Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tips to Tame 'Em - A New Tuesday Linky

I just found another great linky for Tuesdays! I mean I have three on Mondays so why not two on Tuesdays! This linky comes from Kelli at Tales of a Teacher.
Tales of a Teacher

Kelli wrote:
It's a Back to School Series for the next 9 Tuesdays. 
The purpose: to get you thinking and prepared to start the school year off right- tame the crazy (behaviors that is) for a successful and sane school year! This series of posts will cover tips, strategies, and resources to build a positive learning environment so that your students are ready to learn all that good stuff you've got to teach them!

My first week month I spend teaching routines and expectations! We MODEL MODEL MODEL!! You know the saying "I do, We do, You do"? Well that is what is done for EVERYTHING. I truly believe that my Kinders can do anything I want them to do as long as I teach them how. So for every procedure, routine, expectation "I do, We do, You do, REPEAT". We practice everyday over and over again. It is very taxing but after a few weeks I am done and those sweet little babies are now very independent!

I use Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom. WBT has made teaching procedures a snap!
When teaching a procedure, I have an expectation of "perfection" and I let the kids know what that means. I expect ALL of them to do things correctly the first time. We practice everything starting with me showing them how I expect it to be done, then doing it with them, and then they do it alone a MILLION times. It must be perfect!! If it's not, we do it again. If one person does it incorrectly, I don't call them out or say anything, we just do it again. Throughout out the year I stick to this expectation of "perfection", if it's not "perfect", we do it again. By October, I usually don't have to "do it again"! After we have perfected our procedures, we time ourselves and see if we can get faster!

My "must teach" procedures the first week are lining up, walking in line, and transitioning in the room. To me, if they can do these three things, we are GOOD!

Lining Up:
I always start with the students standing. If they are on the carpet I ask them to stand and freeze. If they are seated at their table, I have them "stand behind their chairs". Any guesses why I use this phrase???? Thats right! It makes them push in their chairs (most of the time)! I teach them that when I tell them to stand they are to also be quiet.
Prompt: Once all students are standing, I clap and say line. The students clap and say ok. They quietly walk and get in line.

Walking in Line:
Expectation - walk quickly and quietly, right behind the person in front of you.
Prompt: I say "Eyes and Toes", they repeat "Eyes and Toes" back to me and turn their entire body to the front so that their eye and toes are to the front.
Prompt: I say, "Ducktails and Bubbles, Hips and Lips"
Ducktails and Bubbles - Hands behind your back, bubble in you mouth.
Hips and Lips - Quiet finger over your lips, other hand on your hips.
Students choose a way to walk. I don't care what they do, I just want them quiet and don't want their hands on the walls, student work, or each other.
When everyone is ready, we walk. If anyone is not walking correctly, you guessed it, we do it again. We turn around go back to our room and start over. This takes just a few days. The first week I leave my room extra early to get places because I know we will have to turn back and start over. Once or twice of being almost to our destination and having to turn around and start over quickly gets my point across. I know this sounds drastic, they are only five. But remember my belief: they can do ANYTHING we teach them and expect them to do. I have to brag - my students are always the quietest in the hall.

Transitions within the Room:
Just like lining up, I have the students stand. Then I clap once and tell them where to go. They clap and say ok and then move.
clap "carpet" - they go and sit on the carpet
clap "chairs" - they go stand behind their chairs (usually to do a Brain Break!)
clap "tables" - they go sit at their table

These three whole group procedures are so important. It cuts out chaos or confusion. I have used the Whole Brain Teaching techniques the past two years and have been so amazed at how fast and how well the students respond.

What methods do you use? Comment and Link up with Kelli to share!

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  1. I totally agree with you having high expectations and we do the whole, "Let's go back and try it again. I know we can do better," routine. After having to do it a second time, they rather do it the correct way and move on then repeating it again! You seem to have a lot of awesome, interactive approaches to make all the routines fun also! Thanks SO much for linking up, I truly appreciate it! :)
    Tales of a Teacher

    1. Thanks and thanks for the great linky!


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