Classroom Management. What do you think of when hearing those two words? Those two words are almost exciting for me as Classroom Organization. Almost. Today, I am sharing an easy, EASY classroom management idea called “Start Cards”.
You know when the kids come in to the classroom and everything is fine in the hallway but as soon as they enter–all of a sudden you have to put out fires. Sure, you might tell the kids–get out a book from your book bag and start reading while I do this, this, and this. You are putting out fires from what happened in the lunchroom, recess, and hallway. Or maybe you had a meeting during their “Specials” that went over and you didn’t have time to put the manipulatives around the room like you thought you would. Most start reading but others take.their.time. Well, this little ditty is meant to help with getting the kids focused on the next subject/skill/task.
The idea is for the kids to get started on a task without you having to say a word or make a copy of something…not one.single.worksheet…ahem….printable.
You’ve heard of EXIT CARDS–right? Well, these are the complete opposite: ENTER CARDS or what I call…Start Cards (not rocket science–maybe you’ve heard of them?). I labeled chart paper or some other poster or white board etc. with “Let’s Get Started”. Kids take a look at the “start word”, grab a sticky note or index card (or whatever you want them to have) and start drawing or writing what they learned yesterday (or last week) about that skill. For example, let’s say you are learning rounding as a strategy to add. You’ve taught (or kids have come up with) different ways to “round”. One strategy is using a rounding “hill”. So, on the chart paper next to “Start Word” you write “rounding hill”. Kids can write or draw what they remember about a “rounding hill”. It’s a great preassessment too. Just a quick check. Kids can either put their sticky note on the chart paper or keep in the math journals, etc.
For Kinder you could slowly introduce this routine….maybe you are learning about the letter T. On the “Start Word” you could leave that part off and just write a big “T”. Kids could draw what T reminds them of –or something that starts with T.
The point is that they are starting something without much direction. Something that isn’t fluff and something that is purposeful…for both you and the kids.
Do you do something like this? What do you think?