Monday, September 17, 2012

Managing Behavior During Dismissal

I'm linking up with What the Teacher Wants! for a behavior linky party. They're looking for the top 3 behavior management ideas to feature on their blog. Your entries must be in by Friday night so hop on over and check it out. 


My behavior management idea deals with a scenario that may be specific to our school, but you might be able to adapt it to a time that works in your class. 

Our school requires that every child be picked up at the classroom and "checked out" by the teacher. This means I have to stand at the door, make sure adults match children, check ID's when necessary, and mark all of this on our check out sheet. While this is going on I have a classroom full of students who know that my attention is focused elsewhere. 

The first few weeks of school were crazy. The kids were out of their seats, they were noisy, I felt distracted...overall it was no bueno. 

Then I remembered a technique I used when I was working with my former church's Awana program. Sometimes I needed the kids to be quiet while I listened to others recite verses and often times the coloring page just didn't keep their attention. But this little ladybug stuffed animal thingy did!

Here's how I started:

1. I made sure that they knew how incredibly special this ladybug was.

2. I explained that in order to have the privilege of holding the ladybug you had to be in your seat and quiet. 

3. I instructed the student with the ladybug to walk the classroom in search of another student who was sitting and quiet.

4. When the searching student found someone, they were to pass the ladybug to them, go back to their seat, and the new person was to repeat the searching process. 

Result: S-I-L-E-N-C-E!

Now this was done with a group of kids in grades K-2. 

I was skeptical about how this would go over with 3rd graders. I thought for sure the idea of carrying around a stuffed animal*  would seem childish and silly to them. 

*I use the animals that I've been getting through the KOHL's Cares program.

Let me tell you...they LOVE it!

I've never had such quiet dismissal times. It's amazing. Just be sure not to skip step number one. You have to really get the "buy in" for this one to work. 

Maybe a stuffed animal wouldn't work for you, but some other item might. I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and adaptations of this little behavior management trick. 

Don't forget to head on over to What the Teacher Wants! for some more brilliant behavior management techniques.

Monday, September 10, 2012

QAR: Question-Answer Relationship

One of my favorite comprehension strategies to teach in the classroom is question-answer relationship. 

This is a great strategy that helps students learn where the answers to questions can be found.  Once students realize there is a relationship between the question being asked and its answer, they will think more deeply about their reading selection.

Reading Rockets has a great page on QAR, explaining its benefits and how to use this strategy in your classroom.  

Here it is in a nutshell:

Questions are either found IN THE TEXT or IN YOUR HEAD. 

Questions found in the text are categorized as either:

  • right there, meaning you can find the answer in your reading selection OR
  • think and search, meaning the answers are in the selection, but you may have to piece together some of the information.

Questions found in your head are categorized as either:

  • author and you, meaning you have to take information from the selection and what you already know about the selection (prior knowledge/schema) to formulate an answer OR
  • on your own, meaning the answer is formulated completely from prior knowledge. 
Here is a poster that I created with my students during my QAR mini-lesson. 

This poster was copied almost exactly from one of my favorite textbooks:

                                         Content Area Reading - Literacy And Learning Across The Curriculum - Ninth Edition 
Click here for the Amazon page for the textbook. 

Happy Reading!