With some help from my dad, I am now using a new positive reinforcement technique in my classes. For 2nd grade, I have a "rule of the week;" this week is "Listen when someone is talking." It's going okay. When the kids get on my nerves the most (After lunch time they are the WORST! Luckily, I only have one class with them after lunch. Unfortunately, it's Phonics), I have them read the rule that is posted above the board about 4 times in a row. It gets on their nerves. Too bad.
So, I have these 2 posters in the second grade posted on the wall. Each student has an index card with their name on it, and underneath their name is M-T-W-Th-F. If they follow the rule of the week (which very well may be the rule next week to at the rate they're going), they get a star for that day. If they get 5 stickers for the week, they get a prize on Friday. I plan on buying candy. I have 26 second graders, but don't worry - I don't expect to give out more than 6 or 7 prizes in the 2nd grade. 1st grade is different, but there are only 11 of them. Yes folks, I'm up to 11. I got 2 new ones on Monday.
Speaking of new students, 3 new students arrived to 2nd grade on Monday and 2 more yesterday. Some of these students are coming from public schools (which sucks a big one since they know approx no English and really shouldn't be in the 2nd grade in a bilingual school). The public schools had vacation part of November and through December, and are just starting back sometime around now. I understand that some of them are in that situation, kids do need a break afterall. But, one of my 1st graders, Jose Luis (Pepito), went to kinder at Holy Trinity last year. His parents "didn't realize" that school started again in November, and just sent him back to school in January. WTF??? How on Earth do you "forget" when school starts? Please make my job harder than it already is.