Hi friends! It's Haley from My Silly Firsties. I'm sitting at the Detroit airport after a fabulous weekend with my sweet sister. I flew up to surprise her for the Aaron Watson concert and some sister time! We had a BLAST! I am definitely excited to be home to my sweet husband, puppy, and my 19 little monsters that I missed today!
Here's a picture of my sister and I! Please excuse the eyebrows...whoa, hahaha...
Anyway, I thought I would do a short little post about one of the most powerful tools I have used this year! If you try it, and give it time to work, I promise it will make a huge difference in the way your classroom runs!
So a little background...our summer reading from my district was the book Teach Like a Champion.
If we're being real here, I will tell you this book is NOT my style. I am not the kind of teacher that shoots out commands...to be honest, when I first started reading it, I felt like a drill seargent! BUT...implementing it wasn't optional, so I figured I would do my best to use it in my room. There are tons (49 to be exact) strategies to implement, but these are some of my favorites. I do feel like this book is geared towards older kiddos...especially middle school and high school. BUT some...like the ones below...are applicable in absolutely any classroom.
No Opt Out means a kiddo can't say "I don't know." They can ask for help...they can ask a friend. But ultimately, they should give the correct answer. The way I implement is a kiddo can say "Can I get some help?" and I call on another friend to answer. THEN (and this is super important) I go back to the original student and ask them to restate the correct answer.
100% made me go "yeah right...come on..." when I read it. The expectation is that 100% of your students comply to your directive. To be honest, this year, I have a sweet little friend on a BIP and sometimes he just does not comply, hhahah. But he is a special circumstance, and my kiddos KNOW they all must "do it right or do it again."
What To Do is giving very specific and understandable instructions.
"Class, take out a pencil and your math notebook. Then put your head down and sit at a level 0." It tells them EXACTLY what to do and HOW to do it.
Format Matters is SOO important. My sweet friend Christina Decarbo is the QUEEN of oral language, so I am so not the go to for this! But, I have tried really hard to have my students answer my questions in complete sentences. The right answer is great...but the right answer is a complete sentence is better!
So...now on to "Do it Again." Like I said, the expectation is 100% compliance. SOO...if we are walking down the hall, and 2 sweet friends start jumping over the white squares becaause they are lava...they do it again. Sometimes the whole class does it, but usually the few students who need the extra practice do it again.
At the beginning of the year, I believe you should explicitly teach and practice routines over and over...like so many times you want to punch something. But that is the way to ensure our little guys know exactly what is expected of them. If they don't do it right, I don't take away a point or anything like that...the consequence is "do it again and do it better." If they don't do it better, they do it again. Here are some times I implement it a LOT because it's times that I need their focus and attention so we can transition smoothly.
I believe Do It Again works for several reasons. I truly believe that consequencces should be as natural as possible. If you break something, you have to fix it. If you hurt someone, you write an apology note. For things like walking down the hallway silently, it's hard to come up with something "natural," but I think "do it again" is pretty close!
I present it like "oh...I think we forgot how to walk. Can we do it again so our bodies get even better at it?" It's all about muscle memory and practicing the RIGHT way over and over.
I wanted to share one thing that has worked REALLY well this year. Each time we transition, we have a very specific way of doing it.
I call out each step, and we ALL do it together. If we don't, we do it again. :)
I hate talking about consequences...like really hate it. I try very, very hard to teach my kiddos WHY I ask them to do things and show them the correct way so I don't have to do it very often. But when I do, I always try to give consequences that aren't humiliating or ruin their entire day. I truly believe that "do it again" is the most powerful and EASIEST consequence I have ever used in my class! :)
I'm curious if any of you have read Teach Like a Champion!? Comment with your favorite strategy if you have!