Math = Love: Building the Class Culture You Really Want

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Building the Class Culture You Really Want

These are notes I took at a professional development workshop hosted by my district back in September.  I'm typing them up and publishing them here before I lose them.

Building the Class Culture You Really Want

Presenter: Brenda M. Davis
Principal, Arbor Grove Elementary, Putnam City
Trained and taught in New Zealand

Kids don't care what you know if they don't know that you care.

Good Things

Book Recommendation: The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time by Stephen R. Covey

Traffic Light Partner Share
* Students pair up.  Each student writes down the name of the other student as their red partner.
* Students pair up with a different partner.  This student is their green partner.
* Students pair up a third time.  This will be their yellow partner.
* Have students keep these partner names somewhere safe.
* When you need students to pair up quickly for an activity, you can call out Red Partners or Green Partners.  No thinking required.  Students know exactly who to pair up with.
* You could assign students a partner at the same level for one color of partner, a student at the opposite level high/low for another color, and let them choose a friend for their third color.

Even the toughest, toughest kid has a way to be reached.  We just have to figure out a way to do it.

Effective Classroom Management Results From: 
* Building Relationships
* Student Engagement / Active Participation
* Clear, Consistent Procedures

What we're trying to do: get the best out of every student every day.

Build relationships QUICK!

All people really want is to be noticed.  - Oprah

Recommendation: Capturing Kids' Hearts Training

2 x 10 Relationship Building
* Choose the student who needs you most
* 2 minutes a day
* 10 consecutive days
* Engage a student in personal conversation - something they are interested in, something not involving school

It takes 5 positive interactions with a student to make up for every 1 negative interaction

The Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket

Four Questions to Ask Students Who Are Misbehaving: 
What are you doing?
What are you supposed to be doing?
Are you doing it?
What are you going to do about it now?
(I printed these questions up on a handy dandy form to give to students who are misbehaving.)

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  


  1. I like the 2 X 10 relationship building idea. This fits in perfectly with my goal for next year of taking, "Just a minute" with my students. Thanks for the idea.

    1. I just read your blog post on this. It does fit perfectly!

  2. Just wondering if you have been trained in Capturing Kid's Hearts. I am and I would just like to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I haven't. Is it worth it in your experience? I honestly don't know much about it at all.