Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It

The top definition of Spring Fever in Urban Dictionary is: wanting the present moment to become summer slacking off in school because the year is almost over wanting to be outside every day rather than inside Teachers encounter Spring Fever on two levels – we have it and our students have it. It seems everyone … Continue reading Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It

Cell Phones in Class – Yes or No?

There are lots of great uses for cell phones in school, if we can just get students to use them without distracting themselves. As part of the Classroom Management Strategies That Work seminar, I ask teachers to brainstorm a list of student behaviors that drive them crazy. Cell phones are always on the list. Always. … Continue reading Cell Phones in Class – Yes or No?

Should Teachers Take Away Fidgets and Toys?

Whirling, twirling gadgets with levers, switches, and knobs Troll-doll pencil toppers with fluffy pink hair-dos Modeling clay that snaps, pops, and bounces Spiky neon squeeze toys that light up and flash If you’ve been a teacher 2 minutes or so, you’ve certainly run across similar items in your classroom. Or if by some miracle you … Continue reading Should Teachers Take Away Fidgets and Toys?

Helping Students Manage the Social Cost of Doing the Right Thing

How many times have you heard thank you after you correct a student? Not many, I bet. Have you ever had to separate students because they were distracting each other? Me too. In fact, it’s a rare day I DON’T find myself saying something along the lines of “Do you think you two can stay … Continue reading Helping Students Manage the Social Cost of Doing the Right Thing

That Kid You Just Can’t Reach

This kid was ruining my day. And I put more energy into trying to get him to do something – anything – than I gave to the whole rest of the class. “I just wanted to let you know I’m not going to do anything you say today,” the 5th grader informed me. “I’m going to … Continue reading That Kid You Just Can’t Reach

Rethinking Assigned Seating

Differentiated seating is all the rage these days, with students working at their choice of short chairs, exercise balls, wobble chairs, bean bags, stand-up stations, and traditional desks. In most classrooms utilizing this model, students are empowered to move at will, and their choices are only limited if they are off task or disturbing others. … Continue reading Rethinking Assigned Seating

How to Feel Better About Behavior Referrals

I sigh as I look at the behavior referral form. I try to minimize the number of students I refer to the office but I have no choice. The student grabbed another student by the throat which is an “automatic mandatory reporting” offence at this school. My prep period drains away as I answer all … Continue reading How to Feel Better About Behavior Referrals

Ready-to-Go Lesson Plans – 7 Ways They Can Backfire

As classroom teachers we sometimes get bored with the same old lessons. But trying new ready-to-go lesson plans can backfire. Here’s why. A million years ago when I first started teaching, I spent way too much time and money at the Teacher Supply Store hunting for teaching ideas and ready-to-go lesson plans. Today it’s Teachers … Continue reading Ready-to-Go Lesson Plans – 7 Ways They Can Backfire

Poor Results From Your Classroom Management Plan?

Results. We all want them, and if you’re like me, you want them NOW! “I put Alicia on a behavior plan, but she still acts out constantly. Why haven’t I seen any results?” “I work hard to build rapport with my students, but they still challenge me from the moment they walk through the door.” … Continue reading Poor Results From Your Classroom Management Plan?