Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mr. Giso's Room to Read's Bright Idea #7

Mystery Walker


Here's a great management idea that a graduate student of mine from last semester shared with me. (Thanks, Jenn!)  I always note how a classroom teacher's line of students is a public indication of his or her management skills--it's a preview of what goes on in his or her classroom.  If your student's are arguing, running, hopping, spinning, ripping displays off the wall, etc. chances are that there is not enough structure inside your classroom too.

This "Mystery Walker" idea is a fun way to reinforce appropriate behavior for walking in the halls of your school.  Locate some fun note paper, cutouts, etc. and write numbers depending on the number of students in your class.  I have 20 students so my cupcake cutouts (see below) are numbered 1-20.  If you assign your students numbers already based on alphabetical order like I do, you are all set.  If not, you need to assign your students a number based upon your alphabetical class list.  Place the numbers in a container.  The one pictured above was a coffee container decorated with contact paper and a label that reads "Mystery Walker."



Two or three times a week, I start the morning out by picking a number.  This person is the "Mystery Walker" of the day.  The students don't know who is the "Mystery Walker," so they all must be on their best line behavior!  At the end of the day, the "Mystery Walker" is revealed and is rewarded.  In my classroom, it's with play money to be used in Mr. Giso's Store.  Also, I have a "Wild" cupcake too.  When I pull the wild card, the whole class becomes the "Mystery Walker" and has the chance to earn a reward.  I suggest to do this periodically, as it will lose its novelty.  The goal is for your students to behave appropriately in line because it's the right thing to do--not because they may get a reward.  Use it once a week once until they meet your expectations.

On a final note, here's what good behavior in my like looks like.

1.  Each student is in his or her assigned order (always) based on last name.

2.  My line leader is always in the front.  (This job changes every Monday).

3.  Each student has his or her hands by his or her side.

4.  Students are faced forward, walking along the right side of the hall as close to the wall as possible.  

5.  There's no talking in order to not disturb other learners.

6.  Each child must hold the door (if there is one) until the student behind him or her is able to hold it.  There are no "door holders" as it interrupts the line order.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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