Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Working On It: June 25

Hey everyone!

I'm linking up with the lovely KinderGals for their weekly linky: Working on It! I am sharing what I am currently working on.

I have only been out of school for about a week and I already have started working on my Summer To-Do List.

If you follow my Instagram account, you have already seen this picture.

I am only on Chapter 10 and I love this book. Many of the things I didn't consider to be the turning point to successfully interacting with your students are. For example, I have the rule that there are no toys allowed in the classroom. When students "test" your rules by bringing toys into the classroom, I have always told them to put them back in their backpacks. While that usually works for that DAY, I am having the same conversation with either the same student or another one the following day. This book points out that I have this rule, however students are noticing that I showing them that I will just give them a warning if they bring in a toy and there are not any real consequences to bring a toy to school. This is just one example of what is discussed in this book. I have found this book to be really eye opening and I have enjoyed it so far.

I am also getting my lesson plans ready for my read alouds during the year. We start the year reading Because of Winn-Dixie. 

I finished packing up my room yesterday. YEAH! While it doesn't look like it, it is ready to go. My janitor is a gem and he said that we don't need to have lids on all of our boxes. That helped a ton because I have oddly shaped boxes, shelves, etc  that was really hard to pack.

Last but not least, I am working on making my long range plans for next year. I usually don't make long range plans but I always wish I did about half way through the year. I figured I would give it a shot this year.

It is not all work though, next week I am going camping for my 30th birthday. We are actually going to the same site I used to go to as a kid! I can't wait!

Don't forget to link up with the KinderGals.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five for Friday (1st Day of Summer Edition)

Hey all!

Today is my first day of summer! I work in a school district that goes late into June. However, we don't start until after Labor Day so it all works out. This is about the time that I wish we had year-round school but sadly there is only a couple in my state. In honor of my 1st day of summer, I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs for one of my favorite links: Five for Friday.

On Saturday we had lunch with my boyfriend's dad. I snatched these photos while we were at the park. Not too shabby for an iPhone.

Did you know the Word Cup is going on in Brazil right now? Oi! World Cup fever has taken over my house. The game on Monday against Ghana was a nail bitter, so I am hoping we can keep it together against Portugal. This is my favorite commercial I have seen about the World Cup.

Over the last month, I have seen blog posts about these wonderful books everyone is reading this summer. I have been slowly collecting the ones I would like to read. I didn't realize until today how many I have. I have a A LOT of reading to do this summer.

Wednesday was field day. Sadly I only took a couple of pictures. Here is the bouncy house station and the chalk station.

I found out that I will be moving to a new classroom next year on Wednesday. (Last day of school was Thursday) I am excited is the problem. The portable has not been put in yet. As of right now, I don't have anyplace to put my boxes. Eeeeek!

I'll be going into my classroom today to work on this mess.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Behavior Management and a Freebie

Hello friends!

I am linking up with Laura from Where the Magic Happens... to talk about a subject that I struggle with every year...behavior management.

It seems every year, I try to figure out different ways to approach managing my students. Last year I tried parts of the Whole Brain Teaching model. I started by using the Super Improvers Wall that is used to encourage students to set individual goals that are specific to their needs.

Click on the picture to download this freebie.

I had students select their own goals to try to encourage more ownership. The goals could be academic or behavioral. For example, sit at the carpet correctly or turn in my homework every day. Every time I noticed a student doing this for the day, I would put a star on their chart. When the chart was filled, the student would made a new goal to work on. The different color cards reflect how many goals each student has made. The colors correspond to the signs on the left.

At first I had my doubts about how this would work in my class. After using this system for a year, I really like it. My students LOVE "beating" their goal. I made certificates for each student every time to beat their goal.

I found most of the students picked goals that they honestly knew they needed to work on. If they didn't, this was a perfect time to discuss why they picked the goals they choose. I got my signs for free from Tara West's Teachers Pay Teachers store.

In addition to the Super Improvers Wall, I also used Class Dojo. If you are not familiar with Class Dojo, it is an online system that you can use to help manage students behaviors.

I found about half way through the year, the students do not seem to really care about the Class Dojo scores. When they hear the cheerful dings of the positive points and the dongs of the minus points it doesn't seem to change their behavior one way or the other. Parents can also go online and check to see how their child is doing throughout the day. Unfortunately many of my parents do not have access to a computer. I started sending paper copies home every Friday but I still didn't notice a difference in student's behavior.

I love the idea of the Class Dojo system, however I am finding it difficult to make it work the way that I want. A couple of years ago, I tried the Clip Charts and I really liked them. My students also really liked the chance to move up for positive behavior too. I think I am going to try this system again next year.

Also I am reading Setting Limits in the Classroom this summer. I am only a couple of pages in and I already have made some great connections. Like for example, I give too many warnings. This book suggested that I am sending the message that they can continue to do the same behavior and they will just get a warning. I didn't even realize I was doing that! I can't wait to continue reading this book.

Reading while waiting for the ferry yesterday.
What are types of behavior management strategies do you use? Don't forget to link up!

I only have 3 1/2 more days of school left. I can do this, I can do this!