The most important thing for classroom management is focusing on the positive behaviours and reinforcing expected behaviours.
I have used different systems in my classroom and I felt the children responded to the sunshine and clouds one better. I had a large sun from yellow card, all the names of the children in my class were on clothes pegs on the sunshine, there were also three clouds, white, grey and black. A child may be moved to the white cloud for repeated misbehaviour, then the grey and finally black. The majority of the class stayed on the sunshine every day. At the end of the day any child that had their name on the sunshine was given a sticker on their chart. Full sticker charts led to a prize from the prize box.
While reinforcing positive behaviour works I have also spend time discussing behaviours and expectations with my class. At the beginning of the year I discuss appropriate behaviour either with the teacher or their classmates and I also explain that inappropriate behaviour will lead to consequences such as going on the cloud and not getting a sticker. If a child misbehaves in the class, I explain that their behaviour was not appropriate and as a consequence they will not get their sticker today. This process also works well with children who may have additional learning needs. While the language such as consequences and inappropriate might sound a bit daunting for junior and senior infants, I have overheard them discussing playground incidents among themselves and correcting each other for inappropriate behaviour.
Language and classroom management tips aside, all children love prizes and stickers. I particularly like the sticker album from Mol an Oige. It is like a little album for the children and prizes are awarded for filling one page. You can use stickers or stamps for these sticker albums also.
For prizes, I came across this site recently when researching Science Equipment. Craft Packs have lovely novelty prizes and are very reasonably priced. I used Address Pal from An Post to avoid huge delivery charges and got my order within a few days. I have already begun a new shopping list for this site.
If anyone has any questions about classroom management, please send me a PM or feel free to share other ideas on the page.
How many stickers did yoi habe to get on chart before you awarded a prize?