Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tried it Tuesday- Dry-Erase Crayons and Take a Break!

Hello everyone!  Today I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for their Linky, "Tried it Tuesday"!


Today, I tried two things-  My new dry-erase crayons (read about those here), and a new "Take a Break" area.


1.  The other day, I picked up these dry-erase crayons at Target.  They were on clearance, so I decided to try them out!


The pack came with eight crayons, a built-in sharpener in the box, and a cloth for erasing.


I used them to write my morning message today.  It was super different than using dry-erase markers, but not bad.  It just takes some getting used to.


The kids could still read it just fine, and they thought it was sooooo cool that I used crayons on the whiteboard!


So.... Dry-Erase Crayons: Tried them, Liked them!



2.  I tried implementing a Take a Break spot today.  If you haven't heard of Take a Break, it is a positive way for students to calm down before returning to the group.  It is part of the Responsive Classroom style of teaching.  Yes, I probably should have done this from the beginning of the year, but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted it to look like.  I have seen many classrooms use Take a Break as just a chair for students to calm down, and I have seen classrooms where students have to record what they did to need to Take a Break.


Here is my Take a Break area in the back of the room.  I used an extra desk and chair.  I hung up a Take a Break sign, and ways students can Take a Break.  I also set up some pencils, and a little stack of recording sheets.

When I ask them to Take a Break (for any type of inappropriate behavior), they simply go to the area, choose a way they want to take a break (count to ten, take deep breaths, etc.).


Here is the recording sheet that students need to fill out before returning to the group.  It says, "What happened?", "What can you do differently next time?", and "Are you ready to return to the group? (calm, focused, quiet voice, listening ears, ready to learn)".


This Take a Break Kit will be available in my TpT store soon!!

So.... TRIED Take a Break, but (luckily) nobody had to use it today!  I will let you know how it goes once somebody has to visit the area.


What did you try today?  How did it go?

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

9 comments:

  1. I have never in my life seen the Dry Erase Crayons. How cool! How did you get them off the whiteboard? Was it difficult? I use Clorox Wipes to wipe off the markers, which probably isn't the best option, but it's fast and easy.
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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    1. Hi, Alison! Yeah, they came off pretty easy! And no gunky residue left behind! Keep in mind that they are wax, though, so some parts took just a little bit of extra rubbing. But nothing too difficult! I really liked the dry-erase crayons!
      Thanks for reading! If you like what you read, become a follower! :)
      Ellie
      Miss Woodward's Class

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  2. I am also wondering how easy they are to wipe off... It drives me crazy when dry erase markers leave a trace of your writing - especially red ones! Grrr... :) (Did you like that Grrr followed by a happy face? I guess I'm not really angry. :))
    -Lisa
    Grade 4 Buzz

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    Replies
    1. They actually came off pretty easily! And they don't leave a trace of your writing... they wipe off pretty clean! :)

      Ellie
      Miss Woodward's Class

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  3. So take a break is kind of like a time-out, just with a more reflective attitude right? I'd like to do this but I have a few questions; does the child still feel singled out when sent there? when is the take a break over? what do you do when the child is defiant and won't go or won't leave it?
    Thanks!
    ~ Kristin
    thisoldartroom.blogpsot.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Kristin! Thanks for the questions! Here is what I know and have experienced with Take a Break. Decide what works best for your classroom and group of students. ☺ When I introduce "Take a Break", we talk about what it means to take a break from something. We discuss inappropriate behaviors and when we might need to take a break.
      Sometimes, yes, a student might feel singled out, but it’s important for them to know that taking a break does not mean they are a bad student, or that you don’t like them. It just means that their body needs to calm down so they can be the best learners.
      In my class, the students self-regulate and return to the group when they feel they are calm and focused. They complete a “reflection sheet”, too, so I have a record of how often they are taking a break. I know of some teachers who prefer for a student to stay in the Take a Break area until they have a chance to go over and discuss the incident with the student. That’s all your preference.
      If a child is defiant (once when I was a sub in kindergarten, a child refused to take a break and instead threw the Take a Break chair across the room), it is important to not start a power struggle with the student. Remind them how Take a Break is to help them calm their body. They might still refuse. You can also have them Take a Break in a Buddy Room (the teacher next door or down the hall- talk with another teacher who you feel comfortable occasionally sending your kids to). That teacher can show your student where the Take a Break area is in their room, and when that teacher feels that your student is calm and focused, s/he can send your student back to class. (That one student that threw the chair? He did a great job of taking a break in a buddy class- just not in his own class.)
      IF your student is still defiant, that is when you should call in for reinforcements. Call the person who helps with student misbehavior, and tell them you have a student who needs to be removed from your room.

      I HOPE this helps! If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask! ☺

      Ellie
      Miss Woodward's Class

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    2. Thank you for the detailed reply - it is super helpful to know how other people implement their strategies!
      I'll keep you posted - if I do get this started I'll be sure to let you know.
      ~ Kristin
      thisoldartroom.blogspot.com

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  4. I never knew dry erase crayons existed! I really like how you write a morning message on your white board to the students. Thanks so much for linking up!
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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    Replies
    1. Yep, we read the message together during morning meeting! Thanks for hosting the linky! I would love for you to become a follower! :)

      Ellie
      Miss Woodward's Class

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