Sunday, July 15, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Heidi from My (Not So) Elementary Life!!

Happy Sunday Friends,
Today is the finale of my convention & I cannot wait to come home to my family and you!! I have another guest blogger lined up for you! Please welcome Heidi from My (Not So) Elementary Life!!

I was super duper nervous when Lisa asked me to be a guest blogger for her today. What was I going to write about. Will her followers like what I have to say? But then, the ideas started flowing and I couldn't decide which idea to choose. Before I get to what I chose for the day I want to say a super duper big thank you to Lisa. Before getting nervous I was super excited and was so honored that Lisa thought enough of my little blog to ask me to post for her while she was away. So thank you Lisa :)

My name is Heidi and I am the author of My (Not So) Elementary Life.


A little about me. I will be celebrating my next birthday in less than a month with 22 candles on my cake. Oh wait. I don't like cake. On my blueberry buckle :) Yummy!!!

Oh wait. This is about me and not cake or blueberry buckle. :)

Ok. I am back on track now. I just finished up the first half of my first year of teaching in first grade. I graduated in December and got my job with the best grade EVER. I always thought the best was Kindergarten, but the firsties stole my heart. I know. I know. Some of you may be reading and think a different grade. We may just have to agree to disagree on this one :)

So enough about me now and onto the post for the day. On my blog for the last couple of weeks I have been sharing a classroom management series.  This is my way of "finalizing" classroom management ideas. If you would like to read all the posts so far in my series you can click on the picture below. 

I am going to share with some of the transition/quieting techniques I have used in the classroom.

How many of you hate when you are in the middle of giving directions of the next activity and kids start to do/go to the activity before you are even finished explaining what they are to do. This drives me absolutely CA-RA-ZEEEEE!!!!! How many of you dislike how long it takes to get all your little peaches quiet? If you are with me on this, then you will definitely want to read on.

Having procedures set up and rehearsing them from the very first day of school will help make the transition between activities smoother and quieting of the class easier. Students will be more apt to listen to all of the directions before they go to do an activity and you won't have to repeat yourself a thousand times and they will get quiet automatically when one of these techniques are employed. You all know what I am talking about I presume :)

These are just some of the ones I have used/want to try:

1.  Ring a bell: If you have ever used a bell before in your classroom to signal being quiet or to transition activities and it was practiced and rehearsed properly, you know it works like a charm. I was completely AMAZED the first time I used a bell when I was doing substitute work. Those kids got instantly quiet and dropped EVERYTHING they were doing. Their eyes were on me and then listened. It was simply amazing folks. This bell technique can be used in sooo many ways. If you are needing your students to get quiet you can ring the bell for silence. You might have a system in place where you give directions and the students don't move or start working/transitioning until the bell is rang. This is another great way for using the bell in the classroom.

2. Clap a rhythm: This technique can serve two purposes. It is a great quieting strategy and is a great way to help children work on listening to something and repeating it. Just like the bell, this can be used to quiet students or transition between activities. You can clap out a beat and then your students need to clap the beat the same way you did. You can keep repeating this until you have all students attention, which if you rehearse this and it becomes routine for your students, then it should only take one time to get them quiet. To use it as a transition strategy, you can once again, give them the directions and then clap out a beat and have them repeat. When they have repeated your rhythm then they can transition into their activity.

3. Whole Brain Teaching Strategies: I am going to let you go and check these out on your own if you haven't already done so. There are soooo many amazing things on this website and the nice thing is that it is a free to sign up and the materials are free. Whole Brain Teaching is wonderful and I cannot wait to use some of this in my classroom. I decided that implementing little bits at a time will be best for me and for my students, so as not to overwhelm either of us. You can check it out by clicking HERE. 


Just remember that you have to practice these techniques in order for them to become routine for students. If they don't know what each of these techniques mean then they will not be effective. You cannot only practice it once or twice either. You have to do it numerous times in the first weeks of school and at various other times as well. It never hurts to practice it every once in a while. Practicing these techniques helps to make following them routine.

Thanks again Lisa for the opportunity to post for you today. I loved it :) I hope everyone has a great rest of their day :)

A big THANK YOU to Heidi for sharing your wonderful classroom management tips with us!! If you haven't seen Heidi's blog, you should stop by. She has a wonderful blog!
Well friends, I will see you tomorrow for another edition of Monday Made It!! :)
Have a Super Sunday!,


  1. Good job, Heidi. I finally settled with counting down 321. It was easy. Some of the other teachers my students had used it so it gave consistency.

    1. I like using that technique too. It works really well with older students I have found when I was doing my student teaching. Thanks for your comment :)

      My (Not So) Elementary Life

  2. These are great tips! I've never used a bell but I might give it a go next year! Something I do is I have a magic word and they can't begin doing my directions until I say it. I usually change the word up so the kids have to be listening to know when to begin! My favorite magic word is snickerdoodle!
    Come check out my new blog Teaching in Valley

    1. Hi Liz. My final technique is very similar to what you do. I cannot wait to share it with everyone :)

      My (Not So) Elementary Life

  3. Thank you Lisa, AND Heidi for sharing such a wealth of information! We're lucky to have you in the blogging world! HAPPY EARLY birthday coming up Heidi! I just wish my next birthday would only have 22 candles on it! :-) Michelle