DING: You are now free to start focusing in the classroom

Check out that jeweled bell and Barbie-pink manicure.  

Could I look any more diva-like?

Today I share with you an idea that works like magic.  The only downside is that it has the potential to drive neighboring teachers nuts.  

Take the good with the bad.

In my class we use "tallies."  The students are awarded tallies when they are caught exhibiting role-model behavior.  This would work with any system like that.

As chaos ensues within the classroom (and by chaos I mean anything from "getting a  little chatty" to "full on riots"), I look for someone who is doing the right thing.

And then...


I whack my little bell and the room comes to a screeching halt.

Because: a) They know somebody is about to get awarded a tally and (even if they were the one go-go dancing on a desk they still hold a flicker of) hope that it will be their name called and don't want to miss it and b) They know that the jig is up and that I'm watching them all.  Theyat least want to give the illusion that they were doing what they were supposed to.  

I don't care why they freeze and look. The point is that they do.  And after I quickly announce who has "earned a tally" they instantly get back to what they 'should' have been doing and a calm fills the air.  There is no raising of the voice.  There is no signaling out negative behaviors.  There is no making anyone feel bad...even if they were being naughty ;)

It's pure magic.

(This was reposted from my original blog).

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