Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teacher Tricks Tuesday: Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  It's a rainy morning here!  My son and I ran to the store to get something really fast and I ended up with 30% chance of rain all over my newly applied clothes. But we were desperate for rain, so I won't complain at all.  And an added bonus...it's COOL outside!  At the end of July!  God's little blessings! 

Anyway, for "Teacher Tricks Tuesday," I wanted to feature something that a dear friend and I came up with our first year of teaching.  She's more of the genius behind it, I just sort of said, "You know what we need? Something to make taking attendance and lunch count less of a time consumer."  And she, being the brilliant teacher/creative mind she is, took it from there! 

Our theory was this:  Taking attendance and lunch count in the morning, based on what we had seen through student teaching and subbing, turned into a 30 minute routine once everyone was settled.  What a waste of precious teaching time!  Plus, it was a classroom management issue.  Does this sound familiar?

     (Teacher taking attendance): "Joe Smith?"
     (Student, not Joe Smith): "He's sick!"
     (Another student, also not Joe Smith): "No he's not!  I think I saw him in the cafeteria!"
     (Another student): "No you didn't!"

Well, we may have done a lot of stupid things our first year of teaching, but this was not one of them!  The concept is simple...

Here is the version I've adapted over my years of teaching...
1)  Make a clothespin for every child.  Put their names on BOTH sides.
2) Clip them to a long piece of ribbon attached to the wall
3) When the student enters, he'll find his clip and move it to the left side to show that he's here.  If he brought his lunch, he'll move it to the left, but he'll place it below the red line (not pictured here, sorry!) on the ribbon.  
4) Student unpacks his backpack and gets started on his morning work quietly
5) Teacher takes attendance by quickly glancing at the clips and marking it on the attendance sheet.  Students are not disturbed, enticed to blurt out, or make those silly (read: annoying) alternatives to saying "here" such as "president,"  "not here," or the more creative ones like, "salami."

*I used to put their numbers on the clips instead of the names, but I changed that for 2 reasons.  First of all, I moved down to first grade, and I just thought it'd be simpler from the get-go for them at the beginning of the year.  Second, when I had a sub, she didn't have to get a class list and figure out which student was what number.  I figured I could afford the 50 cents it costs to replace the clips each year.  And it's worked beautifully.

What do YOU do to save time and keep classroom management in the mornings?  That's always a busy time, and I'd love to hear any other brilliant ideas out there!  Have a wonderful Tuesday and stay DRY!

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