Classroom management? What's that?
I literally felt like nothing got accomplished at all on any of the 5 afternoons of the week. In the mornings, a little bit got done, but in the afternoons I couldn't figure out how to get the kids' attention.
The thing is, I don't expect them to listen for long - I just need them to listen for 3-5 minutes so that I can give instructions. They can't read, so I need to tell them and show them pictures about what we are going to do. But, even when we were doing really neat hand-on activities, I just could not find a way to be more interesting to them than their classmates.
I have a handful of strategies that I use to try to redirect attention. I do hand clapping patterns, I "count eyes" (also teaches them how to count by 2s), I make the school hand-signal that is used to mean "eyes up here, listen to the teacher" to name just a few. I can't seem to make any of them work. Or rather, the students do clap my pattern, look up at me, or give me the hand signal. It's just that they simultaneously chat with friends.
When I try to talk it through with my CT, she points out that it's not just the kids fault - it may have something to do with my teaching. Which, yeah, I know - that's what I'm trying to tell her. I'm certainly not blaming it all on the kids. I need some suggestions on what I can do in regards to my classroom management and teaching to get the kids to pay attention to me (or their peers, if their peers are talking/helping me teach).
I don't want to be out of ideas, but I really don't know what else to do. I hate keeping kids in for recess, because I think they need the outside running around/chatting/shouting time if I'm going to have any hope of them calming down during class time. For that reasons, I don't really keep kids in from recess. But, should I? Will they know I'm serious if I keep them in? I don't know.
More then being frustrated, I just feel guilty. I'm not teaching them anything! We went through a whole week with very little learning to show for it. I got through very few of the activities I actually had planned. And while it's good that I over-plan so there always are activities to do, I actually want to do some of those activities.
Maybe the kids were extra squirrelly last week. I'm trying to re-vamp my teaching this weekend, but I don't know that I've made enough changes to really have an impact on anything. We'll see, vamos a ver. I just really hope I'm able to connect better this week.