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travelingfar's Message:

If you have a union, I would talk to them about this. Expecting you to look after kids for an extra hour could be a violation of contractual planning time. The school needs to figure out a way to deal with these kids before the day begins. It shouldn't be the teachers' problem.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
LuvsPixieDust 05-17-2019 09:13 PM

I already teach keyboarding in all my classes. You have some great and creative ideas.

I really like the cursive practice! It is needed.

I am hoping something I saw on the school agenda today is a plan for these long mornings that will be fabulous. We have not been told anything.

Thank you

hoppalong 05-17-2019 05:44 PM

I haven't read any of the previous responses, so pardon me if I repeat others' ideas. I know you may not want them using computers, but perhaps the students could use some work on keyboarding skills? Maybe they could practice keyboarding for 20 minutes and then rotate to other activities. Podcasts, putting puzzles together, independent reading time, cursive handwriting practice (if that is something you see a need for), planning and creating educational bulletin boards for you/other teachers, and being mentors to younger students are possibilities.

Could teachers of younger students use assistance from your 6th graders? Maybe listening to the little ones read or helping them with projects?

LuvsPixieDust 05-16-2019 07:42 PM

I like the way you summed up my thoughts!!

Thanks for sharing.

tyrex 05-16-2019 05:43 PM

Ideally I would not allow them to use the computers at all. They may start on academic sites but will then will just go to Youtube and games. (Maybe your school has good filters, though.)Then you're going to have to spend your time monitoring what they're doing. I also would not make it another prep for me of having to think of engaging activities. That's like adding a whole other class to your schedule. And like you said, you don't want to use up engaging activities that they'll then get sick of when you want to use them in your curriculum.

And to be honest, unless you're choosing to make this a computer club, you really don't want kids who could come later start to be dropped off early to play on the computers.

If you think you'll get too much pushback from parents or admin, I'd allow the computers only for school assignments, typing practice, or Khan academy. Otherwise, no screens, just reading, homework, maybe coloring pages or word searches.

LuvsPixieDust 05-15-2019 06:55 PM

Thanks for the great, great ideas!! This helps tremendously. I just want to start gathering supplies and have a plan in mind.

No union in my state. I hope to make it a pleasant time for all of us in the room. Maybe my class will be small and sweet.

P.S. I am SO done with students on phones and playing online games!!

Sbkangas5 05-15-2019 04:35 PM

I'd probably give the options of reading, drawing, doing homework, or good old fashioned board and card games. I'd hesitate to add another hour of computer time, only because kids are on screens so much already. But that's just me.

Loveslabs 05-15-2019 02:04 PM

Maybe have a different activity for each day. For example every Monday is maker space things. Every Tuesday is khan Academy, etc.

Or week one is maker space, week 2 is Khan Academy, etc. As you find what works best set it up so each week cycles through over and over.

An hour seems like a long time, so you might want to consider breaking it up somehow. Maybe 45 minutes for whatever activity and then the rest is clean up time or silent reading.

Can you have them do jobs around the room to help you or another teacher? For example, sometimes our copier refuses to staple packets. I would love a child that would accomplish that simple task for me.

travelingfar 05-15-2019 02:03 PM

If you have a union, I would talk to them about this. Expecting you to look after kids for an extra hour could be a violation of contractual planning time. The school needs to figure out a way to deal with these kids before the day begins. It shouldn't be the teachers' problem.

LuvsPixieDust 05-15-2019 09:56 AM

I like the idea of virtual field trips!! I thought about making the time Genius Hour--kinda, but I am gonna do that in my classes, too. I don't want to overdo GH.

SassyTeach 05-15-2019 08:48 AM

What does your contract say about start time? If they're expecting you to come in earlier than what the contract states, they need to be coughing up some money to pay you guys. They're changing the working conditions, and in most states, that is a negotiated item. If you're in a school with a strong union, I recommend talking to them. Changed need to be made or a grievance needs to happen.

WGReading 05-15-2019 08:10 AM

What about creating a list of virtual field trips and/or scavenger hunts that the kids can complete?

I don't know of any specific resources to recommend, but I have seen these around and know some of our teachers use them connected with specific content.

It would take some prep up front to find the resources, but once you created a list or choice menu or whatever, it would probably be fairly easy to run. Then if you wanted you could make some kind of incentive for completing them or making progress on them.

LuvsPixieDust 05-15-2019 06:35 AM

Our secondary grades start 1 hour late, my school is upper elem. We are moving to a late start to help with traffic. In order to help parents it was determined we need to open our doors early. Currently this year drop off is a 7 a.m., but really some are dropped off at 6:45, but they are only in our rooms for 15 minutes before the bell.

As long as I can find something that will keep them settled and is not a lot of prep involved, I will be fine.

ZipLine 05-15-2019 06:22 AM

I would not like that. I went to school an hour before school started so that I could prepare for the day and get some things done. Not monitor kids for an hour. Is the hour part of your paid contract time?

In my district, kids go to the cafeteria to eat breakfast or to the gym where they can play basketball or sit and chat. Aides are on duty to monitor until the AM bell rings and students go to their classroom. Kids at my school would start arriving at 6:45. School started at 7:35.

You could designate the time for homework, studying, reading, an educational movie, or ask students for ideas.

Keltikmom 05-15-2019 05:37 AM

It does seem weird that admin decided to start school earlier... but didnít plan what to do with early arrivals. So, youíre expected to entertain them/keep them occupied?

I would just lay a few ground,playing around with the equipment, low voices, etc. I donít think you need to entertain them...they will be attached to their phones, talking with each other, maybe sleeping, maybe catching up on homework.

LuvsPixieDust 05-15-2019 05:16 AM

I need ideas for next year and my morning procedure. My school is moving start time to 8:30, but bus riders and parents may drop off starting at 7:30. Students will go directly to 1st period. Many, many of our students ride the bus in the morning.

My room is a computer lab. I teach 6th grade.

I don't really want them working ahead on classwork and frankly I don't want this to become another prep for keeping students entertained. I don't want them playing games online the whole time either. I don't want this to be a time of herding cats so to speak.

I was thinking about making it a silent reading time, but in my past years when we did AR, it was hard to enforce and encourage reluctant readers.

I know a math teacher who plans to do Khan Academy each morning.

Or maybe set up centers with puzzles or maker space things??

We have not been given any info other than times. I don't know if rigor and engagement are expected.


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