Secret Walker

Today I’d like to share with you a little tip I have picked up from other teachers and used over the years to keep ALL the students in your class quiet when walking in a line. I find it those transitions times such as change over between lesson, walking to another room in the school building, lining up etc when ‘undesired’ behaviors are most likely to occur. So here is a little tip to help students stay focused when walking in a line.
Slide1-1In my class, we have to move to another area of the school several times a day, be it walking to the outside door for recess, walking to the hall for assembly/phys ed/lunch or collecting their belongings at hometime. First I line my students up. You may have a particular order to do this. I use register order for this. Then I tell my students I am going to choose two ‘Secret Walkers’ (I choose one boy and one girl) but I am keeping my choice secret until the end of the activity or lesson. The Secret Walkers have a special mission to walk in absolute silence, to walk and not run, to stay in single file and to not touch anything on display shelves/bulletin boards etc (add whatever your expectations for great line walking is) on their journey along the corridor. I tell them they will receive a reward if they complete the mission successfully. I give house points as our school has house teams, or it could be a raffle ticket, a sticker or whatever your class rewards and incentives are. The great thing is, all students know that it could be them I have picked, so they all try hard to walk perfectly!

I wait until the lesson or activity is over and we have made our return journey back to the classroom. I then announce who the two Secret Walkers are and tell them whether or not they have completed the mission successfully. If they have then I give then a house point but if they talked/ran etc then I tell them that unfortunately they did not complete the mission that time, as I do not want to give a reward and undermine the system if they did not walk as I expected. But you will find that the majority of the time the students are so keen to complete their ‘secret mission’ in case they have been picked that they will all walk in the line following the expectations you have laid out. This little tip has really helped keep all my students quiet and focused when moving to other parts of the school building.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

ClassDojo

Hi everyone,

After reading about the positive impact ClassDojo has had on classroom in so many other teaching blogs, I decided to give it a go this year. In terms of behavior management, it is one of the best things I could have done and the great thing is that it is free! It is really simple to set up, just sign up at http://www.classdojo.com/ and enter your students’ names and they will each be assigned a monster avatar. The students’ avatars will be displayed on screen and you can award ‘positive’ points such as for ‘helping others’ or for being ‘on task’¬†which add one point to a student’s score, or you can click on ‘needs work’ which deduct a point from a student’s total. You can also customize the ‘positive’ and ‘needs work’ categories to suit your own requirements. I do really only tend to use the positive points though as I find them a great motivator. There are also options for reporting student behaviors to parents, but so far I have just used the system within my own classroom. I have turned ClassDojo into a competition and I give the student who has the most points at the end of the week a small prize such as pencil.hero-about2-2

Here are some of the ways in which I use ClassDojo:

Students’ attention
I have tried all sorts of ways in which to get the students’ attention; chimes, counting down from five, clapping a rhythm etc. These days, when I want the students’ attention, I display ClassDojo on the board and award points to a couple of students who are looking my way and listening. As soon as the other students hear the ‘ping’ they soon follow suit, hoping to earn a point themselves!

Tidying up
You can imagine the scene – you’ve just finished a craft activity and bits of paper are all over desks and under chairs, glue stick lids have rolled onto the floor, equipment needs tidying away… You get the picture! I have found ClassDojo to be a great motivator to encourage the students to tidy up. I give students who are tidying up a point, particularly those students who are helping others. I have found that it really has encouraged team work and has turned what was a ten minute job into a quick two minute task.

Random
My students love this feature! Click on the ‘random’ button and one student’s name will be selected at random. It is a great alternative to hands up during whole class teaching. I also use it when students are completing independent work. Now and again I will click the ‘random’ feature and I will look to see whether the child selected is on task. If they are, then I will award them a point – another great way to keep students motivated as they never know when their name might be selected!

There are many other features to ClassDojo and it is so simple to use and really visual for the students. How do you use ClassDojo in your classroom? I’d love to hear your ideas!