Hi there, Amy here from The Resource(ful) Room!
I am so excited to be guest blogging here on Jamie’s Blog!
We are participating in the
Hosted by Primary Possibilities! Once you’ve read this post keep following the links to other blogs who’ve joined the party and get a host of new ideas to start the year off right!
As we go back to School this year (always freaks my students out when I refer to it as a new year)
I am defiantly working on some classroom management issues. One thing I know from experience is the best classroom management is engaging lessons. If my students have two minutes where we aren’t doing something structured they go crazy! Talking, passing notes, doodling, yelling across the room, and if I don’t come up with something for them to do fast it can escalate to a point I never want to go!
So I’ve been working on some things to keep the learning going strong even when we finish an activity early or have to work on something a little less than fun! I started with a few ideas from this book………..
Anne M. Beninghof shares lots of easy ways to keep kids engaged while you’re reading through “boring” materials or have some down time. She also explains how the use of Novelty gets student on board and excited about getting to work! I love all of the ideas I’ve tried so far, here are a few of my favorites…….
Stepping Stones at the door-
This works particularly well when groups are transitioning one group has something to focus on while they wait for the other to exit! Use Velcro or tape to attach a sheet protector to the floor just outside the classroom, write a question on a piece of paper and insert into the sheet protector. Students line up behind the question and think about it before they enter. Then you start the lesson by discussing what they thought!
Vote with your feet-
This one gets the kids up and moving rather than just sitting and looking! They usually love it!! You just make two signs one says agree, the other disagree, for younger students you can add a picture of a smiley/frown face or thumbs up thumbs down. Place the signs on opposite sides of the room and then read statements that have to do with the topic your teaching. Students either agree or disagree with the statement by walking over and standing on the side of the room with that sign.
Pass the plate –
My sixth graders did amazing with this and beg to play all the time now! It’s great for expanding vocabulary!! All you need are some plastic plates and dry erase markers! Write a word in the middle of the plate, show the students the word they will need to add a new word to the plate that means the same thing. For example “teach” is in the middle of the plate they could add instruct, lecture, and demonstrate. Break groups up into 5-6 players that will sit in a circle. Set the timer for two minutes and begin passing the plate around the circle, each person will write one word, no word can be repeated. Try to keep it going for 2 minutes; it can get really hard depending on the word!!
I love these ideas, but as I’ve mentioned a couple of times now my class was not stellar before break and I’m looking to fill in the gaps so here are a couple new things I’m planning to implement……
Exit Slips –
I just posted pictures on my blog of my new “Before you go what do you Know” board, yep that idea came from Anne’s exit slip strategy and a combination of the “parking lot” boards I’ve seen around the web! I’ve made these little slips for my students to use, gives them a format for what to write! You can get a copy by clicking on the picture! I want to cut down on the chaos as student enter and leave the room, hopefully this along with the stepping stones keeps them thinking and working rather than playing around!
My biggest problem seems to be any amount of unstructured time we have so this next idea is defiantly going to come in handy when we finish a little early or if I just see my students slipping away from the lesson! It’s called “stretch your brain” all you need is a container and these cards….
When you have a few extra minutes grab the container and pull a card, or better yet have a student choose. Students complete the activity on the card! Click on the picture to get them! I tried to make them general enough that anyone could use them!!
Hopefully these ideas will be helpful to you, I am looking forward to using them myself in just 2 days!! Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers for more fabulous ideas!!
Special thanks to Jamie for letting me blog here today and thanks to all of you for reading!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amy for guest blogging for me today! If you head over to Maria’s FUNSHINE, you will find my guest blog there! After you read there, Maria will send you to meet your next new friend! Don’t forget to comment on the blogs and leave feedback! We all LOVE to meet new people and make you networks!