Check out fabulous classroom management tools
such as awards, communication helpers, office supplies, pocket charts
and organizational items at SproutClassrooms.com, all for 50-90% off
When students appreciate each other, your room will run like clockwork. Use these activities, combined with TRIBES, to build a respect for everyone in the group.
Cheers- Cut these cards out and stick them in an empty 'Cheer' laundry detergent box. Students can pull one out and lead the class in a cheer, either for an individual student or for the whole class.
Dr. Jean's Cards (from this site)
Cheer cards (may repeat some of Dr. Jean's)
Once a week, allow students to send applegrams to each other. To make sure each student gets one, let students draw names out of a jar at the beginning of the week, before writing the grams. Then ask students to 'spy' on their applegram partner during the week so they can point out something positive they've seen when they write the applegram on Thursday or Friday. This avoids putting any students on the spot if they are not friends with the person they have chosen out of the jar.
Polite Language Starters- Give this list to students and ask them to refer to it as they participate in whole or small discussion groups.
Pierre's Problems- A great way to get the classroom talking is to use Pierre. I found a parrot puppet that does just fine. Students can write their problems down on a form and put it in Pierre's box (I use a paper treasure chest), and the class can work through them with Pierre at a morning meeting. Students can also write down praises or things that are really working for them. A nice anonymous way to help students help each other.
Happiness Is...- I came up with this board idea when a good friend bought a copy of 'Happiness Is A Warm Blanket', the classic Peanuts book. Each page has that phrase starter with something that makes Mr. Schultz really happy. I thought it would be a really positive idea to have a Happiness Is board in the classroom. Each week you could have a different phrase starter, and students could write their own endings and tack them to the board on post-its or scrap paper with thumbtacks. My husband bought me a print from the No Name Girl studio in town to use as visual inspiration, but you could use any happy picture you might have. You could also enlarge this speech bubble document (inspired by a wipe-off board I saw at the Container Store), laminate and let students write their thoughts on it with a Vis-a-Vis.
The Frog Box- I got the following over-sized postcards off from Vista Print, and will be putting them back by the writing center. Students may write positive notes to each other on the back, and place them in our Frog Box. I will approve each postcard and then place them in take home mailboxes at the end of the week. Encourage students to write to students they may not normally talk to.
A Good Looking Group- Sitting in a circle, everyone thinks of something special about the class, for example “We’re a good looking group” or “We’re a smart group.” (Exaggerations are fine!) The teacher starts the activity by saying, “We’re a good looking group.” Someone else repeats her statement and adds one of his own by saying something like, “Not only are we a good looking group, but we are also a group of helpers.” This calling out continues with each speaker starting with the statement just previously made and adding something new until no one else has anything to add. Each speaker uses the “not only … but also” construction (a good one to know for both speaking and writing!).
Buffet- Give each player a paper plate and have him write his name in the middle of the plate. He will then exchange his plate with another player who will write an acknowledgement of him. Exchange plates as often as time permits. The final writer returns the plate to the player whose name is on it. If possible, give students time to read and reflect on what has been written.
Websites referenced for this informational page: