Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vocabulary Transitions and Group Supplies {Tried it Tuesday}

Hello, blogging world! You know what really bugs me? When I give directions and before I even get half way through what I'm about to say I have kiddos who have tuned me out and are already doing what they THINK they are supposed to do.

Does that every happen to you?

Then I find myself repeating the same things over and over because Johnny wasn't listening the first time. Drives me up. the. wall.

Sunday was a night of discoveries for me. Thanks to Facebook I found a great new blogger to follow, Third Grade Thoughts.  Stephanie had written a great post about her word of the day vocabulary system and she included this amazing video.
I really hope you'll take the time to watch the video, but I'll give you the gist of it in case you're pressed for time. Basically, you say, "When you hear me say the word of the day you will put away our homework folders and take out your journals. {Word of the Day}"

The word of the day becomes your cue word for action, it allows them exposure throughout the day, and it forces students to listen to your instructions so they will be sure to hear "the" word.

I went right into the classroom Monday morning and implemented this amazing idea and, so far, I'm loving it!

The other thing bugging me in the classroom has been passing out scissors and glue to students. I have my kiddos sitting in groups of four and we have community supplies for scissors, glue, and crayons. In the past I've always handed out these items to students individually. 

This year I have not two, but three classes I see and the constant taking up and passing out of materials is getting to be a little too much for me. My kiddos just aren't good with transition times yet (see above), so I THINK I may have come up with a solution. 

I got 6 zipper pencil pouches and put 4 pairs of scissors and 4 glue sticks in each one. When I want to give out these supplies I only need to hand one pouch to each table and we are done. Additionally, I appointed one person at the table as the supply helper, so that person gives the glue and scissors out. I have never seen children fight over glue and scissors like these do! You wouldn't think I'd laid gold coins on their tables they way scramble for them!! 

So far, so good on this one, too. We are able to leave the pouches on the tables for each class, so that saves me time.  like that all the supplies are together but I still have the option of moving them off of the table when I want to. 

I'm linking these tried its up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper

Side note - the last thing bugging me is blogger!! The darn thing WILL NOT let me align all my text the left!! grr....

What has been bugging you in the classroom (or otherwise) lately?


  1. Thanks for sharing the video. I am going to try the Word of the Day in my class for transitions. I love the Grab Bag Question idea for transitions. I was thinking a bank of questions that would review my Virginia SOL's. I have kindergarten so this might involve pictures but note cards on a ring would work great. Now I have some thinking to do! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the idea for the Word of the Day!

    As for Blogger, when that happens to me, I have to click the "left align" button two times and then it will work. Have you tried that?

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. I have kids that start stuff and then I get them the evil eye and they STOP. Today I wore my "I'm Bossy and I Know It Shirt" to remind them who is large and in charge! Lol! I think I might use your Word of the Day idea. I use plastic shower baskets on each table that have everything. They can quickly move the baskets off the table if they are in the way. Unfortunately, I have at least one student trip over the baskets a day and stuff goes flying everywhere. Such is life!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. I just watched that video this weekend and was thinking of trying it too. That is one of my pet peeves too!

  5. I was just pondering community supplies now that I have three classes of ELA and I thought about what you just described! I can just imagine them grabbing at the supplies like a bunch of vultures! That would drive me nuts. I like how you have yours in a bag that can be removed and stored easily. I have four desks together (some are different heights) and the bins would be too large. I like the size and portability of your solution. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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