Are you looking for a new way to lock in your classroom procedures? This idea may be perfect for you and your kiddos! At the beginning of every school year we spend most of our time working with the class on mastering the procedures of both our school and our classrooms. Last year, as a first year teacher, I found myself spending at least 2 weeks specifically on PRACTICING to get my class environment where it needed to be for productive learning. After the first few weeks, I noticed about 80% of my lovely class had already proven that they understood the classroom expectations however, 20% still needed more practice. What was I to do? Repeating classroom procedures with students who have already mastered them has been proven through research to bore kids and cause more chaos. My other students, however, still needed practice. After reflecting on this in preparing for my new 4thgrade class, I came across this great idea. A PRACTICE BOARD! So simple, yet so effective! Each student is supplied with a pocket on the practice board. In a jar next to it there are multiple sticks that have each classroom procedure written on them. When an individual student is struggling to follow a rule, I simply place the stick that matches the rule they need practice with in their pocket. For the first day, that student stays in from recess for one extra minute to practice the procedure independently. If the behavior continues the next day, it becomes two minutes. If the student is still not following the procedure after three days, I send a behavioral reflection form home. Before using the practice board, after about the two-week point, I discuss with my class why it says practice instead of consequence. Letting students know that we all need to practice to reach our goals allows for higher confidence that students can follow each rule and sets a more positive mindset! I am SO excited to implement this!
How to make the board:
- I purchased a black foam poster board from The Dollar Tree.
- Next, I spelled out the word “Practice” with punch-outs on the top of the board. I then stuck on the chevron pockets that already had the adhesive backs! Both the letters and pockets were purchased from Lakeshore Learning!
- I placed the black chalkboard stickers from Lakeshore Learning on each pocket and used a chalkboard marker to right student numbers on them! I chose to use numbers instead of names so that I can reuse it next year but that is entirely up to you!
- After typing each procedure on a word document and laminating them, I glued each one to a large popsicle stick bought from Walmart. These can be placed in any sort of jar next to the board for easy access for students!
And that is it! You can get creative and make this correlate with any classroom theme!:) I can`t wait to hear how this system works in your classroom!