Thursday, June 9, 2022

Thirty Second Game Changer for ANY Grade Level (Problem Solved)

Can you relate to this scenario?

You're having a wonderful discussion about a picture book with your class. Kids have their hands flying in the air to share their thoughts, opinions and feelings, and are ready to make a connection to their own lives or another book the class has read. Their enthusiasm is palpable.

You call on several kids to share out. Lots of their answers motivate even more hands to shoot up and wave wildly in the air.  

The kids are so excited but being respectful trying hard to signal to you that they're sitting nicely, hand in the air, and ready to share. Some are making noises and you're not sure if they want to share or telling you they're sick! :)

 Sometimes, lots of times, you get those begging eyes that if those same eyes could talk, would be screaming, "PICK ME! Look how I'm sitting crisscross applesauce!"

You glance at the clock and think: Do I have time to call on one more student or do I need to line them up now so we're not late for gym?

You decide to call on one more student.

Said child answers and when you say, "Okay, kids.  That's all we have time for today," you hear moans.  Groans.  Mumbling  Grumbling.

Kids are bummed. Frustrated. You overhear at least one kid say, "It's not fair.  You didn't call on me." They want to be heard.

As they line up, some are coming up to you to share. Others are walking to the line, shoulders slumped and muttering under their breath.

I get it. I feel their disappointment.

At least I used to before implementing this SIMPLE 30 second strategy:

When you end the lesson and are about to transition, simply say, "If you didn't get to share out, turn and share with someone next to you."


Students immediately feel validated since they've been heard. They feel like an important community member that had something to contribute to the discussion.

This 30 second trick truly helps foster your classroom community because they're making connections with classmates. A bond. Even small shared connections- one word answers- have forged many a friendship.

It's really a gamechanger!

There is no downside. I do it every time. Try it!  Let me know how it goes.

I'm big on "sharing" and feel it's the most important component of Morning Meeting. Totally contributes to turning your kids into a community! 

One thing I learned the hard way when I started teaching: Your SHARING doesn't always have to be WHOLE CLASS sharing which can be tedious at times.  

To see how I handle sharing in class and maybe find a tip or two you can use, you might want to read the post from a few years ago.  Enjoy!

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