Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Works for Me Wednesday: Pack Up and Dismissal

One of the things I love about blogging is how it forces me to be really reflective about what happens in my classroom.  This class, more so than any other, responds well to things I never thought they would.  So I'm hoping on Wednesdays to share a tip from my own classroom that's working for me.  This allows me to remember all the unique things that motivate my kiddos to use throughout the year and hopefully pass along something useful to you! 

One thing my class really struggled with this year is packing up for dismissal.  I teach right up to the very end of the day, leaving about five minutes for packing up.  Luckily, most of my kiddos pack up fast, so our struggles at this time of the day always had to do with our voices, hands, and feet AFTER they packed up.  

Then it hit me, to have my pick ups and on site after school care pack up first.  They sit on the carpet once they are packed up, freeing up space in my teeny tiny classroom for everyone else to unpack, and then I do a little competition of boys versus girls to see who packs up first.  The competition is always who is the quietest. :) I love having my after school care/pick up group pack up first because they are ready and all together when their bell rings.  I can then calmly dismiss them, and they are headed upstairs before the mass exodus of classrooms to the bus when the final bell rings. :)

Once the after school care/pick up bell rings and they head to where they need to go after school, I have about three minutes that I could only describe before as chaos.  My kids thrive off of and need structure, so I needed to plan something.  Secret trash was out because sweeping the floor is a behavior reward for one of my most challenging kiddos.  

Enter the Game of Statues.  I love it.  One of my pumpkins shared it with me, and I can't thank her enough for teaching it to us!  To start the game, I call out "Ready Set Statue!" Then my kiddos strike a pose, and have to stay super still.  I pick the best statue to be the next judge.  This kiddos goes to the door and calls out "Ready Set Statue" and the game continues.  The kiddos get super quiet and super still and the judge picks the best statue to be the next judge.  We play until the bus bell rings, anywhere from 3-5 minutes, and my kids love it.  The end of the day has gone from one of our craziest, most stressful times of the day to one of our best! :)

I hope you'll give the Game of Statues a try in your classroom! I think you and your students will love it!

13 comments:

  1. I remember playing this game in Kindergarten. I'll try this with my fourth graders tomorrow!! Thanks for the tip!

    -Caitlyn
    Fourth Grade Lemonade

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  2. Great idea!!!! :-) I bet the kids love it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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  3. That is a great idea! We started doing Mental Math while waiting in line and it's really helped keep the last few minutes from being crazy!

    Nichole
    Craft of Teaching

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  4. I think my packing up is great until the last minute when we have to line up at the door. I think I'm trying the statues game tomorrow - thanks for the tip :)
    Storie
    Stories by Storie

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  5. Super cute!

    Laura
    Www.mspretzel.blogspot.com

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  6. Love this idea. We can use it when we are standing in line waiting to move on to our next location! Thanks for sharing.

    Brittany
    Stickers and Stamps

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  7. I have a VERY behaviorally challenging 2nd grade class this year and I can't WAIT to try this tomorrow :) Thanks for sharing! I teach until the end of the day too and those few minutes when everyone is packing and chairs are stacked are chaotic...I hate it! Hopefully the statue game will work!

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  8. Update!! I tried this today and the kids loved it! Isn't it funny how much they love the little things? Thank you so much for the tip!

    -Caitlyn
    Fourth Grade Lemonade

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    Replies
    1. Great article. Keep writing and shower your readers with such useful information. Keep it Up!!!


      Marlo

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  9. I tried this the very next day after you posted it and the kids loved it! Thanks for the great idea!

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  10. Thanks, A very useful information .

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