Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Silent Lunch

Had to share a quick, funny story.  It has to do with classroom management a little bit, so I thought this would be the perfect place to share it!  :)

I work really hard during the beginning of the school year to create an organized, well-managed classroom.  One of the most important things to manage is behavior.  If you spend the necessary time on classroom management at the start of the year, it WILL save you LOADS of time "down the road."  Since I spend so much time managing behavior earlier in the year, I rarely have behavior issues (**knock on wood!**). 

One of my pet peeves in seeing/hearing loud classes in the hallway.  It is very important to me that my class is quiet while walking in the hallway so we do not disturb other classes in session.  I'm pretty flexible about this... If they're whispering, then I'll let it slide.  But YESTERDAY, I found a violator!!!!  ;)

I'll admit, the kid wasn't talking too loud.  But I saw him talking and I couldn't ignore it.  For the sake of this story, the student will be called "Fred."

I said, "Fred, silent lunch!"
Fred was very compliant.  He did not argue.  He did not complain.  

And then.... I forgot I gave Fred silent lunch.

So today, we go to lunch.  I sit down.  I see Fred at the silent lunch table.  

I smile at Fred and say, "Is this for Mrs. Smith*?"  (*name changed)
 He opens his eyes real wide, smiles, and yells, "No, for you!"  
I say, "For me?!"  
...And Fred proceeds to remind me about what I said the day before. 

I immediately start laughing.  
He says, "You mean I could have sat over there and you wouldn't have remembered?!"  
He's also laughing.  
I say, "Yes, but now you've reminded me so you'll have to serve it."  

Now, you may think this sounds mean and cruel, but you should know I gave him my applesauce.  :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Canadian Environmental Issues 'Pass-Around'

I am always trying to fill my portfolio with potential group activities.  Occasionally, I'll be driving around and an idea will POP into my head!  That is just what happened with this activity.

Our latest standard is "SS6G7" (which stands for Social Studies 6th Geography standard #7).  It says "Students will explain the major environmental concerns of Canada regarding acid rain and pollution of the Great Lakes, the extraction and use of natural resources on the Canadian Shield, and timber resources." All this really means is know what the issues are, what's causing them, and how it's affecting Canada. 

So I found 8 pieces of 11x17 paper.  8 pieces because my room is broken into 8 learning teams.  Each paper was given a specific heading and a question.  Every student had a resource book with information about the environmental issue.  All groups were given a different colored marker.  They were told to answer the questions as a group and they had 3 minutes.  When the timer went off, they were to pass the paper to the next group.

My two rules:
1) No one gets a free ride (everyone participates)
2) You cannot say something another group has already said.

Here's (generally) what they looked like:

Whenever a group got a new poster, they did 3 things that reinforced the material:
1) They read the question and the answers of all the previous groups.
2) They checked their resource to see what they could put.
3) They discussed (and argued-constructively) about what to write for their groups answer.

Maybe you can use this in your class, or modify it to fit your current standard...?  It has a lot of potential and can fit lots of different scenarios.