How did I manage my class (especially when in a split grade) you ask?
Well there was about ten things that I did that made teaching just a tiny bit more manageable.
- Attention Techniques
- “If you can hear me….touch your head, nose, eyebrow, wave hello, etc.”
- whistle (for Phys.ed) or turning the lights on and off
- Making a funny rhyme – “Scooby Dooby do…. where are you?”
I had to include this website that has a ton of hilarious fun call and response ideas!
- The older students would be allowed to go one at a time. When there classmate got back they were then allowed to go. I also let my students go to the bathroom at any time of the day except when I was in the middle of teaching.
- The younger students have a bathroom in their classroom so they were also allowed to go at any time. I never want a child to think they cannot ask to use the washroom.
3. Handing in assignments:
- When it came to the students handing in assignments, I used buckets set beside my desk to have the students hand in their assignments. This was such an effective and easy way of organizing where the students work was and when it got returned etc.
4. Sticker chart:
- One of the best things I would say that my cooperating teacher and I used in the classroom to keep students homework and assignments straight, was a sticker chart. Every Friday when we needed to decipher who has what for homework, we could turn to the sticker chart that the students fill in during the week. If they didn’t have a sticker up for a particular assignment then they would take that home for homework over the weekend.
5. Organization is key:
- What I basically mean by this is to keep everything organized. I found it helped such an incredible amount.
6. Goofy Days:
- Sometimes I found that towards the end of the year when Christmas was on the horizon, the students would become more goofy. What I found that I did for this to help the situation is to let the students get out their giggles in a healthy and educating way. For example, I remember one day I took my older students outside and we just hung out for a while. This was one of those moments that I was just able to really connect with them.
7. Jobs and Rotations:
- Something that I have seen in other classrooms, and was used in my internship classroom, was to assign each student a certain job and then to rotate through those jobs. This way students can have a different job every day and it alleviates the teacher from having to do all the little things. Some of the jobs were cleaning the white board, doing the calendar, taking the recycling out etc.
8. Missing Students:
- For students who were missing, My cooperating teacher and I would fill out a sheet of what the students missed during that day. This would then let the student(s) know what he/she/they/them need to do for homework.
- Since I was in a multigrade classroom, I obviously needed to find some ways to manage the classroom while I taught each grade different lessons. It was basically one big balancing act. I would typically teach one grade a lesson while the other two grades were either working on an assignment or on their chrome books on an app called mathletics. Once I was done teaching the one grades lesson, I would move onto the other grade and start their new lesson. When the students were done their lesson, I would typically have the grade 4 or 5 students mark their own lesson and then do their corrections for it if needed. It sounds complicated but I found that it was really just about balance and making sure each grade had something that they could do while I was busy with any of the other grades.
10. LAUGH AND HAVE FUN
- I would say that this was the most important classroom management technique that I used during my internship. I laughed and giggled and smiled so much with my students. I found that students appreciate when you can be vulnerable with them and just have a fun time. I want my students to see the real me. I want my students to be comfortable with me so that they can laugh and tell jokes and we can create an exciting and safe classroom environment.