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That awkard time right after lunch...
Old 07-24-2012, 05:52 AM
 
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I am struggling with how to manage the post-lunch transition. The last two years, I did read aloud at this time and students were allowed to use the bathroom in groups of 3. I felt like I'd rather them use that time for bathroom breaks than during reader's workshop right after. However, it is always a crazy time when they come back. Students have recess/lunchroom drama stories to tell me, other kids are still all ramped up from their break and run around the room (I often had to raise my voice to remind students of the expectation), and many students still would ask to use the bathroom AFTER read aloud.

This year, I want to do read aloud at the end of the day. I still want to allow 5 minutes of a specified "Bathroom Break" right when they get back from lunch. My question is...what could the other kids be doing that would be calming and quiet and lend immediate structure and motivate students to settle into classroom mode so I can discuss whatever issues have come up with students? I want to make it so students don't come right in and start acting crazy. Any ideas???


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after lunch
Old 07-24-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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We walk back from CAFE together and as students enter room, the DOL is already up on the Promethean. My students get their pencils out and start working. If they finish, they read silently. They are ready to begin when I am. I always have something up and projected for them to begin on. We have a congestion at the bathrooms at this time, so we try to accomplish something and then take a class break. I do always have 1 or 2 that NEED to go immediately though. I'm thinking of redoing it this year though. Schedules are so tight. We'll see when our mandated reading and math blocks are this year.
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I try to eliminate stories
Old 07-24-2012, 06:55 AM
 
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Unless someone is hurt, I discourage stories right after lunch as it just eats up too much time. I begin teaching as soon as we get back to class and let students go to restroom 1 at a time. They go in order so I don't have to say anything. Usually I check homework problems so they don't miss whole group. I let 2or 3 kids go as soon as I get them the from lunch to take up less time.
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I'm rethinking this too
Old 07-24-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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In addition to the typical post-lunch drama, I had several students who were pulled for additional math help, so I opted not to do anything substantive. I tried read-alouds, but they just weren't effective. I think I'm going to try something like the DOL or word work or journaling--something that gives students an immediate focus. I'm hoping the math pullout won't be a hassle, but I won't know until school begins.
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After lunch
Old 07-24-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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I took my class for a quick walk around the track. If someone needed the bathroom they usually took care of it while we were close to the bathrooms outside. When we entered the room whoever needed water got it. The rest settled in to listen to a read aloud. It was usually a book that a lot of them were interested in. I read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and then later Darth Paper. They were high interest books and so everyone was very engaged and relaxed during that time. It was one of my favorite parts of the day.


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We dive in
Old 07-24-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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We have "that awkward time" right before lunch, and I have them do SSR or finish anything that's not complete. They put their Math materials on their desktops so that after lunch they're ready. We have the last of three lunches, so we don't get back to class until 1PM, so there's no time to lose. Like a PP, I had everything queued up and ready on the Smart Board and we dove right in. We do flex grouping, so they grab and go. It takes a little training, but they got used to it really fast!

Can you do the bathroom break on your way back from lunch (your whole class certainly doesn't need to go?), before you get back into the classroom?
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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I wouldn't say I have 'awkward' time right after lunch but I always have them come in and do silent reading right after lunch. It works great for me. The kids know exactly what to do every day so there is no "what do we now?" and they don't spend time standing around chatting. If there are issues with recess then I have a few minutes to address it with those students. I also find that it is a good time for students to relax and have some 'quiet time'. They have just spent close to an hour talking and with their friends and I find that some just need that bit of down time. It also allows me to complete the attendance.

It doens't have to be a huge long time of silent reading time. Some days I only have time for 5 -10 minutes other days it's closer to 20.
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Ssr
Old 07-24-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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here also. That way they can visit the bathroom and then read quietly. Sometimes I've had students work on unfinished work as well.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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After lunch, everyone washes their hands (before getting out their book) and then go directly into silent reading time. I have done this for the past 25 years, and can't imagine what I did the years prior to this. It works for me because everyone settles down, and those that need to use the restroom have the opportunity. I do my read alouds while the kids are having a snack break.
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Phonics Dance and Read Aloud
Old 07-24-2012, 05:45 PM
 
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Every day when the kids return from recess they start immediately on the Phonics Dance chants (short,catchy chants about different phonics chunks). It is a student job to get everyone's attention and lead the dance, allowing me time to prep any last minute materials and quickly address any recess issues. I love doing the Phonics Dance then because it is engaging and involves some movement, but is still structured enough to transition back into classroom mode (plus the class next door takes their restroom break then so we can be as loud as we want!). We then do our interactive read aloud, which is an engaging and well-liked activity, for about twenty minutes. After read aloud we take a quick class restroom break.

I found this works well for me because there is a quick window (during phonics dance) for me to hear about any recess issues, but then we jump right into a whole group activity making it impossible to get caught up in a "he said she said" situation. With our restroom break being twenty minutes after recess 1) it isn't as crowded and 2) it provides a chance for me to follow up on any of those recess issues that were more serious. Generally if I tell an upset student that it is time for read aloud, but they are welcome to talk to me during our restroom break I weed out the ones that aren't major issues.


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My Suggestion
Old 07-24-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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My first question when students begin reporting issues from recess is: "Did you report this to the playground supervisor?''

If the answer is yes, I say, "Then the playground supervisor has already addressed it, and I do not need to know about it."

If the answer is no, I say, "Next time you need to do that."

Sometimes I also ask if there was blood. If the answer is no, then I ask the child to solve it one his/her own. If they say they cannot, I tell them we will work on it at the next recess. This is not something they want to do, so it usually goes away.

On the first day of school, I make a flow chart explaining that this is what will happen/what I will say when students come in from recess and want to tattle. Most of the time they do not believe me, but I stick to my guns. After a few days, students stop reporting these issues to me. It makes the transition after recess much smoother.

Recess issues do not belong to me. If a parent calls and wants me to comment on an issue, I refer them to the playgound supervisor. The playground supervisor lets me know if an issue is serious like there was blood or the student was sent to the principal. Those are the ones I want to know about so when a parent calls, I can make a few comments before having the parent contact the principal or playground supervisor.

My suggestion is stay out of playground issues as much as possible. Teach students how to give "I messages" and strategies like walking away, playing another game, finding a different friend, etc. "I messages" and the other strategies are something my guidance counselor teaches students right at the beginning of the year. I expect my students to know how use them. If they don't, we can use the next recess to practice.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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Last year I took my class for a bathroom break right after they came in from recess. Then we would head back to the room for 10-15 minutes of read aloud. This worked well for me!

I got tired of the tattlers too, and just as ConnieWI said, I always asked them if they had talked to the recess teacher. The recess teacher was always good about coming to talk to me if there were important things I needed to know about.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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I only have about 25 minutes after lunch until my kids go to specials so I use that time for writing. I use Monday to teach the writing skill then Tuesday-Thursday the kids write and revise their story and Friday the kids read their stories to the class.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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Last year, I had them write for about 10 minutes. Instead of telling me their lunch problems, they had to write it. I told them it would help me remember what happened and the office needed written statements if it was something serious. The students that didn't have any problems could write about anything. I liked it.
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