Friday, July 15, 2011

Round 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out

Sometimes teaching is like herding cattle, and the end of the day in any classroom can be chaotic or calm.  In an effort to make mine more like the latter, I've been searching for new ideas for when I need to round 'em up and move 'em out.  Here are just a few:

  • I made a list of silly ways to say Good-bye because I want my little apple pies to leave each day with a smile on their faces.  This could be made into a poster and displayed near the door/hall. (This PDF has a full-color version and a black-and-white version.)
  • Play a song during your pack up time.  "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music would be a nice cue.  Or you could even have a song of the week, changing songs each week.  Teach your little DJs that by the end of the song you would like for their chairs to be stacked, their backpacks to be ready, their voices to be off, and their bodies to be sitting in a designated place.
  • Play a game of "21" as a class. Everyone stands and we go round the group, each person saying one, two or three numbers. For example, the first player might say "one, two, three." Then maybe the second player says, "four, five."  The third player can say "six," or "six seven," or "six seven eight."  The player who says "21" is eliminated. (They sit down.) The next player starts over with "one," "one two," or "one two three." This strategy game is sure to keep them involved until dismissal.
  • The Responsive Classroom Approach suggests doing a Closing Circle at the end of the day.  There are some GREAT ideas here.
  • Play Whisper - Start with the teacher whispering something to the first person (only once).  The first player then whispers what s/he heard to the next person and so on. The last person has to say it out loud.  This would be a great time to review a concept, a vocabulary word, a math fact, etc.
  • Play a game of ABC- Start by choosing a category.  For example, let's say the category is animals.  The first person says an animal that begins with the letter A. The second person has to repeat the A animal then add a B one. The third person has to say the A animal, B animal, and add a C animal and so on. We see how many letters we can get to.  I played this at camp with my 6th grade girls and they loved it!
  • Brent Vasicek has a video along with some great ideas here.
What's your best way to end the day before dismissal?  Leave a comment here....yee haw!


victoria said...

I love for ideas for dismissal time. Last year was my first year teaching and I struggled with this part of the day so much. I think my students will really enjoy the game 21. Thanks for the ideas

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