My first years in the classroom I used a standard behavior chart.  You know the one- Each student was given a number, and had 4 different colored apples with their number in our pocket chart.  For each infraction, they got a warning, and then consequences that progressed as the color of their apple changed.  The same kids kept their apples red day after day.  And the same kids had their apples change color day after day.  The chart was ineffective in improving behaviors, and I quickly tired of giving warnings, and consequences that didn't work.  I left school feeling frustrated, tired, and disappointed.  

Then, I learned about Love and Logic.  And everything changed.

managing behaviors

Love and Logic is a philosophy that was developed by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, MD.  It is an approach that is built around strong relationships, logical consequences and healthy decision making. They have curriculum for parents and educators.  I was fortunate that our school social worker was holding the Teaching with Love and Logic class in our school.  Immediately I knew that THIS was how I wanted to be as a teacher, and that this was who I was as a person.

Love and Logic has several skills that they use in their teaching curriculum.  I began to implement them right away, and the results were drastic!

One of the first skills I used was neutralizing arguing.  All too often I was getting hooked into an argument with a student, and no one would win!  We would just wind up frustrated with each other!  I started using Love and Logic one liners when a student would try to hook me into an argument and it worked!  I was able to stay calm and not engage with the argument, and they quickly learned that I couldn't be hooked.  My favorites were the sympathetic "oooooh", "I know." and "What did I say?" delivered in a calm voice, and without sarcasm.  

Another skill that was easy to implement right away was building relationships with my students.  I made sure to take the time to get to know my students, laugh and play with them and share with them about me.  By developing a strong relationship with my students, they were able to trust me and want to do their best for me.  I take 10 minutes out of each morning to work on relationships with my kids.  (read about it here) I know that my relationships I have built with even the toughest kids have saved me from many misbehaviors and minimized so many issues!

Love and Logic also teaches about giving choices when things are going well, so we can share control with our kids.  Then when we need to we can make the choice, and kids won't fight us since their need for control has been met.  It was so simple to add choices into our day-  Do you want to read this book or that book?  Would you like to write in pencil or pen?  Do you want to do evens or odds?  Do you want 5 minutes or 7 minutes of computer time?  Lots of little choices throughout our day, allowed my students to feel in control.  This allowed them to feel safe in our classroom, and they knew they could trust me.

Lastly, I started telling my students what I would do or allow, rather than telling them what to do.  Using enforceable statements, I took control of my actions, rather than trying to control my students' actions.  "I take quiet lines to lunch."  "I allow kids who finish their work to have computer time."  "I'm happy to send kids to recess who clean up their work."  I could control what happened, rather than telling my students what to do.  This was life changing!

As I tried out my new strategies, my students responded.  Behaviors improved, arguing decreased, and I was able to leave at the end of the day knowing that I had handled things in a respectful and loving way that allowed me to have more fun with my students. My students knew the limits, and knew what was expected.  And after sometime, used some of my tricks on each other!  (They got pretty good at my one liners!)

To this day, I don't use a behavior chart, and stray from strict reward systems.  I use the tenets of Love and Logic to guide my behavior management, and am able to have fun while doing it!

classroom management
Pin for Later

Have you tried any Love and Logic strategies with your class?

As a special education teacher, we have a lot of balls in the air- schedules, growing caseloads, evaluations, curriculums, therapies, data collection and so much more!  It can be a crazy ride that leaves you frazzled and frenzied.  But, if you work to create systems and find tools to keep you organized, the ride becomes a lot more fun!  I'm here to share 5 of my favorite things that help me stay organized as a busy resource teacher. 

(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

1) A Large Calendar

Now, I already have an Erin Condren Life Planner that I LOVE and use to keep track of meetings, professional development, IEP deadlines, and all of my outside school life too.  But, in my classroom, I use a large desk calendar to keep my school days organized.

I hang this on the wall near my file cabinet with a couple of command hooks.  (I don't use a desk, but that is a story for another post!) I record meetings, PDs, and due dates on it.  I also add grade level events, school wide assessments, field trips, guest speakers, or anything else that may change our day to day routine.  It helps me see at a glance what is going on and be prepared for what is coming that week!

2) A Well Organized File Cabinet

Too often, a file cabinet just becomes a giant hole for all the papers that we will never see again!  But, if you have a plan, and keep it organized and even better color coded, it can be a great tool.  I use hanging files and colored file folders to keep my drawers organized and useful!

I have a four drawer file cabinet in my room.  The top drawer is for student files.  Each student has a hanging file folder, color coded by grade level (with the flexibility and growth of my caseload each year, it is just not practical to color code for each kid!)  I use three files for each student.  The first one is a student information file where I file notes from parents, medical reports, and any additional information.  The second file is for data, I put copies of completed data sheets, printouts of assessment data, completed checklists, etc.  I store student work samples (originals or copies) in the third file.  This is handy as I write progress reports; conference with parents, therapists or teachers; or write IEPs.  If needed, I will do a fourth folder to hold blank and completed student specific behavior charts.

My second drawer is for reference files.  I organize PD handouts, manuals and handbooks, assessment protocols and other items I need to be able to find when needed, but not have in my teacher binder for daily access.  It makes life so easy and less stressful when I can find what I need.

The bottom two drawers are used for storing resources and materials I have made.  One drawer is files of originals to be photocopied such as reading passages, math practice, writing prompts.  The other drawer has hanging file folders that keep my printed and laminated activities.  I group them by subject and store individual activities in Ziploc bags.

3) Paper Sorter

I use so many different types of paper, that a paper sorter is a must!  I use two in my room to stay organized.  I use one for colored copy paper and colored cardstock.  The other is used for writing paper, page protectors and laminating sheets.  It helps to be able to find what I need quickly!

4) Storage Boxes

I teach 10 different groups throughout the day- some in my resource room, and some in the regular education classroom.  I need to be able find my lesson materials quickly and keep them organized.  I use the Sterilte Clip Storage Boxes (in several sizes!) to keep up with my materials.  These are the best storage boxes out there!

I have one tote for each group, and load it weekly with any copies, lesson plans, manipulates, games or activities I will need.  Each box is labeled on the side with what group it is for, so it makes it easy for me or even a student to find.

5) Rainbow Cart

It seems like EVERYONE has a rainbow drawer cart of some type in their classrooms.  I had one with a metal frame previously, but it met an untimely end when someone needed to get out some frustration.  I replaced it this summer with this one from Really Useful  (similar ones are at Michael's and a god price with a coupon!)

The drawers slide in and out easily, and the wheels are great!  I use mine to store all of my fidgets, and sensory items, so I can find them quickly for students and teachers as needed!

When my day is go go go, and I don't get much down time, my organization in my classroom allows me to find what I need quickly, clean up with a breeze, and keep myself pulled together.  It saves me time so I can focus on providing the best support to my students and keep myself from feeling so overwhelmed.

What tricks do you have to stay organized?
Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top