The last component in the Key Classrooms’ Sit Down vs. Drive Through Classroom Management and Engagement Plan is to CELEBRATE!!!! Don’t we all love to celebrate, sometimes we just need an excuse. It raises our spirit, causes creative juices to flow and usually puts a smile on everyone’s face. Ensure celebrations in your classrooms by pre-planning and putting the focus on what you want to see improved. Yes, it is nice to have a student of the week or celebrate birthdays. However, there is more to celebrations than being “nice”. Celebrations can improve student achievement!! Yes, they can!! Follow these guidelines:
1. Choose one thing per month to celebrate to improve achievement. This will vary from grade to grade. A few example might be: Kinder – Those students who recognize two new letters per week, will have their name put in lights (put names on bulletin board, turn off the lights and use a flash light to read the names). Fourth grade – Those students who improve the amount of detail they put into their descriptive paragraphs each week, receive three extra minutes of recess.
2. Do not use random picking, such as “I’m putting all of the names of the students who earned behavior stars in a bucket and the names chosen will get lunch with the principal”. We believe this is the worst kind of reward or celebration. What if we did this for adults? “I’m putting the names of all the teachers in the bucket who showed up for work everyday and the names chosen will get paid”. Doesn’t make sense does it?
3. Do not reward of celebrate the behavior of parents, such as those students who return a permission slip, or those students who have parents attend conferences, or those students who sell fundraiser items.
4. Only celebrate what improves achievement and what the student has control over.
5. Celebrate often but don’t aim to include everyone, aim to celebrate improvement and achievement.