Classroom Management Ideas from Creekside Teacher Tales

Happy Sunday!! It's Tracy from Creekside Teacher Tales!

I wanted to share some classroom management ideas I have been implementing in my room.  With so much going on in a classroom and so much to do, we all know that successful management is a MUST before meaningful learning can happen.  This year is my first year with having the same group of kiddos all day and with those kiddos being heterogeneous   My range of levels is from mid-Kindergarten to beginning of third grade.  I am going to share my table group management, individual management, and how I am managing the range of learners.
Get ready!

I have my kiddos sitting in table groups of 4 or 5.  I will switch up their table groups a few times throughout the year or if a problem arises.  The tables can earn points with the system I am using.  

I used some adorable Melonheadz clipart for these fun creatures.  The tables earn points for actively listening, participating, working hard, being team players, and having spot on volume. 

Here is the set up in the classroom!  I use the creatures as reminders on the board.  The envelopes along the edge contain the points.  The white drawers in the bottom right corner hold the points earned that week.  

We count the points on Friday before lunch and whichever table earned the most enjoys lunch in the classroom with ME!  :)  They love it!
Grab this freebie on my blog!

I started implementing the table points from day one of school.  I love how it gives the table groups a purpose (working together) and something to earn.  However, I discovered after a few days I wanted to give them something to earn individually.  We have been working on money in math and we are given a TON of fake bills with our math manipulatives.   We never use them for math only the coins.  The bills sit in a box.  Now the kiddos can earn bucks for working hard and making good choices.  They keep a bag in their desk with what they have earned thus far.  When they earn 30 bucks they can trade their money in for a prize.  I haven't decided what that will be yet... but most kiddos have under 10 bucks, so I have time :)

Lastly, managing a heterogeneous group.  This by far, has been the most challenging part of my job.  The change in groupings have also made this my most challenging year thus far.  Morning work, independent texts, writing activities, math classwork, math homework, and weekly spelling are all leveled. 
Here is a little freebie of handwriting morning work for my lower kiddos:
This is perfect for them because they can do it independently when they arrive in the morning.  I will be blogging about how I set up my spelling on my blog in the very near future... so keep an eye out. 
I have been using Daily 5 in my room and LOVING it!!!
I did feel the need to provide leveled Work on Writing activities for my kiddos. 
You can read about the materials I started using here.
In addition to what I originally blogged about, I added two more basic activities for some of my kiddos.  I placed the materials in a special bin just for them!
Click on the pictures to check them out!

A tool that I have used with my on grade level and above grade level kiddos is my Buddy Binders.  They are LOVING these.  We thoroughly went over the rules and procedures for using them.  If they finish their morning work, reading whole class activity, math practice, or even during indoor recess- they may visit the binders.  And yes... I said indoor recess! Each binder contains activities that require minimal or no copying and they use materials around your room- dice, dry erase markers, cards, etc. 
Meaningful buddy learning activities not only make me happy
but also the kiddos!
Grab them here:

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