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!