Hi everyone! I have a latest roundup of #kindercatchphrase expressions for classroom management. These are real expressions used in the classroom from the very best teachers in the trenches. Let’s face it. You can only ask your class to “please work quietly” so many times before they stop listening. These phrases may be little, but they are solid gold. So, without more adieu, here is the latest round of #kindercatchphrase expressions shared on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr for the month of March.
How to Sit on the Floor
Every elementary teacher is well-versed in “crisscross applesauce” as a mantra for how students are expected to sit on the floor. The phrase gives very clear instructions on what students should do with their legs.
But what about their hands?
This #kindercatchphrase is perfect because the teacher adds the phrase “spoons in your bowls.” Students instantly know exactly what to do with their hands AND their feet!
Curbing the Tattle-Tale Problem
A minor but common management issue in virtually every elementary classroom is tattling and children worrying so much about what others in the class are doing; they neglect their own responsibilities. When this minor issue goes unaddressed for too long, it can easily become a MAJOR problem for the classroom climate.
Sometimes it is easy for the teacher to slip and indulge all of the little tattles, but doing so just creates positive reinforcement for children that tattle and the issue will persist. As often as you can, remind children that they are in charge of themselves and they only need to bring problems to your attention if someone is sick, hurt or in need of help from an adult. I love this management expression because it lets every child know exactly who they are in charge of: themselves.
When Nature Calls
Bodily functions are a normal part of life and hen you put a couple dozen young children in a room together, bodily functions are guaranteed to happen. Especially gas. Even I will admit that when the entire class is gathered together on the carpet listening attentively and one child audibly passes gas, it’s funny. The situation is humorous because it is unexpected and well, farts makes a funny sound.
(I know… I just said the F word!)
Even though those moments are humorous, I do my best not to crack a smile. Just because it’s a funny situation doesn’t mean that child isn’t embarrassed. The children in a well-managed class take their cues from the teacher. If the teacher makes a big deal out of the moment and starts laughing, so will the rest of the class. If the teacher keeps giving instructions like it’s no big deal; the other children will also treat the moment like it’s no big deal. Usually, that’s enough for the moment to pass and nothing needs to be said. On some occasions, however, someone starts to laugh and the moment gets a little too silly. This classroom management expression is perfect for those moments. It brings the situation back under control and let’s the child retain his or her dignity without making a big fuss.
Encouraging Good Choices
As teachers, we are called to shape so much more than the mind of a child. We are also instrumental in developing each student’s character and moral compass. This #kindercatchphrase expression reminds students that it is their job to make wise choices and act in an upstanding way.
Grabbing the Attention of Your Students
In a busy classroom, it can be a challenge for a teacher to get the attention of her (or his) students. For this call and response chant, “Hocus Pocus” really are magic words that set the stage for undivided attention from the class.
Maintaining Student Attention
Getting the class’ attention is one thing. Keeping it is something else entirely. If you have something really important that you need everyone to remain focused on, encourage the entire class to “glue their eyes to you.” Upon hearing these words, some children inevitably to through the motions of applying make-believe glue to their eyes. In those moments, you know the class is REALLY listening.
Developing a Filter
Many children young children are still developing their filter and have not yet figured out that some thoughts should be left unsaid. Actually, some adults still need to learn this lesson too. I think I may print this #kindercatchphrase and tape it right to my classroom door as a reminder for anyone that may step inside.
Promote Responsibility in the Classroom
Although it may not get much attention in the age of Common Core, one of the many duties of the teacher is to promote a sense of responsibility in all students. So many children today have SO MUCH given to them and done for them at home. I cringe each time I see a parent walking down the hall carrying their child’s backpack for them. I want to run up to that parent and say “STOP! Let him carry the backpack himself! It’s HIS backpack!”
(Of course, I don’t do that because I learned the previous lesson that we discussed above)
But still. When the children are in my classroom, I am not the maid. I don’t push in their chairs, or pick up their paper scraps or tidy up the inside of their desks. Those are duties that every child in the classroom is responsible for doing on their own as members of the classroom and it should be that way in every classroom across the country. Even the youngest or most disabled learners can be responsible for something.
The Magic of Counting Down
There is something very magical about counting down in a classroom. If the teacher begins at 5 (or even 10) and slowly begins to countdown, students suddenly move faster and more quietly. It’s quite the phenomenon and it’s one of my favorite tricks to use in the classroom. For the very best effect, count down slowly and in your quietest voice. If you are calm and quiet about the countdown, your students will be too.
If I see someone start to run, I stop for a moment and pleasantly reassure them that “I’m counting slow so you have plenty of time to walk.”
Everyone Needs a Little Love Sometimes
It’s important to remember that no matter how busy our schedules may be, the children in our classroom need more than academic support from us. They also need emotional support. This blog post served as a helpful reminder that we never know exactly what is happening in the lives of our students. I give my students hugs, high-fives and gentle pats on the shoulder ALL day long, just because I may not know who is really in need of a little love that day.
Tell Your Class How Great They Are
If you are proud of your class, let them know it! It’s important for students to hear that they are making good choices and on the right track. Each time my class walks down the hall and displays more self-control than the other classes we pass along the way, I always let them know how proud I am. I tell my students that I have the best class in the whole school and they know that I mean every word of it.
When I shared this image on Instagram a few weeks ago, I learned something new. Apparently, studies are now showing that if you praise a child for their intelligence, they are more likely to give up when they come to a problem that is difficult to solve. Conversely, if you praise a child for their ability to problem solve and try hard, they are more likely to persevere through mentally challenging situations. So, I think I’m all done complimenting my students on their intelligence.
My Apologies for the Delay
I apologize for the delay in sharing the March #kindercatchphrase expressions this month. Wedding planning, house hunting and school responsibilities have been giving me a run for my money and I haven’t had as much time to blog. You can read all about those experiences on my personal blog 🙂 Hopefully next month I will be able to share the #kindercatchprase quotes from April in a bit more timely manner. Thanks SO much for understanding!