The past few weeks I have been having trouble getting my students to do what they needed to be doing. I had gone almost crazy repeating long lectures about following directions, being responsible, and getting work done in a timely manner. One afternoon I had just HAD IT! I sat them down, and I said "You Have to follow directions! My job is to teach you the things you need for second grade! If you don't follow my instructions and do what I tell you to do, you will NOT be ready for second grade! This is VERY important! If you continue to talk, play, and refuse to do the things I tell you to do, you may very well miss out on learning experiences that are taking place in this classroom."
One of my little girls raised her hand, so I called on her, and she began to explain very clearly what I had been trying to get across for almost 2 weeks. I should have told it this way from the beginning :)
"Ms. Guinn, there was a man, and he was told over and over to do something, and he didn't. So one day he got on a boat and God was just tired of it, so a whale ate him. Maybe if we don't do what you tell us to, a whale will eat us. (turning to the rest of the class)...I think we should do what she says."