Stop And Think!
Who needs a stop sign? You do; if you're like me.
Scenario: I'm assessing at a table and I have my other "zillion" students working independently, but still have a few who are coming up every few minutes to interrupt to ask questions, tattle, etc.
Assessing takes longer, I forget where I'm at, the child being assessed can't focus; you get the picture.
Solution: This little stop sign.
Explanation: I remind my "independent workers" ahead of time, that I am assessing, short of death, blood, and sickness I am not to be interrupted.
Of course in their eagerness, they will forget, so I explain:
"In case you forget, I will hold up this reminder sign. What does it say? STOP. What does that mean? STOP in your tracks. STOP and think. Is this an emergency? if not, STOP what you were about to do, which is what? Interrupt; instead, go back and sit down. Don't STOP working!"
This has been extremely effective for me. I simply watch out of the corner of my eye for approaching offenders and hold up the sign. They immediately retreat without any words spoken.
I also have one taped to a Popsicle stick. I hold it up whenever I want the students to immediately STOP or freeze in their tracks.
As soon as I see everyone frozen, I give directions. I tell them that if they can do it in 15 seconds there is a reward. They LOVE trying to beat the clock as well as "freezing".
Usually the reward is a scoop of popcorn kernels in the popcorn jar. When the jar is full they get popcorn and an educational video like Magic School Bus. The reward has also been filling in letters that spell something they are working for like Hot Chocolate, Extra Recess, Play-Doh, or Free Play Center Time etc.
Click on the link to view/download the Stop Sign
Thanks for visiting. Do STOP back tomorrow for more ideas and teaching tips.
Do you have one you'd like to share? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to post a comment here.
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Remember to STOP and not only smell the flowers, but plant some!