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Re: cleanup and management ideas for a student teacher


From: Holmgren (holmgren_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 16 2004 - 18:18:54 PDT

What I do with my students (I teach elementary), is to TEACH them my signal
for attention, which is, "may I have your attention, please." I do this the
first day of school. I tell them teachers do different things when they
need students to listen--this is what I do. When I say this phrase, there
are three things I want them to do: Stop, Look, and Listen. Then I proceed
to explain exactly what that means. First, "Stop"--what do you think I want
you to stop doing? I ask for feedback--essentially--whatever you are doing.
When do you need to stop? Right away. How long do you need to stop? Until
I tell you to return to work. Then we go on to "look". Where do you need
to look? At me. When? right away. (what if you are facing the wrong
direction?? then--you turn so you can see me.) For how long? Until I tell
you to return to work. Then, on to "listen", in the same way. After that--I
demonstrate what it looks like. I pretend to be drawing--and pretend the
teacher is in the corner. the teacher says, "may I have your attention,
please". I immediately stop, put my pencil down, turn to see her, keep
looking, until she says "you may return to work". then I explain exactly
what I did--and whay that was stopping, looking, and listening. Then I give
several examples of what it DOESN'T look like. Often, then I have the
students from one table go to that table, and I test them while everyone
else observes. During the class--I continue to ask for their attention
periodically--and let them know what they are doing. It takes alot of
time--but it is very worth it. I learned this technique in a behavior
management class in our district 11 years ago, and it works if you use it.
If kids start to forget, or get sloppy about it--we stop everything and

You are lucky to have five minutes between classes (not so good to have no
prep time, though)--most of my classes come in the exact minute the prior
one ends--not fun when there's a grade level change. I continue to let
students know how much time is left before cleanup. Make sure you leave
enough time--I think better too much, than not enough. My students all work
as a team at their tables--I let them know what needs to be done for
cleanup, then they need to work together to do it. My phrase then is, "I am
looking for tables ready to line up". They need to be standing quietly
behind their pushed in chairs. Being the first table to get called to line
up seems to be enough incentive for them. I never give rewards, etc.--our
school has really moved away from that kind of thing, focusing instead on
more internal rewards.

good luck!

Mary H.

> hello list,
> i am currently a student teacher at an inner city elementary school. i
> taken over half of the courseload-grades k,1,5 and i already feel
> my biggest problem has been management. i am specifically interested in
> for getting my students attention when i lose them.