Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's the Simple Things...

Is it just me, or does it seem that the SIMPLEST solutions are usually the BEST solutions? Here are a few simple solutions I've run across this week.
Problem: Students interrupt me while I'm with a small group or testing. I instruct them to raise their hand if they need something, but I don't always see them.
Simple Solution: The Problem Chair. I put this chair near my table and have taught students to come sit in it when they need something. I let them know that I can't always stop right away to answer their question, but if they are patient, I will answer their question as soon as I can. (Right after I introduced this, students sat here for EVERYTHING! I think the new is wearing off, though, because they don't do that as much anymore).
Problem: I'm constantly having to make new "I can" statements because the station activities are always changing.
Simple Solution: I made cute "I can" charts and laminated them. Now I just wipe off the old activity and write the new one. Also, I hung them up with ribbon instead of taping them. Cute, and easy to take down to write the new activity. You can get these charts for free at my TPT store.

I am starting Write the Room this week. I like to provide some structure for this activity, so we're going to start with looking for words that start with L and G (our Saxon letters), shape words, and free writing (where they can write any words that they would like).
Problem: The pencils for this station are always disappearing.
Simple Solution: Tie pencils to the clip board with handy dandy ribbon.

That's right...I'm rockin' the New Balances! I've had this same style of shoe since college and I LOVE them!
Problem: Have you ever had a student answer a question, and another student gets in a huff and says "That's what I was going to say!"
Simple Solution: When someone says their answer, my students use the ditto sign (like the air quote sign, but only using one hand). This says to everyone "I knew the answer, too!" without actually having to say anything.  

I hope these simple solutions will help you like they've helped me. Happy weekend!


  1. That 'ditto' idea is perfect. Now if you could just help me figure out how to stop the hand raisings followed by the 'never mind'.


  2. What neat ideas! I love the problem chair and the ditto signs!!!
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  3. Love these ideas! I like hanging the signs up with a ribbon- and tying on the pencil. Perfect!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

  4. Love the ditto sign! I had to tie pens to all of my clipboards for the same reason. Great suggestions!

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  5. I LOVE these ideas!!! The ditto sign is genius and I think I might try the problem chair!!!

    Thanks for sharing! :)
    A Sunny Day in First Grade