Whew! The first week of school 2015-2016 is in the books. It was a l-o-n-g week and a whirlwind of a week all at the same time. I realized I never posted on my “Fiesta Days” classroom management plan for this year. I have several new ideas in place this year, but I am only going to feature the Fiesta Days idea here today.
The last two years, I left things mostly the same as far as decor and management plans because…well…I was absolutely overwhelmed with other things. Mostly, I was overwhelmed with maternity leave planning and felt stretched thin between too many subjects. This year, I have no maternity leave to plan for and am teaching five classes of Exploratory Spanish for 8th-grade along with one 7th-grade class which also has Spanish and Hispanic culture as the focus. As far as planning for my curriculum and setting up my classroom, I am the most relaxed I have been in years. Of course, other things magically popped up to stress me out, but isn’t that to be expected?
Certain areas of my bulletin boards are being used as a place to focus on classroom management plan this year so the kids can have a visual of the progress and the goals. I found the Fiesta Days idea online a year or two ago over at Srta. Natschke’s Spanish class website and fell in love with the idea. I have tweaked it so that it makes sense for my room.
Basically the six letters in “fiesta” each stand for one classroom behavior goal.
F – Frequent reminders do not have to be given by Sra. G.
I – Is everyone ready when Sra. G. is ready?
E – Every student has his/her assignments and notebooks for class
S – Students are polite and courteous with Sra. G and with each other
T – Tables and areas are neat and tidy at the end of class
A – All students are focused and on task
With six letters worth one point each at 5 days a week, each class has the potential to earn 30 points a week. At the end of the 8th week of school (one week before the end of the quarter), I will announce a fiesta for the top four classes with the highest points. We will start all over at the beginning of the second quarter. I will announce new fiesta winners at the end of the second quarter. Each class has the potential to have two parties – one each quarter since my classes are one semester long.
On my dry erase board, I have a section devoted to keeping up with the points each class earned for that day. All class periods are listed except for my homeroom period and my prep period. Each time a class falls short on a goal, I take away one point for the corresponding letter. Having this section on display for the kids to see feeds into the natural competitive nature of the kids.
At the end of the day, I enter the totals for each class into a spreadsheet I created so I can easily keep track of all the points.
So far, the students seem to buying into the Fiesta Days classroom management plan. Already on this first week of school, I’ve seen kids motioning for other students to be quiet and reminding other students to push their chairs under and stack materials at the end of class. They are keeping each other in check, which is exactly what I want. I was a little hesitant since I’ve never done this before, but you have to start somewhere, right? Fingers crossed that this system can help keep us on track this semester! For my teacher evaluation requirements, I chose some behavior management goals for my professional growth plan (PGP) so I am hoping this system will help me meet those goals.
I also have another incentive program that I am starting for individual incentives which I will discuss in another post.
All in all, the first week of school is off to a great start! The first day was especially long, but was made much better after a special delivery from my sweet hubby. The man was raised by a teacher mama and he totally gets the stress and frenzy that comes with kicking off a school year. Love him!
And on Wednesday, a couple of sweet kids in my first period made my day by bringing me some flowers picked fresh off some bushes in the student drop-off zone. Sweeties.
Wishing all my teacher blog buddies a great start to the new school year!