For those of you who are close to any children who are 13-14 years old, you already know that most of them are still a bit immature. I don't mean to say that ALL of them are, but in my experience....I will say "most." They are still learning self-control, discipline, and organization (heck, I even know some adults who lack these skills...LOL). I believe that it is a part of my job to teach the children these things. It is not entirely my job, but it is a part of what I do. Of course, Civics is important. I want them all to understand their government and the importance of their role in it. But, if they walk out not remembering any content at the end of this year....I would be just fine knowing they might have learned some self-control, discipline, and organization.
Enter my mad need for organization. I am an organization freak...spreadsheets, lists, daily planners. I live by them. I am always looking for a way to organize better to save time, save energy, and reduce stress. So, imagine how I must feel when 35 eighth graders bounce into my room with 50 questions at one time. They run right up to my desk asking all sorts of questions from "Can I go to the bathroom?" to "Can I have another homework paper?" to "Do you want to see my new cell phone?". I like to let them know that all of their questions are important, but I also want to make sure that we use our class time wisely. So, I made a rule that I will answer 3 questions at the beginning of class...the first three that are asked. The rest have to wait until the lesson is over. The students who arrive first have the advantage, so it also helps with getting the kids to class on time. In order to make this work, I have used my scrapbooking skills to create a sort of "Take a number" system. Using some of my Fancy Pants goodies, I altered these adorable clothes pins. There are three of them...each with a number from 1 to 3 on them.