I am here today with some more about this great book I’m reading with some of my friends: Unshakeable by Angela Watson. Yesterday I wrote about Chapter 13 which was all about building in rest and downtime during the day.
Have you ever accidentally run late for school? How about if you’ve ever needed to run to the restroom while your students are finishing up an assignment? These things have totally happened to me!! And you know why I was able to not worry? Because of what Angela writes about in Chapter 14 of her book.
I live 30 minutes away from my school, so there have been a couple of occasions where I was not able to get there before the kids came down from the cafeteria. Luckily, my teammate opened my door for me, and since it was far enough in the year, my students knew exactly what to do. I had established a set of morning routines for them that never changed- even when we had a field trip, an assembly, or if it was the day before a school holiday.
My kids don’t need me there to tell them what to do next. They know to come in, make lunch choice, uppack, complete morning work, and then read a book from the library. That leaves me free to handle the unexpected- a student who had a bad morning and is crying, another student who forgot her money, or even some last minute sight word testing for report cards! I try to establish routines in my classroom for everything- what to do when they are finished with work and what to do when they need to use the restroom- to name a couple.
Another key idea from this chapter was for teachers to talk less and students to talk more- about their learning. She shares some great ways to turn the conversation over to the students and how to get them more involved. I know sometimes I say something and I think I hear crickets in the background because they are all just staring at me. I talked for way too long and I lost them! I will definitely be working on how to make sure that they are more involved in the learning.
When you create a classroom that runs itself and where students are invested and involved in their learning- you are creating responsible and self-sufficient people.
If you have not already, I would highly recommend purchasing Unshakeable. This post is just my opinion and reflection. Buy the book, read it for yourself, and let me know what you think!
Make sure you head on over to Brittany’s post at her blog, Sweet and Sassy in Second, to read about chapter 15 tomorrow!