Yellow Card Method

Getting students to be their best at all times is a challenge.  We create and establish classroom norms, but as we know, self control is something that is still in development and students need help with self regulation.  

A large majority of my students, in my area of teaching, either play futbol, aka soccer, or they are Champions League fanatics.  There is always talk about which team is best, Real Madrid, Barcelona or  Manchester United. One day it occurred to me to capitalize on this futbol fanaticism.  

I have no fancy name for this discipline technique, I simply call it the  “Yellow” card method.  

When a student is not behaving at their best they get a yellow card.  This yellow card is actually a second warning.  The first warning is simply a verbal warning and a reminder of behavior expectations, perhaps a seat change if necessary.   After a warning and the yellow card, if the student still continues to struggle with self regulation  then comes the dreaded “red” card.   Once a red card is given, that means a note home is sent and a discipline slip is given.    

I used yellow and red construction paper.  I cut them up into card size and plastified them. 

 This is a simple but effective technique. 

Drop a note if you try or a variation of it.

Learn Something New

I tell my students that you never stop learning. Learning continues through college and well into adulthood. I give them examples from my own experience in the field of teaching, always learning something to stay current and up to date on teaching trends. Eyerolls are what I get as a response from my middle schoolers. Go figure.

Recently, the English department asked the social studies to team up with them for a cross curricular unit for World Read Aloud Day, February 1st. The book chosen was Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee. The book is set during the Korean War, when the North invad the South. When I heard it was set during the Korean War, my immediate thought was I did not recall learning about the Korean War or if I had, I remember nothing of it. I immediately searched online to get the gist of information on the war and started reading. As stated in a previous post, I loved Brother’s Keeper.

The discovery of another genre to add to my reading genres is a recent learning. I am a non fiction reader and tend to shun fiction writing. My immediate reaction to hearing that this book was historical fiction was “Oh I am going to have force myself to read this one.” Obviously I was focused in the fiction part. But, to my surprise my feeling quickly changed when the historical aspect was introduced in the book.

Learning about the Korean War is my most valuable new learning. I compare this war to the middle child, the forgotten one, as it is a war that has not had enough attention brought to it within schooling systems. The Korean War or The Forgotten War is of significance, and I highly recommend reading Brother’s Keeper not just because of the story but more improtantly for the learning or the re-learning of Korean War. It was a significant event in history and the effects can still be seen today but rarely is it spoken of.

A Book Review, An Investigation, The Unsolicited

I recently got a new book.  Usually I get my book recommendations from various papers and magazines I subscribe to and with GoodReads, but this new book, I got off my TikTok feed.  Because it was talking about books, I stopped and watched.  I am only in chapter one and I am already writing a recommendation  for it.  How could I?  Well because I can tell it will help thousands answer that pesky question Why?  Why don’t other countries get involved?  Why does the US always have to get involved?  Why can’t those other nations help?   The title of the book is Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall.  I recommend it, it’s an easy read, and it will have you looking at maps.  Most importantly it will help to answer the questions and comments people make about why?  Chapter one alone will help people to understand the situation of Ukraine immensely.  I do not recommend this book for those who know their history and geography as you may find the information to what you would think is common knowledge; and perhaps it would be if we would teach world history in our schools rather than a lopsided view of US history.  This book should be used as a text in history.

The Cold War.  Now this is a subject that if you have time and are somewhat interested in history you could look into.  I suggest you start with the Forgotten War also known as the Korean War.  Your investigation will take you from Asia, to Europe, and into Latin America.  I will venture to say that many know of and are taught about the Europe, Russia, Cuba Cold War missile crisis.  But I am not sure how aware people are of how the Cold War reached into Latin America and the effects it has on the US today.  I do believe many have heard of the dictators that came into power in Latin America and how the US aided the country in stopping the dictator takeover, but the story that gets told over the media outlets and that we hear are not the whole story and are lopsided too.   This investigation, if done, may help to answer the comments and questions as to why are “they” the immigrants coming to the US or at least shed some light into the matter.  

If anything, by reading and investigating you will be able to explain to the askers of why.