Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gateway Game

Wow I've gotten busy! Here is a new classroom management strategy that I'm using my classroom to have students monitoring themselves and others' behavior.

The Gateway Game

Our school made a big push last year to address gateway behavior. Gateway behavior is those behaviors that aren't huge displays of disrespect, but minor things like eye rolling, sighing, or tapping their feet and they can lead to bigger gateway behaviors like cussing, talking back, or shoving others. These are the kind of behaviors that lead to trouble.

I like to explain it to the kids with an analogy. A puppy!

We start by talking about what a puppy is like, particularly how puppies try to get out of fences.  Then I ask if the puppy is safe when they get out and of course the class says no because there are cars and other animals or the puppy could get lost.  That's when I tell the class that my job is to make sure the fence is strong.

Then we talk about how the fence can get holes in it when people start doing little behaviors that aren't very safe.  This is where I use the marker to draw holes in my fence and the students share out gateway behaviors that would cause that hole.  I have this on the front board and have reminded the students that I will add to the holes if I see any new behaviors that are causing holes and letting my puppy out!

The scoreboard in my room is changed every week with me vs. the class. If they do gateway behavior, I get a point. If they do responsible, caring, helpful, or respectful things, they get a point. At the end of the day we see who has the most tally marks.  The yellow page below is our overall score for the month. At the end of the month is the class beats me, we'll have a big celebration. Then, the competition will restart for next month!
Sometimes I know that kids may do little behaviors like tapping their feet without really thinking about it. I like to give students a fair chance so I have two reminders that I say to students if I notice them doing a minor gateway behavior. They are "are you okay?" and "Don't let my puppy out!"

The cutest thing ever is when the students catch each other doing gateway and they whisper "you're going to let her puppy out!" :)

I just started this last week, but it's been very successful so far! Feel free to leave any comments or questions!