My literacy and math times rely on stations or centers so I need students to be independent. Every year I slowly introduce the behaviors expected while working in the centers and we roleplay both what appropriate and inappropriate behavior might look like. This year, there were a lot of very tense discussions between students about who would go first in centers that involved a game. Eventually, based on my students’ suggestions, I made a “Who Goes First?” box. At the beginning of the day I drew out a card and whoever in the group met the details of the card, they would go first.
Those tense discussions? They became non-existent. It worked so well that it spread to other classrooms. I even had my co-teacher steal my box so she could use it when I wasn’t teaching. The key was that there were so many possibilities that it was always up for grabs who would be first that day. (Examples include: the person with the longest thumb, the person with the shortest first name, the person who has a cat at home, the youngest, etc.)
You can pick it up as a flash freebie for the next few days in my tpt store and see your students’ tense discussions drop dramatically. 🙂