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Behaviour from day one!

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Well hello!

Sorry it has been such a long time since I posted, this time of year everything else seems to take over!

Now over here in the UK there is still one week of term left until summer but for my lovely American friends lots of you are getting ready to go back! With that in mind I wanted to talk about setting your behaviour expectations from day one! So here are my helpful tips for getting off on the right foot with your new class.

1 - Discuss the rules with your class
I know this might sound like an obvious one but I'm not talking about telling them the rules, I mean to discussing the rules. Ask the children why they think they are important and if they like the wording. This involves them a lot more in the rules of the classroom and sets a community feel.

2 - Don't set the bar too low
The behaviours and actions that you decide deserve rewards are a personal decision but try not to fall into the trap of reward expected behaviour. It is fine to express happiness when children follow the rules but if it is every day expected behaviour it shouldn't be singled out for rewards. This can lead to difficulties when having to deal with behaviour problems.

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3 - Watch your phases
I am very guilty of this and it can be so difficult some times. When teaching we often fall back on a set of phrases that we use to quiet the class. There is nothing wrong with this but they can be over used and that is when they become meaningless to the class. It is a good idea to change your quiet down phrases often and be prepared to find yourself slipping!

4 - Remember to laugh at yourself
Some times you will say something silly, you will make a mistake and even call out the behaviour of the wrong children. Remember to accept that you made a mistake and apologise if you can get this going from day one then you will show the class that it is OK to make mistakes and change our behaviour for everyone's benefit.

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If you do have behaviour issues in your class there is a fantastic post over on The Special Needs Teaching and Education Blog on Preventing Behaviour Escalation.  

I wish you all a fantastic back to school season and enjoy your holidays!

Spring is here!

I love this time of year. The sun is shining, it is not too hot, there are flowers growing everywhere and everything just seems more cheerful.

With Easter just around the corner it is a great time to introduce children to life cycles and new life in the animal kingdom. You may be lucky enough to be able to bring animals into your classroom, this is a great way to teach children and so many activities, lessons and learning opportunities can be built around the animals. Some examples of this include hatching chicks:


Frog spawn:

and even sea snails:

If you are not lucky enough to bring living animals into your room you can still teach in this way with plants and saplings.

Activities this can lead to include; diary keeping, detailed drawings, responsibility discussions and science experiments. The possibilities for expanding learning in this way are endless and it is wonderful to see the children so excited.

If you are planning to conduct science experiements you may be interested in my Science Investigation Booklet to help children plan and carry out experiments.

Great activities to get your class excited about Earth Day

Earth day is on its way!

Let's have some fun on Earth Day :)

On the 22nd of April 2017 it is Earth Day again; this is a great time to teach your class about conservation and the environment. with this in mind I thought it would be a great idea to round up some ideas for fun ways to bring Earth Day into your classroom (I wish I could say these were all my ideas but no, they have been collected from around the internet, although I have used a lot of them and can safely say they are fab!)

Make your own weather station!
This is a really great hands-on activity for the children, it does not take a lot of equipment and is fantastic to explain the weather and changes in climate!

Get full details here at the wonderful nurture store blog!

Another fantastic (although messy) idea is to get the class making their own recycled paper. If you are anything like me your classroom scrape tray is overflowing with random bits of paper that you cannot use. Get the kiddos to make their own recycled paper from the pulp of unwanted scrap! They love doing this and once they start they will be bringing you handmade paper from home as well!

There are great instructions here at Schooling a Monkey

And of course you could always get them growing their own plants. This is fun in itself but when you add eyes and hair it is even better! Check out this lovely Crafting is my Life blog post with pictures on making this process fun!

With all these physical activities you may also want to teach them some facts about Earth Day and conservation, don't forget to check out my Earth Day PowerPoint and worksheets pack for a fun way to get your class excited about saving the environment.

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