Rocking the discipline

I’ve gone through several phases of discipline this year: Laurie’s evil smile as I conjure appropriate consequences; the evil bunny/horse, who sits on someone and results in a story-writing; and now I’ve added a timed five-minute period after which there is a plus or not (for some reward). I’m not really going to talk about all that except to say that I’m finding that I don’t stick to anything, but now that I have several great responses, I can use any of them or all of them on a given day with a given class. There is no one-fits-all for me with classes that range from seventh-graders to seniors.

Here’s what happened yesterday though. My first-year HS kids were responding really well to the timer. (A girl kept stealing the evil horse and braiding its mane, and thus I couldn’t keep track of who had the writing duty.) My advanced kids needed just the evil smile. And I had the best day ever with my seventh-graders and a serious return to the rules under the timer. I was feeling downright giddy about the story we told (about a principal, who is going to visit today to see the class in action…wish me luck! I invited her!) and the way the class responded in a hearty boom to every statement and question. “Effective teaching,” I  thought afterward. “Perfect story.”

As I was recounting this triumph to my husband, I realized that my big-time blurter and a bounce-off-the-wall kid were both missing yesterday. Darn!! The difference was not me!


One response to “Rocking the discipline

  1. I’ve been thinking about your comment about cycling through different types of “power” sources for PQA as an exercise similar to going through Ben’s TPRS in a year process so as to work in more variety. I think that also to a certain degree applies to discipline. It works well for me when I tell my students “Here’s what I’m working on today as far as becoming better; work with me.” Usually that’s improving circling, going slower, etc., but I think I should also get into a regular rotation of reviewing the rules: responding to what is said, actors synchronizing words with actions, etc.

    I need to get away from the current state I’m in where I only really review rules when something is broken. Obviously I need to do it then, but being a bit proactive about it would not only reinforce the rules better, but make the interactions that much tighter that day.

    To a degree, I think I need to get in a regular rotation in which I plan conscious focus on a) TPRS techniques b) rules, and c) sources of Power in PQA, and let my students know what I am doing. I might just right the focus parts in the corner of the board, and get some feedback on one of those at least once a period.


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