Monday, August 29, 2011

Transition Signals: Classroom Management Series

This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.

Today's post will endorse an idea that has been around forever.

An idea that has gained popularity because of the Daily 5 book.

An idea that is so simple, yet so wonderful at the same time.

Today I am "chiming in" on wind chimes. I have a whole bag of classroom management tricks up my sleeve (as I'm sure you do too) but this is just a great thing to add to your repertoire of attention seeking methods.

Because, don't we all seek a little attention now and then?

I don't like to use any one method in class all the time. In fact, I have different signals and phrases to signify different things. I do the usual share of clapping patterns. I've been known to shout out, "1-2-3 eyes on me" and wait for my little charges to chorally respond, "1-2 eyes on you." In desperation, I resort to the old "turn out the lights" method. But, for today I want to tell you about the benefits of the wind chime.

It's lovely and it's soothing.

I use it to signal that it is time to clean up an activity and join me in our whole group area (which btw, I ALWAYS assign seats for and you should too). When I swat the chimes the procedure is to become silent, put away whatever was being worked on and quickly transition to the group area. I don't need to talk over people. I don't need to state 50 bazillion times that it is time to clean-up. If someone needs further direction, the classroom is silent and I can speak in my normal tone to instruct them. The thing I love most about the chimes is that they sound lingers before it fades so it isn't a signal that will be missed.

Now is the best time to purchase a set of windchimes too. Stores like Lowe's, Home Depot and garden/pool specialty shops are beginning to wrap up the season and these typically get marked down.

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10 comments:

  1. I LOVE windchimes. Thanks for sharing this great idea :)

    Jodi
    fun-in-first.blogspot.com

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  2. Totally agree! I use wind chimes and assigned places during whole group. Makes for such a smooth day.

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  3. I was JUST thinking today about where to get some chimes- I didn't even think of Home Depot or Lowe's. I'll be checking those places out!

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  5. Thanks for the idea of using those big windchimes for transitions. I am putting a lot of effort into creating a calming, clutter free classroom this year. My classroom is becoming more and more homey, relaxixng, and inviting. My students are learning more about being relaxed too. One child commented, "I am tired, but I don't need to sleep." We taught him that what he is probably feeling is relaxed. There is a difference between being relaxed and being sleepy. Although, some people do relax by napping.

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  6. How did you hang your chimes?

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    1. We have ceiling tiles with "crossbars", so to speak. I have some plastic ceiling hooks that support it really well. I did add some string to lower it to a more manageable height.

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  7. I read this post a while ago, and finally have somewhere to hang my chimes. They have been up for about a week, and the children really love them. Their sound is so much more pleasant than my old kitchen timer!!!

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  8. A plant hook (for a hanging pot) works perfectly to hang wind chimes "out" from the wall.

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  9. This is brilliant! I have a set of chimes that plugs in, but you can just bump them too. I'm a homeschool teacher (special needs child) and have been trying to figure out something to help him with transitions. This is perfect - he loves the chimes. This whole blog, while I know it's geared to classrooms, has been a blessing for us! Thank you!

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