I've said it before and I'll say it again:
We've got a lively bunch of fifth graders. They're quite opinionated and talkative, which is great...except when it's my turn. It's an uphill struggle and we have daily talks about not wasting our valuable learning time.
To be fair, as frustrating as it can be at times, I'd rather have too much participation from them as opposed to bumps and lumps.
My neighboring teacher started doing a "weekly focus" with her class and since it was working, I decided to give it a try myself!
I pose a challenge to my students and this social skill is what we work on for the week.
For the past two weeks, it was following instructions the first time they were given. They did a fairly good job with this, so we were ready for a new challenge.
Next week's challenge:
I noticed that some of them were simply writing IDK (I don't know) on parts of their math homework and turning it in.
Now, I'm not asking for 100% accuracy. I'm asking for effort. After all, one of our class mottos is:
I'd rather they try and learn from their misconceptions than not try at all. We'll have this chat again next week. It's okay not to know. It's not okay not to try!