Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tips to Tame Em'

Hi There, and happy Tuesday! I'm here for a quick post today in-between cleaning and the napping of a crabby two month old.  We got our shots yesterday so we've been a bit fussy since last night.  Just when a good routine get established...something changes.  It's a lot like school too, isn't it? Just when you think they have something down you have to go back and establish a routine or procedure all over again.  With that being said I'm linking up this evening with Kelli from 'Tales of a Teacher' for her summer weekly linky called 'Tips to Tame Em'  I was really excited to start thinking about the first several weeks of school and reflect back on how to get students into the routine and procedure of the classroom.  

Here's the weekly schedule for the next several weeks if you are interested in linking up! I'm looking forward to seeing what advice everyone has. I know each new year brings a whole new group of students and challenges when it comes to routine and procedure.  Some groups are just more conscious about certain things than others and what was a big 'issue' this year may not be next year.  

This week's question is: 

This big thing here is modeling and consistency for me.  Often times I feel like I'm so used to how things are at the end of the year in third grade..... they certainly are different than the beginning of the year.  They grow so much, but it's so easy to forget the little things that they need to be reminded of or taught.  For me remembering that I need to model for them and show them what is expected sometimes is my biggest challenge.  I get so excited about something and am two steps in when I really should be at the beginning stages of something before expecting them to just know.  I show them what I need them to know just by doing it over and over and over again.  It's so important to model everything for them!!!  Even how to check in for their lunch choice in the morning.  It may seem simple, but after summer vacation, and not having the same teacher as the year before, it's different for them.  It may be the same you've always done, but for them it's new!  I also think that being consistent with the things that you're expecting is important. You can't establish a routine one day and then change it everyday the following week.  I do understand that sometimes things need to be changed up, but giving them time to be established as a routine in important.  

Just a few of the big things that I have to model at the beginning of the year are:
  1. Daily Check- In Procedure
  2. Lining Up
  3. Morning Work
  4. Transitions to and from centers and/or carpet
  5. Hallway expectations
  6. Names on Papers
  7. Turning in Work
  8. What do do when you need teacher assistance
  9. I'm done...Now what Can I do???  (We all have those students!)

For me the most important things the first week are procedural..... I could literally name a million of them but I thought that I would just share the most important ones today. 

1- Student Numbers: I have to admit that at first I was totally against assigning numbers to students.  I was more worried about parents thinking that I was referring to their child as a number and not a person...however I got over that quickly when I realized how much of a time saver it is and also a great way to keep things organized.  I assign a number to each student.  They can use it for a number of things (no pun intended....)  First they put it next to their name when they write their name on their papers.  I teach them to always put their name and number on everything.  We practice that a lot during the first weeks of school. This helps me to put their papers in number order to see who I'm missing or then figure out a no name paper too. It's also a good list to have in case of an emergency.  They have to get in number order for a line when we get outside after a fire-drill, or I call off the numbers in order for them to say that they are in fact there. Then I know who is missing.  

2- Chants- I think it's important to have some classroom chants so we all know when we need to be focused on the same thing. I run a lot of my day in small groups and centers, so there is usually always a hum of noise going on.  When I need their attention I expect it to be full.  So there are a few chants that I use.  We practice them so much the first few weeks of school.  

This first chant is my go to when I have students working in small groups or centers and I need their full attention. It also works if we're in another classroom working or in a larger group setting. They all know when then hear it that it's 'Our Class Chant' and know that they need to stop what they're doing to listen. 

Teacher: 123    Students: Eyes on Me
Teacher: 456    Students: Lips are Zipped

The second chant I use when students line up to go in the hallways or to come in or out from recess. I use this chant. When they hear it they know that I'm expecting them to be hallway ready.  They are in a line that is short, silent and ready to move. 

Teacher:  Third Graders Line Up            Students: Line UP

Those are just a few that I do at the way beginning that travel with us on our whole year journey!  I hope you have some ideas to share as well, or these can help you in some way! Have a great night!!!!


  1. You are SO right on having to switch our brains back! You realize how independent your kiddos get by the end of the year that at the beginning of a new year with a new set of students always jolts me back to higher needs of scaffolding! I also use numbers and it's a saving grace for so many reasons... I can literally figure out who's paper I'm missing by going through my number list mentally- so much easier than alphabetically. Oh, and I'm stealing your 123, 456 chant- love it! :) Thanks SO much for linking up... I really appreciate it!
    Tales of a Teacher

  2. Replies
    1. Aren't they great??? There really are chants for ALL ages. Did you know that you're a no-reply blogger? I can't respond to you via email because of that. If you need help or want to change that let me know! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment! :)


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