Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Cute Classroom Management Strategy

Hi Primary Powers Friends! It's Jeannine from Creative Lesson Cafe! I'm excited to share a cute strategy that has completely changed my classroom management and helped to improve student behavior!

 Teachers are definitely experts at turn-taking techniques and managing the movement of little ones through the classroom! It's pretty amazing when we stop to think about how many times during the day we transition students to a new spot in the room or switch activities, especially in the primary grades! Successful transitions require careful planning, so we have procedures galore and great routines in place. 

 I have happily handed some of the management responsibility over to my students with a little help from a *special friend*!

    Do you have some stuffed animals laying around? 
Try putting them to work for you! 

How Teddy Helps with Management

I count on Teddy for lots of things! Here is just one example of how a stuffed friend helps in our room:

 My 28 students each need a turn on the computer for a variety of activities. One of them is Accelerated Reader. Before AR testing, I like the kiddos to be settled for silent reading/testing time with their book on top of their desk. I don't create a schedule. I don't pick sticks. I just do one simple thing and then the activity runs by itself.

I call out "READY, TEDDY?" and plop him on the desk of a student who is organized and quiet. (I try to choose a different child every time). With Teddy in hand, that student looks for someone near them who is also 'ready' and hands him off. We talk about being fair, so they don't always pass him to a friend.

After passing off Teddy, the student gets to go to an available computer or choose their cozy spot for silent reading time. 

Once Teddy is on the move, I am free to go to the reading table and get ready for the students that I will be working with. The last person to get Teddy puts him back on the table where he stays when not being used. 

Once Teddy has gotten us started, test-takers, who are finished, TAP another student who is reading quietly for their turn at the computer, then they go to browse for a new book. We have one silent reading area reserved for those waiting to test and another location (on the opposite side of the room) for cozy up time for those that do not need to test. It works like a charm and there is never a need to talk and interrupt our quiet time!

Other uses for a turn-taking friend:

  • inside recess choices
  • daily five rotations
  • line-up time
  • dismissal routines
  • handing in work
  • returning materials
  • selecting task cards/center materials
  • getting stored supplies such as clipboards
  • drinking fountain turns
  • gathering for carpet time
**any time there may be many students trying to squeeze into a small area

How Teddy Helps with Behavior

Because Teddy takes his time (usually about 2 minutes) making his way from desk to desk, this eliminates the stampede of children trying to be first to get to wherever they want to go. Waiting for Teddy keeps the students from running, pushing, shoving, bickering, sliding into their spot and all of that poor behavior that often happens in the race to be first

You can see in the photo above that my class may have fought over the bean bag chairs, but Teddy helped with that! They didn't need to rush for the first turn on the computer or their favorite spot for silent reading. 

 Thanks, Teddy, for saving me some time and for helping the children to learn to be fair and patient!

I hope you will try using a turn-taking teddy bear (or some other stuffed friend). 
You may NEVER go back to any other way!
I'm pretty sure your kiddos will LOVE it!

How do you think a Teddy might help in your classroom? 
If you'd like to read more about AR, including rewards and incentives, click on the button below to head on over to my blog!



  1. Absolutely LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing; I'm definitely stealing this one!

    1. That's great Shannon! I don't know what I ever did without Teddy! I hope this idea works well for your room too! :)