What it is: A daily classroom behavioral strategy
Who it’s for: Teachers of primary grade students
What you’ll need: Various free time activity options for students to choose from
This is the main behavioral strategy I use for all of my students. Each day end with 30 minutes of an earned, free-choice activities which is call Choice Time on the daily schedule. Students earn this time each day with appropriate behavior and work effort.
- I’ve drawn a big box on the white board and labeled it Choice Time and written all of their names in it.
- At the beginning of the day, I tell them that they are all starting the day with the option to have Choice Time and their goal is to keep their name in the box by making the best choices.
- If there is a behavior issue, I erase half of their name and tell them they have a chance to earn it back if they pull it together
- If by the end of the day, their whole name is still in the box, they can choose an activity. If only half is left, I have them sit out for an age-appropriate time out (their age=minutes of time-out). If their whole name is erased, I either have them straighten the room, or complete an assignment instead of choosing an activity.
Choice Time Categories will vary from classroom to classroom. Mine are:
- Activity Table (there they can paint, color, draw, build Lego, etc.)
- Learning Center (This is the name of my play area in the classroom with all of their imaginative play materials i.e. kitchen set, toys animals, cars, dress up clothes etc.)
- Game Cabinet (Where I keep all my classroom games to choose from)
- Independent Activity (This is for students who have an idea besides the above activities like listening to a book on tape, or making a comic book at their desks or something else they’ve asked to do).
I’ve found it important to allow as much choice as possible so the students are motivated to earn this time. This is why I let them choose from the Game Cabinet rather than choosing a “game of the day” to eliminate the “But I don’t want to play that game!” scenario.
I hope this helps you!