption card that says Your behavior is disrupting the class and the learning of others. Please see me after class. Laminate the cards. When a student is disrupting, dont stop what youre doing. Just wander by the students desk and place the card on it. No need to explain. The card speaks for itself. Giving students until the end of class to consider their actions usually serves its purpose.

Letters of the Law
On Monday, write the word ACTIVITY on the board. Each time you must break to discipline a student for any reason, cross a letter off the word. If all the letters are crossed off by the end of the week, students do not earn a special activity time. If letters remain, students earn five minutes of activity time for each letter. The special activity might be a movie, game time, additional PE or recess, or anything else students might enjoy.

Badge of Honor?
Need a way to improve student behavior? Give each student a name badge to wear. If a student misbehaves during the day, ask him to turn in his name badge. At the end of the school day, invite all students who are still wearing their name badges to drop them into a hat. Draw two or three badges and give small rewards to those students.

Punch Out Bad Habits
Give each student a card with the words Be Prepared printed on it. Design the card so 20 little circles ring the border of the card at equal intervals. Have each student writes his or her name on the card and keep it somewhere safe (in their assignment log book, for example). Each time the student comes to class un-prepared, punch one of the circles on the card with a hole-puncher. At the end of the quarter or semester, give students a raffle ticket for each un-punched circle on their card. If they have 18 un-punched circles, they earn 18 raffle tickets to cash in on prizes that might range from homework passes to free lunches or, even better, prizes donated from sponsors in the community.


Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
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