Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tally Marks - to the rescue!!

Do you feel like you are always pulling tricks out of your bag to try and get your kids to focus and stay on-task during whole group times?  Anytime before I require my students to sit for a whole group time, we always get our wiggles out by dancing or doing some yoga.  This, for the most part, helps 85% of them sit and focus.  There are always a few, no matter what, that struggle to focus and learn.  So, one easy way that I eliminate this is my handy-dandy competition!  This….works….every….single…time.  The "format" of the game might be different depending on my students' needs that day.  Different "teams" include:  boys vs girls (Mrs. Bowder included) :),  superhero(s) (…keep reading…) vs Mrs. Bowder, and individual students vs Mrs. Bowder.  Different scenarios call for different game setups.  I have to know and observe my students to know which type of game will help them to be the most successful.  If I notice a few boys (yes…this year it is boys…but it can be girls, too) that are really struggling to focus, then I put their names up on the board and they earn points for the whole entire class.

Other days, I just pick "super-heros" to play against me.  I don't tell them WHO the superhero(s) are and so all of them put forth their best hoping to beat me.  Anytime the students who are earning points for the entire class are on-task and focused they get points.  Anytime they are not, I get points.  I very rarely EVER win but I have once or twice when we were really struggling.  Sometimes, when a player is PERFECT and I get zero points, I ask them if I could just have ONE point….for my beauty of course.  And that usually makes everyone erupt in laughter.

We have lots of fun trying to stay on-task. This is one of my tricks in my educational bag.  What are yours?
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