I tend to have selective memory I guess.
By second semester I have put out of my mind their frequent needs in regards to self help skills like tying shoes or zipping up a coat. Now this doesn't mean that I don't help them if needed...of course not! But by second semester they really seem to have the hang of such things and their need for me to assist them dwindles considerably. They are becoming big kids. Yay!
However, here we are and it's almost the beginning of the year again. I'm bracing myself for bathroom breaks that take twenty minutes and once again helping with the individual self help needs of twenty plus kiddos. I forget just how L-O-N-G everything takes at the beginning of the year until it's here again.
But......this year I have a plan!
I am so excited!
My teacher pal Mrs. B has this amazing tool that she uses with her class to help them help each other with classroom needs and individual self help needs. It's a class YELLOW PAGES DIRECTORY of student experts!
Now....here is how it works. Once a child in the class completes a skill that you normally would have to help with they sign their name on that page of the book. For instance, once a child learns to tie their shoes their name goes on that page.
This also works for zipping coats...
Buttoning those pesky buttons....
The yellow pages also works great for classroom odds and ends such as putting books in the correct tubs, organizing a center or helping friends with projects.
Here is the magic part of using this little tool in your classroom...when you are WORKING WITH A SMALL GROUP or ASSESSING A STUDENT or basically helping another student and would prefer not to be interrupted a child who has a particular need can go to the yellow pages and see who is an "expert" in the room and then can go to that child and ask them for help.
I. LOVE. THIS.
Mrs. B keeps this right next to the front door so all of the kiddos know where to find it when they need it. At the beginning of the year it does take some practice to help the kids remember to use the yellow pages instead of just asking you first. However, once they catch on it is a great help to you and the "experts" can feel very proud of themselves too!