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On the first day of school, the teacher leads students in a discussion of the "rights" that all students have at school. Then we discuss the "responsibilities" that come along with these rights. Once the rights and responsibilities have been agreed upon by the entire class, a poster of our "Classroom Bill of Rights" is created and signed by all students in the class. This process gives all students in the class a voice in establishing classroom expectations and that creates a feeling of ownership for the students. From this Bill of Rights, students create rules for our classroom. Consequences for not showing responsibilities are also established. The consequences for these behaviors is consistently enforced throughout the entire year.
Our Classroom Bill of Rights
I used PrintShop to create our Bill of Rights poster.
My approach to discipline and management creates clear expectations for behavior in which the students fully understand the consequences. The policies strive to develop self-discipline and responsibility. It is equally important to reward students with good behavior in order to draw attention to the correct behavior. My responsive classroom is organized to create an inviting, warm atmosphere from the first day of school. An environment that students feel safe to take risks.
There are various methods I practice to manage student behavior individually, in cooperative groups, and as a whole-class.
$$Welcome to Madden's Bank$$
We use a money system, called "Check Us Out" in our classroom that incorporates math in a fun and educational way.
$ Each student in our class is given a checkbook and taught how to write checks and keep their checkbook balanced. (I know, this is a big task for 2nd graders, but you'll be surprised at how quickly they learn!)
$ Students are paid $100 per quarter (this may vary from year to year). This is the base pay for being a 2nd grade student in Mrs. Madden's class.
$ However, this money has to be used to pay any "fines" that the children may incur - these fines are part of the consequences to our class responsibilities, which the children help form at the beginning of each year. If a responsibility is broken during the day, the child must pay his/her fine by writing a check at the beginning of recess to give to the teacher.
$ Students may use accumulated money to make purchases at class stores or auctions.
Our Classroom Rules (created by the students)
Our Classroom Rules and Fines for breaking the rules
1. Be nice to each other. ($7)
2. Follow directions ($6)
3. Take care of materials. ($5)
4. Use manners. ($4)
5. Do not disturb others. ($3)
6. Listen to others. ($3)
7. Raise your hand to speak. ($2)
**Other rules may be added during the year, as needed. Since students created these rules, they will help decide when other rules are needed throughout the year. You can see the rules are "ranked" by importance. This importance is also determined by the students.
The consequences for not following our classroom responsibilities are as follows:
1. Break one responsibility- pay the fine
2. Break two responsibilities- pay both fines and conference with the teacher
3. Break three or more responsibility- pay all fines, conference with teacher and note home
*Severe behaviors or constant disruptions will be sent to the office.*
Through the "Check Us Out" classroom management system, I expect each student to:
* spell number words correctly
* gain practice in adding and subtracting
* demonstrate proper use of a calculator (later in the year)
* write a check correctly -and keep the checkbook balanced correctly (life skill)
* determine between needs and wants when making purchases
Materials and Tips for Other Teachers
The checkbook classroom management system is probably the system that I receive the most e-mails about from other teachers. Below you will find links and tips that I have gathered in answering the most frequently asked questions about this system.
1. Do you use real checkbooks?
Yes and no. I get real checkbook covers and registers from a local bank. Sometimes I have to visit several to get a class set, as they do not always keep lots of them in stock. When I first began this I created my own register in Microsoft Word because I thought it would be easier for the children to use. I have since decided that they can handle using the real one and it is less copies for me! As for the checks, I began by making photocopies of my personal checks (with all vital information removed and changed of course!!). Then I found a KidzCheck on a website (that I can't recall) and used those for a while. Since, I've created my own checks in Microsoft Word that are tailored for my classroom.
2. How do you attach the checks to the checkbooks and how many checks do you put in one?
I put 20 checks in each checkbook. I staple the 20 checks to a laminated piece of construction paper of the same size. I then slide the construction paper behind the plastic in the checkbook to hold them in place.
3. What happens when a student runs out of checks?
When a student uses all of his/her checks, he/she has to buy more. I charge $20 for a new set of checks.
4. How do you keep track of who has broken rules and how much money they owe during the day?
At the beginning of the year I write our classroom rules and the fine amounts on a piece of chart paper (skipping lines between rules). I laminate this chart and hang it in our classroom. I keep an overhead marker nearby and when a child breaks a rule he/she writes his/her name on the chart under the rule that was broken. As we line up for recess, I cross out all fines by a child and tell him/her the amount that needs to be paid. When we return from recess a daily helper clears this chart and we begin again for the next day.
5. How do you know children are keeping their balance correct?
It takes a lot of practice during the first few weeks of school, but students really do get the hang of this pretty quickly. I usually have a couple of students who catch on really quickly and they can serve as "bankers" to help others. When we have a payday, I have students write this in their registers and provide them with calculators to help with the balancing. They place their checkbooks in a container for me to check that evening. NOTE: I only collect all checkbooks once a month when we get paydays.
On a daily basis, I check their checkbooks as checks are written. For example, when a student has to pay fines for the day, he/she brings the checkbook to recess and writes his/her fine. The checkbook is then brought to me. I look at the register to make sure it was balanced correctly and the check to make sure all components are correct. If so, I tear the check out and the child is done!
6. Why do you have the students pay their fines at recess?
This is the best way I have found to handle this. I do not want to use classroom time to do this, as the child would be missing instruction. Therefore, I have them use their time for writing checks. Once they've gotten the hang of writing them it takes only 2-3 minutes of the recess time.
7. What do you look for when checking their checks?
I expect students to write their name on the check, write the date correctly, spell the number words correctly, and spell my name correctly. They should also be able to balance their checkbook. To aid students in these activities, I give them a laminated strip of paper that fits into their checkbook (behind the register) that has a hundreds chart (for counting backwards) and numbers/number words. This way if they are not sure how to spell one of the words or are having trouble subtracting, they have something with them to help them.
8. What kind of items do you have at your school store/auction?
Students may purchase items such as pens, pencils, erasers, glue sticks, stickers, cars, dolls, bracelets, games, puzzles, and other small toys/collectibles at our class stores auctions. They may also purchase class coupons (ex. Sit at the Teachers Desk, Invite a Friend to Lunch, No Homework, etc.)
9. Where do you get the toys/supplies for your store?
I ask parents to donate items for the class store and I also purchase some myself. My favorite place to get items for the store is The Dollar Tree. Also, I ask parents to send in fast food toys from Happy Meals, etc. Some years I receive a lot of donations and some years not. The class coupons have been a big hit - students love to sit at my desk!!
10. How much do items cost at the store/auction?
Items at the class store usually range anywhere from $10 to $100. I know this seems high, but most students accumulate a lot of money and I can't purchase enough items to stock the store if the items are much cheaper. We usually have an auction at the end of the year and I am always AMAZED at how much items will go for at the auction. Snacks are usually the biggest hit, sometimes going for $300 each!! Some students just want to outbid each other, while others save all of their money for the end and get lots of good deals!
11. Where can I find printable checks and registers to use?
http://www.activitiesforkids.com/math/checks.htm - printable checks (3 per page)
http://www.activitiesforkids.com/math/register.htm - printable register (page long)
http://www.kidsdomain.com/down/mac/berenstainbears.html - Berenstain Bear checks w/detachable record
http://www.moneyinstructor.com/wsp/printchecks.asp#WORKSHEET - great website; you have to register but if you register as a limited member it is free and you can have access to printing checks
Poppin' Good Behavior - Whole Class Compliment Reward System
If our entire class is showing excellent behavior and earns a compliment from myself or any other adult we earn a puzzle piece. Once we've earned all puzzle pieces and put together the class puzzle, students earn a popcorn party as a reward! This is a great way to reinforce the concept of time while rewarding the class for excellent behavior.Team Management System
Teams also have a chance to work together to earn a reward. Teams are rewarded by working together, following directions, and showing exemplary behavior. All teams begin their day with 10 unifix cubes on the team captain's desk. Teams who are not showing exemplary behavior have to remove a cube and place it in the cube basket. The good news is if teams lose a cube, they can work really hard to try to earn it back! Teams who keep all 10 cubes receive a point at the end of the day. Rewards are given when the following points are earned:
10 points = read with a friend during AR time
20 points= popcorn treat during writer's workshop
30 points = sit anywhere in the room to do your work for the day
40 points = one night of NO HOMEWORK
**All behavior systems do not work with all classes. The teacher reserves the right to change these systems or any of their components at any time throughout the year.**