Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
I think a lot of the trick to teaching K's is having a collection of ways
to refocus them, particularly prior to a transition in the lesson. Some of
the ways I use are:
* "lap hands" They are trained (by me) to come in, sit down and do Lap
Hands (sit with your hands folded, eyes on me) so we can quickly get our
art lesson started. When I anticipate a break in their focus, I say,
"Let's do Lap Hands again, please".
* "seat check" I have metal stools with a round wooden seat in the art
room. These are ok for the older kids, but iffy for the little ones who
seem to slip off the edge fairly easily. Before they ever come to the art
room, I go to their classroom to introduce myself and I bring a stool. I
demonstrate how to sit "smack dab in the middle" on the wooden part, and
tell them we'll do a few seat checks during class to make sure they are
safe. It did start out as a safety thing, but I've noticed that it does
get them refocused as a group very nicely.
* "line-up poem" When I've dismissed them (by table, according to which
is neat and kids are sitting with Lap Hands) to line up at my door, we say
this poem together, and follow the words:
My hands are hanging by my side
I'm standing straight and tall
My eyes are looking straight ahead
I'm ready for the hall
After I know them and they're used to this routine, I substitute the word
"mall" which, predictably, sends them into giggles and laughs...but that's
the purpose of it!
Hope some of this helps
Cathy in Ellington