When you think of having students write sentences in class, you probably think of the chalkboard above. Here is a different way I use writing sentences as a classroom management tool.
I firmly believe that small consequences regularly delivered make a bigger impact that large consequences. For example, I don't take away a child's entire recess. I do take away a minute at a time. Being last to recess is often painful enough, and my students still get exercise.
When I give a student a sentence for misbehavior, I have them write it one time. If the behavior happens again, they write it a second time. A third time earns a phone call or email home.
I have four sentences I use in class:
1. I will walk in a single file line, facing forward, with my hands and feet to myself, and my mouth closed and quiet.
(Our school really wants students to be quiet in the hallway.)
2. I will listen to all of the teacher's directions without interrupting and follow them the first time he or she asks.
(I use this one with specialists and guest teachers, too.)
3. I will do nothing to disrupt the learning environment in this classroom, during the lesson or work times.
(This covers many behaviors including talking out.)
4. I will listen carefully to my classmates ideas. I understand that they have important information I may be called upon to repeat.
(I expect my students to listen to each other respectfully.)
To read more of how I use sentences in the classroom, read next Friday's post.