Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January Reset

Hi friends, and Happy New Year!  Cheers to 2020!  Coming back to school after a 2+ week hiatus can be a difficult transition for children.  They just spent lots of time at home doing holiday activities, staying up later than normal, and probably didn't have to follow their typical "at-home rules" due to the chaos!  January is THE TIME to reset.  It's a great time to refocus on classroom management.  I know, I know, it seemed like just before break, we were able to loosen up a bit, because the kids have been with us for several months.   Going back and reviewing may seem like backpedaling but rest assured it is NOT!  Spending a week or so (however much your kids need) reviewing those precious procedures and rules that you implemented in August will set the second semester up for SUCCESS!  Today's post is about a few things that I do to help my kids reset and refocus for the second half of the school year.

One thing that I always begin with is a procedures review.  I get out my handy "Procedures Checklist" and go through just about all areas.  I do this over the course of a week or so.  We discuss what to do for each area.  I model it incorrectly, then I end with kids modeling the correct way.  Click the cover below to grab this for yourself!

Each day, I select a movement word.  I share it with the kids when I greet them in the morning.  When I say this word, it lets the kids know that they can "go" or "move."  It really helps with impulse control!  I try to use it often, and am super- diligent about it in January.  Click the blank poster below to grab the **free** poster. 

In addition, I use my voice level posters/lights constantly.  This is a general practice that I started using in my classroom last year and it has been a GAME-CHANGER to say the least!  Novelty (touch lights) is always fantastic!  My class does a great job of maintaining the voice level expectations.  I always let them know when I am turning on a light, and if someone gets loud, another student will remind them that a certain light is on.  Click the cover to grab a set for your room.  *Note that the photo shown below is my customized set, specific to our PBIS system at my school.  Be sure to check out the preview to see what the posters for sale look like.*

Speaking of novelty, I use sounds in the classroom to help kids transition.  I use a bell for clean-up, a doorbell for line-up, and chimes as a "come to the rug" signal.  The use of sounds eliminates me talking/raising my voice.  The sounds that I have chosen are all soft, which is great for kids who've experienced trauma.  I've included Amazon links to the doorbell and chimes below in case you'd like to pick something up for your classroom.  *affiliate links**

It's important to spend extra time highlighting positive behavior this time of year!  One way that I do this is by keeping my rewards and recognition completely random.  Keeping them random gives kids the element of surprise and encourages them to have good behavior.  Some of my favorite rewards are: clipping up to blue (the highest level on our clip chart) (yes I use a clip chart; my whole building does and it works wonders), a piece of candy from the candy box, Goldfish crackers, earning a letter towards our whole-group classroom reward, eating lunch with me (click the blank poster below to grab the *free* lunch bunch sign), positive note home, phone call home, earning a table tally mark (Super easy...number your tables and write them on the board.  Give out tally marks as tables are quiet/ready to learn, treasure box, going to gym/music/lunch ahead of the class (This one works great when you are trying to quiet your line!  I just say "Oh, Johnny, you are quiet with your hands at your side.  You look ready for ___, so you can go on down ahead of us!"  There are so many other ways to randomly notice positive behavior!  Get creative!!

Click the cover to grab these positive notes home.

Click the cover to grab these Class Rewards.

Finally, during the month of January, it's perfectly acceptable to pull out some of your beginning of the year activities and read-alouds.  A refresher is never a bad idea!  I love re-visiting my back to school printables pack for activities.  You can read all about that pack by clicking HERE.  Below, I've shown you some of my favorite activities to use again in January.

I hope you found this post useful!  Happy New Year! 


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