4.09.2011

Thinking.

Kindergarteners are an enthusiastic bunch. Whenever a question is asked, hands go up, arms start waving, and grunts and other unpleasant noises can usually be heard. God forbid a sprout needed, oh say time or quiet, to think, they’d never get either.

Last year, in a last ditch effort to offer those who needed a little peace and quiet to think some of both, I devised, on the fly I might add (my best ideas come to me that way…), a way for everyone to get the time they needed to think. I don’t have a name for it, but here is how it works.

After I ask a question, children take their index finger and tap it on their chin. This signals ‘thinking’ – it’s nice to look around the room and see all those fingers tap tap tapping away. When an answer formulates, they simply move the finger from their chin to the temple of their forehead. The entire movement is silent and I can quickly see who is still thinking and who is ready with an answer.

Whenever we do a group sharing activity, I model it myself and, naturally, they all want to copy me. Calm, peaceful thinking is always good to see.

7 comments:

SassyGinger said...

We've been going something similar in my classroom. Calendar time is pretty much the same everyday with the same questions, but my kids started raising their hands without taking time to think! So on the fly, I grabbed the little wooden stop sign out of block area and told them they couldnt raise their hand until I put the stop sign down. It worked for about two days...

Susan Seale said...

love this...thanks for sharing it

deborah said...

Terrific idea Matt! I wonder if it would work with our pre-k kids? The funny thing about preschoolers, they tend to forget what they were thinking as soon as you call their name! LOL!

Look at My Happy said...

Deborah - oh yes, kindergartners forget a lot too... I like to think that the tapping on their head helps HOLD the idea in there... :)

Lisa said...

Okay, this is nothing short of brilliant!
I have a little boy in my class who is so far above average in his academic knowledge it's scary. He's reading at a DRA level 20 and his math skills are equally impressive. He is always the first to answer despite my continued reminders about hand raising. I think your idea just might be the solution to this issue!
Thank you!!!

Deborah said...

Haha!

Cheryl Golangco said...

Wonderful idea! Now to let the kids think of it as well! My students are from the nursery level and they are too eager to answer every time! What I did is I used a "talking balloon". They can only talk when I hand it to them! But of course, they raise their hand before I hand it over. So far, it's been doing wonders!