Monday, August 15, 2016

Thomas' Top 5 Classroom Management Tips and Tricks!

Welcome back to school, y'all!  And welcome to the blog hop!  I hope you will use some of the tips I am going to share with you! I am teaming up with 50 great teachers to bring you tried and true classroom management and organizational strategies that work in our classrooms.  We are also hosting a giveaway to win a $50 TpT Gift Card!  You can also win great classroom resources from over 30 teacher-authors.
Please make sure that you hop to each participating blog by clicking the apple at the bottom of each post.
Thomas Teachable Moments
Have you gone back yet?  My district starts on the 22nd this year.  This is a special year for me because I finally get to take my OWN babies with me to school!  We are starting Kindergarten, y'all!  
I thought I'd start the school year off by sharing some of my top five, tried and true, favorite classroom management secrets I use in my classroom every single year!  
I don't know about you, but I am ALWAYS looking for ways to simplify - the work smarter, not harder mentality.
Thomas Teachable Moments
So, without further ado, here is my list (in no particular order):

Thomas' Top 6
Classroom Management Tips and Tricks:

1.  Never Ever, Ever Run Out of Tissue Again...EVER!
This is one of those mythical things you have heard about in school, but it's never happened directly to YOU!  I kid you not, in all my years of teaching, I have never ONCE run out of tissue, or even come close in EIGHT YEARS.  I am the person that can always lend you a box.  
How do I do it?  Each student has their OWN box of tissue in his or her locker.
See it hiding in this picture at the bottom of the locker?
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments
Once the kids think they are the owners of their own tissues, suddenly, it is less appealing to use them up.  They don't want to waste their OWN tissues!  That's it!  It’s the easiest trick ever.
And, I can assure you, the tissues DO fit in the lockers.  I have tiny lockers and they also keep their textbooks, backpacks, lunch boxes and coats in them just fine.

Do yourself a favor this year and try it out!  Let me know how many tissue boxes you have at the end of the year!  If you run out, I owe ya a coke!
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

2.  Numbered Text Books
Each year I assign my students a personal number.  This is their number for lining up and they put it on their papers so I can quickly put them in order.
I have found the answer to always knowing whose book is whose, and which person lost a text book.  A veteran teacher taught me this trick and I have used it every year that I’ve taught.
I print out a bunch of tags with my initial on the top, and their personal number on the bottom.  Then, I use clear packing tape, and tape it to the spine of the book.  I put one on every textbook in my room. 
When it is time to do textbook inventory, I don’t have to look at book numbers or hope the kids wrote their names in the books.  I know whose book is missing because I don’t have the book with his/her personal number. 
It also clears up confusion about whose book is whose when they all have their books out or are sharing.
Look in the picture above and you can see the labels!  Click HERE to download a file for your OWN textbook labels!

3.  Class List Tip:
I make miniature class lists and keep several of them on hand to use as a check off lists to see who has and has not turned something in.  I just type students’ names in alphabetical order and numbered. 
This is great for immediately seeing who has turned in picture money, beginning of year forms, homework, projects, behavior notes, returned report cards, etc.  
I simply thumb through what has been turned in and highlight their names!  Whoever is not highlighted is the one missing!  I paperclip it to the stack of papers or notes or money envelopes (whatever I am keeping track of) and voila!  Mayhem managed.
Click HERE to get a template to make your own miniature class lists!
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments
4.  Pre-made I Can Statements:
Thomas Teachable Moments
Anyone else's district make you post your objectives for each subject?  Being in 2nd grade, I am self-contained, which means I teach all content areas. That's a LOT of objectives to write for one day!  
So, I created these SUPER convenient objectives that hang on binder rings.  I simply flip to the correct standard (listed in the bottom corner of each page) for each lesson of the day.  No more writing until my hand falls off!  Woo-hoo!  If you want to check them out, you can see them in my store by clicking here or the pictures below.

These I Can Statements have quickly become one of the most popular items in my store!
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

5.  Graded Work
Graded work is a two-way street for me. 
1.  I need my parents to feel consistently informed about their children’s grades.
2.  I need to know the children are showing them the work so we don't have any surprises at the end of the six weeks.  

I have learned the hard way that if I don't require parents to look at graded work consistently and have an opportunity to communicate with me about it, it can cause unease in our parent/teacher relationship.
Here is the BEST thing I do now that I wish I'd done as a first year teacher.
Each week, I put each child's set of graded papers in their own stack.  Then, I staple this handy-dandy note to the front of his/her work.  They are given a due date (usually 4 or 5 days) to give the packet of graded work to their parents.  The parent look over their children's work, have students make corrections at home if needed, note any questions they still have, and then sign and return the packet to me.

Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments
I then KEEP all of the signed and returned work in my filing cabinet for the grading period. 
When report cards come out, I take all of their work from the whole six weeks that has been signed and put it together in a baggie with their report card. (I usually choose a different color paper for each week to make it easy to see if each child is receiving back each set of graded work.)
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments
If the parent still has a question about a report card grade, they can immediately look back through all of the graded papers for the whole grading period to see what the problem was.
After report cards, they keep the work and do what they want with it.  I just ask them to return the report card envelope and baggie so I can use it again the next grading period.
Genius, right?  I NEVER have issues with parents about confusion over students' grades.  It is ah-mazing.
You can grab this note for FREE in my store by clicking here or by clicking the pictures!  
Thomas Teachable Moments
Thanks for stopping by and reading my Top 6 Tips!  I hope you found something useful!  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter to win a TpT Gift card!
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  1. 1. The tissue idea is GENIUS. 2. You are very organized. Can I come visit your classroom??? lol :)

  2. Thanks so much for these helpful tips! It’s important to keep things in order to make the educational process organized. All the time I tell my daughter that she must keep her books and educational materials in order and stay organized. I’ll definitely share these helpful tips with her. After school she wants to get a good job and she will turn to military resume writer to order a professional resume. It’s important to work on your habits when you’re in school because they may affect all your future life and career.

  3. It`s a very interesting tips! Thanks! My son really likes order in everything, so I'll send him a link to your blog. I believe that he had interest. Like me, one time top sites interested in writing various written works. For example, essays, resumes and more.

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  5. Its very intresting and exciting article, and so useful tips ! My mom was a teacher and use similar tips and trick in her class. The most strange thing that she absolutely loved to read students courseworks, and said that it was one of the most interesting part of teaching. On the contrary, I dont like to read or write courseworks, and prefer to use this effective service that helps me so much.

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