Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Getting the Teacher's Attention

I seem to be struggling with my "titles" lately.  Don't you just love Irony?!
Despite gaining a permanent position in a secondary school.  I am a primary school teacher at heart.  My brain works like that of a primary school teacher and I will not apologise for that.  In fact, I was originally hired for my primary school brain.  Much like most primary school teachers, I spend at least some of my holiday working on resources for my classroom.  I made these lovely "attention grabbers" during my last holiday.  I haven't posted them until now, because I wanted to use them in my classroom first.   I planned on giving you an overview of my creation process, but you will probably come up with your own way of doing things.  Also, I think you should be able to figure it out simply by looking at the pictures. 
I developed this resource after a bit of Pinterest browsing and a number of discussions with our head of middle school.  It seems odd, but I think she is a "primary school teacher" at heart as well.  I haven't really found a good name for these yet, so suggestions would be nice.  The kids call them "our plates". 
Anyway, here goes...
Students have these flip books on their desks during independent working time.  I (the teacher) move around the room helping students who need assistance.  Students begin with their green "page" (plate) facing up.  This signals to me that the student is working well and feeling confident.  If I see a yellow "page" I know that the student is okay, but would like me to check something.  Either they are finished and want to make sure they have completed everything correctly before moving on, or they need some reassurance.  The red plate, is my favourite. A red "page" means "HELP. NOW. I'M STUCK!"

Introducing this strategy with teenagers is very different to working with children in the early years.  I decided that my year 9 students would respond more positively to humour.  So, I made it a bit of a joke.  Green means "Go Away Miss, I'm fine."  Yellow means "When ya got a minute, can ya check on me please?"  Red means "AAAHHH, Get over here NOW!  I think I'm dying."  Hopefully you can imagine the joking tone in my voice, the loud come backs from the kids and the smirk on my teacher aid's face. 

The plates are now a part of our daily routine and if I forget, the kids remind me... "Miss, can we have our plates please?" 

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