Monday, July 21, 2014

Classroom Management Facelift

The countdown is on people! Two weeks! Oh my goodness. Where has the summer gone? Usually by now I'm getting a little bored or antsy and even though I'm not looking forward to alarms I'm looking forward to routine, structure, and all that jazz. Yeah, I still have the anticipation of a new class (and some siblings from awesome families I've had the pleasure of working with before!!!--love when that happens) but I've been so stinkin' busy (with fun and just life) that I'm not ready!!

Well, ready or not here it comes.

Something I saw on Pinterest quite a bit and then I read more about what "Behavior Bingo". You can really title it whatever you choose. I used to do a marble jar and after all the marbles were earned (marbles were earned and lost at my discretion, for perfect attendance, hallway compliments, and following directions) The marble jar has been fun. Truthfully I'm a little burnt out on it though. Also it's most effective at the very beginning of the year or when we only need 10 more marbles. When the jar has about 100 left in it it's hard to emphasize the importance of having a quiet restroom break to earn some marbles.

I decided to make my own "Behavior Bingo" board. I uploaded it to VistaPrint and had them print it for me. It was $5 for the basic small poster but I wanted a sturdier paper so it was $7 plus shipping. I laminated it today and I'm excited to try something new!!!

I've decided that the kiddos can earn a number (I typed up a 120s chart and cut out the numbers and put them in a bucket) for having perfect attendance, receiving compliments from me or in the hallway from other adults, having the whole class return their homework completed and on time with their name on it, and teacher's choice because I have no idea what else I'll want to reward them for. :D

I had to adjust it a bit on VistaPrint but I like how it turned out. If you'd like to get your freebie template (don't worry, I removed my name) click here. They are images and I have saved them in two formats. See what works best for you.

You'll get (click images to enlarge)
basic board

numbers to draw and the incentives I'm using for now

This will be my 8th year teaching and my 7th year in first grade. Every once in a while I like to change things up. I do this for the kiddos but also for myself. A few years ago I went from my "Card Flip" management system to a "Clip Chart" management system.

I like my clip chart system. It helps me praise good choices and address poor choices. I'm sure most of you know how it works so I won't even go through that. I have made two clip charts since I've started this system. I revamped it just because I wanted it to be pretty. Here's my clip chart:

One more thing I'm adding to my plate...the Homework Club. Do you have a Homework Club? Basically each child is in the Homework Club every day UNTIL they forget their homework or return an incomplete assignment. Then they move their number to the other chart. Good news is they'll get another chance when the new month starts. Kiddos that stay in the Homework Club the entire month will get to have lunch with me in the classroom. I might change up the incentives but this was something quick and easy (and free!) that they'd enjoy and I like it too.

I got the number from my local teacher store. They're actually cute calendar numbers. I think I may need to find smaller numbers though, lol. The pink and green 'boards' are pizza pans from Walmart that were less than $1. I spray painted them and added some ribbon and labels and voila. This is my first year to do this so I'll let you know how it goes!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Look at me! I'm a Lego

I went into school today for the first times since saying goodbye for break. I tried to give myself all of June without doing school things--and I succeeded. Unless of course you count Pinterest...but I don't.

Well now it's July....well over a week into July and I feel like I've dropped the ball. I went in today and unboxed some things but really I wanted to execute this bulletin board idea I had in my head. :D

Introducing Lego Miss Cosby

I used the ceiling projector and varied images to create her. 
weird panorama

slightly less skewed view

If you'd like to have the letters and a writing freebie head over to my blog to check it out. (Right now the lettering only specifies 1st-5th grades--but you can still use "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME")

writing prompt to accompany bulletin board (also available in b&w)
I plan on completing the above writing prompt and coloring a large lego figure (included in packet) on the first day of school to complete my jazzy awesome bulletin board. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Weebly, do you?

Hey! Head on over to Teaching Blog Roundup where I'm blogging today about Weebly. It's a website where you can create, edit, and publish your own classroom website for free.

click the button below to head over and check out my post & video

Saturday, June 7, 2014


In the tradition of forgetting to do this on Friday I bring you my 5 for Fraturday :D

I think it's safe to say Vanilla is really enjoying my extra hours at home. 

Such a kind PTO and family. I have seen these online but I haven't received on. Needless to say it was super cute and my willpower was on break when I decided to make my little s'more. 

I do a weigh-in every other Wednesday. (I was going weekly and that was not much fluctuation and inconsistency)

I woke up (after sleeping in of course) and did my weigh-in. I lost 4.2 lbs!
(I use an app called "My Weight" to track)

I'm trying to find some things to do so I have that balance of accomplishment and boredom. It's a fine line I tell you. Well this first week of break was all about my apt. I'm caught up on laundry, my kitchen is clean, my junk mail has been shredded, and now my closet is clean. I made one trip to Goodwill before spring break and today I'm running these bags to my local Goodwill. Goodbye bigger clothes, I hope to never ever ever need you again.

Friday was awesome. I had a nail appt and hair appt and got to hang out with friends. I've been doing gel/shellac manicures for months now. They last so long (as you can see by the growth). My last color was actually color changing. It was purple when cold and red when warm. I liked when it went ombre. So, I switched from that and went super summer with that bright pink below.

click here to link up

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saxon Math

Does anyone use Saxon? My current district used it when I first began but we switched a few years ago. I'm interested in seeing a new version of Saxon. (Although my state has not adopted Common Core our actual standards don't really differ that much, so I'd like to see some of the changes)

Is there a site or source where I could see a first grade version? Thoughts on it if you use it?

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Currently

It's not that I didn't know yesterday was the 1st. It's not that I was super busy. I just kinda forgot it was 'Currently Day' but don't worry blogging buddies, I remembered today. I actually posted a really cute student writing prompt last night.

Brought to you by Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade here is my June Currently.

Listening--> Last night I took some time to organize visit my iTunes library. I have such a weird eclectic taste in music. I just finally made a playlist called "Catch All" that is full of 90s, hip hop, Alternative, oldies, soundtrack faves, and misc. music that I love. When I was filling out my currently there was a Hank Williams Jr. song playing---then it switched to Neon Trees, lol.

Loving-->Today is the first official day of my summer break. I slept in, went on a nice walk and the weather was great for it. I took a nice shower and I'm waiting on the washer to finish while I blog. Pretty chill and that's what I wanted from today.

Thinking-->Haha, I kinda already covered that. I'm usually so good at remember each first that I get to do a Currently.

Wanting-->Each summer I have this thing with not wanting to be too busy/stressed because it ruins my break and makes if fly by but I also don't want to be bored....blech. So I'd like to maintain a balance for the next how many ever weeks before I get back into full-on teacher mode.

Needing-->Just for today--I'm content.

Summer Bucket List--> 
1. As some of you may remember I'm a weight loss journey. It's a lifelong journey not a short-term trip. I need to maintain active. I'd really like a regimented program. Suggestions for a beginner? (I'm willing/wanting to build endurance but stamina is pretty low)

2. I have some books on my Nook that I'm dying to dive into. I don't know about you but I have to be in a certain reading mode and I go through reading phases where I'll read several books in a row and then not read for a while. My awesome coworker wrote a book and it was recently published. I started his book but haven't finished it and it's the first one I'll dive into. If you'd like to read more about it click here. He's a fifth grade teacher, a great guy, and one of the best teachers I've ever worked with.

3. I wanna go somewhere! It can be a road trip or a plane ride but I don't want to be 'home' all summer!

I should also say I'd like to blog and create more. I had a lot of personal stuff going on last year and I slacked off when it came to this wonderful community. I haven't blog 'stalked' in so long!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Evening Chuckle

Thursday was my last day with the kiddos (field day got rained out?!!?!) and Friday was a teacher work day.

On Thursday I had time to squeeze in one more writing prompt. Here is a gem from one of my favorite kiddos. I will miss him so so much. Please enjoy :D

(I cannot find the source for this writing prompt, but if I do I'll update or if you know please leave a comment, thx)