I feel like I have been doing a lot of whining lately. I hate sounding that way. Today I want to focus on two really powerful changes that I have made this school year that have made a positive change in my classroom.
1.Morning Meeting/Morning Message - I still start each day with morning work. Right after that, however, I have the students meet on the carpet for a morning meeting. During this time, I go through a message with students that I have already written. We use this message as a teaching tool. For example, last week we learned about the differences between sentences and fragments. I would write a variety of sentences that were either sentences or fragments. We would then make corrections. I also try to include messages about behavior for the students. I feel like I can eek out a bit more instruction that may normally be missed due to time.
2. End of Day Folders - I must admit I have always struggled with an end of day routine. Now I have students pick up their end of day folders when they are getting ready to go home. They now have something concrete to work on once they have their things. In the past I have done Top Secret files with the students. This is the new version of them. I can customize the packets for students based on their need. Since I have a set storage place (a hanging pocket chart with room for each folder), I am able to make sure all folders are returned at the end of the day. The folders will not get lost and a normally hectic time of day is much calmer.