By Randy Sprick
Returning to school from winter break is similar to returning to school after the summer holiday. Students may still be thinking about vacation and they will have forgotten a few things about classroom behavior. To refocus their thoughts, you can approach their first days back in much the same way as you approached them in the fall—re-teaching with enthusiasm for the remainder of the year.
Review your attention signal and its meaning. Students should stop any activity and immediately focus on you as soon as they see or hear your signal.
Review your classroom Guidelines for Success (overall goals), your classroom rules, and if appropriate, your daily schedule.
Re-teach your specific CHAMPs expectations for each activity and transition using the three-step process for communicating expectations:
You may not need to spend as much time re-teaching your expectations as you did in the fall. However, by re-teaching as soon as you return from the holiday, you are letting your students know just how important these expectations are for success.
When re-teaching, monitor student behavior by circulating and scanning. When you can, circulate about the room in unpredictable patterns. When you cannot circulate easily, scan frequently. Visually scan for students who may have questions or need assistance, for students who need corrections for misbehaviors, and for students who are behaving responsibly. If a student is engaged in misbehavior, go to the student and issue a gentle reprimand or assign an appropriate consequence. If, on the other hand, you notice that a particular student is making a behavioral improvement, go to that student and give him or her age-appropriate positive feedback.
When students are meeting or have met your expectations for a particular activity or transition, give them positive, age-appropriate praise. You can do this with individual students and with the class. Give this feedback both during and after the activity or transition as appropriate. Positive feedback lets students know that they are behaving correctly and gives them adult attention when they are behaving responsibly.
When students are not meeting or have not met your expectations for a particular activity or transition, give them corrective feedback—calmly, immediately, and consistently. Corrective feedback lets students know that you are monitoring their behavior and communicates that you are serious (and will be consistent) about your expectations for student behavior. Once a correction has been made, be sure to acknowledge improvements with descriptive, positive feedback.
Excerpt from CHAMPs: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management