Today I’d like to share with you a little tip I have picked up from other teachers and used over the years to keep ALL the students in your class quiet when walking in line. I find it those transitions times such as change over between lesson, walking in line to another room in the school building, lining up etc when ‘undesired’ behaviors are most likely to occur. So here is a little tip to help students stay focused when walking in a line.
In my class, we have to move to another area of the school several times a day. This could be walking to the outside door for recess, walking to the hall for assembly, PE, lunch or collecting their belongings at hometime.
Secret Mission Challenge
First I line my students up. You may have a particular order to do this. I use register order for this. Then I tell my students I am going to choose two ‘Secret Walkers’ (I choose one boy and one girl) but I am keeping my choice secret until the end of the activity or lesson. The Secret Walkers have a special mission to walk in absolute silence. They must walk and not run and stay in single file. They must not touch anything on display shelves/bulletin boards etc on their journey along the corridor. Here, add whatever your expectations for great line walking is.
I tell them they will receive a reward if they complete the mission successfully. I give house points as our school has house teams, but you could award a raffle ticket, a sticker or whatever your class rewards and incentives are. The great thing is, all students know that it could be them, so they all try hard to walk perfectly!
I wait until the lesson or activity is over and we have made our return journey back to the classroom. I then announce who the two Secret Walkers are and tell them whether or not they have completed the mission successfully. If they have, then I give then a house point. However, if they talked/ran etc then I tell them that unfortunately they did not complete the mission that time. I do not want to give a reward and undermine the system if they did not walk as I expected. But you will find that the majority of the time the students are so keen to complete their ‘secret mission’ in case they have been picked that they will all walk in the line following the expectations you have laid out.