Sunday, October 7, 2012

Post It Use # 98376261

I lost it this week.  Lost all my patience... and it was before 10 am.  My kids love to ask questions, which I love, except when they ask the ones I am just about to answer... (not really learning questions)

Example #1:
Me:  Please go to the next page in your journal and number it 28.
Student:  What's the title?  (They know fully well that I am about to give it to them, but they will not be patient... its this type of question that drives me NUTS)

Example #2:
Me: Please fold this paper like a book and.. (cut off by student)
Student:  What page do we glue this on?
Me: (Screaming in my head  AHHHHHHHHHH)

I love their questions about learning.  Its their questions without patience that drives me over the edge.  Please tell me I am not the only one...please!

Okay.... so I lost my patience and got onto my class for not being patient and I practically begged them to let me teach and then ask their questions.  Then I had to apologize for losing my patience.  Man.... this is a vicious cycle.    I told them I love their questions and wondering minds, but it's the timing of them that was making me crazy.  If they would just wait..... I guess that's what I get for living in a time of instant gratification.  I don't know about you but if Facebook doesn't load on my phone within 10 seconds I turn it off and check email or pinterest.  I know.... I am not patient person either.... what am I writing about???

Post-Its.   Hmmmm guess I better address that.
So I got irritated, complained to my partner teacher, who then gave me a brilliant solution.  Post-its.  Give each kid one and they can write their question on it instead of blurting out.

So that's what I did.  I gave each table a pack of post-its.  Each kiddo wrote their name on it, and I told them that whenever a thought crossed their mind to write it down.  I might answer it without knowing during discussion and they could cross off their question.  If not, when I asked if anyone had any questions, they could look on their post-it and ask.  If they wanted me to know something, but didn't want to talk to me directly, they could write it on the post-it.  Whatever questions I didn't get to in class, I would answer that evening on their post it.

It has been pretty awesome!  They leave me comments such as not being comfortable where they sit, or that their older sister is coming into town and she cant wait.  But they leave me some thoughtful questions as well.  Some have nothing to do with the topic I am teaching, but these are the thoughts going through their heads. This week (I've only done this since Tuesday) I received some of these questions:  what is dark matter?  why do they call it H2O?  what is carbon monoxide?  do you have any kids? 

Some I answered, some I tell them to google the answer, some I just put a smiley face, but my kids love the dialog we get to have on a post it.  If their post-it response is not on their desk when they come in, the first question is "Did you get to answer my post-it?"    The blurting has subsided (not completely but A LOT) and I love that, but more importantly I love seeing into my students' minds just a little more and I get to have an open dialog that lets them know that I care about each of them.  Post-its.... use #98376261.

How do you use them?