1.How long will students have to unpack in the morning, and what does “unpack” entail?
I give my students five minutes to unpack, but as they are unpacking I positively reinforce students whoare unpacking quickly. As soon as I opened the classroom door (I had to pick my kids up in the gymevery morning), the timer would start. I would say good morning to each student as they passed throughthe doorway. The students were expected to sharpen their pencils, take their stuff out of their backpacks(everything for the entire day—except money for snacks at recess), hang up their backpacks, turn in brain busters, turn in their library books, take their homework out of their folders, and start their dailyreview. On Mondays, they also had to select new team positions, turn in their independent work, and putnew independent work into their folders.
___________________________________________________________________________________ _ ___________________________________________________________________________________ _ 2.What do students do as soon as they finish unpacking?
My students begin working on their daily IOWA review (the IOWA is the 3
grade standardized test inLouisiana). It consists of two sentences that they must edit and rewrite, one language question (either tocome up with a “juicy adjective” to fit in a sentenceor to alphabetize words), an analogy, a science or social studies question, two math word problems, and the Math Problem of the Day. One of the mostimportant things you can do to ensure an effective and efficient learning environment is to put up thedaily work before the students arrive. I’m dead serious about this one. The problems must be ready for them. Some students will unpack extraordinarily quickly (which you want them to do!) Also, you needto be free to monitor what is going on while kids are moving freely about the classroom. This situationcould spiral into chaos. More importantly, you want to positively reinforce individuals who are meetingyour expectations.
___________________________________________________________________________________ _ ___________________________________________________________________________________ _ 3.What do you do if a student doesn’t finish unpacking in time?