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    Chatty 2nd Graders
    By Peg

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    I have been student teaching in the 2nd grade for 2 wks now and have a very good cooperating teacher. I agree with Carolyn in that the children only have the work on their desks that they are going to be doing right now, nothing else. Also, I have started to clap my hands 2 times to signal for silence. In response, the kids clap back and I know they are ready to listen. Sometimes I have to say, "Let's try that again." I also liked the idea of putting your hands on top of your head.

    My cooperating teacher also has a very flexible seating arrangement and if they are too talkative with their neighbor, they are moved. The desks are moved from clusters of small groups called tables (4-5 desks facing in toward each other) to rows with two desks side-by-side and then a space before the next two desks side-by-side. This arrangement works well when you want to minimize the distractions of a group. They are very familiar with doing this and can rearrange their desks in a matter of minutes. You might try practicing that with them.

    Lastly, they all have a folder with their name on it labeled "extra work folder" and it includes any papers that they need to correct or that they haven't finished yet. When they finish a project, they know that they should take out something from their extra work folders. Sometimes the teacher instructs them to take out 2 things from their extra work folder at the beginning of a project and put it in the corner of their desk. Then they know they are to begin working on those papers right away if they finish everything else.

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