Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Classsroom Management

Homeschoolers can use this tip too. It was passed on to me by someone who had seen it in action in a Montessori classroom. Montessori is famous for its emphasis on students working independently. There are only five whole group lessons given each year in Lower Elementary -- and those are the Five Great Lessons. Everything else is done individually or in small groups. So classroom management comes into play rather quickly. How do children who need help get it if they are not supposed to interrupt you when you are meeting with someone else?

Enter "The Name Board".

The Name Board is a place for the children to simply write their name to show that they need assistance. The children then move on to another work while waiting for the teacher, aide, or helping friend to come to them. I use my classroom's one chalkboard a lot. I don't want people writing on it. So I use the Nienhuis greenboard.

These boards come in a set of 2. One lined side, one sectioned into a grid. I love these boards! They could easily be used in a Waldorf setting, especially since they are green and not black, for language and math. When I begin a period of Independent Work Time I simply set the Name Board up on the rim of the chalkboard so that the students have access to my white chalk and eraser. I am now able to give lessons without interruption (which is more respectful of the person with whom I am working) and the students who need help can rest assured that they will not be overlooked or forgotten. My aide can see immediately who needs help next. We simply erase a name when that child has been helped. You could do this with a homeschooling family as well, especially if you are teaching younger children to wait their turn. Knitting, reading, math flash cards, or other independent work can be accomplished while the child is waiting. This has worked so well in our classroom!

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