Last spring semester, I lead a committee of teachers to find ways to strengthen our advisory/homeroom program. This year, I have continued to serve in a similar capacity as a lead coordinator of our advisory program. Each month, a team of us develop a monthly menu of things to consider doing in advisory, and then we send these social-emotional learning options to all the advisors. As a fun, little team, we have tried a lot of different things, partly to see what will stick, partly just to keep giving advisors new ideas.
At the beginning of the year, the other lead coordinator wanted to teach students manners through weekly goals. Since we were big into alliteration, we called this section of the menu “Monthly Manners.” I decided to post them on a bulletin board in my classroom, and continued the alliteration with the label “Monthly Manners Character Challenge.” Students noticed them on the bulletin board, and they commented on them. Sometimes, they even tried to follow through with the challenge.
As a team, we noticed that the challenges were not making much difference school-wide, so we discontinued them in the Monthly Menus. However, students were confused and seemingly disappointed when I removed the signs from my bulletin board. So, naturally, they had to return, and I devised them for my own room. They have become challenges of things that my students need to work on in class. Some students and I will also often invoke them in order to lend more credence to our request or chastisement. This classroom management technique has also become a fun way to exercise creativity as I have begun making the signs by hand each week. Here are some examples: