In the past, I've always just asked students to put their cell phones away whenever I saw them out. Occasionally, I would take one away for the rest of the class period. One of my new year resolutions, however, was to stop tolerating cell phones. Most of my students can control their cell phone usage. Most. I've just gotten tired of not having my students' full attention when I am trying to teach. It's disrespectful, and I deserve to be respected.
If I catch a student with their cell phone out in class, I now confiscate the phone for the rest of the day and call the students' parents. This is how I show my students that I mean business:
|Cell Phone Confiscation Tally|
Guess what? I've become the talk of the school. My students have made it their goal to know exactly whose cell phone is represented by each tally mark on the board. I guess this is a result of teaching in a very small school. Everybody knows everybody. And, the students who get their phones taken away are typically very angry at me for it. They'll tell almost anyone who will listen about how much they hate me for taking away their phone. So, I guess it wouldn't really be that hard to know whose phone has been taken away.
I really do think that my being strict when it comes to cell phones has made my classes easier to manage. I've still got a long way to go in the area of classroom management, but I'm making progress.