As a newbie teacher's aide, I have been learning many things this school year. One of my big growing experiences has been getting my 28 third graders (18 of whom are boys) to keep a good line whenever we walk through the hallway. We've gotten a lot better since September, but there's still room for improvement. If you're an elementary teacher, what are your secrets for keeping your class "in line"?
Earlier this week, at the end of one of our restroom breaks, as the children were finding their places in line, I praised one of the boys who was the first one ready: "I like how Eric is standing in line like a soldier."
"Eric reminds me of a trip I took to London, England, when I was about your age. I got to see soldiers on duty, guarding Buckingham Palace. Do you know what? Those soldiers stand straight with their hands at their sides, and nothing distracts them from what they're supposed to be doing. They don't talk; they don't even smile or laugh. Now, I bet we can be like those soldiers. Except that we can smile. Let's be smiling, silent soldiers!"
The kids loved my little story, and they got excited about being soldiers in line.
Then I had another idea: "Oh! Smiling, silent soldiers! These words all start with the same sound, "s." Remember, in Reading we just worked on words that have the same beginning sounds. I wonder how many "s" words we can think of to describe the way our line should be."
The kids got into it! As a class we came up with this motto: Super, Silent, Serious, Straight-stepping, Smiling, Student Soldiers. =)