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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Starting and Stopping

Starting and Stopping

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Anyone have great ideas on how to begin class and get them quiet and in their seats or how to end class without letting them get fidgety? Also, I have a couple of wiggly pop ups who can't seem to stay put. Ideas?

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Benjamin Pesqueda's picture
Benjamin Pesqueda
Middle School Art Teacher Austin Texas

Anyone have great ideas on how to begin class and get them quiet and in their seats or how to end class without letting them get fidgety?
Also, I have a couple of wiggly pop ups who can't seem to stay put. Ideas?

Mrs. Van Dyck's picture
Mrs. Van Dyck
Middle School Science Teacher

Starting: Have a warm-up already posted on the board for when they enter. This should be routine so they can be held accountable for knowing what to do - no excuses! I usually have the class /Cornell Notes posted with page numbers.
Wiggly Pop Ups: I address their wiggly situation. As a science teacher we start talking about out changing bodies from day 1. I acknowledge that students might be fidgety and reassure them that I had been antsy at their age too. However: we need to learn how to control our bodies as we grow. Hence, students who have serious ants in their pants are seated towards the edges of the room and allowed to stand while doing their work if necessary since they won't be blocking anyone. These are also the students who I utilize for paper distribution.
In the middle: Allow opportunities for movement and discussion. If you have white boards students should be allowed to get up and get materials, then, do some kinds of "check for understanding" that enlists the use of the whiteboards. Hence, students will be moving and talking and enjoying a chane of pace.
Stopping: Allow 5 minutes towards the end of classtime for cleaning up the area. Students should be required to stay by their desks. Again, have a routine for this and hold students accountable.
Good luck!

Rebecca Alber's picture
Rebecca Alber
Edutopia Consulting Online Editor

I second Vanessa's suggestions. In my years of teaching, a warm-up or "at bell" activity is crucial. They may resist, especially if you didn't start the school year this way, but keep at it!

Those antsy kids, as Vanessa suggested, need tasks and duties. This will help them stay out of trouble.

Good luck!
Rebecca Alber
Edutopia

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