As the end of the year rolls around, teachers have a tendency to pull back into their bag of classroom management tricks. This year, I pulled back out the “"Walk of Shame”. The homework policy in my classroom has always been, no homework = no recess. My students can tell you that I tend to repeat the same anecdotes over and over. One that I’m famous for is “You had fun last night when you weren’t doing your homework, so you chose to substitute that fun for the fun you would’ve had at recess.” The other anecdote, which I use for the “I did it, but I left it at home.” excuse is “When you are an adult, if you write the check for your electric bill, put it in the envelope, but forget to mail it in, they’re still going to turn your lights off.” I’ve told this one so many times that the kids now just say “I know, I know, they’re gonna turn my lights off.”
Anyways, this year the students who had no recess sat on our stage and watched the others play. Recently, however, we have had a few “repeat offenders” who decided that this was playtime and they would just chat through it. So, as many teachers do at this time of the year, I pulled back into my bag of tricks and instituted “the Walk of Shame”, which I used a few years back. Instead of sitting on the stage, students who do not have recess have a designated square of the playground to walk around if they have not done their homework. Generally, students think that this is MUCH worse than sitting on the edge of the playground making faces at their friends, and it is a great motivator for homework completion, but it also insures that the students get out some of that extra energy and get some exercise to keep that blood moving to their brains.
What classroom management trick have you pulled out of your bag recently?