Wednesday, September 7, 2016

As another school year begins, make sure to establish a positive climate by having clear expectations #RESVT

Each year I hope to improve my teaching practices and become the best teacher that I can be.  Over the last few years I've tried to hone in on what areas cause the most behaviour reversals.  We have a very strong PBIS program established at RES.  PBIS promotes positivity throughout our building. It also produces some wonderful data to help monitor the progress of the various interventions that occur. The goal is to have clear expectations and reward kids with lots of positive reinforcement when they are doing well.  Here is some more info on PBIS if your interested.  

Back to my point....  How can we expect kids to follow the expectations if they don't know what they are?  Sometimes we assume that kids know how to do things, but never take the time to show them. I find it helpful to start the year off by establishing expectations for class and then have kids model expected behaviors.  In the past I've taken videos or made a game out of the review.  At RES we use Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Respect the Environment.  Here are our PE Expectations.

In addition, to establishing clear expectations, you also need to find a way to reward kids for doing a good job.  We use small plastic links.  I try to give out a jar of links a day and try to make it fun by tossing them out whenever I recognize someone doing something expected.  I also created the Purple Paw Checklist as a way of creating a group plan and tracking progress.  Kids have 4 goals for PE. Enter the gym with a calm and safe body, Brain in during activites, Clean-up respect to self, others, and environment, and Line up whole body listening.  Here is link to Purple Paw Checklist.   

When a class is successful at following the group plan, then they get a sticker.  I assign a new student each class to help me determine if a class was successful.  Once they get 6 stickers, then that class gets a student chosen activity.  Here is a sample of the sticker chart. 

This has worked really well to help establish clear goals and reinforce class expectations.  This year I also added a chart to help kids with problem solving.  Sometimes kids struggle with having appropriate reactions to problems.  For example they might start crying if they don't get to be on their best friends team.  It can be difficult to calm a child down when they are really upset.  A good friend of mine showed me this how big is my problem sheet last year, and I found it really helpful for those kids who have big reactions to tiny problems.  Here is a copy of the How Big is My Problem form I use in PE. 

I hope that you find some of this info helpful.  I've noticed a considerable increase in student behaviours.  Plus I spend much less time and energy redirecting kids, which often took some of the fun out of the activites that we were doing.   

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