For my practicum I am in a 4/5 split class. They are such a lovely group of kids, with such a high energy and spirit. I am also extremely lucky to be placed with such a great sponsor teacher; she’s the absolute best!
For classroom management in our room, my sponsor teacher uses a “nugget” method. At the start of the year, the class has a certain amount of imaginary golden nuggets. This number is always written on the board, and will go up or down depending on behaviour. If the class is on task, listening, does really well at something, etc, we will write a “+1” (or however many “nuggets” they get) on the board. However, if they are not on task, fooling around, not listening, etc, we would write a “-1” (or however many they lose) on the board. At the end of the day, the score would be totalled up, and we would switch the main nugget number on the board. It works like integers- the “+” numbers that the students earn work to bring the overall nugget number down to their goal of 0. The “-” numbers actually hike the overall nugget number up at the end of the day. If the class gets the number to a 0, that means a class party of some sort. It could involve a pajama/movie day, pizza party, etc.
This system actually works extremely well in the classroom. The class responds to the nugget system, as they want to work toward a class party. One way that the nugget system is used a lot is when we need to get the class’ attention/get them to quiet down so we can speak. We could count to 5, and hold our fingers in the air as we are counting. The class has to the count of 5 to settle down and pay attention. Every number over 5 means a “-” number. So, if we had to count to 7 before the class settled down, we would put a “-2” on the board. I have never seen it where we have had to count past 6; it is usually completely quiet by 5, and if it ever gets to 6, they work really hard to try and work that negative number off.
This strategy is so successful that it is really the only one used in our classroom. I would still like to learn a variety of techniques however, so I can have them and possibly introduce one or two of them during my practicum to switch things up a bit.