Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chiming In

I have 75 cupcakes that are not going to decorate themselves.

I have 50 balloons that are not going to inflate themselves.

And, I have one 4 year 362 day year old who will bounce himself off a wall with excitement if I don't proactively occupy every minute of the day until his preschool posse arrives at 5:00 p.m. to party like rock stars.

So, with my apologies, today's post will be short, sweet and not even an original idea of mine.

Instead I am here to 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 your 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.  Tomorrow I will share with you what I consider to be the greatest method of getting and keeping their attention.  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.

Don't rush out and buy some chimes today though.  Because it's only July 20th.  If you wait a few more weeks they will start to be marked down as stores like Lowe's, Home Depot and garden/pool specialty shops begin to wrap up the season.

And now I need to go stream streamers and arrange paper products in a visually appealing way.  You know, because 5 year olds really care about that kind of thing.  I do love a good theme and a birthday is a perfect excuse to get my theme on.  So I'm off to get this party started because there ain't no party like a Toy Story party cause a Toy Story party don't stop!


kk said...

I LOVE this idea! What a pleasant way to get their attention. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the wind chime. In previous years I've used the door bell. You can get a wireless one at Lowes (or Home Depot). :)