Last week, I got two new students.
On the same day.
One boy was moved from another fifth grade classroom and the other was from a neighboring school.
The same day, I had four students who are normally well behaved decide to launch spit balls at one another. This of course, is not okay, so we had to have a stern talk about classroom norms.
I did not scream, shout, or even raise my voice. Instead, I shared how disappointed I was and gave them the opportunity to come forward, which they did. We discussed consequences privately in the hallway and they determined what they thought was fair. They then cleaned up their mess and apologized to the class.
We had a long talk about making choices and taking responsibility. They made a mistake. I told them that yes, they did and they will make more in their lifetimes. It's what they do after the mistake that matters. It's what they learn from the mistake that makes the difference.
Some of my students needed to hear this talk about forgiveness and making amends. They weren't necessarily the ones involved in the mess, but it was a crucial moment for our class. In six years, this was the second time spit balls have been an issue.
I don't know if it's the recent full moon, the two new students, the strange weather, or that winter break is a week away, but I'm having a difficult time with classroom management. Anyone else in the same boat?