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TeacherBug08 TeacherBug08 is offline
 
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is this normal for 1st grade?
Old 12-07-2013, 10:00 AM
 
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When you are teaching a whole group lesson do you expect 100 percent engagement? I have some students no matter what they talk to neighbors. I have them move their clips down right away or ill say I never teach when you are talking. I don't have much experience with first grade am I expecting too much? Again, most of the time during whole group it will be like three students who are not on track would you ignore it or address it each time in first grade?


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Six year olds
Old 12-07-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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have short attention spans, but most teacher evals want 100% engagement. We won't get into developmentally appropriate expectations.

Mostly, giving them short burst of instructions with modeling or visual models helps. Then have them think-pair-share, or tell a partner to be sure they got it. You can have them do something physical to show you they understand. You can also ask some off track students to be involved somehow: hold the book, do some pointing, whatever can be invented.

Do also ask some of the paying close attention ones to be helpers as a reward. The kids will notice that those who are off task are getting what they see as a perk and follow their example. I do a lot of "thank you, name. I can see you are looking at me and really listening." That prompts a lot of others to get with the program for a few minutes.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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I agree with broom rider.

I would also ask - how long are your whole group lessons? First graders can't handle long stretches of whole group time - it MUST be broken up.
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first grade
Old 12-07-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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I agree with everything that Broomrider and yellowdaisies have said, including the developmentally appropriate expectations.

Also, when doing whole group, try to have the squirelly ones closest to you on the carpet. That really helps with focus.

Still, kids of that age need to do a lot of moving. I find it unconscionable to expect five and six year olds to have to sit still for 45 minutes as some of the admins require. They obviously have no clue how primary students' bodies and minds work. My rule of thumb has always been that the age of the child matches their attention span, so a 5-year old should not be expected to sit still and focus for more than 5 minutes. After that you must allow them to do something different. Do some clapping patterns, have them do a couple of jumping jacks, have them chant the rules while snapping their fingers, whatever it takes.

First graders are wonderful, and are very willing to do what you expect them to do. But expecting them to handle long stretches at the time is unfair.
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Assigned seats on the carpet?
Old 12-07-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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Do you have assigned seats on the carpet? I find that if I choose where people seat, they have a better chance. We sit in rows, and the rows rotate forward each day on the rug, so it feels like kids aren't always in the back. M and F are the same spot, because I have four rows.

I also have kids sit in a chair right behind the rug us if I need to say, "Oops. Talking. Sit in that chair if you aren't ready to listen. Come back when you are ready." At first you might need three chairs, but it won't last. If it does, add a consequence for the behavior, such as, if you chose to sit in the chair, you miss 5 min. of recess.


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Old 12-07-2013, 10:57 PM
 
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I love the idea of rotating rows! I have assigned seats but I hate that some of my kids are always in the back on the carpet. Great idea.

And I agree with the 1 minute per year of their age. I have an especially squirrelly class this year and I am very lucky when I can get 5 or 6 minutes of focus on the carpet!
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Great suggestions!
Old 12-08-2013, 02:15 AM
 
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You've gotten some great ideas. I agree with keeping lessons short. No matter what the subject, I only have them listening for about 5 minutes before I have them practice what I modeled with a partner. I stop teaching if anyone is talking to a neighbor and stare at the ones who are off task. Then I continue. I also have them sit in a circle at the rug (assigned seats) so that no one can hide behind another student and they can all see me and I can see them all.
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First grade
Old 12-08-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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This year I have assigned carpet seats, alternate girls/boys and assigned talking partners. Kids share with partner and I call on a few to tell what their partner said to encourage listening. Also have an assigned line up order.

Squirmy group for sure, but love'm all!
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if you had a
Old 12-08-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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45 minute math block how many minutes would you do whole group? How would/do you break up math?
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Math time
Old 12-08-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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In the best of all worlds, I'd do a short talk and model of a procedure, have the students use some manipulatives (if appropriate) to physically feel how that concept works, or to discuss and share with me their understanding. I love having individual white boards for the students to illustrate or write their problems or answers. I tell the problem--say think--say write--say show me. The pause between write and show me depends on how the class is doing. I ask them to hold the board toward their body so their neighbor can think for themselves.

Repeat as needed to cover the items to be presented. Sometimes the white boards will let you know that they didn't get it and more examples, modeling, words are needed.

Cheap white boards are sometimes available at Target or the dollar stores. I've had shower board, shiny white 4'x8' pieces made to line showers in bathrooms cut into many rectangles at a home improvement store. If you say they are for your class, the cutting is often free.

You can also divide the class into rotating groups as for guided reading with seat work, reinforcing games (taught and modeled), and a tutoring group who need extra help. I often end up doing a hop around when the whole class is doing seatwork, I tell them to go on to another item rather than waste time sitting and waiting for me or lining up and doing nothing while waiting their turn.



Last edited by broomrider; 12-08-2013 at 12:05 PM.. Reason: added some info
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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I keep my lessons under 5 minutes each and give them chances to turn and talk with the person next to them about the content in my lesson. Because of this, there is no more extra chatting going on. I just have the occasional day dreamer.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:14 PM
 
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Since your lessons are 5 minutes what do you usually have students doing after? Do you have them all doing the same thing?
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:11 AM
 
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I expect/demand 100% engagement. I know they are capable of sitting and focusing for long periods of time at that age (they watch TV, play on their iPads and watch movies for far longer).

I call on those who seems to be not paying attention and if they can not answer (or at least repeat the question) the rest of the class looks down on them as they have lost face (not a good thing here).

Our blocks/classes are 40 minutes (except for once a week when I have a double block of Math and a double block of English). They also have a double block of Thai class (per law) once a week. My group/class lessons run for about 20 or so. Then the last 20 minutes doing independent or group work about the lesson I just taught.
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@teacherbug08
Old 12-10-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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If it's a reading or writing lesson, they go off to practice what I taught in their books and stories.

If it's a math lesson, they go off to practice with a partner game/activity and then do a practice worksheet as a quick assessment.
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Yardsticks
Old 12-11-2013, 04:16 AM
 
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In addition to all the great advice on here, I would encourage you to add the book Yardsticks by Chip Wood to your Teacher Resources. It is an extremely useful book detailing the typical socio/emo/phys/cognitive characteristics for each age and how that will impact teacher decisions regarding lessons and curriculum. I use it all the time! If you do get it, please let me know how you end up using it. I'd love to hear!
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Whole Brain Teaching
Old 01-06-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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Try whole brain teaching and have the children teach each other. I always try to use some kind of gesture(hand movement) when teaching. The children act as a mirror and repeat what I do and say. Next, they teach an elbow partner. Very effective and engaging. Give it a try!

Last edited by aday; 01-06-2014 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:58 PM
 
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Yes! I second Whole Brain Teaching. This is an excellent way to get 100% engagement! And if you do it right, you don't need to be stopping and having kids change their clips. By using the WBT scoreboard it draws all the kids back in to focus, monitors behavior, and moves on at a quick pace.

Here is one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yygIwC3PSvk


other details: http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/in...d=6&Itemid=124
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