Monday, March 19, 2012

March Madness

Oh, my, my, my. This is the time of year I lovingly refer to as "March Madness," and I'm not talking about basketball. I also call it "Elementary School Senioritis."

Here's a nice little definition of senioritis. Remove the words "high school or college careers" and replace it with "elementary school careers," and you have March Madness (minus the truancy, of course).

Maybe you know what I'm talking about. This madness has many causes: the weather turns beautiful outside, we get closer and closer to Spring Break, the big dreaded TEST is coming up, and in just a few weeks, they are officially going to be middle schoolers. Lord help us all.

Now, it's not all bad. I love my students dearly, and we have a great time in the classroom. However, every March, it seems I need to review class rules, consequences, and procedures. Do you ever have to have a do-over like that?

Well, we treated today like it was the first day of school. I have been reading a book called Dream Class by Michael Linsin (get the book here from Amazon - it's available on Kindle, too). It's a great book and he runs a great classroom management blog (check it out here). I decided to make myself some new rule and consequence posters. We just seem to NEED that in our classroom right now.

Here's a picture.

Well, today was interesting! I think my kids actually enjoyed going over everything again. I got an email from a parent, saying her daughter came home and said, "Well, we have some new rules today, but I don't think it's going to be a bad thing!" Whew ;) The class ran more smoothly today, and everyone left at the end of the day pretty pleased with how the day went.

Honestly, I was very strict - students received whatever consequences they earned, but because I gave them in a very zen-like state ("I'm sorry you chose to break the rule, and this is the consequence you have earned"), no one is mad at me! I have a few kids disappointed in themselves. One of them even came up at the end of the day, gave me a hug, apologized, and told me how he'd be better tomorrow. Love it!

Do you suffer from March Madness? Tell me about it!