When I walked down to my room and stepped in, I saw a student leading the Morning Meeting. She proudly exclaimed that they had completed their morning routines, finished (and checked) grammar, worked on writing, and were well into Morning Meeting. Seriously??!! It was 8:40 by this time, and they were right on schedule, about to begin math. Keep in mind that I teach elementary school (4th grade).
In college we're taught that we should teach students routines and procedures to help them be more independent, but how many classes actually manage to get there? HOW do you get your kids there? What works for me is a combination of the advice and tools from the 4 following websites:
When I stumbled upon this gem early in my career, it was known as Ms. Powell's Management Ideas for Teachers. She has since changed her site to The Cornerstone for Teachers. Much of the same amazing content, plus blog postings and more!
Although I've had no formal training in the Responsive Classroom approach, I've read many of their books and whole-heartedly agree with this way of interacting with children. RC encourages careful, respectful interactions that focus on developing students' awareness of appropriate behaviors and social interactions. My journey down the RC road began about 4 1/2 years ago when I first implemented Morning Meeting.
The 2 Sisters have a wonderful literacy model that they call "The Daily Five." It is highly adaptable across grade levels, and fosters independence, choice, and responsibility. I have used this system for 5 years now in both 3rd and 4th grade. I LOVE their 10 steps to independence!
What a life saver this was! I found these FREE PDF books the year I had "that" class. (You all know the one I'm referring to). Whole Brain Teaching is a super common sense approach to classroom management. It encourages community, teamwork, active engagement, and accountability---all in a fun, up-beat manner. And if the documents aren't enough, Chris Biffle even has a Youtube Channel!
How about you? Have you used any of these resources? What do you think?