Where to begin…..

The first weeks of school, as every teacher will tell you, are spent setting up and refining routines.  I find our school’s decision to use the principles of the Responsive Classroom provides lots of guidance and reminders on building a classroom community.

This morning, I watched a refresher on one of the most basic of routines: moving through the hallway. This video of Caltha Crowe talking, modeling, and practicing transitioning in a hallway reminds me of the essential teaching that takes place those first days: watch here.

Teaching students acceptable routines for behavior in school (and out!) is an immense undertaking. Explaining the reason for the rule, engaging students in the rule’s creation, modeling and practice-practice-practice — all is exhausting during those first weeks when we, too, are getting used to a more structured routine.

Is it worth the time and effort? I believe it is. Whenever a class routine disconnect happens, I can usually trace the problem back to the source – me! I wasn’t explicit, I didn’t provide adequate modeling or practice.

And the process will begin next Tuesday at 8:30.

2 thoughts on “Where to begin…..

  1. “Is it worth the time and effort? I believe it is.”

    I couldn’t have said it better. I too say the same in our classroom when there is a disconnect!

    Recently I have adopted the ‘Responsive Classroom’ approach to teaching in our own classroom. The students have responded 100% with enthusiasm and energy.

    At the end of the day, a student asked, “Why didn’t we do math today?”

    I explained to him that we did in fact ‘do math’ today; he didn’t recognize the discovery learning as ‘doing math’ …

    He simply said, “Oh! Can we do it that way everyday?”

    Learning (and teaching) is fun again!

    1. Oh I love it when the kids don’t even know they’re learning! I hope I never lose track of making it fun… even with the test scorers looking over my shoulder!

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