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!