Sunday, June 17, 2012

summer already?

Today I am on "time out." Summer has officially hit as of 2:00 PM yesterday and I am already at a loss as to what to do with myself. My husband and I have big traveling plans, but they do not start for what seems to be an eternity. So, until that day comes I have to figure out what to do with myself.

So far I have: cleaned house, organized ALL of my school supplies (yes even broke it up into themes), spent too much time on pinterest, and started working on projects for next year. I have even painted my clothes pins to hide the previous year's marks...

On a more productive note- I have started to compile the information I want to send home at the beginning of the year. One main component is a student contact information page. Parents will fill this out and send it back with their student so I am able to have more insight into their home life, be ready to contact parents for the good and bad a year brings, and be super ready to update their cumulative folder come end of the year. Since I have spent time spiffing up my blog (note cute share and follow buttons on the side?), I have now figured out how to share a PDF. So for your pleasure here is my rough draft. I just love the fonts and my husband has already asked for a copy for fifth grade.

Option One
Option Two 

Ok, so I figured out how to upload them online for you to download, but I have not figured out how to be fancy and display the image here first before you click the link. This just gives you the bragging rights to say "I downloaded it before it was even shown!"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

driving in the classroom

Today I am bus driver. I am putting off what I should be doing to think of what I can be doing for next year. So procrastinating for the end of the year but proactive for the next. I am calling this a win.

I have had a blast teaching K-1 this year and I am hating having to say good-bye. I will be moving schools next year and will teach a straight kindergarten. As I'm packing up my room and thinking about the positives and negatives of my teaching this year and what will make the cut for next year, my focus shifts to my classroom management. 

Being a new teacher I did have my great down-falls, but one cute thing that I created this year was a new spin on the colored tag behavior chart. I used a pocket chart and bus calendar cut-outs (purchased at Lakeshore). Each student had a bus with their school number on it. Everyday the buses started on green. I labeled the green area "moving along." Meaning in the discipline realm: life is just fine. If I found a student going above and beyond, being an amazing friend, first to follow directions, etc. I would move their bus up to the purple level entitled, "cruisin'!" However, if a student was needing reminding and some time away from fun activities they moved their bus down to yellow, "rough roads." If they were still acting up and not following the rules of the classroom their bus was moved to orange, "flat tire." And yet still, if it was just not going to be a good day and I needed to inform parents of behavior I moved their bus to red, "call AAA." 

Of course reactions came from each level, positive reinforcement for making it to the purple level X amount of days, or missing out on certain activities if moved below green. And one thing I did was make each student earn their way back up. Even if punishment was paid in the amount of time on the bench, I still waited to see better behavior before returning their bus to green. 

My other thing I enjoyed having this year was classroom helpers. I had a list of jobs that changed three times this year. Some jobs stayed all year long, but a few switched to keep my busy worker bees happy and feeling more responsible.
flag, lights, line leader, caboose, germ squirt, reader, paper pass
added last trimester: phone, office
I know that both of these concepts are not new (and really my display for jobs is nothing special as of now), but I just wanted to share another spin on how to display a behavior chart and include a list of jobs my students loved. But, what I really want to know is are there any other ideas floating around out there that are just too cute to ignore??