Friday, October 26, 2012

Classroom Reminder

If you are anything like me you have a hundred thoughts running through your head at any given moment when you are teaching.  I constantly have creative ideas, "ah-ha moments," classroom needs, and teaching reflections cycling through my thinking.  At the end of the day I sometimes found myself asking, "What were those ideas I wanted to try?"  I realized that I needed a "reminder" to keep me organized.  Being my own reminder never worked as I'd inevitably loose the post-it notes or misplace them around the room. 

I decided to introduced a new job on the classroom job chart called "The Reminders."  The classroom reminders are allowed to use the space behind my desk.  They choose a colorful pen from a teacher (target dollar section) pencil pail and a target note or notepaper from the bucket.  The reminder's job is important because they help me to documents my ideas and "to do list" for the day. 

The kids can't wait for their turn to be a reminder.  I am not sure if the job appeals to the children because they get to use teacher materials or because it's so official.  The kids get to leave the carpet, line, or desk to write things down for me.  They love doing their best writing and it makes them feel very special to be asked for help.

I call on the classroom reminders  several times a day to write reminders for me.  The system is win win for me.  I don't have to forget any of those little ideas I get throughout the day and I really enjoy reading through the children's notes at the end of the day.  Decoding the reminder notes can be tricky but I can usually always solve the puzzle as I reflect on the events of the school day.  I transpose all of the little notes the students left me into my daily to do list or into my idea booklet.

A big part of being a good teacher is being reflective about your teaching and your students' learning,  and always finding ways to improve your practices.  This little idea may help you be more reflective and encourage you to record your ideas for improvement.

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