Friday, October 19, 2012

Today My Teacher Turned Into A Duck! Getting Kiddos to Self Monitor

Okay, I know you've had those days where you swear that:
 *The school cafeteria served bowls of sugar with a side of coffee that morning!
(ooh, yum!)
*The walls and floors in the hallways are made of steel and your kiddos have become magnetized!
*They have become telepathic because they break out in hysterical giggles just by looking at the person's head in front of them!
( tee,hee, hee, hee, hee!!!)
.* And for no apparent reason they trip over invisible obstacles that send your whole entire class tumbling down like little human dominoes!
(ba-boom, boom, boom...boom...boom.........boom!)
*It doesn't have to be picture day, early release week or the bizarro effects of the full moon to set off kiddos and make you ask your fellow rock-star teachers if they know off hand how many days until your next break!
(Oh, no!)
*And, don't go searching for the hidden cameras. You're not being filmed for a new reality show!
It's just kiddos, being kiddos and it's on those days that one of your students may pipe up and say,
" Today my teacher turned into a duck."
(quwalk, quwalk, quwalk, quwalk!!!)
So, don't turn into a duck. Try this instead.
Get yourself a Walking Stick and a Student Teacher
And... have them do the work for you!
The Walking Stick
Write your kiddos names on clothespins and clip them onto a yard stick painted three colors:
PURPLE-I caught you doing a great job!
 GREEN-You're doing okay keep it up!
ORANGE-You need to check yourself!
Leave a little space at the bottom for absent kids.
Those kiddos who are having a super challenging time end up clipped on the lanyard!
The Student Teacher
See, she's all offical-like with her own lanyard and identification badge!
From the classroom...
Turn around and fold those arms please!
Thumbs up, good to go!!

Move that line!
Safely down the stairs and ready to move again!


Good job friend I'm moving you up!
We made it and not a single clip on my lanyard!
Now, I have to share a funny with you.
When I initially start teaching my students the rules and routines of the Walking Stick, there's a lot of exaggerated Teacher talk to the students. Words like:

"Oh, I'm so sorry Christopher is not folding his arms and I'm gonna have to move him down! How sad!" Or encouraging words like,
" Oh, there's Alicia walking so quietly! I'm moving her up! Good job!"
Now here's the funny and a truth about the Walking Stick.
One of my fellow RS (Rock-Star) teachers asked if it really worked. I responded, "Oh, yeah and all it really is,is a visual that reminds them to monitor themselves." I started to giggle and then showed her how I didn't even look at the names anymore when I moved the clips.
" Look, Janessa is on orange and she's not even here today!"
We busted up laughing!
Hey, what those kiddos don't know won't hurt 'em!!! If it gets them to self monitor then I have succeeded!
So, whattaya waiting for??

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