I taught a summer school class one year that had some very naughty little boys. The boys would kick, push, punch, run around, and in general were very VERY naughty.
After the first week of misbehavior I had to develop a strategy. I have only tested this on older children that spoke low-moderate English.
Every day we would spend 5 min. of class going over the same thing:
- Together we made a classroom rules list.
- Together we made a classroom punishment list.
I asked the students to help me make a list of bad behavior that wasn’t allowed in class. Immediately the student started shouting out answers “No screaming,” “No Pushing,” and “No Hitting.”
I wrote all of there suggestions on the board and labeled it “Classroom Rules.” I also prompted a few asking the students “What about stealing? Is that allowed?” and of corse they said no and I added it to the list.
I made sure to emphasize what shoving and hitting looks like and why it’s bad.
…and then the fun part…
I began to ask the kids to add in some silly rules!
Their suggestions were hilarious and they loved that it made a serious discussion more fun.
We did this everyday for the entire summer. Adding and subtracting new rules. It became a really run activity.
The best few silly suggestions:
No Pancake Hats
No Standing on your Head
No Stinky Feet (Yes, I had to sniff the kids feet and tickle the ones with stinky feet!)
Back to the serious bit.
After the goofy rules list we get serious again and made a list of punishments
- No Stickers, Recess, Movie, Playtime (use something they enjoy doing).
- Talk to Mommy and Daddy.
- Not allowed in class anymore.
When the kids see what the punishments are for being bad… They immediately stopped the bad behavior. I had to give a few warnings but I saw no other problems arise after this activity. I acted very sad while discussing the punishment list. I really emphasized that they would not be allowed back in class if they kept being naughty and that Mommy and Daddy would not like to know that they were naughty in class.