Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Purple Binder

Yesterday a couple of students came into my class, saying they had been sent by their teacher to retrieve his Purple Binder. It took me a second--the only binder I'd borrowed from that teacher was a binder he probably wouldn't need, especially not in the middle of class. Then I remembered what the Purple Binder contains: the greatest classroom management strategy in the world.

You know those days when kids are getting really squirrely and annoying and you wish you could just send them to run laps? Often on those days the kids aren't doing anything completely out of line, so turning their behavior into a discipline issue or kicking students out of class would just make everything explode. You want to avoid a negative interaction for your own sanity and theirs. Enter the Purple Binder. Kids love running errands for their teachers, so pick the 1-2 of the most annoying kids and ask them to go to Ms. _____'s room to see if she has your Purple Binder. Ms. _____ tells them, sorry, she doesn't have the Purple Binder. She thinks she gave it to Mr. _______ (who happens to teach all the way across the school). Turns out Mr. _____ doesn't have it either--he is sure that he gave it to someone else. After traipsing back and forth across the school a couple of times, the kids will probably give up, but in the meantime they will have burned off all their energy. And they will never know that the Purple Binder does not actually exist.

Bonus: getting a Purple Binder visit makes my day. Maybe it's mean, but I love seeing how confused/exasperated kids get when I send them to yet another classroom on a wild goose chase.


Linda said...

I will have to remember this one. It seems like a good idea.

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Oscar said...

Who wold have thought a strategy was inside a binder. Haven't seen that one on a tutorial center, I'm currently teaching at.