It's been a long week but Friday is finally here! :) The kids have been pretty good this week, we have just had the same old problem...they like to talk...ALL the time.
Thursday is got a bit out of hand. We have this time during the afternoon on Thursdays where our whole team goes to a meeting called collaboration. During this time, there are parent volunteers who come and "teach" our class for about 40 minutes. Well, I went to the meeting yesterday and I told the kids before I left that if I heard a good report back from the aid that I would make time to read our book that I've been reading to the class. (We're getting near the end of the book and they BEG me to keep reading reach day). The meeting went well and on my way back to my class, I could hear my students all the way down the hall. That can't be a good sign. So I walked into the doorway and just stood there, staring them down. And they STILL kept misbehaving. The aid was up front trying to continue the skits going but they rest of the class was just goofing off, not even paying any attention. It was awful. As soon as the aid left, I had the kids pull out their planners, write in them, and then lay their heads on the desk for about 10 minutes. One kid still decided it was time to goof off and threw a wad of paper across the room at someone else! Oh boy. After the 10 minutes was up, we then grabbed all our stuff and lined up at the door. As they stood there waiting for the bell, I explained that I knew that not everyone had been misbehaving when I walked in but since the majority was (probably about 90%), I had to punish everyone. I felt like the world's WORST teacher ever yesterday by the time they left. I'm pretty sure some of them hated me as they walked out the door but I had to do something! So needless to say, yesterday was not such a great day.
Today, however, was FANTASTIC!!! I don't know what it is but the last two weeks have followed this pattern....Thursday is a problem and then they're GREAT on Friday. Well, this morning before school started I decided to put up a sign outside the door, above the coatrack, and on the whiteboard. The sign read:
"Today is a silent day. Please come in quietly and follow the directions on the board. *If I catch you talking, you owe me 1 Bee Buck."
This worked like a CHARM!!! They came in and immediately started "shh"-ing each other and got right to work. This gave me enough time to get things ready for the day and give spelling tests to the different groups at the back of the room. We then went to rotations (my kids went to PE while I took another 4th grade class to the library) and then came back for an assembly. As we lined up for rotations, I told the kids that the silent day was a test to see how quietly they could come in and get to work because we've been too loud lately. I also explained that we will most likely have more throughout the year (especially on days when my voice gives out or they were too loud the day before). Then during the assembly, my class was a bunch of angels during the assembly even when the rest of the school was getting super rowdy. After the assembly was over, we moved into Guided Reading time. This is where I meet with certain groups of students on a specific reading level while the rest of the class works quietly at their desk or reads silently. They usually get pretty riled up during this hour of the day too but you could hear a pin drop in there! It was great! I had even taken the signs down so I expected them to get noisy again but nope!
The rest of the day (which was shorter anyway due to early release time on Fridays) went smoothly and I'm now QUITE a fan of random silent days.
Just a quick funny story to leave you with...we had to choose two student council reps from each class and the students had to write an essay about why we should pick them. First of all, my class is pretty hilarious, even when they don't mean to be. And one girl in her essay wrote: "If you need help, I will help you. Because your confidence is my confidence."
HAHAHA not quite sure how that even makes sense but it definitely made for a good laugh on a Friday afternoon, after the kids had all gone home.