Monday, April 2, 2012

Management Monday

Let me ask you a question..... How much responsibility do your students take in running your classroom?

How many times per day does one of your students bring you something laying around the classroom - maybe it's a lost lego, extra pen, no-name paper....sometimes even a piece of fuzz.

Well, the rule in my class is Mrs. Partin NEVER, EVER touches the stray item. I do my best to make my kids pretty self-sufficient in my classroom. I show them where everything goes (at least anything they are allowed to touch). And, from the beginning of the year they are expected to put things in the correct place.

If there's a lego that's found it's way out of the building center - then they put it back. I refuse to take care of those things. Not only are the kids capable of taking care of these things - they thrive with the responsibility. They feel empowered and take real ownership of "their" classroom.

I remember back in the days when a student would hand me something....then pretty soon I'd have a half-dozen little things in my hands or pockets..... uuuggghhh!!! No more and my kiddos know it!

Our little ones really are capable of much more than we often give them credit for.     I also do not tie shoes (at least past November) or open any but the most difficult food packages in the cafeteria.

My kiddos switch our centers and fill out their own behavior sheets (of course I check when needed). They aren't babies and sometimes have to be pushed to learn what they can do.....

Ok, I'll step down off my soapbox now :0)

So....since I opened the door -- what are your thoughts about this? I'm interested in seeing what your ideas are!

15 comments:

  1. I love this post! Without realizing it, this was one of my goals this year too! I NEVER let them hand me anything (anymore)! I would spend a good chunk of the end of my day putting (their) stuff away. Not anymore! Thanks for the reminder that they aren't babies! You're absolutely right. And I've found when they have the responsibility put on them, they take more pride and ownership in their classroom. :)

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  2. I think most kinder. teachers agree with this post...at least I do! It's sometimes the parents and even other school staff that need the convincing:)

    Kelly
    Kindergarten Kel

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  3. I just came across your blog today! I love it!

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  4. Ditto! I remember my first year, I was just like that, I would collect so many bits of things, it was ridiculous! Now, I simply ask my kids, "What do you think you should do?" They pretty much figure it out for themselves from that point!

    Angela
    The Daily Alphabet

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  5. I totally agree with you, too! I've taught everything from Pre-K to 5th grade and the one thing I do from the get go is empower my students to be independent and good problem solvers. At the beginning of the year, when they insist on showing me the pencil with the broken point or the marker with no cap, I always say, "And what do you think you should do with it?" And they always tell me! My favorite thing to see, to really know that I've taught them to be independent rule followers, is when I have to send a bunch of kids somewhere without me and I spy on them as they walk down the hallway and they are walking in a quiet line, as if I were with them! I LOVE this!

    Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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  6. Kelly - I agree completely about parents and other staff members. I stand over my kids at lunch to make sure they are opening everything they can. Some people will come open everything - even when they are capable of doing it.

    Of course I help when needed, but I do let them struggle until they get it. They feel so proud when they figure out difficult things.

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  7. Kinder teachers ROCK!!! Too bad I don't have a "like" button in here! :0)

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  8. This sounds exactly like my room. I was told years ago, "Never do for a child what they can do for themselves." After they get that zipper zipped or open the bag of chips at lunch I like to say, "Now, aren't you glad I didn't do that for you?" Great post!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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  9. Key to success! Just let your little ones know what your expectations are and make them accountable :) I do this with my first graders but this clearly shows even your kindergarten babies are capable of much more than we can think of!!

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  10. I adore the saying, :" Never do for a child what they can do for themselves"!! That's my new motto!! :0)

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  11. I am thinking this will be my new motto too. I am constantly being driven nuts by them handing me little things. We were already going to have a discussion about this-but I think it will be happening tomorrow morning first thing. I completely agree with everything you all have said! Thanks for the boost today!

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  12. awesome Allyce......and you doing right by the kiddos too! You will find they love being empowered!

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  13. Hi! I teach 5th grade...but I love your site. Your stories and posts help me remember where my kiddos have come from! Anyway, my room practically runs itself. Letting the kids know early where "their" tools are, helps it to become our room. They have more pride in it's appearance and in the work that is being done within it's walls. It is THEIRS too. I can definately tell though, the kids that come from rooms like your all long vs. those who come from rooms in which they are merely guests. BIG Difference when they are up here in 5th grade, :-) Great Post! Mandy

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  14. I love your hands off rule! I am constantly receiving paperclips, rubber bands, those little tennis balls that refuse to stay on the bottom of the chairs, my lunchbox...?! I usually just point without breaking my stride and they'll go put it on my desk. I don't have to touch it that way but that could be the reason why my desk is a MOUNTAIN of mess. I know some people have a box for broken or lost things but sometimes I don't feel like I have place to put one more thing!! :) Great post. Our kinders are SO capable!

    Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten

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