August 29, 2017
Do you have procedures for the electronic devices that the students use in your classroom? Now I don't mean the cell phones and other technology that the kids bring. I'm talking about the laptops, chromebooks/netbooks, and calculators that you have for the kids to use during class.
These tools can be, although helpful and engaging, a pain. Why?
1. Devices can waste time.
2. Devices can be stolen.
3. Devices create issues.
To overcome these issues the solution is identify a helper to implement your procedures for the electronic devices.
The helper will:
1. Get the devices ready.
2. Distribute the devices.
3. Take up the devices.
4. Tell you when all of your devices are collected.
5. Put the devices in their holders, chargers, and storage bins correctly.
Do you have a helper? You should.
A helper will help you save time, not waste it.
Length - 23:25
August 22, 2017
Attendance, part 2 - Paying attention and following up.
This is a continuation of episode 158 where I talked about the importance of taking attendance. I have seen adults take forever to determine if all kids are in class or not. You do not want it to waste instructional time. During that episode, I had my 3 Don'ts and 4 Do's and then gave my 4 Final Thoughts.
I review those today or you can go back to 158 to hear more.
My focus for this episode though is to connect taking attendance with something that nobody may ever say that you need to do this but you need to. This content fits well with Not My Job parts 1 and 2 (episodes 155 and 156). Because whether you are told to or not it is part of your job. It is part of your responsibility as the classroom teacher.
You need to pay attention and follow up.
When kids are absent, don't just mark them absent, create a reminder to connect with the child when he returns. This means that when the next day arrives and the kid is not in school you now remember that he was absent the day before. When you hit two days, that day you should call home. Say, "Hey, I noticed that Steve was out for two days and I was hoping all was ok."
Sounds simple enough but you will hear me tell you a story about a child who is able to skip school and nobody paid attention or followed-up.
After listening, I hope that you recognize that you need to pay attention and follow-up.
Length - 22:44
August 14, 2017
Taking attendance is very important, but it shouldn't take you more than a minute or two. If it is taking you 5 or more minutes then you may be avoiding starting class.
3 Don'ts in taking attendance:
1. Don't take 5 or more minutes to figure out who is there and who isn't.
2. Don't let kids handle.
3. Don't trust your memory.
4 Do's in taking attendance:
1. Get it done.
2. Learn their names.
3. Create a way to speed up the process and not take away from instruction.
4. Insure that you have instructions for a substitute on how you handle attendance.
4 Main thoughts about attendance:
1. Learn their names.
2. Use seating charts.
3. Start class - get the kids "playing with the ball" - then take attendance during an activity.
4. Do not delegate this to a child.
Length - 21:43
August 8, 2017
The first day and week of school and what you need to do to be ready.
Wow! Is it that time already?
The first day and week of school are so very important. Kids and teachers, believe it or not, worry about the first day and week. Now some of these concerns might be different from each other but both have anxieties about school that first day and week.
Teachers are thinking ...
There is so much to get done.
Kids are thinking...
Will I just sit and be told what I can and can't do?
Teachers are thinking...
Will the group of kids be a good mix?
Kids are thinking...
Will I have friends in the class or will I be by myself?
Today, I am giving my thoughts about starting right. Here is my list:
1. Be prepared.
b. Start with content (Be engaging.)
2. Increase your energy.
3. Be positive.
5. Greet the kids.
6. Start using their names.
Have an awesome day and start to the year!
Links for other resources:
Teach Like a Pirate