Follow directions?? Or take the time??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by woobie5, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I feel like a horrible teacher but I struggle with students constantly wanting to come show me something or tell me a story or something off topic. I teach second grade and I know that's part of the characteristics of a 7/8 year old. But I always feel like it's when we are suppose to be lining up or following a direction and I get torn of stopping and listening (and it possibly opening a can of worms and throwing the whole class off track) or asking them to tell me later and follow directions quickly. How do you handle this without seeming completely cold? When are times that they CAN just talk to me and show me stuff? I wish our day wasn't so jam packed full!
     
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  3. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I teach kinder and I feel your pain. I have two times in the day that I specifically set aside about 5 or so minutes to do just this, listen. First thing in the morning while kids are putting their stuff up waiting for the pledge and announcements sometimes it's longer because we are waiting for the pledge but that's ok because the kids are straggling in too. Right after lunch, when they want to tell on the kids from lunch or just tell me who they played with. We are getting drinks and doing bathroom anyway so I'm not teaching. Sometimes at the end of the day we might have time but usually I'm scrambling to get their folders and belongings and them out door in an orderly fashion.
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Mar 12, 2014

    This is the great balancing act of elementary school teachers.
     
  5. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Mar 12, 2014

    Sometimes I say turn and tell your neighbor something that is on your mind. Then when I say switch the other person gets to talk. Sometimes I ask the listener to repeat to the speaker what they said. This gives everyone a chance to be heard and to talk.
    I do this on Monday mornings when they are full of weekend stories. I also do it during read alouds because it allows them to hear how others think when reading.
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2014

    I agree with the above suggestions. As the Reading Specialist I make it a point to have these types of conversations as we are walking to/from the classrooms.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Mar 15, 2014

    Morning meetings are great for this. Take 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the day (I used to do this while my kids were eating breakfast) and just allow kids to raise their hands to share anything they want with the class. Then explain that the rest of the day we have to stay focused on reading, math, etc. That way the kids see that you're interested in hearing about things but there is a set time to do it and you're not getting off track the entire day. Now that I teach small groups, I modified this by allowing kids to share one thing if they would like before we start the lesson.
     
  8. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Mar 15, 2014

    i love all the above suggestions. The best way is to schedule it in to your day and let the kids know they will be given a chance to share a one point during the day. You can use it as positive reinforcement or as a reward when the students follow direction and transition from one activity to another smoothly, thus freeing up more time for you to allow them to share.
     
  9. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Mar 15, 2014

    Great suggestions! After the Christmas break, I started using hand symbols to control the chattiness. We used the sign language symbol c for comments that are not about the lesson and we talk about them usually when transitioning. If the comment is related to the lessons, then they used "c" in a shaking motion.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 15, 2014

    I love and agree with the idea of having sharing time. Giving off-topic time is one of my favorite things about transitions between subjects. It's where I get to know my students as kids.
     
  11. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Mar 17, 2014

    I ask three volunteers to share "a good thing" at the beginning of class. I keep track of who shares each day using class dojo. That way no one's going every day. : )

    If kids try to veer off topic, I usually say, "Wow, I LOVE when we have so many good things to share! I sure wish we had more time in class. I'm looking at the clock, though, and it's my job to make sure we finish our lessons on time each day. If you have something to share about this topic, please tell a friend at lunch or recess. I would also love to hear what you have to say, so find me at recess!"

    Then I immediately put a positive class behavior point on our scoreboard. When I put the point on the board I say something like, "One positive class point! Thank you all for volunteering to share in our discussion!"

    This usually works. It acknowledges that I appreciate class discussion and participation, and students don't huff and puff and say, "She didn't call on me, and I had my hand up!"

    I have a couple this year who like to link every topic to a movie. And they will try to tell EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of that movie! Several times in one class period! I often just cut them off and say, "I really hate to interrupt, but some people may not have seen this movie yet. Let's let them see the movie first before we tell them the details. Would you like to take about a minute to summarize the part of the movie that relates to the topic?" And then I time them for a minute. Seems to work without any hurt feelings.

    And sometimes I just interrupt and say, "I'm sorry, but we're running out of time. Do you have an on-topic question or comment about _______?" I really REALLY have some who would talk for ten minutes straight and completely loose the whole class's attention! I hate interrupting students, but there is not a good way I know to deal with it.
     

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