Good classroom behavior management for the student line up is critical to keep your students from interfering with the learning of other classes.
Left to themselves, kids will become a thundering herd moving from point A to point B sweeping everything in their path.
This is not good for the school's learning atmosphere, not good for discipline and not good for safety.
"Please quietly push in your chair and line up for recess."
We begin practicing this on the first day. Model every detail of the entire process:
Then have them practice. And practice again. And again. And...yes...again. If they don't do it right, they all sit down and start over. Classroom behavior management for the student line up is something that you will be practicing a lot for the first few weeks of school (and then again during the last few weeks as the excitement level increases).
Remember: They may have to be in a certain order for the lunch line.
Kids respond very well to a challenge. Download this fun classroom timer (free) and project it on your screen to see how quickly they can quietly line up...then challenge them to beat their time.
If you use "countdown mode," it will play fun sounds like this (click the triangle):
Next, you will deal with the inevitable outcry:
"They cut me!"
After calmly explaining that cutting the line is rude, you will need to get to the real issue:
"Are we all going to the same place?" - "Yes"
"Is there a prize for getting to the gym first?" - "No"
"Is there a penalty for getting to the gym last?" - "No"
"Then forget about it and stop tattling."
And repeat...over and over. Eventually, when I hear:
"He cut me!"
I respond with mock alarm:
"Are you bleeding? Where did he cut you? Should I call 9-1-1?"
After the ordeal of lining up is past, explain your expectation for moving through the halls:
For younger kids, who simply must touch everything or everyone around them, teaching them to "lock their thumbs" (grab hold of their thumbs either in front of or behind them) is a great classroom behavior management strategy...and don't hesitate to use it if your older kids can't control their impulses either.
And again - if they don't get it right, march them all the way back to the starting point (whether it is their chairs or the playground) and start over.
If you hear a compliment about your students' line behavior, make a huge deal when you get back to the classroom:
"Oh my gosh, Ms. Ramirez noticed what a great job you were doing in the line! I'm very proud of how hard you were working on meeting line expectations."
TIP: Your best spot for control is in the middle, carefully watching both the front and the back.
This level of classroom behavior management may seem like a lot of effort over a student line up and walking from one part of the building to another, but consider this: Every moment counts.
Efficient movement cuts down on unproductive time, so not only do we keep from interfering with the learning of other students, we gain a few precious minutes every day for working that extra math problem or reading that extra paragraph.
Here's a great idea: Carry some flashcards with you when you know there may be a delay, such as waiting for other classes to go through the lunch line before your class. Go down the student line up challenging every kid to solve one math question or spell one spelling word.
It keeps them from getting bored and misbehaving and reinforces learning instead of wasting time - engaged kids don't misbehave.
Every moment counts...invest the necessary time to keep the lining up process from wasting valuable education time.
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