Habits are very powerful things. There are things that I say in my classroom every day that I don’t even realize how often I say them. But that’s a good thing because it gets my third graders into habits too. When you say the same thing, the same way every time it really sticks in your head.
Here are some phrases I say every day, with students responses in italics:
It’s a great day to have a great day! (I love to start every morning with that. Some mornings we sing Zip-a-dee-do-dah; my oh my what a wonderful day!)
What’s the first thing we have to do at the beginning of every lesson? Learning Target! What’s the second thing we have to do? Essential Question! And I often add on, What’s an essential question? and have them explain it to me.
Choose Kind! <- This is part of a longer quote, but I use the short one more often: “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”
Do we do anything in third grade just for fun? No! We’re here to learn!
Do teachers make mistakes? Yes!
The answer is not the most important part, how you get there is!
It doesn’t matter what others think.
Think with your brain and not your mouth. (This goes for when I’m teaching or reading aloud. I want the kids to be thinking, but not shout out. Because shouting out steals other students’ thinking.
Is this a rock problem or a play doh problem? (Essentially what I’m asking them is, is this a problem that is within your control to fix, like play doh, or is it in someone else’s’ control and there’s nothing you can do about it, like a rock?)
Think about how what you say and do impacts others. (We’re not allowed to say “this is easy,” because it might make others feel bad. We say it makes sense to my brain.)