Friday, March 3, 2017

Need an Absolutely Perfect New Classwide Behavior Incentive?

(Affilate links are provided in this post for your convenience.)

Compliment Clips...
Brownie Points...
Bravo Board...
Behavior Bingo...
Jar Filling...

We've ALL tried numerous types of whole class behavior incentive. I, myself, have tried compliment clips and brownie points (in two different years). My kiddos worked to earn 20 of each and once they earned 20, they earned a behavior party, brownies, game time, etc. 

I personally think that it is SUPER important and effective to do a positive behavior incentive that is whole class because it encourages unity and teamwork! I feel like in previous years my students have really responded to it. This past summer I decided I wanted to put a fun spin on whole class behavior reinforcement. I was tired of the predictable "earn 20 of this or that" and get a prize. When I was walking through Target this summer and saw these guys, I KNEW I had found my new whole class behavior management tool.

I immediately knew I had found a fun, mysterious form of whole class behavior management! I decided to go with the Giant Kerplunk and named my new behavior incentive "Compliment Kerplunk". 

How we play:
Giant Kerplunk is set up in my classroom. Every time I catch my students doing something AMAZING as an entire class, I pick a student to draw a stick. The class also gets to pull a stick if they get a compliment from an administrator or another teacher. The goal is to get ALL of the balls to drop. I was worried that it wouldn't take very long, but it took pulling almost ALL of the sticks. Perfect. I love this SO much because the kids have NO clue when they will earn their reward and each time a ball or balls drop their excitement level increases. It's so much fun to see them get so excited when several balls drop or so sad when they pull a stick and nothing falls. The anticipation (and positive behavior) continuously builds until all of the balls are gone. I love the way this has added a fun element of surprise and anticipation to our class wide behavior incentive. 
(You should also know that this Kerplunk was VERY easy to put together and is sturdy.)

We also used this fun Giant Kerplunk for a class wide "get to know you" game at the beginning of the year and I hope to use it at the end of the year before state testing with a review game. I love buying things that have multiple purposes! 

Ok - you've heard about how I reinforce whole class GREAT behavior...what do you do in your classroom? 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Writing Activities that your students will LOVE!

New Years... a time for new goals, new plans, new you! I always love starting the New Year (whether it be a calendar year or a school year) with fun writing where my students can reflect about the previous year and plan for the new year. I think reflecting and planning is something you should do whether you are 9 or 99! Keep reading to see the fun ways we bring in the new year in my 5th grade classroom! All of my paid products are on SALE for the next 24 hours. Snatch them up and use them when you return to school next week!

In this fun writing and craft activity, students will create their own spaceship and complete a writing piece. They have two different options for their writing. They can write about how they think the new year will be a BLAST or they can reflect on why the previous year was a BLAST. Students love space so this craft is always a hit. Templates are super easy to use and you can choose long or short writing paper. 
What's included:

OK... I am SUPER pumped about this one. My kiddos are obsessed with social media so I know they will be PUMPED about this writing activity... and we love when they get pumped... am I right?! Using Snapchat filters, I will take pictures of my kiddos and they will complete a writing piece about why they are excited about the coming year or why they loved the previous year. Each snapchat filter has a unique journal page that relates directly to the filter. Don't have snap chat? Don't worry! There are several other free apps that allow you to add filters to your pictures! These apps include: Snow and MSQRD.
Whats included: 
I included three different versions of each sheet so that this can work in any age classroom. The first option includes a place for students to draw a picture (far left). The other two options just include lines, but one is more suitable for younger kids and one is more suitable for older kids. = )

HAPPY NEW YEAR and best wishes in 2017! One of my resolutions is to get better at blogging! Fingers crossed I can stick with it! Do you have a great resolution?! I'd love to hear it! = )

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mason Jar Succulents: Coworker Gift Idea!

Need a quick, cheap coworker gift idea? 
I've got you covered!
If you are like me, you've got lots of coworkers you'd love to shower with some love this holiday season, but you don't have lots of money! I hate buying useless/cheap things for coworkers just so I can say I got them a gift. This Christmas I decided to get a little creative with my gifts by planting some mason jar succulents and I seriously love them.

Mason Jar Succulents (less than $5 each)

What do you need?
-Mason jars (pack of 12 @ Walmart for $8)
-Succulents (Walmart for $2.98/Lowes for $3.98)
-Potting Soil
-Twine/Ribbon (I had some of this in my craft box)
-Card (I bought these at Hobby Lobby at 50% off)

It get's dark WAY before I get home, so once I had gathered my items, I laid out some garbage bags on my hardwood floor and got to work. I LOVE gardening, so I found this type of gift making to be super stress relieving! I found it to be much more enjoyable then gift wrapping or shopping in the holiday craziness! I was super happy with the way they turned out, and I really hope my coworkers will like them! Hopefully they will brighten up their kitchen counters or classroom desks this holiday season! Happy succulent planting! = )

Monday, June 20, 2016

Emoji Obsessed - Monday Made It!

Hi friends!

Excited to join in with you guys for Monday Made It!

I'm moving grades AND rooms next year, so I've been working on updating some of my classroom decor. My classroom theme has always been BRIGHT and COLORFUL, but I thought it needed a bit of a modern upgrade... so I've been creating EVERYTHING EMOJI and it has been oh so much fun!

First up, I made a new behavior clip chart. We are required to use the same clip chart system school-wide so I figured I might as well freshen it up a bit! 

The clip chart to the left is the one I've been using several years. You can see my new Emoji one on the right. = )
Second, I decided I needed a new ABC banner.
The summer after my first year teaching (5 long years ago) I hand made an ABC banner that took FOREVER! It was old school and I hand cut out everything. I thought my old school banner needed a fun upgrade... emoji style! I can't get into my classroom to hang these up yet, but I am OH SO EXCITED at how they turned out! Eeek!
I am currently working on name plates but they aren't finished yet! Hoping this years' crew loves emojis as much as last years! Ha!

Are you EMOJI OBSESSED like me?
Both of these items are 20% off today only in my TPT store! 

Well, I'm off to cut out mounds and mounds of laminating so I can get these guys in place AS SOON as my room gets waxed! 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The FINAL Countdown: End of the Year Tips/Tricks!

Thanks for hopping on over from Marvel Math and welcome to stop #15! I hope by now you have TONS of awesome tips to help you get through these last few weeks of school!

Can y'all believe it's already that time of year?… The LAST quarter. I can’t believe it got here so fast. I don’t know about yall, but I always have a big mix of emotions at this point of year. I am EXCITED for summer… but I am also SO SAD to lose my kiddos forever. One year just always seems to short. = (

The last six weeks of school can be CRAZY. Testing. Field day. Assemblies. Year book signing day. Graduations. The list could go on. What do you do to keep both YOU and YOUR STUDENTS sane during this crazy time? Check out what we do in our classroom below.

1) Don’t check out…yet.
Yall… Structure is the most beautiful thing. This tip probably seems crazy, but I think it is the most important. I don’t know about yall, but I always seem to run out of time to teach and do everything I want to. Even though it is tempting to put in a movie or start cleaning your room during the last few days/weeks of school, keep the structure and keep teaching! I am excited to do some STEM projects now that test review and prep is almost officially over! EEEK. Can’t wait.

2. Implement a new reward system.

Have prize days. Set the tone that excellent behavior will be applauded! Things get crazy this time of year (as stated above). Encourage your students to continue to have excellent behavior. This time of year I like to do random prize days. My school runs on a 1 to 5 behavior chart, so on certain days everyone on a 3 or higher at the end of the day will get a mystery prize (beads, a piece of candy, etc.) New this year in my classroom (thanks to instagram) we have a V.I.L table for leaders who soar past behavior expectations. Throwing in new, fresh behavior during the last quarter of school will keep students working hard and behaving well!

3. Let your kids help get you ready for next year.
I like to have my kids help me introduce my new kids to my classroom through a letter/or survey. This year I am going to have them complete the graphic organizer above on our classroom i-Pads using PhotoGrid. I haven’t decided if I am going to print them out or leave them on the i-Pads for next year’s kiddos to flip through.  I might turn them into a PDF book so that they can flip through all of the pages at once. Check out my end of the year freebie on TPT for the printable/uploadable file so you can do this project in your classroom!

What is your favorite end of the year survival tip? 
I'd love for you to share it in the comments below!

Secret Letter: M

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 2)

3 months later, here is the follow up to: Let's Make Some Inferences: Part 1!

Alright y'all, today's blog post is all about the 5 inferencing tasks I had my students complete. As I mentioned in my previous post, I used some fabulous task cards from Buzzing with Ms. B, along with some amazing video clips from Youtube, to create a 5 task assignment for my students. They simply worked through all 5 tasks in whatever order worked for them (My only rule was to not watch both videos back to back.) 

For tasks 1-3 my students simply read and completed three of Ms. B's task cards. I had them record their answer on a different answer sheet (included in the freebie below). These were great for discussion and practice. Thanks, Ms. B, for the outstanding resource.

For tasks 4-5 I used two awesome videos. There are no words in these videos, so students really have to make inferences. Watch each video below and download my free task sheet below to see the questions I asked my students to help them infer. There are TONS of additional inferring questions you could ask about these clips, but I just picked a few. 

Video Clip #1: One Man Band

Video Clip #2: Defective Detective
This video might be my favorite. This is about a detective who infers incorrectly. Love!

The task sheet I had my kiddos complete looked a bit different then the one I am attaching below. For you guys, I put all of the task card tasks on one page and the video clip task cards on another page. I hope this allows you to use both or just one in your classroom since they aren't all mixed together. 

These tasks were a MAJOR hit in my classroom and I was ohhhhh so impressed at how engaged my students were. I can't wait for my next hands-on technology lesson in my classroom... Of I go to start figuring out what I'll be doing (technology wise) next! = )

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 1)

We have been studying all about making inferences for the last week or so in fourth grade. We started with the very popular "What's in Ms. Smith's bag?" activity, and we continued through several different passages, pictures, and task cards.

This year I've been on a quest to do a better job incorporating hands-on technology into my lessons. I've ways used my ELMO and my computer at the front of my classroom, but I really think its important for students to be interacting and manipulating the technology instead of just staring at it. In my classroom I only have three iPads and two desktops, so I have to get creative. I have awesome coworkers, so whenever I ask to borrow a set of iPads, someone always helps me out. With another teachers iPads, I have the ability to break my students into groups of 3 or 4, and so far that has worked best.

Ok, back to inferencing...
I wanted to come up with some way to incorporate some fun technology into my inferencing unit so I set off to Pinterest and TPT in search of ideas. There are TONS of fabulous short Pixar films that are great for inferencing. I have shown several of these short clips on my projector (and we have discussed as a class), but I wanted to take that a step further for this lesson.

Because I only had 6 iPads (I borrowed 3 from a coworker), I knew I would have to involve some non-technology aspects of my lesson as well. I stumbled across an awesome freebie on TPT's Facebook page on inferencing and it is a fabulous resource. It is by Buzzing with Mrs. B and it is a forever freebie! How awesome is that? Check it out here! I mainly used the task cards in this pack because we had already been studying inferencing for several days when I found this pack, but I am definitely saving and using the whole thing next year!

I decided to create 5 tasks for my students to complete. I laid out the 5 tasks on a worksheet. I told my students that they needed to complete all five task cards, working on whatever resource was available. I started each group on a different task, and I told them to find an empty task to move on to when they finished the current task they were on. Three of the tasks were task cards from Ms. B's resource, and two were short pixar films from Youtube. (I must say I was worried about not having a "rotate now" system, but it worked great. I did tell students to not do both video tasks back to back so that everyone could work with the iPads.)

Y'all, my students were SO engaged. It was amazing. I felt like angels should be singing and I wanted to do a happy dance. Technology won me over and I'm now trying to figure out how many different ways I can use it in my classroom. My goal for now is to try to incorporate at least one hands-on technology activity per week. With only three iPads (and having to borrow other teachers' iPads) I feel like thats a good goal.

[Check back for Part 2... coming soon.]
Part 2 will include the AMAZING Pixar videos I used for inferencing, along with the task page I gave my students. This will be a free resource. Woot. Woot!

Until then.. how do you use technology in your classroom? I'd love any awesome ideas that have worked for you! = )