Reading groups are in full swing in our class.
And, like you, I don’t want to be interrupted during a reading group unless there is an emergency. And I mean, an absolute emergency emergency.
I give my kids all sorts of different scenarios so we can figure out what an actual emergency is before I ever pull my first group. Here are some of the scenarios I go over with my class in my Is This An Emergency lesson (I should probably do this for my upcoming formal observation because I’m sure it’s a Common Core standard of some kind):
Is This An Emergency?
Questions to Ask.
Check for Understanding (ongoing).
You need a pencil. (NO! they scream)
You can’t find your eraser. (NO! they yell)
Your eyeball falls out of your head. (YES!!!!! they giggle)
Your shoelace is untied. (No!!!!!!)
Your head fell off your neck. (YES!!!!! they scream and laugh)
Your tooth is loose. (NO!!!!!)
You have a story to tell me about the bird
you saw on the way to school this morning. (NO!!!!!)
You threw up. (YES!!!! GROSS! YUCK!)
Your pencil fell off your desk, landed in your toe, and blood is everywhere because it was so sharp. (Yes! No! That wouldn’t happen. Wait. Would that happen? Yes! I’ve heard about that. That happened to my brother. YES!)
Once we’ve figured out that the need to go to the bathroom is sort of an emergency, and how we can use a signal for that without interrupting my reading group, I am ready to pull groups.
And I put out my RED STOP SIGN that I have been using for years and years and years.
RED STOP SIGN.
Do not come any closer.
Stop and think.
Do you have an emergency?
Well, I hate to tell you this . . . but I still got interruptions for any number of things and none of them were a headless kid whose head fell off. Never mind that one pesky time where someone actually lost a finger and I didn’t treat it as an emergency because I didn’t know. I honestly couldn’t tell you why or how or when or what, but I always got interruptions. All the time. Even when I threatened to take a gold tag away. Even when I followed through and took a gold tag away.
I was interrupted. It was the darnedest thing.
My teammate Heather told me about her light. And she said Step Into the Light and so I did. Okay, she didn’t really say that, but it sounded good so let’s go with it. It makes for a good story.
And, for the first time ever, I found something that actually keeps students AWAY if they are not reading with me. Thanks to Heather.
When the light is “on”, I’m busy.
Don’t even think about it.
And they don’t.
They stay away.
I’m telling you, this light works like a charm AND I got it at the grocery store AND it came in a two pack! So I was able to pick up some candy AND a management tool at the same place!
And yes, I do know about wearing a feather boa or a crown or a special vest or just the plain ole I AM IN CHARGE-DO NOT COME OVER HERE OR YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE-I SAID WALK AWAY method. And yes, I know people use these lights in small groups for fun and games, and buzz the light when you know the answer, and press the lights for sounding out, and all that jazz . . . I know, I know.
For whatever reason, this light has saved me and my sanity and it has worked. The kids come on over to tell me something or ask me something and when they see that the light is on, they walk away.
They walk away!
Move along, kid.
Nothing to see here.
How can I help you?
I’m all ears.
I’m thinking one of these days I’ll have to turn on that light when I need a little nap.
Sailing into Second says
I need this in my life!!!!!!!!
A light, who knew??? Would't it be great to have nap time like when we were kids??!!!
Darcy Anders says
I know where I'm going tomorrow after school~ the grocery store!!! While I'm there, I might as well pick up some candy too.
Christa Swaney says
I use this and it does work!! Greatest thing ever!!
Ana Stasia says
My kids are pretty well trained not to come over to the table. Yay me.. but,,,, They just yell from their seats… OH MY, WORD. i take tickets, move clips, and now I have ignored them completely so they do not get any attention from me… but the poor kid who is trying to read is lucky they can hear themselves think…. I wonder if I put the light on my forehead. …..hmmmmm
I have one of those battery-operated candles. Also works!
Karim Delfino says
And this is why Ava misses you so much.
Jennifer Reynolds says
I am not only "stepping into the light" but I am going to DANCE in it! Thanks for another "illuminating" moment! Love it!
I call it my "don't bug me" light :). Works wonders!!
I like that it's portable! Sometimes I will bring students to my desk to work, or I'll walk to a table to help a little one — carrying this little light around instills the same "DON'T COME ANY CLOSER" energy as if it were sitting on my rainbow table. Excellent!