…yup, you read that right. A waiting room changed the way I manage my classroom. But it’s not what you think! As a true millennial teacher, I love scrolling through Instagram and TikTok. One day I came across a GENIUS idea: the Waiting Room. Once I saw it, I immediately created a freebie just for you!
What is the Waiting room?
When I created this freebie for my classroom and introduced it to my classes, I related this to going to the food store and the deli counter. At the deli counter, before you are to be helped, you take a number. When it is your turn to get your meat and cheeses, your number gets called. When you are done being helped, the next number is called and they are helped!
This is essentially the same premise of the Waiting Room in my classroom. As students are independently working on an activity or independent practice and they have a question, they can come up to the board and get a number. If a student grabs the number “1,” the next student grabs the number “2” and so on.
When I notice that numbers have been taken off the board, I start calling numbers in order. When the student who has the number “1” has been helped, they return it to the board. However, I remind my students that they take the next number, not the number that has been put back. In this example, if numbers “1” and “2” are off the board, but I helped number “1” and they put back their number, the next student should get number “3.”
I keep calling numbers until everyone has been helped or the time for independent work has ceased.
How Do I set Up the Waiting Room?
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I created a one-page Waiting Room printable for you to download off of my Freebie Corner! All you need to do is print out the page on a piece of colored paper and cut out the pieces.
I am a cut-laminate-cut girl, so I cut out the pieces then laminate them using my favorite laminating hack prior to cutting the pieces out one last time.
Then, I stick a peel-and-stick magnet dot to the back of each piece and arrange them on my board, ready for use in the classroom!
Trust me, your students are going to love being in the Waiting Room – my students always ask me if the Waiting Room is “open” for the day. It’s absolutely changed the way I manage questions during independent time!