The first week of GOTR at Riverside was pretty good. The first day we had 13 girls and they were all very enthusiastic and engaged and a lot of fun. Thursday (the second day) was a little rocky because we had to go inside because of lightening outside and we had 15 girls that were a lot less attentive and chatty amongst themselves.
Out of the 15 girls, we have about 5 who know each other well and talk amongst themselves a lot and are joking around and distracting. We are trying a system this season where the girls have necklaces that they wear during each practice – on the necklace there are three beads that will be worth something (like a pencil eraser or piece of candy) at the end of the season. If behavior is a problem, they lose one of those beads. So, Thursday three girls lost a bead – it seemed to be effective in that no one seemed happy about losing a bead and they shaped up for the rest of the session.
We have a nice mixture of 3rd and 4th graders. The third graders are really sweet and excited and I was especially glad to see that kids who were a little shy the first day were already opening up and talking a lot more on the second day. After this week I feel like I need to have a packet of “ready to go” activities for inside play and learning, and I also need more strategies for dealing with a large group and talking girls. How do teachers keep a whole class paying attention and engaged? Anyway, it was a good week overall, and I am enjoying getting back in to a similar routine to the one we had last spring.