Primary Chalkboard: Winter Restlessness...Classroom Management for the Long, Cold Days

Winter Restlessness...Classroom Management for the Long, Cold Days

With winter break being a distant thing of the past, we're trying to get in our 2014 groove. Our students are too. It's hard coming off of breaks, but there is definitely something to be said about getting back into the swing of things.

We're not going to let our students freeze up this winter with their behavior. We hold high expectations of our first graders, and each time we do they prove us right! We like that part. :)

Here's a few tried and true classroom management ideas...Polar Vortex style. Well, winter style, but didn't that sound so much cooler? 

When we grew up, we had to walk uphill in the snow both ways being asked to write your name on the classroom board was not a privilege. But, it is in our class! Simply draw a thematic character up on your white board or on a piece of large construction paper or butcher paper. Leave colorful markers nearby. Call students up throughout the day to write their name in the snowman. They love it! We call on them as many times as they are caught. Some end up in the snowman 2-3 times before the day is up.
 At the end of the day, we let all the students who were "caught in the snowman" head to our class Sticker Station. It's just a tub that hold stickers. Easy! We throw seasonal stickers in there too each month to keep it fresh and fun! To read more about our Sticker Station Basics click {here}.
 Each of our students keeps a Sticker Board inside of their desks. We made generic ones which you can grab for free {here}.
But, today we've made exclusive Snowy Sticker Boards just for our Primary Chalkboard followers! 
Click {here} to grab your own Snowy Sticker Boards.
 You've probably heard of a class marble jar...We put a spin on an old classic just by changing the color and calling the contents a different name. It's all in the packaging sometimes...Ha! During winter, our students work together to earn class "icicles". Each time they are working together as a team to follow our class goals, they earn an icicle. When they earn 50, they vote on a class celebration. In December, we celebrated with a class Polar Express Hot Cocoa Party...Basically movie and hot cocoa station. But, other months we keep it simple ~ Extra recess, class free time, you get the idea.
 Getting our class to work quietly can be a consistent challenge in our class. But, not with the help of some stuffed friends. Each month, we have a stash of stuffed animals that float around the classroom, on the hunt for the hardest, quietest workers. Once found, they swing by for a visit while the student works. Amazing how quiet they get just when we pick him up! This month, Snowball the Snowman will be making his rounds in hopes of catching them for stickers or icicles.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to classroom management is one of our favorite things about teaching. We are firm believers that if we can't behave, we can't learn. 
In fact, we feel so strongly about students truly engaging in their learning at a young age, that we've just finished up our latest project to help them become great listeners.
 Listen Up! 
Auditory Activities for Little Listeners
Active listening is essential in today's classroom and world. Yet, even as veteran teachers, we're finding it more and more challenging to really get today's fast paced students to listen attentively. Listen Up! is helping our students move towards independent, active listening skills in meaningful and fun ways.
Visit our blog for more details.


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  2. Hi,
    I just love your sticker station bucket. Where did you get it from? I have so many stickers and would love to have them all in one place for when the students choose a sticker and your sticker tub is just perfect !