I used to sing something like this with my first graders, but this one is a little different and has a second verse.
For Lining Up:
I'm giving myself a great big hug (arms folded across chest)
I'm standing straight and tall,
I'm looking right ahead of me,
I"m ready for the hall.
I will not shove,
I will not push
I will not try to pass.
I will not stay behind the rest,
I'll line up with my class.
For the Classroom:
We raise our hands to speak,
We work quietly in our seats,
We use voices soft and sweet,
We keep our places tidy and neat,
We are helpful, friendly and fair,
We take turns and we share.
I also love to use particular songs for certain transitions like coming to the carpet in the morning and packing up when it's time to go home. I found it very effective because as soon as the song would begin playing, the majority of the class would know exactly what to do. There were always a few stragglers, but for the most part, I didn't need to give any verbal directions at all once the routine was in place.
I always played Good Morning by the Beatles (mostly for the repetition of the words Good Morning) and that worked really well. The rest of the lyrics have nothing to do with kids, but the animals sounds are kind of fun.
My favorite song to play at the end of the day is Home by Michale Bublé. Again, when you really listen to the lyrics, they are not for kids, but the main refrain is "I want to go home" which seems very appropriate at the end of the school day. Not sure I can use it next year, because in really listening to the lyrics I think it will make me tear up as I will be away from Mr. Sneaker and will be missing him and my home in Germany. We'll see...Maybe the abundance of hugs from my students will make it better.
I am also a fan of using lots of different ways to signal that I want quiet.
5,4,3,2,1 Now your talking should be done.
I always mix up my quiet commands because I think that keeping it fresh is good for kids. I use the same few signals, but rotate them so it's not exactly the same every time. Some other good ways to get kids' attention:
- voice: changing volume and going from normal to very quiet
- If you can hear me clap once....if you can hear me clap twice
- clapping patterns and having students repeat
- 1, 2, 3 eyes on me (teacher). 3, 2,1 our talking is done (students).
- ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please (followed by compliments to those students who gave eye contact right away).
What tips do you have for smooth transitions?
Do you use any fun songs?
One of my summer goals is to type up a bunch of good songs to sing with Kindergartners and common rhymes and put them in plastic page protectors in a binder so I have a book of songs/rhymes. I am kinda bad at remember lyrics sometimes and if I have them typed up I can easily throw the page up on the big screen using the document camera.