Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hallway Management Tips

This year, I have had the awesome opportunity to work with some first year teachers.  It's been great to share some of the tips and tricks I've learned during my nine years of teaching with them.  A few weeks ago, one of them asked, "So just how do you keep these big kids quiet in the hall?  They always want to talk."  

Yes, they do always want to talk.  Intermediate kiddos are extremely social beings by nature. Our fourth grade classroom is louder than most, because we do a LOT of cooperative learning structures and brain breaks throughout the day.  Which is fine, because it's in OUR room.  I do, however, want to be courteous to my fellow teachers when we are walking in the hallway, because I know how frustrating it can be to be in the middle of a lesson and be interrupted by a herd of elephants, I mean students, walking past your room. At our school, we also have lots of students who are receive interventions in the hallway, and they don't need to be interrupted from their hard work every time my students walk down the hall either. :) 

Although, hallway behavior with the bigger kids can be difficult, I have learned a few tips and tricks along that way that typically keep my fourth graders quiet in the hall.  You'd think by fourth grade they'd have it down, but that's not always the case.  My kids get "senoritis", fourth grade is their last year of elementary school, and they think they rule the school.  Below are some of my tired and true hallway management tips. I'd love to hear some of your favorite tips in the comments! :)

The biggest piece of advice that I can offer ANY teacher when it comes to walking in the hall, is line order.  Give each student each a spot in line, and set them up for success. Does every class really need this? No.  However, it's just a nice system to have, because it makes lining up so much easier! I feel my kids out for the few days of school, and then I assign our line order spots. I change up our spots throughout the year as necessary.  

After you give your students a line order spot, then it's time to practice. This might seem crazy to some of you, but you don't always know what their previous teachers/schools allowed.  Take the time to practice, practice, and practice YOUR expectations in the hall.  I promise you'll get that time back when it doesn't take you ten minutes to get back to your room after specials, lunch, or recess.  

I do this more so at the beginning of the year, and ease off towards the end of first quarter, but one trick that typically keeps my big kids quiet is our quiet person game.  I secretly pick a student before we leave the room, and if they are quiet on the way to and on the way back from our destination, I give the class a bingo number.  It helps my class buy into being quiet and respectful in the hallway, and it also helps to develop a good habit that usually follows us all year long. 

Finally, BE CONSISTENT! Don't just stress the importance of good hallway behavior at the beginning of the year, and never bring it up again. 
Remind students often just how important their behavior in the hallway is to you.  Your students learn what's valued/acceptable in your classroom by what you allow. If you ease up on what you expect, with anything in the classroom, then be prepared for inevitable downfall.  

Sometimes we get to our destination early, and my class has to wait in the hallway quietly.  By fourth grade, they get pretty tired of the quiet game.  I play a fun game called "statue" at the end of the day,while we wait for the buses, and it's a hallway favorite too.   

To play, I call out "statue" and my students strike a frozen pose.  We do have expectations, such as: statues don't talk, touch another statue, or make inappropriate gestures. ;) I pick the best "statue" and they become the judge.   I call out "statue" again and my next student judge picks the best statue to be the judge for the next round.  

My fourth graders love this game, and it really keeps them quiet in the hallway.  You do need to really reinforce what's allowed before you play and do a fair amount of modeling, but once they've got it, they've got it.  

Another game we play at the end of the day, and while we are waiting in the hallway is the twenty questions game.  I think of an object and allow my students to ask me yes or no questions about the object.  They LOVE this game, and it's great inferencing practice.  No matter how many times we play it throughout the year, they always get excited when the mystery object is revealed! 

When I taught third grade, I'd carry Brain Quest cards around with me every where, and I'd use those when we got somewhere early.  My students always loved them, and I need to pick up a fourth grade set! They are great time fillers!

What about you, what are your favorite hallway management tips? Share them below!
Happy Teaching, 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...