Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cooperation Cubes...Classroom Management that Connects

Classroom management is the single most important aspect of any classroom. Without student cooperation, there is limited learning. Students have to be on your team to reach their full potential in today's classroom. This can be a challenge day to day, month to month, and year to year. We're always evaluating and re-evaluating our personal classroom management techniques as the year goes on. We strive to keep things fresh, fun and the kids buying in! This means we don't always stick with one classroom management technique all school year through. Sometimes we have to change things up! You can read about a few of our other classroom management techniques in these posts {here} and {here}. Here's one management strategy that keeps our class cooperating and connected in the classroom each year.   
We like to keep our class management as easy as possible. A few years ago, we started using unifix cubes as one of our classroom management techniques. We call them Cooperation Cubes because everything we do has to have a catch phrase, and as they say...The rest is history. 

It's pretty simple...
Each student is given a certain number of cubes to start each school day. If your students need more support, give them more cubes to start. We usually give 3 total each day. They can tuck them inside their desk to maintain privacy or some choose to leave them right up on top. It's up to them. The goal is to keep all of your cooperation cubes for the day. 
To keep it fresh, we switch up the colors month to month. It's like a brand new "game" to them!
If they need a reminder, we ask them privately to turn in a cube. We have this container where they turn them in. A lot of our kids still need the tangible reminders. Turning in a cube isn't made into a big deal. We talk a lot about mistakes and how we all make them. We learn from them and let them go. Drop it in the can...So to speak. ;) They still have cubes left and opportunities to cooperate. :)
At the end of the day (or sometimes the next school morning), we return turned in cubes and reward stickers for all cubes kept. This means most all of our students get at least one sticker daily...Our kids eat, sleep and breathe for sticker board stickers! We rarely need to take all 3 cubes away, and want to make sure even those who may need a few more reminders than others can still feel some success. We reward them with stickers for their sticker boards, which you can read about and download for free {here}.

Sometimes we need to communicate a student's cube collection to their parents. We came up with these simple tickets for the kids to grab and record to take home. Gaining student cooperation is important in our classroom. Working with students and parents to maintain a cooperative classroom keeps our classroom connected and on course!

You can download our Cooperation Cubes Tickets below.

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