You should hear my husband complain about the unfairness and unjustness and unequalness and all sorts of other un-things about this. I just remind him that he has never sat in a child's urine before so there's no comparison, especially when he goes to two hour lunches almost every day.
Today, I'm linking up with my BBFF Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten for a Teaching Tip Linky Party.
I am going to be stalking this linky for all the tips I can get. I love tips. Speaking of tips, I stalk Teacher Tipster a lot, too.
My tip comes from Rick Morris. He's a Management guru that I've never had the pleasure of meeting in person. But I have read all four of his books and I visit his site often, too (nerd alert!). I'm also pretty sure that this tip has been around for AGES.
However, I waited until about two years ago to implement it into my classroom. Not because I'm stupid, oh no, just because I wanted to make sure there was enough research done to support its validity. (That sounded good.)
My tip is TABLE CAPTAINS!
Go back and reread that with an echo.
I have five tables. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue. You could have numbered tables or more tables or whatever.
Anyways, one person at each table is the captain. The next day, it moves.
I use the Table Captains for all kinds of things.
"Table Captains, please collect the blah blah blah."
"Table Captains, double check your tables and make sure no one left their lunch box, sweater, jacket, Angry Bird, string cheese, bracelet, cell phone that they're too young to have, crayon, etc."
"Table Captains, please make sure everyone wrote their name now that we have sung (sang) the Name Song and I've asked everyone to write their names three trillion times and I've asked everyone to put a checkmark next to their name and I'm tired of finding one paper without their name on it and why do you all keep doing this to me? Is it a conspiracy?"
The best part (for me) is
After I have taught one of my amazing lessons on the carpet and my kids are practically exhausted from all the newfound knowledge that they possess, I follow up with the holier-than-thou curriculum worksheet that I'm told to follow up with.
I count out six worksheets (I have six kids at each table with the exception of one so I'm always messing up, but my kids know where to put the extras so it's okay and hey, I'm HUMAN.) and say, "Red Captain."
The Red Captain comes up and grabs the six papers while the rest of that table group heads back to their seats. The Red Captain will pass out the papers at their table.
Then I count out six more papers and say, "Orange Captain." The Orange Captain comes up and the rest of the table group goes to their seats. Or I say, "Blue Captain." Or whatever. Just go down the line and ignore the kids who say you always call their table last. (I don't.)
Did you notice that you don't have to have any student names memorized? This helps when you try to call a student by the name of Melissa, and half-way through pronouncing her name, you realize you actually meant Sarah, but then it hits you that it's really Lilly, until later when you find out it was little Mike and he was in serious need of a hair cut.
No names necessary. Just shout out, "Table Captain!" and someone will come running.
It's also quick.
Unless someone forgets that they're the Table Captain. Then I'm left holding a stack of papers and trying to stay awake.
My principal and assistant principal were patrolling one day when they saw the Amazing Paper Passing Out Management with their very own eyes.
What I really wanted to say was, "Move it along. Nothing to see here." (I mean, is it just me, or do they only come before or after I have done an incredible lesson with bells and whistles and applause? Seriously? You're walking through while I'm passing out papers??!!)
Instead, I said something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm so bummed. You just missed all the newfound knowledge seeping into my students' brains."
They said something along the lines of, "Oh, no! Pee-shaw! THIS is wonderful! Look at how smooth this is going. What training! What skill! What a wonderful tool for Passing Out Curriculum Worksheets! You should do an inservice on this!"
Or, at least that's how I've built it up in my head.
To be clear, I know I was given a compliment.
I'm pretty sure.
Anyways, I have these cool nametag desk holder plates that I got from Really Good Stuff and have blogged about before:
I made these little guys to have at each table. I printed them on cardstock, laminated them, and they fit perfectly into the holder next to the nametags. They do not fall over, either. They're awesome AND they defy gravity.
I also have generic ones in case you don't have Color Tables.
**EDITED: I added a Purple Table Captain Bear for Rebecca and anyone else who might need it. :)
Just click the pic to grab your free copy. If you don't have the nametag holders, you could use a magnet for the side of the desk or tape or velcro or whatever.
So that's my super long post about a simple tip that probably should have taken me only ten words to tell you about, but took more than three thousand. It's just my way.
What can I say?
Be sure to check out all the other tips over at Miss Kindergarten's! Or, if you have your own idea, link up! :)