Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Going Slow…

Today was our second day together as a whole group. I forgot how much time routines and procedures take at the beginning of the year. As Responsive Classroom would say “Don’t assume anything…..teach everything.” So we do. We have learned how to walk in a line, how to put the lids on our glue sticks (listen for the click), how to carry our scissors, how to put books back in the reading corner, how to line up our shoes on the shoe rack, how to make room for a friend in the circle…and the list goes on. I don’t mind spending the first couple weeks on this stuff as it pays off for the rest of the year! Usually if something goes awry and I’m getting frustrated….it’s because I didn’t take the time to properly model it in the beginning. So we go slow and slower and hope that this will all become second nature in the next couple weeks. Then it’s easy breezy. Totally independent. (for the most part)

One way I teach a routine or procedure in the class is through Interactive Modeling. This is a component of Responsive Classroom and has a few steps:

1. Teacher names and presents the desired behaviour

Ex: “When we walk in line, it's important for us to get where we're going safely and quietly, so other people in our school can stay focused on what they're doing. I'm going to show you what it looks like to walk in line. Watch and see what you notice."

2. Teacher models and demonstrates behaviour

Ex: Have a student to pretend to be in line in front of you. Walk in line around the room behind this student. Slow pace, close but not too close, quiet feet, quiet voices.

3. Teacher asks students to notice and name the elements of the behaviour.

Ex: "What did you notice about how I walked in line? What did you notice about the distance between Joe and me?" Etc

4. Students practice “tricky” parts by demonstrating and noticing what works.

Ex: “Who can show us how to walk in line the same way I did?"

5. Students practice behaviours as a whole class.

Ex: “Now we are all going to practice walking together as a class.”

6. Reinforce observed positive behaviours.

Ex: “I noticed kids walking at a good pace. I noticed kids using quiet voices and staying close but not too close.I think we are ready for the hall!”

It works. I use it for any behaviour or procedure I want to practice. Walking in line, how to get our book bins from the shelf etc.

You can learn about Responsive Classroom and it’s principles {HERE}.

Another thing I do with my kiddos is a goodbye at Closing Circle. We go around the circle and say farewell to each other at the end of the day. Kind of like a greeting in the morning but we are saying “Goodbye! Glad you were here today! See you tomorrow!”

I like to use Goodbye Rhymes. We use most of them together in pairs. One friend says the first one and the other says the second back.

Example: 1st friend “See you later Alligator!” 2nd friend “In a while Crocodile!”

All while giving a friendly handshake.

Sooo here is my Goodbye Poster Page for you!

Click on the image to download!

I made it in black and white so you can save some ink and print on coloured paper! Graphics from KPM Doodles, fonts from Sweet Shoppe Designs.

going home


  1. Love your poem. It's very cute. I have a similar one!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    1. Thanks Barbara...I've seen many of these floating around!


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