Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Talk about attention-getting…
…check out the street sign in my blog pic here. I found it posted at the corner of two halls in a school where I recently taught writing.
Responsibility Drive took me (at least in my mind) to a road called Opportunity Expressway.
Hop in…let’s go look at some fun, creative ways to use road signs to:
- catch and keep kids’ attention
- assist with classroom management
- make strong curriculum connections
- help motivate students
As you can see in the blog pic showing Responsibility Drive, part of the wall below the sign is being used to display student art work. Teachers in this school take turns changing up the visual art exhibits along this hallway.
I’d recommend making a stronger curriculum connection in this location by exhibiting posters below the street sign that feature character traits that you want to develop in students, like the one in my blog pic below that also relates to responsibility.
“Sign on to a road show” and you have the option of ordering road signs that feature just about anything you want, including other desirable character traits.
A wide selection of customized street signs can be found online.
Opportunity Expressway may also lead to Writing Process Place. Why stop there?
When I take students to Writing Process Place I tell them that we need to not just stop by; we need to park for a while and spend more time learning and using the Writing Process. A Writing Process Place sign can help kids visualize themselves committing more time at home, as well as in school when the daily schedule allows, to getting quality writing done.
I know that teachers’ time is already stretched to the max, but in a world driven by information and communication, writing is more important than ever before.
Teachers can “drive” students to understand that no matter WHAT kind of writing they might need to do…non-fiction, fiction, poetry, opinion, reports, etc…time spent visiting Writing Process Place will help them develop key communication skills.
National reports, at least in the US, indicate that most student writers are still not proficient.
Many students, like the boy in my blog pic here, struggle with words. They tend to rush through their work to be done with it.
Teachers that post a Writing Process Place street sign in class can help make writing time more fun and inviting.
Good news! Teachers can “sign on to a road show” without ever ordering actual street signs from vendors. Time saved. Money saved. How? Make your own street signs!
Turn a classroom bulletin board into Writing Process Place with these steps:
- Post a large rectangular header with the “street name” in bold print that looks like a street sign.
- Post an open map (one you don’t need anymore) in the center with arrows pointing out from the map in different directions.
- Number the arrows 1 – 5.
- Cut out five rectangles that look like street signs in five different colors.
- Print the parts of the writing process, one on each rectangle using road-related names like – Prewriting Pathway – Writing Zone – Revising Road – Editing Avenue – Publishing Junction.
- Post the rectangular “street signs” next to the arrows, one by each arrow in sequence.
- Take your class on a tour of Writing Process Place and refer to it each time your class begins a writing activity.
Librarians, like the one in my blog pic below,
can also “sign up for a road show.”
Imagine street signs around a Media Center that read:
- Reading Road
- Non-fiction Byway
- Fiction Expressway
- Accelerated Reading Alley
- Easy Reader Access Trail
Just for fun, let’s take a page out of the thesaurus and “drive” over to other curriculum hubs where teachers (and students in grades 4-5; turn this into a class activity if you like) can match up street signs with elementary school subjects in addition to writing and reading.
NOTE: Obviously, I’m using an English thesaurus; teachers working in other languages will select names that are appropriate for them.
Try using the following creative, colorful, eye-catching VISUAL and/or VERBAL cues (read on) that connect with road signs:
- Math Line – main link to learning and S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
- Science Pathway – road to research, space exploration, discoveries, new medicines, etc.
- Social Studies Viaduct – Roman gate to learning about different regions, countries, cultures
- Computer Way – a communications network
- Music Thruway – notes following notes; listen as we travel through the melodies and lyrics.
- Art Artery – the heart of self-expression
- P.E. Track – route to sports fun and fitness
- Transition Turnpike – time to exit this activity and pick up a new pike.
- Lunch Line – orderly exit to the cafeteria
Notice that I wrote visual cues OR verbal cues. Once you’ve introduced your class to the concept of “road shows” for learning, you don’t even have to make actual street signs to have impact.
A strictly verbal cue (no visuals) might be, for example, “Let’s line up quietly on Transition Turnpike to get ready to head to our special assembly today.”
When teachers “sign on to a road show” they can merge onto Possibility Parkway and drive their classes for miles and miles of learning. Please send comments about your own teaching roads well-traveled.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Look for Mid-Week Focus on Wednesday. Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet