So I have three classes of amazing, brilliant and enthusiastic students. I have been doing many activities and group work, so it gets a bit loud for my one class that is especially enthusiastic. My solution thus far is that I say 3-2-1, and then they say, MATH IS FUN! Then, silence. and wow – this does work wonders! However, I am having to say it a couple times each period to get their attention so that I may talk to the entire class about the activity. This is wasting time. In addition, it takes time to hand out (and collect) all of these activities and grouping materials. Basically, transition time is killing me! I feel like I am not utilizing my class time to the fullest. Yes, I am going to go back and look over Lemov and Fred Jones when I get a spare moment (unlikely), I will have to MAKE a spare moment.
But in the meantime, if you are an activity, group loving teacher I would love some tips on keeping it quick, simple, and quiet when we are so very active!
** Note – I float from room to room so I cannot leave materials out for the next class – I must collect and distribute each period.
Could you make it a competition? Spend part of one period timing how fast the kids can pass papers out? Or collect them? Or move their seats?
Students love competition, especially middle school. And even compete between classes? “First hour passed their papers out in 27 seconds. Can you beat it?”
Elissa – Now THAT is an idea! Oh, they will love it. Today we had a game where they had to list what they thought were the 5 countries with the highest population density in 5 minutes. They worked like crazy! I am totally going to try this. I just need them to move faster and quieter! lol! I hope that you SBG is going well. Love your examview tests. I am still getting the hang of it. We don’t like each other yet! : )
Technique 30 “Tight Transitions” seems to be the one Lemov would have you read. Technique 28 “Entry Routine” may also be relevant for the paper distribution.
Thanks! Re your suggestion I looked these up and read them this morning. The paper handing out thing doesn’t help much since I have tables. : ( But, I really liked the entry routine. I just need to make sure they understand what I expect. I also like the emphasis on “pace” in his book. It was a good “reminder” of things I know I should be doing – but forget! : )
I have seven groups, and have a toolbox for each group. They toolboxes were not a lot of money ($7 each at Canadian Tire), and are big enough to hold EVERYTHING I need to give out. The groups are now trained to pick up their toolbox. Inside, I’ve already put copies of any handouts they need…and all the supplies they’ll need as well… markers, post its, rulers, scissors etc. etc.
In the morning before school starts, I just make sure that everything they need is in the toolbox. When we transition to a different activity, I make sure that whatever they need is still in the toolbox. It has helped a LOT! As for the enthusiastic but noisy group…it always shocks students when I can repeat their conversation word for word and I’m standing far away from them. Sometimes that’s all it takes for them to realize they are really, really too loud. Try standing back, listening and then approaching them and repeating what you heard.
I LOVE the toolbox idea!! It would help me so much in the morning too when I get organized. I “float” so this would really help me with organization. THANK YOU! Now I just need to make time to go to Target 🙂
I’ve even done that before with just large envelopes that I’ve been able to get from the school at no cost. Good luck!