Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Super Simple Classroom Management Technique #1

Getting a class full of students who want to volunteer to read or come to the board is a blessing for any teacher, but oftentimes it is a struggle to get students to put forth the effort of walking all the way to the front of the classroom (play sad violins here) or to read a whole paragraph aloud (more sad violins here).

When a teacher calls on students, they sometimes feel picked on or pointed out.  Students with poor social skills may react poorly causing classroom disruptions.

I have a solution for that.  I did it without thinking and once I saw the effect, I've done it every year, every class since then.  I call it the

CONTAINER OF KISMET

You like the alliteration, don't you?

Like I said before, it is super simple.  First get a container that you can designate for this purpose for the rest of the year.  Write each student's name on card stock or index card, cut them out into similar size rectangles, and put them into the box.  Next time you want a student to do your bidding and there are no volunteers, reach into the CONTAINER OF KISMET and draw a name.  You would be amazed at how well this works (granted, there are about 1% of kids who are going to react negatively toward anything).  They don't feel called out, because it is random.  Kismet picked them.  It's their destiny.  It's fate.  Who can argue with fate?

To keep the more mischievous kids from removing their name from the box, I will sometimes after a quiz pull out a name and grant that person 5 bonus points.  In fact, the first thing I used the box for is to do something nice.

I am constantly awed by the power of this thing.  Students will argue with me over what color the sky is (Carolina blue, by the way), but will accept their kismet without a whimper.

Plus you get to teach them an SAT / ACT word while you are at it.  Always fun stuff.

I have a few more little tricks up my sleeve that I will share with you in the next few weeks.  If you have any alternative methods for maintaining your little gems, leave a comment!  If you try this in your room, let me know how it worked for you.


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Since February 15, 2014