August 5, 2013

Management Monday Linky: Acknowledgements + a Vlog! :)

Don't forget to link your Management Monday posts at the bottom!

I've mentioned a few times that I teach using Quantum Learning, a philosophy similar to Whole Brain but with a few more components.  One of the tenants of Quantum is "Acknowledge Every Effort."  This is one of those little things that makes a huge difference in the classroom.  We all know that it's important to acknowledge good behavior, correct answers, and student sharers.  However, one of the things it's easy to forget is that really every student needs acknowledgement throughout the day.  I try to make a point to make acknowledgements a part of my classroom culture.  Many of these ideas I borrowed from my Quantum Learning training or other teachers I've observed using Quantum.
Here are some examples:
  • Quick Acknowledgments: When students raise their hands to share answers ANYTIME during the day, I try to have the class acknowledge super quickly.  We usually do three snaps, but snaps get repetitive so some alternatives are three claps, two claps one snap, two stomps one clap, etc.  Basically any variation of snaps, claps, and stomps does the trick!  I know, you are probably thinking, "Seriously, you do that after EVERY time a student shares?"  Honestly, I try to, and I think it's worth it.  It only takes a second, and I can truly feel the difference in my classroom environment when we do the acknowledgments versus when we don't.  They become so embedded in the classroom culture that kids will start giving "snaps" without prompting.
  • Partner Acknowledgments: After working with a partner or doing a Turn and Talk, I try to have the students thank their partner with a quick acknowledgment.  Often this will just be a high 10 or a fist pound, but another favorite is to turn and give a "YES!"--basically holding their fist in front of their face, pulling it down, and saying "Yes!"  
  • Full Class Acknowledgements: During my transitions, I try to pair a classroom community acknowledgment with a quick stretch break at times.  For example, if we are sitting at the carpet and getting ready to move to desks, I might say, "Get in 5 high-5s on your way to your seat!"
  • Special Acknowledgments: These are my favorites and are borrowed STRAIGHT from my Quantum training.  When a student needs an extra special acknowledgment, we use one of our "Whooshes."  Yes, "Whooshes." :)  These are silly gesture acknowledgments that are written on the popsicle sticks seen above.  I realized I'd probably never be able to describe exactly what these are, so I decided to add a little vlog into this post!  Check out the video below to see some of my favorite Whooshes!
Gosh, I am so lame.  Please don't unfollow me because of that... ;)
(I should also add that I have started "wooshing" people outside of school who have no idea what I'm gets strange...)

Anyways, that's a wrap for Management Monday!  Please share your ideas for acknowledgments in the comments or link up with your own Management Monday post!

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally going to try whooshes this year! I have a feeling, teaching music, that some of the kids will be nervous to play in front of one another, so acknowledgement and encouragement would probably help them.

    Also: you're so not lame. I've caught myself practicing choral conducting along to music in all kinds of public places.

    Do you whoosh strangers?


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