One of the most common questions I get from readers, on Facebook and from other teachers is how I do classroom management and what my secret is to keeping my 'staches so well managed! Of course procedures, procedures, procedures and more procedures is a major factor, but I also want to share one of the biggest keys to successful classroom management in my classroom. I honestly think this plays a significant role in my success with management. What is my secret? The answer is.....morning journals. Here's how we do it and what makes it such a vital piece of my management system.
My morning work is our morning journals. Every day. It's the exact same activity and the exact same procedures and expectations. And that is the key. When the 'staches arrive, they know what to do, they know what to expect and they do it. They aren't struggling with some new worksheet or packet. They don't have to get up and ask questions or come to me for help. They can arrive in a calm manner and be successful immediately. They start off their day calm and successful and that sets the positive tone for the the day. The consistency and successful start to each day.
When the 'staches arrive, they place their folder in the box and put their backpack away. Then they go to their seat and find their morning journal. My morning work is differentiated! Here's how!
For students who are still working on mastering writing their names, they have name writing practice to work on. Some students are still just tracing their names and some are doing a combination of tracing and writing. This differentiation allows scaffolding as the students move toward mastery.
As you can see, the student on the left is still tracing her name. The student on the right is tracing her name twice and then writing her name 3 times. Their morning work is meeting their individual needs and allowing them to be successful! And it's consistent. They are working on their name every morning. No surprises when they arrive!
Once the 'staches master their name writing, they earn their morning journal. My mourning journals are just spiral notebooks When they first earn their journal, they simply write their name and draw a picture. Every morning. Same expectation and procedure. Success!
His illustrations are always this caliber!
After a week of name and picture, we add in the date. For week two of journals, they write their name, trace the date and draw their picture.
After a week of name, date tracing and picture, I remove the tracing part and they write their name, date and draw a picture.
When they are ready to be challenged (usually withing a couple of weeks, but it varies for each student), I ask them to label one or two things in their pictures with a word. As they label more and more, they are required to start writing a sentence. As the year progresses their sentences improve and turn into 2 or 3 sentences describing their pictures.
So, that is my secret. The key to a successful day is a successful and peaceful start! They do the same thing every morning. They work quietly with our rockin' music blasting. Everyone is successful and our day starts out great. The morning sets the tone for the day!
The bonus to this system is that it's teacher friendly. No copies, no packets to assemble or papers to grade!
It's Monday so that means SILLY HAT MONDAY! Ya know, how much you love to see Mr. Greg in his silly hat!
And today's outfit!
Shirt and Pants-Gap
Yep, I wore white pants to kindergarten and survived!
Don't forget that today is the last day of the HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers sale! All of my Common Core Creations are 20% off! Use the code BTS13 to get an extra 10% off from TPT!