Whole Brain series Post #5: Lines and Grim News

If you ever were to walk by my classroom, you’d hear any number of things coming from my mouth…”You’re such a goob”, “REALLY!?, and “I’m gonna paint your backyard red!, and “Oh, Sookie, sookie, now.” are just a few class favs. Can you tell my class is quite close knit! I love having a relationship with my students were I can talk to them like they are my own!
But you will also hear lots of Class?/Yes!, Teach.ok, switch, and LINES-LINES-LINES! When I am ready for my kids to line up to leave the classroom, I clap once and simultaneously chant “Lines!”. They respond with “lines, lines; lines” as they are lining up. Now the point of this for me is to get them lined up properly and quickly. Chairs must be pushed in and we are single file with a smile {per the sign above the door!} We always line up the same-number order. We also change line leaders each week, but they always keep up with that kind of stuff. I train them well! I used to think that all this lining up and being in order was nonsense when I taught big, bad fourth graders. But as I enter my 10th year, I know that kids have to be trained taught procedures. They actually crave order. I teach them in the beginning so they can carry out procedures on their own-my ultimate goal!

SWITCH! ok, to change gears. Did you read the post about Teach/ok yesterday? If not, go read up then come back.
You often have students who are perfectly fine out of the spotlight. They may be unsure or lack confidence, or maybe they are just indifferent, or even just super shy. Regardless, all kids need to be heard. Using Switch will allow everyone, not just you and the overtakers, to speak. Straight from wbt: “
When you are using Teach/Okay you'll notice that you have some students who are chronic talkers and some who are chronic listeners.  We want the talkers to learn to listen and the listeners to come out of their shells and talk!  This is where the Switch command comes in handy.
Divide your class so that your top students are paired with your bottom students and your middle students with your middle students (of course, you don't reveal the basis for the pairing to your kids.)  Next, count off your students in ones and twos.  If you have an odd number of kids in your class, one group will have two ones.“ end quote
Now I have a nag about this. My students always know who’s top and who’s not. We are not fooling anybody here. I tell mine to find someone smarter every time! But, this is a good way to pair for some discussion. And I love the part about listeners learning to talk and talkers learning to listen. Hallelujah!
Here is a video that I LOVE! I love her transitions. I think these can be the most stressful times in any classroom. I like the Bodies and Chairs! at 3:25 ish is the best! Walking syllables!

and now for some grim news. The Reaper has left the neighborhood. I don’t know if he walked off from boredom since his master is honeymooning or if those shiesty looking teenagers I spotted yesterday snatched him, but I am a bit sad to not have him waving good morning today. It was trash day…hmmm…
Not sure what neighborhood news I will have. I guess I could tell you about the lady next door who only acknowledges Mr. Lamb, or the strange situation with the married people on the corner that cannot decide if they live together and she’s always flirting my the landscaper, or maybe the chic down the street that I went to high school with and she used to sit topless at parties…but those just are not as interesting!

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