This was my first year using the CLASSROOM CHALLENGE. I plan on using it again next year. I’m curious to see how students will do since they know the expectations and have the experience of one year under their belt. I plan on streamlining my class rules and create posters rather than just having the rules written on the marker board. I’d also like to make a clear connection to the class rules and the behavior/effort section on report cards.
I’ve noticed such a positive change in my students’ classroom behavior since starting the Classroom Challenge. My students have taken more responsibility for their behavior as individuals and as a team. For myself, I’m more mindful of my students, my mood, and my reaction to situations. Some days are of course better than other day but overall this has been very successful classroom tool. I let the Chart be the enforcer of the rules and behavior. Students have learned their behavior is between them and the Chart. I’m there to help guide them in making the best choices. I will definitely continue to use the Classroom Challenge Chart and work on adding to it and improving it every year.
We were halfway through the second trimester when I had an outstanding 2nd grade class. They really wanted a GREEN for classroom behavior and effort (the Challenge Chart does NOT monitor students’ creativity). Not once did I have to remind these students of classroom rules. It was amazing! This class sat politely while I introduced the lesson, raised their hands when they had comments or questions, waited for table helpers to pass out the supplies, worked with indoor voices, put their wet art on the drying racks, waited for the table helpers to clean up the supplies and waited politely to line up at the end of art class. Not to mention they made outstanding art! I was blown away. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and how impressed I was with them as a class, as a team! We reviewed all the things they did correctly that day. I told them I wanted reward them with something bigger and greater than a GREEN square. So, on the 6th week the RAINBOW square was born! In order to get a rainbow students follow all the classroom rules without ME reminding them. It’s okay if friends remind friend in a polite manner. Our focused shifted to more team work, and being accountable for their own behavior. And that is when the “love letters” started being left on my desk and my classroom door :-)
Ms. Bird wants to congratulate the 15 winners of the second trimester classroom challenge.
Great job on getting Green and Rainbow squares!
March 15th start the beginning of the final challenge.
Win smelly markers and the PRIDE of winning!
~ Ms. Bird
Ms. Bird wants to congratulate the NINE winners of the first trimester classroom challenge:
Great job on getting the most Green Square!
Today we start another 12 weeks of the challenge. Your class could win smelly marker and bragging right.
My Classroom Challenge is visually displayed on a HUGE gridded chart which is mounted to the door of the art room. The grid is broken up into five sections comprising of kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade. There are 22 rows representing the 22 classes I teach weekly; there are 12 columns representing the 12 weeks in a trimester. This equals a total of 264 boxes. Every class is scored as a whole every art class on classroom behavior. The scoring is based on colors: Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Green is the best and Red is the worst. The goal is to get as many boxes filled with green – ideally all 12 boxes for the trimester. Grade levels compete against their own grade level. At the end of the trimester I add up all the greens, yellow and oranges (no class has ever gotten a Red!). The class with the most Green boxes is the winner. Of course there can be a tie. The first trimester of 2015 there were NINE winners. The second trimester there were 16 WINNERS!
I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan. I particularly like the concept of “The House Cup”. The House Cup is a yearly award at Hogwarts ("The finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world." —Rubeus Hagrid praising Hogwarts). It is given at the end of the school year to the House with the most House points. Points are given to Houses by teachers and prefects throughout the year for various things including answering questions correctly and doing good deeds. Points can be taken away for things such as misbehaving or rule-breaking. This is where the concept of my Classroom Challenge originated.
A first grade student came to class very withdrawn 4 weeks ago. The classroom teacher advised me the student was having a bad day. He had already been to see the behavior specialist. When I spoke to the student he didn’t acknowledge me or my words. His demeanor was sad, defensive and grumpy. After the class was well on their way with their project I knelt next to the student and asked him if he was having a rough day…nothing; asked if he wanted to make some art…nothing. I told him sometimes I chew gum to get me in a happy mood to make art. I asked if he would like a piece of gum. Finally! Finally he looked at me. Very slowly a slight smile came across his face. I invited him over to my desk. I explained that the gum was only for this class. He was not to make a big deal about it and was to spit it out at the end of class. It wasn’t a minute later that I noticed he was smiling, talking to classmates AND making art…enthusiastically making art! He had a GREAT time in art and socializing with peers. Without me asking, he threw the gum away at the end of class.
It has been a month since the above happened. I have not had one difficult moment with this student since that day. I make a point of saying a special hello to him, acknowledge his presence by rubbing his back for a few seconds and always comment on what a great job he is doing.
This little act of kindness and acknowledgement totally changed the dynamics of this class and my relationship with this student.
Researching the website smartclassroommanagement.com.
To-do: classroom rules should be discussed, written, agreed upon and posted.