Ah, the joy of wriggly, jiggly children in line as you are waiting to head off to assembly, or the library, or to wherever you need to get your class to.
You’ve asked them to line up, you’ve asked them to be quiet, but the chatter continues and the line resembles hairpin turns to be negotiated on a drive through the Swiss Alps (pause to day dream such an occasion…).
Let’s face it, lining up isn’t the most exciting part of the school day but from a teacher’s perspective this transitional stage is an important management technique for calming the masses and preparing them for a quieter event ahead. Here is a strategy that fits the purpose of making lining up more fun for your students, hence will bring you the result you need quickly, without the stress…
Resources needed: None
Instructions: Ask the children to line up, telling them that they will be taking up various positions, which they must do silently without moving from their spot. You could use these following suggestions: skiing, diving into a pool, throwing a ball, reading a book, doing the dishes etc, and ending with standing still in a line.
Continue until the children are settled, heaping the praise onto those who are the quickest and quietest to respond.
As a variation, you could use this activity as a regular way of getting the children to be still and quiet, using different examples each time to surprise and amuse them. You could also use it to break up an activity that requires a lot of concentration.
Enjoy the process and remember, a good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audiences attention, then he can teach his lesson (Jojn Henrik Clarke).