Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Too Many Great Ideas Syndrome - Do You Have It?

Did you know there is such a thing as “Too Many Great Ideas Syndrome?”
In case you are worried that you may be suffering from this condition, here are a few of the classic symptoms:
1.       You find a lot of great ideas and resources for your students.
2.       You get excited about all of them and picture them working wonderfully in your classroom.
3.       You then exhaust yourself trying to implement all the amazing ideas.
4.       You then find yourself not being consistent with any of the great ideas.
5.       You then feel discouraged and defeated.
Does that sound like you?
Don't worry!
You're not alone.
I felt the very same way on Friday after school. :-(
It was time for some soul-searching.
My syndrome seems to be in the area of classroom management. I believe a good classroom management plan has many layers to it and it takes time and consistency to manage my classroom well. I use a "scoreboard" (a bit different than WBT), Class Dojo, positive reinforcement, and the clip system. The only thing different this year that I have added is Class Dojo--and I like it. The kids like it. It takes the place of 10 good color days and pick a fun thing to do (i.e. show and tell, no shoes for a day, a sticker, etc. - things they enjoy that cost $0).
Anyway, I was all ready to get back to it last week. My class does not really have behavior issues - just VERY chatty and struggles to listen and follow directions at times. I knew I would need to be firm and consistent after such a long break.
I planned to use my "scoreboard" more to promote good behavior (and peace and quiet).
I planned to praise more. 
We reviewed our rules.
By the end of the week, the kids were so talkative I was ready to pull my hair out. I mean, really!
As I reflected on my week, I realized I hadn't used my "scoreboard" effectively. I hadn't praised more. I hadn't been consistent with my clip system.
Is it too much?
Too many great ideas?
I decided it was more about time for me. I need to remember to take the time to give clear expectations such as:
"Please go back to your desk quietly."
"Remember to line up quietly."
I also need to remember to take the time to praise, praise, praise such as:
"I love the way soandso is sitting so nice and quiet."
"Thank you to those of you who are waiting quietly."
That and a little prayer made for a great day yesterday--hope we can repeat today!
P.S. As for the "syndrome," I still believe I have it sometimes and must constantly evaluate what truly works for me and my students--whether it is activities, curriculum, or classroom management!

P.S.S. I had a great activity to share that we did for place value...will get it posted next time--with pics! Can you believe it? I remembered to take pics...even while I was taking time to praise! Ha! ;-)


  1. Yes, yes, yes I have it too! So glad you had a better day.

  2. Sometimes I feel that way after reading too many professional books over the summer. Change isn't easy, especially when there's a lot that I want to change. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. I know, Tammy. I think I have trouble sometimes after seeing so many great ideas on blogs, too!



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