4 Creative Classroom Strategies That Curtail Behavior "Issues"
Are teachers and parents aligned with the common goal of helping ALL kids be successful in school?
Or are teachers frustrated - and parents overwhelmed?
Having been on "both sides of the block," here's my message of hope to you, dear teachers and parents, including some boy-friendly strategies that may make everyone's lives a bit more sane, calm, and FUN!
As your school year begins, I know you’re busy and likely overwhelmed with all of the lesson prep, classroom prep, meetings, and students. My hope is you’ll recognize these as easy-to-implement strategies that will actually give you MORE time to teach and LESS time to spend on managing behavior – making yours a calmer, saner, and more FUN class for all! Have a great year. Love, Me.
Your teachers are busy, overwhelmed and excited as they prepare for your child. These simple tips may save them some time and will surely save your student some anxiety. Please share with your teacher in a diplomatic, helpful and kind way. Have a great year. Love, Me.
It is easiest to ride a horse in the direction it is already going. – Chinese Proverb
Your son is the “horse.” When parents and teachers create school environments that support active learning they are helping his ride to become smoother than ever before!
Remember that whatever helps boys, helps many girls, too!
1: BUSY HANDS
Allow his hands to be occupied when he has to sit still and listen.
Squeeze ball or other fidget
Doodling (Studies show doodling increases auditory comprehension by 29%.)
2: BUSY BODIES
Allow movement around the classroom during lessons. Too much sitting compresses the vertebrae, leading to fatigue and even more wiggles.
Clipboards for doing work on the floor
Regular stretch breaks (Google brain breaks for tons of ideas)
Get out of seats to get supplies (rather than having everything in the desk)
Ankle rotations (Motor movement in the lower limbs activates the brain more quickly than arm movement.)
Foam Frisbees – give 30 second frisbee break and allow them to throw
Beach Ball toss – give 30 seconds to keep in the air as a team
3: CHANGE THE SPACE
Simple classroom adaptations can contain wiggles and allow more comfortable learning for all students:
Stretchy bands around legs of chairs for feet to swing and push against
One-legged stools to encourage balance and focus
Stand-up desks – as simple as a paper ream box
More physical space for boys (Girls are comfortable six to a table, boys do better with four.)
Outdoors! (It has been shown that natural light increases test scores.)
4: ADD TO YOUR LESSON
Adding variations to your lessons will accommodate learning and active boys! Be sure to include competition – boys love it and its important that girls get comfortable with it, too.
Stand up and read
Stand up when called upon
Rotate tasks from desk-to-desk or centers
“Swat the Spot” (with a flyswatter) swat the correct answer on the board; ideal for a math or spelling bee
Draw before writing
Adapt math word problems to allow high-boy-interest topics: two funny, two scary, two gross
Above all, boys love to laugh!
Make learning fun and active and you’ll soon wonder where all your “behavior issues” have gone!
What we learn with pleasure, we never forget. - anon