Every grade has it’s own challenges and rewards when teaching. Regardless of the age of the students you teach friend drama always seems to occur at some point or another. How do you handle the best friend break up or the partner pair that just throws the whole class off?
Friend drama or students who plain dislike each other can leave you as the mediator and tangled in some sticky situations. Who will work with who today? Are they going to be speaking tomorrow? Oh no tears!
Here you will find some useful tips I have learned from working as a camp counselor and in an after school program setting. I hope you find them helpful!
Learn and Grow!
- It’s ok not be be friends with everyone. / You don’t have to like everyone you just have to try and get along.– You don’t have to be friends with everyone. They can just be your classmate and someone you are nice to in school, on the playground, if you see them at the store… You don’t have to invite them to the movies or over to play if you don’t want to. However, in this room we are kind everyone.
- If you want to be a friend ,be nice, be a good friend.– What does it look like to be a good friend? Do you stick up for them if someone says something mean or ask them whats wrong if they look sad? What would you want in a good friend? Don’t say or do something mean to them because you would not like it if you were in their shoes.
- ALWAYS REMEMBER! Friends can not be forced!- Friendship happens over time. Sometimes you and someone will play a lot on the playground or sit near each other on the bus, but it might not mean you are friends. What do you know about them? Do you do nice things for them and play together or hang out together outside of school? Friendship takes time and work.
If you don’t know what a classroom call back is you will soon! They are wonderful tools to quiet own a noisy classroom or group of students. I use callbacks everyday at my after school program to get 45 excited kids to listen. If you have ever heard of African call and response songs? This is sort of what you are doing with the students in your room when you grab their attention with a class call back.
Here are some ideas for fun class callbacks to use in your room. What is your favorite call back?
-Check out this article of 50 call-and response ideas.
–Buzzfeed asked teachers what their favorites were. Check them out.
-We use a clap pattern at work. The kids know the end of it to fill in so we don’t have to talk and they can see/hear when it is time to clean up and listen.
What do you do in your room?
Share and Grow,
Exit Slips are great way for you to get feedback from your students about how a lesson or the whole day went. They take less than 5 minutes and can be anonymous if you choose. These are informal assessments and can be a nice way to see what students are still confused or what they really got. Included here are some exit slip examples and ideas. What’s your favorite out the door assessment?
Learn and Grow,
– Check out this article and learn about ideas for online exit slips!
-Want some ideas for exit slip questions? This article has 53.
Arranging your family room can be a challenge, but a classroom even harder! With 23 bodies to match the furniture your moving about it’s not an easy task. Not knowing who is going to be chatty, need to be near a door, where the board will be, or the room size can make planning for a future room a bit stressful. I’ve seen rooms that have been converted closets, the room dictated the desk arrangement, or others were they were two classrooms in size! Big or small you have to arrange them all. Not knowing what my room or your room (my dear reader) may look like in the future its hard to say how I will set it up. So I went and decided to look at a bunch of arrangements I liked and post them here.
I wanted to leave space for movement in my classroom because I like to keep learners active in both the brain and body. In many of these arrangements you will notice space is purposely left in areas of the classroom for movement or desks are pre-clustered to allow partner or collaborative work. While I’m going to be a wonderful teacher, who is better to re-word directions or repeat a missed direction than a peer? I’ve included a few easy alternative seating ideas as well. As an adult learner it is hard to sit in a desk for a long stretch of time, as a child learner it’s even harder! Options are great, if you can learn on the floor, a pillow, or ball great! I’m happy if everyone is learning.
However I wouldn’t leave you handing with out a link out to help create a more traditional room too! Scholastic provides this nice virtiral classroom tool teacher can use FOR FREE to arrange a room. All you do is drag and drop your basic classroom layout (windows, doors, shape) and then place in the furniture. They have most of the basic classroom tables and desks there so it’s a nice jump point.
I hope that you find this assortment of seating ideas helpful to you!
Enjoy and Grow,
Teachers often come up with super inventive and creative ways to engage students in the writing process. This is especially true for those students who are just learning to form paragraphs or learning new languages. But sometimes it’s best to use a concept that has been proven to work and not try to reinvent to wheel.
Graphic organizers are a wonderful tool for many subject areas, they can be created both on and off the page. These visual maps can be extremely useful for students who have strengths in an array multiple intelligences (look up Mr. Howard Gardner if you are unsure what this is). While the map or organizer can help students to structure thinking it also shows us (you!) as the teacher where the student might be missing some information depending on the type of organizer being used.
Here you will find a variety of graphic organizers that help knowledge pop both on and off the page!
Students as Organizers:
Human Spider Web: Have you ever made a getting you know you web? This is similar! Students use their knowledge of a story (picture book, chapter, or entire book) to create a web of events. As the teacher start off with the beginning then ask toss you web (the yarn) to a student to fill in more until the web is complete. It’s a good way to get in a reading check, a verbal web ( or have a recorder at the board), and get some movement in!
Class Timeline: No one said your organizer has to be on paper! Write or print 1st , 2nd, 3rd, etc. on paper, parts of a story, or events in history you just learned. Ask students to take the papers and line up in the correct order in the front of the room while others check. Talk about the parts of history or story. Who is out of place and why? Take a picture of the students in correct order and have a hard copy of the graphic organizer for them to keep in Google Classroom or on the Ipads if this technology is available.
What do I do with this Wacky Organizer?
Woah! This organizer looks cool! I kinda want to use it but, have no clue how to explain it. Hold on, help has arrived. There is a fantastic website that explains how to use different types of organizers and then gives basic outlines or each one on a different page. Don’t let your students get board with Venn-diagrams or you for that matter. Check out this page for tips and new ideas.
Check These out!