Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stop! ping interruptions

It took me long enough to take up the advice from my teammate Maren and make a visual for the epic "STOP" I like to do with my hand when I'm teaching guided reading. The interruptions had become such an issue that I was literally putting up my palm every 4 minutes. I did enough modeling, guiding and releasing to teach elephants to not interrupt that valuable small group time...but first graders? Apparently not. Enter The Stop Sign.

Ridiculously simple, but incredibly effective. First graders will obliviously talk to the hand; they just don't seem to get this rude and abrupt social cue. Use the universal stop sign and they will hang their heads and immediately turn back around.

After flashing the Stop, I turn it around and remind the students to Think, and then Solve. Of course, if it is really an emergency (blood, throw up, or bathroom emergency), I will kindly help them out. Anything else needs to wait 10 minutes until I am done. To bolster that confidence that I will help, I always let them approach me with questions or problems between groups.

The tape looks a little tacky on this one, and so does the ruler it's stuck to. But it works wonders.

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