In addition to learning information and gaining knowledge, we are working on important skills that the students will need in any class or group learning environment. It's close to Christmas break, so the kids were understandably excited and active! We talked about how extremely important it is to refrain from shouting out everything that you think.
It's great to have excitement and want to share stories, but only when the time is right. In the past, we used the example of "changing channels" to adjust your behavior. You have a play channel, a quiet learning channel, an activity and "doing" channel, etc. We will keep using this example to help the kids remind themselves to grab those remotes when they need to switch gears!
Another important lesson is responsibility. Today, it was obvious that a few of the students did not remember the parts they were given in their BFG Reader's Theater activity. The parts were given in class, but they also went through and practice reading through the script, reading their assigned parts. There was no reason for me to have to add the parts to the homework site. At this age, with a little bit of focus and attention, they could remember which part they read and were assigned. More importantly, I pointed out that it is important to be responsible. If the at-home assignment is confusing, or if there is a problem with it somehow, contacting the teacher would be a more appropriate response than just ignoring it or trying to more quickly and check it off the assignment list. I think they now understand that, although some assignments involve reading or studying, they are still important and much actually be done. When someone has not read through their grammar cards in weeks, it is obvious. When someone does not practice and work on their Reader's Theater parts, it is obvious when they do their presentation. I think today was a big day for big lessons, and I know that they will step it up for second semester!