Classroom Management Harry Potter Style!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeach, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    3 out of my 4 language arts blocks are pretty difficult with the constant chatter, needing me to repeat directions, always needing pencils etc etc.

    So I thought of an idea.

    What if I broke each class into four smaller sections like the "houses" in Harry Potter, and each "team" can get plus or minus points pending contributions, negative behavior, positive behavior, preparedness, etc? There could be a team leader for each "house." Each house would start off with a basket of lined paper, pencils, pens, and are responsible for making sure they always have their own supplies.

    I haven't worked out any of the kinks, including real specifics and what it might do to foster too much competition, but I think it might be a fun way to try out a new classroom management style. It would help them police themselves instead of it always being me.

    I also want to add that I'm a student teacher and my CT is totally up to letting me try out new things, but I want a polished kind of idea before I present it to her.

    What do you all think? Anyone have anything like this? Also, should I have 4 set houses and it goes across the blocks, so people in block 1 could be in the same house as students in block 4, or keep it to each class as their own? I'm open to ideas and criticism!!
     
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  3. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Would I pick the teams based on some kind of differentiation, or random out of a hat? Do I assign team leaders or do students nominate them once the teams are made? Lots of little details I need to think about!
     
  4. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I think it might be better imo if you broke each block into a house. That way the class would all be reeping the benefit and working together. It would foster friendly competition among the other classes and motivate them. Like, the first class got this many points, we need to get more. I don't think it's good to have the kind of competition you're talking about among the same class. You want everyone to learn.
     
  5. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Newbie, I hadn't thought of that. Let's say, for example, I call the houses different colleges. So there's Columbia House, NYU House, Princeton House and Yale House. Block 1 would be Columbia, Block 2 would be NYU, etc etc, is that what you meant?
     
  6. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    ^^^Yes, that's exactly what I meant. :)


    ETA: I also want to say, I like this idea better because they're always that one student who never does homework or something. There's always that one student who's ahead of everyone. You don't want someone to complain, "It's not fair, we got so and so" if they get the student who doesn't do homework. Or "It's not fair, that group got so and so" when someone got the student who always gets straight As.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I have always wanted to do this-kudos!! I think it's a brilliant idea. Just make sure your point system is low maintenance, otherwise you'll spend your class time trying to keep track of points!

    Great creative thinking!!
     
  8. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    I'm trying to think of an easy way to let them know as a whole how they are doing and when to add/minus points. What if we went on a "stop light" kind of deal, and there would be the green zone (added points), yellow zone (just neutral) and red zone (minus points).

    For example, "you all are doing pretty well with the group work, but I need voices to be a little quieter. If we can lower the volume we'll be in the green zone." If they were in the green zone 85% of class, they get added points? Every minute I waste waiting for them to stop talking is a minus point? What do you suggest??
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    If you want to make it as accurate as possible, you should have jars that you fill with beans/beads/something sparkly like the jewel points. I would take a proactive stance, awarding points randomly to groups who are doing a great job. 'I see Hufflepuff is talking quietly and staying on task-great job! 2 points awarded!'. If you have set points for set tasks, it's going to get bothersome as kids will be constantly saying 'We're quiet! We should get 2 points now!'.

    If you have to wait even a moment for a group to settle down, just walk over, say in a normal voice 'Slytherin just lost 2 points for wasting time, but could earn them back by showing me they are focused and ready to go' and then take the points out of the jar.
     
  10. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    This is what I came up with for my teacher thus far:

    - Each block is a designated “house” named after a college/university.
    - Each house has their own set of supplies: pencils, pens, lined paper, and is responsible for up keeping their supply. No more asking the teacher!
    - Points are given for: on task behavior, preparedness, good citizenship, attentive listening.
    - Points are deducted for: off task behavior, not being prepared, poor citizenship, speaking out of turn.
    - As a whole class they can be told at any moment how they are doing based on a stoplight system: green means they are doing all four sections to earn points, yellow means one or more section is being ignored, red means two or more sections are not being followed.
    - Individuals can earn points/have points deducted for their house, and the class as a whole can earn points/have points deducted.
    - Rewards can be on a Friday or Monday.
    - Each house’s points are prominently displayed either on the front board, or in jars, etc.,

    As something extra but not necessary, there can be a team leader who is sort of a motivation, a supply director who keeps track of the house supplies, and a distributor and collector who hand out books and collect papers, etc. They can rotate these jobs. The team leader is nominated by their peers.

    Student Reward Survey
    Directions: Please number the following options from your favorite (1) to least favorite (5) reward
    • Food (brownies, cookies, etc) _________
    • Computer time ________
    • Chat time _________
    • Music time ________
    • Free reading log _______
    • Other (write in your own suggestion here) _______________________________________
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I love this idea! I might steal....I mean borrow it for next year! ;)

    One thing I would change would be to let the students choose what name they would like to be. Also, to make the students more vested in this, you can have them come up with ideas on how to display points, what to give points for/take points away, etc.

    Keep us updated!
     
  12. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Next year???? I'm thinking next week! LOL
     
  13. SunnyGal

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    I love this idea! Please let us know how it works out. I may try it out next year as well. I teach in a Freshmen Academy, so my kids are together all morning long in their core classes. I think they would enjoy a little friendly competition!
     
  14. Michael S.

    Michael S. Companion

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    What do you mean by free reading log?
     
  15. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    The only homework these students have for language arts is to read a book of their choice for twenty minutes a night and turn in a "log" on Monday of each night's reading summary. As much as the kids like their books, they don't like the log.
     
  16. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Hm I like this alot ......I need to think about this for next year
     
  17. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    I love it. I think the jars with colored marbles would be good. But it also isn't very exact. It might be motivating for one class to see that they are only behind by one point and so might be better behaved to win as opposed to not actually knowing their exact total. Will you reward the highest earners with something each week?
     
  18. Toak

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    When my Co-op did this, she didn't tell the students which group they were in. They only knew there were four groups for the class and doing the wrong thing would make their group lose points, and the right thing would gain their group parts. So whenever she took a point off from a group, everyone who had been done something wrong straightened up thinking they were the one who had caused the lost point
     
  19. Hoot Owl

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    Love it, keep us posted on your progress.
     

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