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Classroom Management
We have several different aspects of our classroom management system.  I feel very strongly about motivation and psychology.  I believe in the mantra "Everything Speaks."  Every smile, hand gesture, reward or punishment you give a child sends a message.  Like every classroom or society, we have our Rules and Expectations for Behavior.  But how do we ensure that students follow them so the classroom becomes an efficient learning environment?
Card Turning System:
This system is used by teachers of all grades to quickly and easily keep track of student behavior throughout the day.  Each student has a card on a chart with his or her number on it.  There are 4 colors for each card: green, blue, yellow and red, in that order.
At the beginning of each day, every card is on green.  The goal is to stay on green.  By following the rules, students stay on green and earn Scholar Dollars at the end of the day.  They also qualify for a random drawing (see below).

Here are the meanings of each color:

Green : Way to go. You must be learning a lot today!
Blue :   First Warning. Oops, everyone makes mistakes, straighten up and you'll be back on green in no time.
Yellow : Second Warning, Uh Oh.  Time to take a deep breath and think about a new game plan.  Loss of recess for the next day.
Red :    Message to parent , no recess the next day.

Most importantly, students are required to write down the reason they turned their card on the homework packet.  Parents then see this, sign it and return it.

Positive Reinforcement:
$$ :
Room 40 has classroom money in four different denominations.  When students are following the classroom rules and/or generally behaving as they should, they can be rewarded with academic money.  Money is earned and spent for reasons to numerous to mention here, but sometimes is used to buy certain supplies, privileges like going to the bathroom and items during classroom auctions.

Random Drawings: Every students has his or her name/number on a popsicle stick.  At random times throughout the day when students are on task, a small prize is named by the teacher and a stick is drawn.  The student who's name is pulled wins the prize.  The catch is that the student must be on green to win the prize!  Popsicle sticks are also used to randomly call on students for answers (they are given time to think beforehand) and then put back into the jar so students must continue to be prepared.
Competence: The ultimate result of good behavior and strong study habits is competence.  More important than classroom money, paper clips, and verbal praise, the real reward for being "good" is learning new things!
Negative Reinforcement/Punishment:
Unfortunately, positive reinforcement is not always successful. Please see the review of the card turning chart above.  Referrals to the principal's office or loss of privileges may occur for serious or repeatedly poor behavior.  The best way to avoid these behaviors is to pay attention to your child and understand what may be causing him or her to misbehave.  Sometimes the solution is more simple than we think.