One week back at school and I am already revising my schedule again! And not for the first time! I have come to think of my schedule as a "flowing document". At least it sounds pretty and keeps me from groaning each time I open it on my computer.
I need to accommodate and change my regular schedule to fit in reading, guidance, occupational therapy, and special education times for certain students. The speech and ESL teachers haven't even contacted me yet! I will also need to make room for my kiddos that need deployment groups since they have a parent serving overseas. I feel another schedule revision coming on. Good thing it is a "flowing" document!
Today's classroom has a diverse mix of learners with a slew of various needs! Although we, as classroom teachers, try to meet as many needs as we can in within the walls of our classrooms, sometimes students need to go beyond our scope (and sequence) to receive the help that they need. It can be frustrating to schedule time for EACH child to receive the independent AND classroom time that they need and even harder to keep track of it all.
Of course, keeping track of where our students are should be easy, right? WRONG! With all of the special service students receive plus add library, nurse, errands, and doctor's appointments, it has become a time consuming and elaborate job!
Sometimes it seems as if my classroom door is a revolving door! It never stops turning!
I definitely needed a way to keep track of where my students were at a glance. I also needed it to be more student controlled than teacher controlled- I couldn't stop teaching all the time to record which student was leaving and to where.
I posted 2 silver magnetic boards on my door since wall space is limited in my room. You can also use a long magnetic white board. I just liked the silver. The boards came with sticky stuff (very technical term) that stands up to any kind of walls.
I made a couple of products for Where are My Students? for TPT. I chose to use the Superhero ones for my classroom. My 3rd graders love them!
I then printed out, cut out (Okay my teenagers cut out- free teen labor rocks!), and laminated each piece.
I bought a long spiral magnet strip that has sticky stuff (another real technical term) on the back of it. I cut the magnet into little squares or strips. On the back of each laminated piece, I placed a magnet.
I placed all of the pieces on the magnetic board.
Students move their numbers whenever they leave the room. When they come back into the classroom, they move their number back into the middle of the chart. Students LOVE to move their number. They also love to remind others that they forgot to move theirs!
- Make sure to place the magnetic chart where students can reach and easily move their numbers.
- Make sure to place the magnetic board where you can see it!
- You have to teach the students how to do this with your other procedures and practice.
- Only display the titles you need. Leave down the extras.
- Your teenagers aren't always the best at cutting out Mom's laminating! Ha! Lesson learned!
Happy Classroom Managing!