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Birdie86 Birdie86 is offline
 
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How do you manage this in your classroom?
Old 08-24-2017, 05:45 PM
 
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When you are working with a small group or guided reading group and your students are doing independent work or stations/centers, what is your management strategy for when kids finish their independent work or have a question about their work or station? I tell the kids they can't come to me when I'm working with a group of students unless it's an emergency. I've tried various things in the past to have them do when I'm busy but they weren't as effective as I'd like. What has worked well for you and your class? I'd love to have some fresh ideas or suggestions to start the new year.


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Old 08-25-2017, 07:49 AM
 
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I had 6 different things for children to work on for their independent work. Each activity was inside a drawer - I used one of those rolling cart thingies. Once they completed an activity, they could move on to another one. Some activities could be completed in one day, others took an entire week. Each child had a folder that had a 1/2 sheet of paper that listed the drawer numbers on it. One side of the folder said work and the other side said done. When a child completed the activity, they colored in the drawer number on their tracking sheet so they knew it was completed. They also put any completed work or accountability sheets on the done side so I could check it. Every independent activity had some kind of paper that went with it - whether it was an actual cut and paste paper sort or just an accountability sheet for something like reading books to a reading buddy. (They just wrote the name of the books they read on that sheet.)

If a child had a question about an activity, they could write a question mark on a post it note and put it on the front of their folder. That signaled to me that they needed to talk to me about something. They were also taught to move on to another activity that they DID know how to complete. If they were out of activities, they were to look at books.

Now... I still had kiddos who felt like they really HAD to talk to me. So, I had a designated "waiting spot" about 2 feet from my small group table where they could stand and wait. IF I had a moment, I would signal for them to come to my table to ask the question. This worked really well there were odd moments when I could quickly answer a question. But... it was when it was convenient for me. It also had the added benefit that some children would get tired of waiting and move on to something else on their own.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:59 PM
 
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I like your question. I rotate groups every 15 minutes or so and the kids learn to "stay busy the whole time." The question problem is done with a silent signal. The kids learn it must be a body emergency kind of thing ( "B emergency : blood,barf,bathroom,burning up) if they want to ask a question and in this case they put both thumbs in the air. I give a silent signal back for bathroom by wave my hand towards the classroom bathrooms. If I do not see the signal, the child goes to my reading table and stands in front of the table to wave their thumbs.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:22 PM
 
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When my kids are finished with their independent work they have a variety of other choices. I have them in a Lakeshore drawer thing, and they are all activities that reinforce concepts we have been learning. At the beginning of the year it's lots of things like alphabet puzzles, magnetic letter activities (names, matching, sorting, etc.), wikki sticks, building letters, clothespin letter matching activities, printing practice, etc. Later on they will have things like games they know how to play, sticker stories, blank books, etc. I change them out every couple of weeks.

As for the interrupting, some years are better than others! I teach them to ask 3 people and then the parent helper before they come to me. Unless, of course, it's one of the aforementioned emergencies.
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Great idea, Miss Binney!
Old 08-26-2017, 05:40 PM
 
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I like your waiting spot idea!

As for kids finishing early, I have a May Do board that shows what the kids can do when they are finished. It usually consists of working in their practice binder that have worksheets with sheet protectors that the kids can work on independently (name practice, word of the day, number of the day, handwriting practice, drawing, sentence writing), read books, or work on STEM bin activities). They look forward to all these activities and they like that they get to choose one for themselves.


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Old 08-27-2017, 04:39 PM
 
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Can you elaborate on "Stem bin" activities? That sounds interesting. Are these activities that they can figure out themselves or you all have done whole group and then moved to bins? Sounds cool.
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I got them from TPT
Old 08-29-2017, 06:45 PM
 
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from Brooke Brown-Teach Outside the Box. They are basically plastic pencil boxes that have specific items in them that the kids can choose and create (i.e., a house or bridge) for when they have finished an activity. Brooke Brown has a blog (named above) that she goes into great detail in how she uses them in her classroom. I am actually going to start using them tomorrow! I am going to work in a group of 6 kids. Each one can choose one of the stem bin containers and I am going to give them a prompt and a picture to make a house out of whatever materials they have in their bin. If there is time, I will let them choose a different structure and/or material to make another one. I will rotate this 4 times so that all 24 children can experience using the bins and how, where, and when they can use them during other parts of the day.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:59 PM
 
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I think it helps to have open ended activities that can't be truly "done"... so no worksheets.We do reading workshop so the other students are reading with a partner/shopping for books, listening to ebooks on ipads, or doing doing word work with the assistant while I meet with guided reading groups.
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