The past two Wednesdays, I have had a one hour meeting in which I have to leave my room. When the coverage person comes in, I hand her an outline that shows times for transitions and general subjects. She is familiar with the students since she also works in the cafeteria during my students' lunch time. I hand her the very minimal plans and at the top it says the students know what to do and will lead the transitions and work. The two times, last week and this week, were a big success. The class takes great pride in this and the person providing the coverage says that it is a joy. She was impressed that students worked hard to control their volume, which can be an issue with my class. The volume is not because they are unfocused most of the time. It is usually due to the fact that they are enthusiastic about what they are learning.
Similar to what Paul Solarz has shared in his book Learn Like a Pirate, those students who do have attention/impulsivity difficulties are mostly rising to the occasion and they want to be positive members of the classroom. I wish I had started this at the beginning of the year.
These Wednesday meetings will be a regular time out of my classroom every week next year. Great built in weekly practice for the class. Luckily, the coverage person this year will be the same one coming every week next year, so she will be in the loop as to how the classroom is run. With the help of Solarz' book, I am looking forward to starting next year with this student led classroom philosophy!