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Lillybabe Lillybabe is offline
 
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Interrupting/Off Task Comments/Questions
Old 10-12-2017, 06:26 PM
 
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So, this is my first year teaching kindergarten. I did three years of Title I and worked daily with kindergarten so I have an idea of what I'm doing. Things are going well so far this year and I have a small class. One issue I'm still battling with is how to deal with interrupting students. For example, we're reading a story and Johnny politely raises his hand. I call on Johnny and he said "I went to McDonalds with my dad last night. I like McDonalds. I got a toy. My dad is awesome... *ramble continues as I try to politely listen and the rest of the class squirms*" I remind students that questions or comments should be on topic. Sometimes I cut them off and tell them we don't have time for comments right now. I feel like a jerk when I do that though. Sometimes the comments or questions are even on topic and insightful having to do with our read aloud. However, once I let one student comment everyone wants to comment. Students even raise their hand and when I call on them they don't have anything to say they just wanted a chance to talk. How do I curtail these frequent interruptions that make read alouds and other whole group lessons choppy and disjointed? What strategies have you tried that work? I don't want to kill their enthusiasm and I try to build in natural stops to discuss but sometimes there are just so many interruptions. I also know kids this age have short attention spans and try to keep lessons at 5-15 minutes long. We stop frequently for brain breaks and mostly they aren't actually shouting out. They raise their hands fairly well it's just often during times when I need to finish directions, finish a poem/story, finish modeling something, etc.


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Old 10-12-2017, 07:50 PM
 
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I do a few things. Often I will tell them before I even start reading/giving directions/whatever that I won't call on anyone until I am done. Then I don't. And if someone starts telling a wonderful, off-task story I'll just tell them that I want to hear about it but now is not the time. Some kids will never get that message, but others will start to realize when it's okay to tell stories and when it isn't.

One thing that has actually helped me tremendously is starting the day with play time. Not only do the kids get a chance to play, which they need, but they get a chance to get a lot of those stories out before we start our instruction. And I get a chance to check in and listen to those stories without feeling like a grinch who keeps telling them they can't talk.
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:50 AM
 
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I do the same as Sbkangas: warn them before I begin I won't be calling on raised hands so don't bother. Some still raise hands and I just one-eyebrow them. Many kids don't know how to act unless we tell them.

I also build in time right after attendance for them to tell whatever whackadoodle story they have burning a hole in their mouths. That helps, too.

I'd love to have free play first thing, but our pull outs are right after the bell.
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