The first topic is Behavior Management. I have been teaching for 18 years and I feel like I have tried just about every behavior management system out there at least once! I have never been able to keep up with the clip chart system (in any form) and I hate to obsess about rules.
We establish a set of class rules at the beginning of every year during the first week of school. These are posted in the room. I have the students get into groups and they create mini-posters for each of the rules. Since I have 6 tables, there are usually 6 rules.
I have to say that I work really hard to form a relationship with each and every student. Because of this, I have minimal behavior issues in my classroom.
My students earn paws (mini cut-outs I got at the teacher store) as a whole class when their behavior is excellent in the classroom or in the other areas of our school building. I have used different themes throughout the years (cookies, shells, stars, popcorn, paw prints, owls, etc.) depending on my class theme at the beginning of the year.
You can find these on-line from Trend. Here are the paw prints I will be using this year!
Once the students have earned a certain number of paws (we usually do 30), they earn a class reward. This could be an extra recess, lunch with me, etc.
I also use Weekly Behavior Reports as a way to communicate with parents, about good behavior as well as behavior that may need to be corrected. This form also contains a place to record how much homework was turned in for the week. Parents just have to sign the form and students return them on Monday. If they turn the form in on time, they get a ticket which is entered into a weekly drawing for a trip to the treasure chest.
Click here to download the FREE Weekly Behavior Report form! It takes only about 10 minutes to fill in the form for my class of 30 students and the parents and students really like the communication every week!
My advice: Try a lot of different things and find what works for you! Click on the other participants in this linky and I am sure you will get loads of ideas!