Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Old Idea Still Working

        There's a linky party over at What the Teacher Wants 
-- click on the link for more great behavior management ideas!

             One of my favorite things to teach is writing -- but not handwriting. (How many times do I have to demonstrate the right way to make a letter!!) With this year's huge class of 27, I've had a hard time getting any "silent" writing going.  They are a very talkative bunch, and any silence we have doesn't last long.  I ask them for 5 minutes of totally silent writing, so everyone has a chance to think without interruption.  Today I remembered an idea I used many years ago when I had a little bear called "Mr. Goodbear -- he would sit on the neatest table in a class I taught about 20 years ago.
We use the Letterland phonics program in our county, and each letter of the alphabet has a character.  Z is "Zig-Zag Zebra".  She is a very shy little zebra, and she doesn't like noise.  I bought a little zebra at Dollar Tree a few years ago, and I happened to notice it today as we were doing the Writer's Workshop lesson.  I waited until I caught one group working quietly, and I put the zebra on their table.I told them that she didn't like noise, and she would not stay if anyone talked.  It worked like a charm!!  Suddenly the whole room was quiet!  Zig-Zag Zebra got to visit every table before the writing time was over == it was amazing!
           There were several children writing actual words today -- sight words and words they copied from the bulletin board/word wall. That is always exciting for me.  Some are starting to draw more detailed pictures -- not just a head with legs coming out of it. We have a LONG way to go, but i little bit of silence is a wonderful thing at the end of a long day.
        The other exciting accomplishment was when one boy wrote an actual sentence without help -- and even drew a picture that matched the words -- yay!! And spelled words correctly! There is hope!!



  1. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    I just found your blog through this linky party....awesome!

    I'd love it if you stopped by my new blog...go ahead and enter my giveaway before Saturday while you're there. ;)

    What Happens in First Grade

    1. Thank you, Amy -- I loved reading your blog -- and plan to re-visit when I have time to explore. Wish my kids could read enough sight words to use that great packet you made -- awesome!!

  2. Cute! Love the Zebra idea! Thanks for sharing and linking up.
    -Natalie and Rachelle


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