Speaking of crazy, my classroom can quickly get to that point, especially without some of these key tools that I have found to be very effective!
This seems like an obvious one but visual schedules are key in keeping students on-track and in many cases, avoiding some not so fun behaviors. This is a visual schedule that is on the back of a "coach's clipboard" (the kind you can open and keep papers and pencils in) We use the front of the clip board to hold daily data sheets and the back is the visual schedule. As you can see, the line up is at the top, I show only A.M or P.M. at a time for this student. Whatever we are doing "now" goes in the green square. There is a pencil bag attatched (with velcro of course!) to the bottom half where the "finished" icons go. I have seen many variations of visual schedules but I like this one because it keeps everything in one place, no need for multiple clipboards, binders, folders, etc.
We all know reinforcement is a huge factor in promoting desired behavior. Some students need more frequent reinforcement than others. This is a penny board my behavior specialist set up for one of my students. I like it because it's durable and portable (a mini plastic clipboard). Pennies are used to incorporate money skills in a basic way, the student is "working" to earn money which can be exchanged for a reward. The reinforcer is whichever icon the student selects to work for. These are laminated velcro icons so they can easily be switched out.
Whole Class Systems
Two of the main reinforcers my students choose to work for are the computer and the Wii. I have some students who have difficulty "giving up" their selected reward when their turn is over, despite multiple warnings, countdowns, and visual timers. This incorporates a "red light, green light" concept. The student gets a warning, if they do not comply, their light turns to yellow. If they can appropriately go back to work at this point, they can "earn" back their green light. If they continue to refuse to give up their reinforcer or do not act appropriately when doing so, the light under that item turns to red and it is no longer a choice for them to select on that day. No more power struggles trying to get the Wii remote or computer mouse back.So far, this has been a life saver for us!
Para educator Management
I have some paras who rotate in between my room and other classrooms. Sometimes I felt like I lost track of who I had told which messages and I got tired of repeating the same message throughout the day as people came in and out. This is simply a small dry erase board where I can post messages and my paras can read it whenever they come into the room.
These are just a few of the tools that I use for classroom management and I hope some of you may be able to get ideas from them too! Comment with any suggestions or questions!