Presentation Title

Cafeteria behavior: Can we expect what we haven't taught?

Highest Degree of Primary Presenter

Specialist Degree

Presentation Abstract

How many times have you asked a student, "Is that how you do it at home?" Many times we have to step back and realize that expectations at our students' homes aren't the same as the expectations at school. At Loganville Elementary, we began our year expecting that when students walked into our cafeteria that they all came with the understanding of staying in their seats, keeping their food in front of them, speaking quietly to those around them, and leaving their space neater that they found it. However, we quickly observed, that more often than not, many of our elementary school students didn't even bring the understanding of eating at a table, much less the behaviors that are expected when they are left at a lunch table with no direct teacher supervision for 30 minutes. It didn't take long to identify this as a concern at Loganville Elementary School and we went to work to determine how we could change the range of behaviors that caused our cafeteria to seem a bit chaotic. Not only did we want to improve our students' behavior in the cafeteria, we also wanted our students to learn expectations that would benefit them beyond our cafeteria doors! By teaching cafeteria expectations through "Cafe' Boot Camp", practicing our expectations during the school day, and celebrating successes by giving out "Golden Forks", we saw a huge change in our students' behaviors and how they viewed their role in taking care of our cafeteria!

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Cafeteria behavior: Can we expect what we haven't taught?

How many times have you asked a student, "Is that how you do it at home?" Many times we have to step back and realize that expectations at our students' homes aren't the same as the expectations at school. At Loganville Elementary, we began our year expecting that when students walked into our cafeteria that they all came with the understanding of staying in their seats, keeping their food in front of them, speaking quietly to those around them, and leaving their space neater that they found it. However, we quickly observed, that more often than not, many of our elementary school students didn't even bring the understanding of eating at a table, much less the behaviors that are expected when they are left at a lunch table with no direct teacher supervision for 30 minutes. It didn't take long to identify this as a concern at Loganville Elementary School and we went to work to determine how we could change the range of behaviors that caused our cafeteria to seem a bit chaotic. Not only did we want to improve our students' behavior in the cafeteria, we also wanted our students to learn expectations that would benefit them beyond our cafeteria doors! By teaching cafeteria expectations through "Cafe' Boot Camp", practicing our expectations during the school day, and celebrating successes by giving out "Golden Forks", we saw a huge change in our students' behaviors and how they viewed their role in taking care of our cafeteria!