I'm still working to get some things in place with my new first graders. My class has a lot of social animals...and they love to talk. It's been challenging to get them to work more and talk less. And in the hallway - where we must walk quietly - it's been tough.
So I racked my brain for ways to help us be more successful. I adjusted a couple of things in the classroom. (We're having centers in which kids can talk to one another while working - without my constant reminders to remain quiet.) But I still was trying to figure out what to do about walking quietly in the hallway.
I remembered reading about Quiet Spray in the blogosphere. But I didn't have a spray bottle in my classroom. So I grabbed a small bucket and created Quiet Powder.
I had purchased the small bucket at the Target dollar spot. I used a large sticky note but taped it on so it would stay. As we lined up, I told the kids that I had Quiet Powder. I told them that I would sprinkle the invisible powder on them to help us all walk quietly in the hallway. Invisible? Of course. This is what was in my bucket.
"Do you think it will work?" I asked.
"Yes!" they said.
I walked down the line, dipping my hand in the bucket and "sprinkling" it on their heads. I sprinkled a little on my head, and began to whisper. "Here we go," I said softly.
We walked out of the door and down the hall. Silently. We walked all the way through the school to the art room. Silently. Never had this happened before. I was flabbergasted.
When I picked them up from art, I sprinkled more on their heads. We walked back to the room quietly.
Later, we were walking in the hall. My kids kept talking and I had to remind them several times. "We're having difficulty remembering to walk quietly," I said.
"You didn't use the powder," they said.
You can bet I will every time from now on.
(I used it again today as we left to go to PE. It's still working!)
I've struggled a little from time to time making this transition. And I sometimes feel unknowledgeable about so many things. But seeing something like this work helps remind me that I do know things about teaching kids.
Yes, I know that I do. But it's nice to connect and see progress!