By Teachers, For Teachers
If you are looking for the secret to classroom management, then you may have just stumbled upon the right article.
Classroom management is one of the biggest challenges that elementary school teachers face. Teachers spend countless hours scouring the Internet trying to find the perfect remedy to keep their students in line and motivated. With all of this precious time being spent disciplining and searching for new ways to keep students under control yet motivated, this time could be spent teaching and making real classroom connections with your students.
Fun Friday is a concept that many teachers have found to be quite effective. It is a great motivator to keep students under control during the week. How it works is students must comply with their teachers’ demands throughout the week in order to participate in Fun Friday. There are several ways that teachers can conduct a Fun Friday. Here are the top five most effective.
In order to participate in Free Time Friday, students must adhere to their teachers’ demands all week long. If they do so, then they are able to have a few hours of fun (how long it last depends upon the teacher, it can last from 20 minutes to several hours). For Free Time Friday, students are able to bring in any game or outside (appropriate) thing to play with in the classroom. This can be a doll, Pokémon cards, an iPod, or even a handheld Gameboy. Sometimes teachers work together and combine their classrooms for this event. This is an even bigger motivator when students know that they will be able to see more of their friends. For the students who are unable to participate, they must go to another classroom to complete any unfinished work or read a book.
Theme Day Friday is a set theme that students will participate in on Friday. The theme is usually chosen by the teacher and told to the students on the Monday beforehand. Sometimes teachers let their students vote upon the theme. On Theme day, students will wear the clothes that represent the theme and/or participate in activities related to that theme. Some popular themes are: Career Day, Backwards Day, Hat Day, ‘80s Day, Beach Day, Hawaiian Day, and Animal Lovers Day. On Beach Day, students would dress like they are going to the beach and participate in beach-related activities.
On some Fridays, celebrate Foodie Friday, where students get to make or bake a healthy dish in the classroom then eat it. If they are not cooking or baking something then each student brings in a healthy treat to pass around. While they snack, they get to watch nutritional videos and play nutritional games. Parents are excited that their students are learning an important life skill (cooking) as well as eating healthy, and kids love it too.
Students look forward to Fabulous Friday because they get the opportunity to spend time in another classroom. As long as the students have complied with all of the teachers’ requests and completed all of their homework for the week, they are able to participate in Fabulous Friday. On Friday all of the students in the whole grade are divided into groups. Each teacher from the grade has a different activity in their classroom. Each group goes into a different classroom to complete the activity. Activities can be anything from watching a movie or playing a game to book sharing, board games or learning centers. Teachers decide if students will stay in each classroom for a set amount of time, then rotate, or if they will just keep them for the whole period. This is a great motivator for students because they get the opportunity to be in a different classroom with different students.
Everyone wants to win the lottery, and it’s no different for students. During the school week, students can earn a lottery ticket for “Doing the right thing” and “Being kind to their friends.” Each time the teacher sees a student doing these things, they get a lottery ticket. The student then puts this lottery ticket into a jar. The more tickets they get, the better chance that they will win the classroom lottery. Then, on Friday, the teacher randomly chooses on ticket from the jar. The person that she chooses gets to choose from a list of what all of the students in the class will do for their Fun Friday. Students work hard all week to get those tickets into the jar because they really want to be the name chosen. This is a wonderfully effective way for classroom management.
Do you do celebrate Fun Friday in your classroom? If not, what do you do to help your classroom management? Please share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.