You know you’ve thought it. You may have even said it. If you teach and small group work is part of your construct…you want uninterrupted time with your learners and inevitably, there are students that ruin the sanctity of the moment with tidbits of information that are entirely irrelevant to what you are doing. I’ve done lots of different types of things to help my students know what my expectations are, but this flow chart really resonated with my kids this week, and after quickly scrawling it on my board before centers…I’m going to make it an anchor chart and have it posted for review before we start our centers daily for the remainder of the year. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it was to have uninterrupted time with my littles! BLISS, I tell you! B.L.I.S.S!!!
So…this is what I did to get it started.
Wondering if you could use this? Think about something that your students do almost every day that is really frustrating. THAT is what you need a flow chart for! Planning ahead for next year? Check out this free list of management questions. Pick out a few of these and create a flow chart with them!
There is only ONE reason that I want students to interrupt me when I am in small group: SICKNESS. That is it. Anything else can either be shared with a friend, or can wait until later on.
This part is very important. After each step I would say…I need to do what? They would say…ask Mrs. Russell a question. Then I would say what do I do first? LOOK FOR THE SIGN. I have a stop sign that I made out of butcher paper and a large paint stick from Home Depot. When I am available for conversation, the sign is turned to the GO sign. If I am in a small group, it says STOP. I prop it up on a rolling cart for all the kids to see. Someone from my center group gets to turn it each rotation.
It is important that students know that it’s not that you DON’T want to speak with them, but that there are more appropriate times to do so. Make sure that in your classroom construct, students know that you are open to hearing them share things with you and at what times you are most available to them. Make sure that if you say you’re available…you make sure that you are so that you can build trust with them! 🙂
Student independence and autonomy is huge. Especially in the lower grades. Let them know that there are things that they can do on their own and that you trust them to make good choices for themselves. Praise them when they are resourceful and independent. It will help them to continue to work on good decision making throughout the year.