Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Invest Now 2017 Edition {The Hallway}

Welcome to the 2017 Edition of Invest Now.  Last year I shared with you how I teach and practice my classroom routines and procedures and why I feel it's important to really invest in the time to do it. Click HERE to read it.  In part 2 I shared about how I teach and practice my classroom expectations. Click HERE to read.  

In this 2017 Edition I will go a little more in depth and share with you some of the specific routines and procedures I teach, how we practice them, and why I think they are so important.

Today's edition is all about the hallway!  I know there are many different opinions on hallway behavior...this is mine (again, my OPINION) and we can disagree and still both be great teachers!

Our school is all one big building.  We have to walk through hallways and pass many classrooms and offices on the way to our destinations.

I expect my class to walk through the hallways quietly.  I think it is important to explain to my class WHY I expect that.  Again, this is my OPINION, and we can disagree and still both be awesome.....my husband and I raised a STRONG WILLED child.  I put strong willed in caps because let me tell you...I have taught for 16 years, my husband for 22 and she is the strongest willed child either of us have come across.  Anyways, my strong willed child had no problem being obedient as long as she knew the WHY.  I know that some parents and teachers will disagree and say that children should obey just because we are the adult and tell them to...if that works for you that's great.  But it didn't work for my child and I suspect that it doesn't work for many of our students either.  My child needed to understand why we were expecting certain behaviors from her and when she understood she had no problem obeying.  

I apply this same theory in my classroom.  I believe that we need to not just tell students the behavior we expect from them, but we need to explain the WHY so that they understand what that behavior is communicating and why it is important.

We then have a short conversation about what it is like to be disrupted by noisy people or classes when we are in the middle of something important.  We talk about how it made us feel and the silent message it sent us (that what we were doing was not important to them). 

So, once a class understands what you expect and the why everyone just magically does it and I have perfectly quiet lines as we walk through the halls right?!?!?  HA!  Of course not!  But, I do have some tricks up my sleeve that I am happy to share with you!

One of my favorite tools is something I call "Line Order."  

I know this isn't new, I've been using line order for 16 years and I know it was around before me!  I love line order because it helps us line up quickly and avoid any arguments about cutting in line (seriously...who else hates hearing "no cuts, no buts, no coconuts").

 It also helps me to quickly check and see if anyone is missing before we leave the playground, during a fire drill, or when we leave specials. I can also place students strategically in line to help manage behaviors in the hallway.  If I know I have students who have trouble keeping their hands off of their friends or students who are always talking when they are together, I can place them in spots away from each other in line.  I change line order a few times throughout the year to mix it up a bit and give my students opportunities to be by different people.  If you would like to try using line order, you can download the paper for free by clicking on the link HERE.

Once students are in line order we need to get "hallway ready."  Years ago when the TV show iCarly was popular we started the "iCarly Countdown," to be hallway ready.  Since the show is no longer on TV and most of my third graders haven't seen it, now I just call it the "Hallway Countdown."  I explain how the countdown works on TV, that the camera person counts backwards from 5 to give the on air people a warning and that by the time the countdown gets to one (which they don't count out loud), they are already on air.  The same is true of our "Hallway Countdown."  We start at 5 and by the time we get to 1 (which we don't say), we are ready to walk out the door and into the hallway.  Either myself or my "Hallway Monitor," which is one of our classroom jobs begin the countdown by saying, "Hallway ready in..." and then the whole class counts "5,4,3,2" and by one their voices are off and their bodies are ready.  

This takes some time and practice, as any routine does, but once they understand how to do it properly it pays off all year!

Grab the Hallway Ready poster by clicking HERE.

I am a firm believer that if you take the time at the beginning of the year to explicitly teach and practice your routines and procedures it will pay off all year with a classroom that runs smoothly!  
You can grab my Routines and Procedures Binder HERE.  

It is completely editable and will help get you organized to start the year on the right foot!

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