Over the years, we’ve gathered comments and recommendations from the experts—you! You’ve shared all kinds of useful tips with us. I just thought I’d pass some back to you. Here are 8 of your best tips for helping to ensure there ain’t no misbehavin’!
1. SLANT Acronym Gets Them to Pay Attention
If you teach your kids this acronym, you can get them back in order quickly and quietly, especially when a guest enters the room:
N—Nod your head
T—Talk to the teacher
Once students have learned the acronym, just chant the secret word "SLANT" to get them to put it into action. They’ll sit up and pay attention immediately—impressive!
2. Memory Reinforcement Timeline
Post a simple timeline at the front of the room with important dates for each grading period. This at-a-glance resource reminds kids of project due dates, field trips, etc. and helps prevent the most annoying kid excuse in the book--"I forgot!" Dress up the timeline with a purchased border in your school colors. Use a bold marker to write in events, or type them up and print them off on your printer.
3. Let the Games Begin Before Spring Break!
Before any holiday break, children’s attention spans are shorter than your gnawed fingernails that time of year. Why not use learning games to hold their attention while also teaching valuable skills?
4. Smoothly Spring Back into Action After Break
To transition students back into their regular routine, try a seasonal activity such as a spring nature walk. You can observe insects, plant a flower, and get some exercise. Relax and laugh together. Your students will thank you with fewer classroom disruptions! To tie what you do back to your lessons afterwards, write about the experience or read books on related topics.
5. Clear Feedback & Consequences
Teach children that there are two choices—good and bad—and that each choice comes with a corresponding positive or negative consequence. When correcting or praising, make statements that are specific and fact-based. For example, “Ben, I can see you are out of your chair. Please sit down.” Or “Ling, I like that you are being quiet while waiting in line.”
6. Inside Voices…for Teachers!
Always use a calm, soft tone when talking to a student, especially if you’re upset. Children's emotions escalate if we use a voice that is too loud or negative. If you need to, use a quick relaxation technique before speaking--take a deep breath and pause to imagine yourself playing with a puppy, sunning on a beach, or swinging on a swing set.
7. Custom Rewards
Catch children in the act of making good choices and reward them with a long recess, sticker, or praise. Remember that students are individuals, so individually tailored consequences are appropriate. One kid may enjoy a reward of extra computer time. Another might prefer to be the teacher’s helper. Get to know your students and what motivates them.
8. Playing Nice Before Math or Reading Night
Schools everywhere invite families to attend Math or Reading Nights. Many of the event activities are game-based, which can be fun for all. But to avoid potential behavior problems that evening, give students a game etiquette refresher course ahead of time. Review how to take turns, respect others, be good losers, and take good care of the game.