Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1-2-3 Magic

1-2-3 Magic is a discipline technique I use with my students.  What I do is give the children two warnings and the third time I send them to a “time out”.  What I like about it is I can use it anywhere.  As long as I have their eyes on me I can show them using my fingers what number they are on.  It also doesn’t interrupt my lesson too much.  I can say, “Sally, that’s two” and move on with what I’m doing.
After lunch, the counting starts over.  If someone was on a one before lunch, they are back to zero again when they return.  If a student is put into a time out-they start over at zero after they have served their time. 
The hard part of this technique is remembering what number everyone is on.  Some teachers write names on the board, but I really don’t like to do this (unless that’s the only thing that will work for the child).  One option that works with me is to keep tiny Post-It notes nearby.  I put them on their desk to keep track of what number they are on and collect them as the students are lining up for lunch.  I tried writing it down on paper, but that takes time away from a lesson.
If you have a normally behaving child who is suddenly acting out, you should pull them aside (I prefer the hallway) to ask what is going on.  Students who are always ending up in a time out need a conference with a parent.  You should also talk to that student and let them know they are distracting other students from learning.
For younger kids, I think card changes work well (green, yellow, and red).  I did this with my kindergarteners and sent a note home daily letting the parent know what color they ended their day on and what caused the card change.  It’s a lot of work to keep up on, but it’s worth it to keep parents in the loop.
How do you keep your students from misbehaving?

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