Points of Pride

December 9, 2017

Instructional Focus

"Tis the season," for behavior referrals, and that was definitely the case last week.

While reading the next portion, please know that I am expecting an increase in student referrals as we get closer to the holiday. I also know that we need a more specific process for referring students, and defining what constitutes a referral (this is what the PBIS committee will be working on next semester).

However, last week (just one week) we had as many referrals as SPE had in the 15 prior weeks. I am more than willing to help/support, but when the volume is elevated like that, I am unable to. I felt terrible about it, but I even had to send a couple back to class (they were less severe offenses , since there was no room up front.

Please use the following survival tips for the last 8.5 days:

  • Keep your normal daily routine for as long and as much as possible. Kids crave predictable routines, and once you start deviating from that, they tend to struggle. Keep Daily 5 procedures, math centers, etc., as we still have important learning that needs to be done.
  • Utilize a "buddy class" for minor offenses. Reach out to this teacher ahead of time so that they can plan accordingly. Consider picking a teacher outside your grade level. For example, if I have a sixth grade student that's acting up, send them to a fourth grade classroom (if they go to another sixth grade classroom they could like seeing their peers). If you have a kindergarten student, ask first grade or preschool.
  • Review your expectations with the students if many of them are acting out. For example, if lining up is an issue, review the rules and make the students do it over until they meet your expectations.
  • Monitor the relationships you have with your students. When you have one or two students that are acting up, use the "2x5 rule." Find time in your day to spend two minutes talking with the student about things not related to school, for five straight days. This strengthens your relationship, could provide insight into the cause of the behavior, and ultimately, it's tougher to act out towards someone you like.
  • Provide choices to students to decrease power struggles.
  • Just breathe, as we are 8.5 days away from a well-deserved break!

Student Technology Use

Over the last two weeks, the number of inappropriate searches flagged by Technology Services has increased drastically. As we move towards having more devices, students must have clarity in our expectations. The following expectations should be followed across the campus, as they represent best practice:

  • Students should not be using technology, unless their is an adult present (this includes the hallway or neighboring classrooms).
  • Students should ALWAYS be assigned a particular computer/Chromebook. I cannot keep students accountable if we can't tell who is using which device. Letting students grab any device also makes them easier to get lost/stolen.
  • Teachers should be consistently monitoring student use while they are on technology. This is not the time to grade or sit at your desk to complete paperwork. Students can get into more trouble on a computer, than they can a worksheet. You must be vigilant when students are using technology.
  • Let students know that I personally get an email for any inappropriate sites/searches. They also should not be allowing others to use their account. The emails that I get are directly related to a student account, so they should not be sharing their information.