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Three Strikes, You're Out!

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I work in a small school in Toronto where all my children are recent arrivals from Korea. They are great kids (ages 10-12), but have a tendency to get a little noisy and unfocused at times (especially since the programme is a 3 hour long class with no breaks four days a week). You can immagine that with so much time together, they have gotten to know each other quite well. It is hard to believe that they were complete strangers at the beginning of the year.
The director of my school is great as far as problem students go. One word to her and a phone call to the child's parents is placed. Of course the students don't want that, so to encourage listening and quiet voices (my classroom is only partitioned off from the next door classroom--with no real walls those little voices sure do travel) I have devised a "3 strikes, you're out!" policy.
At the beginning of each class, I give each student 3 cards (index cards cut in half) with their names on it. These serve as their tickets to class. On the first day using this system I explained to the class that if they are too loud and not paying attention, I take one of their cards. After all 3 cards are gone, the next time I have to speak to them, they stand outside the class for a few minutes and then come back in. If they are still disruptive, then the fifth time they are being disruptive, they get sent downstairs to the director's office and have to tell her why they have been sent out of class.
This has worked like a charm! All I have to do is walk up to a student and take a card off their desk, and they quiet down immediately! I have yet to collect 3 cards from any one student. Even my disruptive students respond well to this system. It is an easy way to let them know their behaviour is a litle out of hand without constantly calling out their names and disrupting your lesson.
At the end of the day I collect all the cards so that we can hand them out the next day.
Let me know how it works out for you.
Sarah
ttsfarquhar@hotmail.com

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