Time is so precious in the classroom, especially when you only have approximately 43 minutes with a classroom of 9th graders. Routines need to be established, but after a while, they sometimes fade away. A more pressing activity has taken it’s place. Or maybe it’s just time to change things up. Regardless, there definitely needs to be a Clean Start to let students know the show is in the road. Without realizing it, I have been using the Clean Start technique for years (211).When I want students to start on an activity I say, “Ready,Set (pause for dramatic effect), Go!” And of course, my students begin immediately, well, sometimes, a few times…However, I have to admit I am not so good at the Clean Finish (212). I do have the standard “Finish up the thought/passage you are on”, but often a student calls out,”It’s time to go” and soon they are out the door. I need to plan better for a Clean Finish.
I might just be back in the classroom teaching a regular schedule next year. Managing a 90 minute block seems daunting after spending five years with skinnies and two more years running a MTSS room. I like All Hands (214). Setting up a routine for answering questions in the beginning of the year only makes sense. Once a student is identified, all hands need to go down and students should then track the speaker. Respectful culture.