What works best to keep your kids on task?  Get in line?  Transition?  or just quiet down?  What kind of reward systems have you come up with?  How do you control behaviors?  Maybe more importantly, what techniques have you tried that failed?  I am compiling an advice book for me and my classmates that I will also post on line when it is finished.  Thanks in advance for any advice.  Special thanks to any funny fail stories : )

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I have 2 tricks I do when I need the class to be instantly quiet or for when another teacher walks in the room and they need to be quiet.


The first week of school we practice this little routine.  I tell them I have "Magic Fairy Pixie Dust" that will make them all go to sleep when I sprinkle it around the room.  So I tell them "1, 2, 3, Sleep" and I act like I am throwing dust across the room.  The students are taught to act like they fall asleep.  When I say "Wake Up", they all raise up, stretch out their arms, and make yawning sounds.  It is actually pretty cool as they all do it in unison.  The other teachers think it is awesome.  I simply say "1, 2, 3, Sleep" and the kids just love dropping their heads and closing their eyes.


The other is very similar, except I say "1, 2, 3, Freeze" and I act like I am shooting them with ice from my wrists (Sub Zero Style) and my students all freeze in place.  Many will strike a pose like they are doing the robot or something.  When I say "Un-Freeze!" they all start moving and make cracking sounds like they are "thawing out."

I know they are very cheesy, but the other teachers and visitors in my school think it is awesome and the students love "acting" in front of an audience, even if it is another teacher just walking into the room. 


We spend a few minutes the first week of school practicing this, and I always have it in my toolbox when I need it.  I will even have students tell me "You didn't ask us to Sleep or Freeze when Mrs. Smith came in!"







What grade do you teach? I teach middle school girls and they definitely love acting in front of each other and I am sure will love this. I will have to try and incorporate this into my management routine next year!
I have freshmen, but I think the greatest power you have is respect.  You have to have a presence.  The presence I always try to express in any group of kids is "hey, I am in charge, this is what we are going to do, and your cooperation is crucial."  I make them understand that we are all in it together, it isn't just them v. me.  I use the "clap if you hear me" "clap twice if you hear me" if I need to redirect quickly, and use first names to catch stragglers, but usually, we just follow some general routines and they know what is expected of them.  Most of what I do is consistent with Harry Wong's fantastic book The First Days of School.



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