One of the biggest challenges/frustrations/issues this year has been our call and response system. It’s nothing new to the kids: the teacher leads with a sound or phrase (ie. bump-bada-bump-bump, YO YO YO) and the students respond accordingly (BUMP-BUMP !!!, YO WHAT’S UP!!). Then they know to Stop. Look. Listen. So what’s the issue? The issue is that they do not stop, look, or listen but continue chatting, moving, and not paying attention to the information that the teacher needs to deliver. We have used the tally system with the intention that they would connect choice and consequence, but that has not been the case. So what do we do? We asked the kids to come up with the solution. They spent these two mornings offering ideas, sharing notices, and discussing options. They brought up reasonable amounts of time in order to respond, using the call and response from their earlier years, and number of tallies they should receive if they do not respond.
The students ultimately decided that it was reasonable for everyone to Stop. Look. and Listen. within 3 seconds, that 2 tallies would be fair if they did not Stop. Look. and Listen. within 3 seconds, and that they would prefer Bump-Bada-Bump-Bump...BUMP-BUMP over YO YO YO...Yo What's UP! as their call and response.
Overall, their responsiveness has been better and the fact that they came up with a solution amongst themselves and decided based on votes shows that they are well on their way to more independence. Now, only time will tell if it also leads to a heightened sense of accountability and responsibility.
Please keep in mind that the overall goal and intention of all of these activities is to give the students a say in how they are managed, a voice among their peers, and the opportunity to lead themselves through their 6th grade year.