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Showing posts with label active learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label active learning. Show all posts

Six Strategies for Success in School: A Classroom Management System and More!

I had a very challenging class a few years ago!

I admit, I loved each and every one of them, but the combination of kiddos really was exhausting. I had behavior challenges, learning challenges, and a whole lot of kiddos who needed to talk and who needed to move a whole lot! They needed plenty of attention, and plenty of opportunities to let off steam. 
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!

I've had all these challenges before, but I never had so many challenges all in one group!

After that year, I made sure I enjoyed these luxuries during the summer:

-extra cups of coffee - while they're still warm
-relaxed conversations with grown ups
-reading books written for adults
-eating breakfast in my jammies
-going to the gym, with energy to work out
and most of all... 
-peeing when I need to!

But I also spent a lot of time thinking about that group, and trying to come up with ideas that I could start at the beginning of the year that could prevent some of the issues I had.

My dad always taught me: 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

and that's just what I planned to do!

After much thought, I decided on the most important strategies I wanted to focus on in my classroom.
Strategies for Success: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be a Team Player, Be Mindful, and Be an Active Learner

I decided to spend a whole lot of time at the beginning of the school year teaching these strategies for success!

I made posters with an explanation for each strategy. 

I made one for each of the six strategies, and made strategy response booklets for the children to write their thoughts. 

Be safe


6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
Be respectful! 
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
Be responsible!
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
Be a team player 
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
Be mindful! 

6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
Be an active learner!

 
As you can see, the posters are available in color as well as black and white for the kids to color and think about.
 
Plus, there are other items to share with the children:
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!
These posters for bulletin boards, student "strategy response booklets, and bookmarks help internalize the concepts of each strategy!
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!

I have students complete self-assessment quarterly, usually just before report cards or parent conferences. If their assessment doesn't match mine, we have a talk!

These pages could also be used in interactive notebooks.

My plan was to take a day or two discussing the meaning of each strategy, listing the children's ideas, giving examples and non-examples, and making sure the children really understood what each strategy meant before they completed that page in their strategy response booklets. 

The Mindfulness strategy took a little longer, especially those who came from classes that didn't do any mindfulness activities in the past.

I did manage to find a few websites with some awesome explanations and activities for helping children understand and practice Mindfulness.




What Happened Next?

After much discussion, we decided on a gesture for each strategy. Every morning, after the Pledge of Allegiance and the school chant, my students would recite the 6 Strategies for Success, complete with the gestures we created together. My plan definitely had a strong influence on the classroom community! They were safe, respectful, responsible, team players, mindful, and active learners!
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!

Since I started using this system, confidence in my students has increased, and their awareness of the social/ emotional climate in themselves as well as their classmates has soared!

Feel free to explore this resource more HERE.
 
6 Strategies for Success in School: after a difficult year, I developed these strategies to share with my new students to help build a classroom community!

Active Students? Try Scoot!

Today I'm sharing a game that helped me through those last hectic weeks of school where the kiddos just couldn't concentrate on much of anything...Scoot!

 
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

All you need to play scoot is a set of task cards (I know we all have plenty of those!) an answer sheet, and some desks or tables.

In the picture above, we put the desks into a big square, which is perfect for scoot, but rows, tables, or sets of desks in any arrangement can work. You just need to set a pattern for movement.

The basis of the game:
  • There is a numbered task card on each desk. 
  • Students do the task card at their desk, and write their answer on the answer sheet.
  • When the teacher calls "Scoot", the children all move to the next desk in the sequence, and do that task card.
  • Children continue to "scoot" from desk to desk until all cards have been completed.
 
After completion, I usually let the children self-correct while we go over the cards. (Self correcting with highlighters makes it more fun!)
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

For added fun for squirmy kids, replace one (or more) of the task cards with a brain break. My kids LOVE brain breaks, and look forward to that part of scoot!
 
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

 
If you're interested in task cards that work well with scoot, see HERE.
 
These Reading Comprehension for Active Learners sets are designed with Scoot in mind!

Want to try it out with a freebie? Social Studies Review Task Cards

How do you keep your active students learning?

Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie! 

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