Monday, September 17, 2012

Sand Dollars

My class this year is so well behaved. I don't necessarily need a positive incentive but on those days when my students are a little less angelic it really helps boost them back up. Plus it is helping my students who behavior is a little less desirable become awesome!

I started this year with Terrific Tickets but I rarely used them. The plan was to give out a terrific ticket for terrific behavior then I was having raffles on Friday to see who wins a prize. 2nd graders don't respond well to not getting a prize if their name doesn't get drawn. Does this surprise you? It also kills their motivation to earn these Terrific Tickets so tickets got thrown away already and Sand Dollars were created!

They are printed are green card stock, so cute!

I pass them out to students who show awesome behavior then my class store opens every Friday and they can go shopping! My class store has basics like fun pencils, erasers, and book marks for the bargain price of 2 dollars. Then it has some candy for $5 and for $10 they can buy a coupon such as a no shoes day, sit in the teachers chair, or they can buy the bean bags for a week so it is all theirs for reading. I'm trying to keep it simple but my students have so many requests on what kind of things they want in the store I might add some neat toys (from the dollar store) that they can really save for. Talk about motivation. 

My students work really hard for a sand dollar. I like how it teaches them responsibility and to save but is easy to manage. They keep their sand dollars in their 'buckets' which are on my door. Laminating the pockets are keeping them looking new all year!
Student's names are now hot glued to their pockets.

I also have my clip chart that students move up or down on. That is more used for negative consequences rather than positive. 
I love my clip chart and couldn't imagine how my classroom would run without it. I also love how seriously my students take the clip chart. They do NOT want to clip down so even if they have to move their clip to yellow, most of them act like complete angels in hopes of moving their clips back up.

My student's write what color they end up on at the end of the day in their agendas then I initial. Love putting the work on them, not me. They are so fast at it now too! 

I'm linking this up to the behavior management party over at What the Teacher Wants:

ps. I unfortunately have gotten sick. Head hurts and nose running, no fun! Any good remedies out there? Must get better since our open house is Thursday!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Desk Fairy, Princess, Duke. Prince, and Frog

In response to questions about my Whole Brain Teaching scoreboard from my WBT update yesterday, here is the scoreboard:
Unfortunately I can't tell you where to buy this little whiteboard with the handle, it comes with our math curriculum. Everyone has a class set, I use Go Math if your curious. 

Like I said before, it goes EVERYWHERE with me. Love how portable it is! Hands on my easel by the carpet and on the dry erase board for when students are in the desks.

On another note...

My students are allowed in their desks this year. No, no, they can't actually fit in their desks but they can put THINGS in their desks. Its a big step for a very controlling teacher.

Yes, last year my first graders desks were turned around so they couldn't put anything in there. Teaching them how to sit in their desks was hard enough so teaching them to sit AND how not to put their hands in there AND keep it organized was just too much. It was basically having tables in my room rather than desks.

But I figured I needed to teach my 2nd graders some independence and organization skills so students have access to their desks. That means cleanliness and organization is another skill I teach my kiddos regarding their desks.

In order to bribe motivate them to keep desks neat, spotless, OCD organized I have created some mythological creatures named the Desk Fairy, Desk Princess, Desk Prince, Desk Duke, and the frog.

Check them out:
Click the picture to download your own set for free :)
I personally think they're ADORABLE! I made them diverse since I have a diverse class and I wanted some for boys and some for girls!
One of my class jobs is the 'Desk Monitor' so he is currently in training to take these cards and place them in student's desk he thinks need to be cleaned or should be rewarded for exemplary cleanliness.
He will be on the lookout for clean or messy desks, place desk ticket in the desk (right in the front, no hiding), then the student will bring the ticket to my desk to redeem for reward or if they got the frog.. just to give back to me.
They will be placing them in this little pocket on my lamp so everyone is clear where they are and where they go.

My favorite part is that you print a set or two and laminate. These are good all year people! So easy! I'm obsessed.

I introduced them to my class today and their eyes got HUGE, they were so excited! Can't wait for the students who got the cards in their desks during dismissal to find them tomorrow morning.

Click any of the pictures to download your own set for FREE! Just please leave me some feedback on TPT, I really appreciate it!

How do you keep your student's desks cleaned?

Monday, September 03, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Update

The past two weeks I've been implementing Whole Brain Teaching.. I wanted to chat about how it's going because no one at my school does WBT so I need some friends to exchange ideas with me! If you have also been implementing it please share how its going!

Love it, use all day every day. If my students are being super chatty (like after recess and their eating snack) I just say 'Class' over and over again in different voices which relieves my frustration since it is silly and to make sure they all get quite and stay quite!

My first graders last year didn't really grasp this too well. I introduced it towards the end of the year but they just never waited for me to say 'Teach' and then say 'Ok.' My kiddos this year have it down. They are pros! 

I tell them I want to talk to your partner about ............. and they sit and listening and look at me until I say 'Teach' sometimes I forget and I wonder why they are still staring at me like brillant little listeners and some of them will give me a hint but moving their hands like I do when I say 'Teach.' So cute.

But I'm loving this and my kiddos are doing GREAT. I will say I fuse WBT and Kagan together since I do pull random sticks from my 'Cup of Chance' and they have to tell me what their partner has said. This really holds them accountable for listening and for making sure each person has a chance to speak.  I only do that when they are sharing opinions, predictions about books, etc. Not re-teaching something like in WBT.

I started the scoreboard hour 1 of day 1 and would never go back. 

I love it. I have it on a personal white board (even has a handle) so it travels with me to the carpet, when I sit down for morning meeting, when I stand in the front of the room and students are at desks, when they are in line I bring scoreboard with me by the door. I think this is key... having a traveling scoreboard so you don't have to be standing by the board all the time to award points.

Also I can't handle giving out another prize on Fridays. I have so many rewards happening on Friday we just couldn't play for another one. So my class voted on earning a class pet.. they convinced me and I agreed on a fish or a turtle (I'm not sure turtles are even allowed but I'm leaning towards a salt water fish tank thanks to my dad also convincing me and telling me he will help fill it up with what he catches in the bay). 

So each day we play to earn another point towards them receiving a class pet. They have to have 20 points to earn it which means 20 days of more smiley face tally marks than sad face. This week out of 4 days they only earned one, just ONE, smiley face point. I've been a little strict but Friday they did shape up and are learning that in the afternoon they still have to be as good as they were in the morning.

Super Speed Math
Thursday we spent 15 minutes setting up our Super Speed Math folders and then Friday we began to practice it.

There are some rules in Super Speed Math that are a little tricky for some of my kiddos like where to start next time you play. But I think after one day of practice most of my class has got it. My students really had to focus when I was explaining the rules but after a lot of modeling they have it down. 

I'm proud of how they were doing! I will say some of my students love it and some of my low ones still aren't quite sure about it. They have a hard time with the 0's but with some practice and continuous play they will also see growth. Some of them already did and got more into it.

Overall, I think it is going to be GREAT and not a lot of work at all to practice math facts. Rather than playing Around the World with math facts, we can just do Super Speed Math and there is 100% engagement rather than just the two students answering math facts for Around the World. Upgrade!

We say our rules every morning with gestures. Download them here.

My students are taking a while to get into the gestures (whats up with that?) but now are into them just when we do rules. I love saying them every morning. I love how they are numbered so I can say class what is Rule #1? And then they repeat it. It reminds students of the rule without calling them out.

I love how my students are nudging each other and saying the rules with them with their fingers and gestures rather than talking. They are holding each other accountable to get points on the scoreboard. 

Universal Homework Model or Star Homework (Read more about it here)
We are starting Star Homework this week! I can't wait to see how it will go. I'm sure the first week might be a little rough but we can only go up from here. 

I'm anticipating a lot of questions from parents but am ready to answer them. My parents are so much more involved than I anticipated which is great, I'm just hoping they embrace this homework model! Wish me luck!

I do gestures a lot and have students repeat after me and do them with me. I just don't use 'Mirror' often. I need to go watch more videos on this to implement it so it is a little less flawless. My students kind of catch on though when I want them to use their hands and when so I don't always need to say 'Mirror.' 

This is something I need to work on, how about you? How do you students do with Mirroring you? Keep in mind, my students do not like using gestures! I use them, they use them, then when they teach their parents they don't use them! Must practice this... 

I think that is mostly it. I thought about implementing the 'Six Common Procedures' like lining up, handing in papers, etc. but it is a little too much for me. Do you use them? How does it go?

On a different note, this is my first time linking up to Oh' Boy 4th Grade's Currently but I'm thinking it is going to be a new monthly tradition. 

Please share your experiences with WBT so far! I love to get more ideas for my own classroom and how to improve it :)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Have you filled a bucket today?

Most teachers have heard of this book:

They are both pretty much the same. I read it to my class last year in hopes we would all become bucket fillers which is complimenting others and doing kind things for one in another to make them feel good (have a full bucket). It caught on for a few weeks. We wrote positive notes to each other right after we read the book. Then it was over.. after a few more months our class was no longer bucket fillers and the kiddos probably didn't really remember what it was all about.

I wanted that to change this year. I wanted it to be continuous and really embrace complimenting others and writing positive notes to each other. Maybe it is because I LOVE positive notes and specific positive feedback but then again who doesn't?!?

In order to make this really catch on I devoted my door to bucket filling. Every time students walk in and out of the class they are reminded of our buckets. Our bucket fillers are located right next to our door which are little slips of paper student's write on to one another.
I don't know where I got the heading sign. I printed it our before my first year teaching and laminated and then never used it. I found it as I was prepping my room this year and thought it would work! I made my own set of headers to use but just never got around to printing/laminating them all.

But you can download my set here for free. They look a little like this:

So last week I read my students How Full is Your Bucket?, it took towards the end of the book for some of my boys to really catch on. Afterwards I modeled complimenting students and they complimented me. Then they raised their hands to begin complimenting each other. They caught on pretty quick... After I showed them our 'buckets' on the door and the slips of paper they can use. They then wrote on the slips and filled others buckets. That is when it came full circle and they really got it.

Since last week, my students have been wanting to fill buckets nonstop. I do read most of the notes when my students are at specials to make sure it is appropriate and doesn't turn into 'Will you be my girlfriend?' or something like that. Using the Bucket Filler sheets though forces students to write something positive so I don't think I should encounter any issues.

Students check their buckets as they walk out of the door to go home and it is so funny to watch them read their notes as they walk out and smile so big. I love having them read them as they leave school so they have something positive to tell their families.

Also I LOVE filling my students buckets. Those students who aren't as 'popular' (hate using that term) and don't receive as many notes I help them out a little bit. Whenever I see my students doing something really good or improving I grab a bucket filler slip, write a quick note, and put it in. This way hopefully they will continue to show that behavior continuously! It also is a definite relationship boost with my students. I've never gotten so many positive notes from students in one week! They LOVE filling my bucket too. Overall you can tell the positive energy is like radiating from my room.

Next month which is TODAY (wow) we will get a new bucket filler starter seen here:
It will keep it fresh and students will use a new bucket filler starter each month.
To download your bucket filler starters click here.

This has been one of my favorite things I've implemented this year and I can't wait to use it all year long! Do you tie this into your classroom? Have you heard of this book?

ps. Go USF Bulls! So excited college football is back!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Classroom Reveal: Teacher's Desk, AR Board, Behavior Chart

Alrighty folks, last set of classroom reveal photos! I'll be sharing with you the entire back wall of my classroom.

Now you can see that huge AC unit I have! It leaves a little space to store some unwanted goodies.And a place for keep all of my student's text books and guided reading books on that cart.

Now this 'Swimming To The Top' magnetic board is for AR points! Each student has a sea animal that they colored and cut out with a magnet on the back.
As students earn AR points they move their sea animal up and up until they reach their goal. Each quarter they start back at the bottom. Also there is a really cool view on the AR website for them to easily see how many points they have and how close they are to their goal. They going to be totally responsible for this--- not my job but of course I'll monitor it and conference with them :)

View of unit with the door next to it and book baskets.

Next to the water fountain is this guy I added some paper to. I'm not 100% what I'm going to use the drawers for so waiting to add labels to them. But do you notice the iPod? I just updated it with a ton of new songs to use in class! Songs for clean up, transitions, classical songs, and fun songs. Ahh music just gives the classroom such a happy feel.

Then we see my only storage space (cabinets) and my desk. I can fit a lot in those cabinets but I did have to cut down on my hoarding/collecting, I didn't even have very much either!

Student's pencil station and supplies they can use (when necessary):

Student's portfolio area. Their writing 'portfolios' or binders they use daily. They have dividers for drafts, published peices, and their monthly writing tests with a graph to record results. Will have to post on those soon! The file folder portfolio has running records graph (they keep up with) and for chapter math tests graph. They will also keep all their tests in these folders.

View of my desk, math manipulatives (must be accessible to students), and behavior chart.

Close up math manipulatives and the red tub will be for math centers per say. They will be kept in manilla folders.

Behavior chart that somewhat follows our school wide plan (bottom half) but I wanted students to be able to move up too (top half).

Mailbox on my desk from Target dollars pot a few years ago. Students put messages to me in there in the morning then put up the flag to let me know I have mail. They LOVE this.

View of the rest of the room from my desk! You can see all the anchor charts we have been creating! 

Well the classroom tour is over! See ALL the posts here. :)