Monday, November 2, 2015

Rituals Empower Students to Take On Even Greater Responsibility

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Oh the juxtaposition, giving up power in my classroom to my students has resulted in me being more available to my students!

Putting my students in charge has resulted in a more efficient classroom.

My students have NEVER gotten out early and rarely on time until this year. For the past two weeks or more, my students are ready to walk out the door 10-12 minutes EARLY because of their efficiency in administering the end of the day activities espoused in Paul Solarz's book, Learn Like a Pirate.  Read about it here, Rearjmcl, or on p.136 in the book.

It's hilarious to me to think I was so nervous about releasing responsibility to my students.  Every day, I post the times for each subject and activity. STUDENTS remind the class of upcoming transitions which has reduced our transition times.  Since, the reminder is verbal, I'm made aware that I need to wrap things up with a small group or one-on-one conference and begin preparing for the next subject area.

The many strategies, especially the "Give Me 5," has been a life-saver for me this year, because I have suffered from 2 months of laryngitis.  Students begin their day outside the classroom with the Good Morning Greeter, walk quietly (okay that is relative!) into the classroom, turn in their homework and get right to work on their AM work, all of this within minutes and WITHOUT me issuing any verbal instructions!  The end of the day with the REARJMCL is a similar experience.

Every strategy I have tried is working like gold in my classroom. Now, all I need to do is reread each chapter because I keep on finding new treasure with each read!