I discovered something, quite by accident, that reduces the noise level
in my room. The chairs and stools moving around on the tile floor were
responsible for much of the classroom noise. I collected tennis balls,
cut a slit in each one and made four soft shoes to slip on the four
legs of each stool or chair. I am certain that it has saved me from
early retirement. When the kids don't have to speak over the furniture
noise they are less likely to reach that volume level that hinders
Sharon: I have K-6.
I use the signal, "Give me 5" with my arm and hand outstretched. I have them
guess and playact what the "5" are. I give hints, the senses, eyes, ears,
mouth, I have them playacting the last two, and I get the answers.
1.Look at teacher
2.Listen to what teacher is saying
4.Hands free: put materials down, take hands out of your desk and art box
5.Go back to seat
I explained that we can see how fast we can "give me 5", or I can repeat the
directions 10 times, and we would have very little artmaking time.
For clean up, I use the signal: I rattle my clean up sign. Then I demonstrate:
I go up to each one and "chase after them" to pick up....., put away........,
wash off........I ask them how long will this take? 15 min? How much time
does that leave for artmaking? Or do they want to clean up after themselves
and time it to see how much clean up time they NEED.
I teach and reteach both these signals, until it is routine. Then, they are
pretty quiet when they work because the room is run so tight. I also have
them make a card with a ? mark and their name on it. They will get called on
to talk in a discussion only by raising the card. If they want to ask me a
question, they hold up the card, and I will come to them. Sue