Hello, hello! Welcome to Christmas...in July! What is it? Well it's a little of everything - a blog hop, linky, giveaway, and I have some thoughts and tips for you on developing a positive classroom community as well as a FREEBIE to go along with that topic to help you get set up for success in the fall. Also my whole store will be on sale from July 6-9- all resources $1.00 and up will be 20% off!
Scroll down to find out how to enter our giveaway!
So first, what do I consider a positive classroom community? Well, it is one where kids respect each other and me and show it by raising their hands and not interrupting (most of the time), being cooperative, kind to others, show HEARTful behavior (our school motto is HEART, which stands for honesty, effort, acceptance, respect and taking responsibilty), therefore making it a happy, safe environment where everyone feels comfortable taking risks as learners.
At the beginning of the school year, I spend a lot of time developing a positive classroom community with my students. I do a lot of community building activities to help everyone get to know each other (there are six first grade classes that my students were in , so many of the kids don't really know each other). I also try to do a lot of work on appreciating our differences. A strategy that works well for me with my students for developing a positive classroom community is giving a lot of positive feedback for positive choices. Usually the first kind of feedback I give within 5 minutes of the kids coming in on the first day of school is complimenting someone for following directions: such as, "I like the way Abby is following directions and got crayons to draw a picture of herself" or "Simon, great job getting your backpack hung up and coming in the room to find out what to do next". I am always surprised at how well it works! And actually, when behavior started going a little downhill in June this year, without really thinking, I started doing more of that. I was saying, "Oh, I love how Ava came to the rug quietly and is respectfully waiting for directions". Even though it was the end of the years, everyone stopped talking and rushed right over to the rug!
One of the main ways I build classroom community and reinforce positive student behavior is by implementing Class Dojo right from the beginning of the year. I am not going to totally explain Class Dojo here, because I imagine many of you have heard of it, but if you want to know more, you can see a previous post on how I start my year with Class Dojo in a unique way here or by clicking the image below.
What I love about Class Dojo is how you can completely customize it to the needs of your current students. I took this screen shot in the fall of 2014, and you can see how you can add new behaviors to reinforce what you need to work on. It is amusing to me to see what that class needed to work on in the first week of the year - looking at the teacher, tv or wherever the instruction was and staying where you are supposed to be, for example. I had a few kids who just would get up and walk away when they were bored or struggled to engage by looking where they needed to look (at me! Lol) You can bet that each year after the first day of school I get a really good idea of what behaviors I need to reinforce (raising your hand is ALWAYS on there)! Then I set to putting them in and introducing Class Dojo quickly.
My students love getting recognized for their positive choices and one thing that make last year even better was our 100 Dojo Points club wall. Each kid could choose a monster, label it with their name and hang it up when they got to 100 points. Then they could work on earning 100 more and getting a new avatar!
So I promised I would have A FREEBIE for you and I do! If you are returning to using Class Dojo again this year or trying it for the first time, I created a list of 35 ways to give positive Dojo points! To grab it, click on the Christmas... in July image below or the cover image underneath it and you can grab it free from TPT. As always if you do find it useful, I am super appreciative if you take one minute and leave some quick feedback for me on TPT. It means a lot! Thank you!
Thanks for joining me for this post, for the blog hop, and linky! To see who else linked up, scroll to the way bottom, and to enter the rafflecopter, check right below! Enjoy and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway