I’ve said in previous blogs that my literacy stations were always a mess. I never knew how to organize myself or my supplies. And don’t get me started on trying to teach my students to use my literacy centers! I just don’t think my style of classroom management was up to par when I first started teaching.
Once my classroom management technique improved, I was ready to tackle my spelling station!
My spelling station was always the most challenging of my literacy centers. I really wanted to add as many manipulatives and hands-on activities as I could, but it just ended up being a mess because my students did not know what to do with them.
So I got organized. I started writing everything down and determined what classroom management idea would help me the most. I came up with lists that turned into my literacy centers planner that I used every year. You can get a free copy here!
Classroom Management Idea For Your Spelling Center
I began by jotting down every behavior that I wanted to see and did not want to see from my students when they visited my spelling station. For example, I wanted my students to use the lettered unifix cubes to snap together and form words. I did not want them to put them on their fingers as little hats! I also wanted to make sure that all of the supplies were placed back in the right place when center time was over.
So download the FREE literacy stations planner and jot down every single thing that your students do at your spelling center that drives you BONKERS.
Next Classroom Management Tip? Modeling!
The hardest part to determine what classroom management idea to try next is to determine what behaviors you do and do not want to see. That’s where the literacy stations planner will help.
Once you’ve got an idea of what to teach your students to do and what not to do, you’re going to make a plan and model it for your students. I would like you to step by step show your students how to do every bit of your spelling center. You are going to pretend you are a student and go through each part of your plan correctly and incorrectly.
Talk to your students about why your behaviors will work or will not work! They’ll be able to tell you and have that conversation with you!
And don’t just model the correct behavior one time, do it as many times as you can!
Making A Rules Poster For The Classroom Expectations
I love making anchor charts in the classroom, and I really think it’s important to make them for your center expectations as well. You don’t need to make them “Pinterest-Pretty”. Mine is a simple t-chart that shows what behavior we can do at our spelling centers, and what behavior we cannot do.
What Is The Classroom Management Secret Weapon?
My secret weapon for the best classroom management technique is to practice your expectations with your students. Make sure that they are doing what you’ve asked them to do, and have a conversation with them if they are not.
Since your spelling centers may have activities that your whole class cannot practice at one time, make sure you keep track of where the rest of your students are using the literacy centers planner. That way, you can take a small group of students to your spelling center with you to show them how to use the magnet letters, while the rest of your students are working independently.
And it’s important to keep practicing. Ideally, you’ll want to hold off on taking a guided reading group until your kiddos can manage their spelling center on their own.
When Your Spelling Center Gets A Little Cray-Cray
It’s going to happen. You’ll look back and you’ll see your kiddos with the magnet letter J up their nose. (Not MY students… right?)
When that happens, it’s time to pump the breaks and go back to modeling the right behavior and revisiting your anchor charts again. I usually found that right after Christmas was a good time to do this.
In fact, any time of the year you can certainly pause your literacy centers to revisit your expectations.
Do you have a super classroom management idea or secret weapon for your spelling center? I’d love to hear it!