Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homework Club Board

So you already know exactly what I'm talking about, right?

The long story of me wanting to do this project made short:

1.  I have always struggled with getting students to return homework.  I think between lack of incentive and lack of parent involvement it just doesn't get down.

2.  Enter me pinteresting away "homework incentives" "homework organization" and "homework management.  (This was last summer). 

3.  I ended up deciding to go with Homeworkopoly via Ladybug Teacher Files. 
My kids really liked it but I didn't for three main reasons.

  • I felt like we never had enough time in the day to do it. So I didn't do it with full integrity.
  • It was hard to manage which spaces got prizes and what those prizes were.  Most of the "prizes" like extra computer time, etc.  ended up being more than a distraction than incentive.
  • Even with Homeworkopoly I had on average 3-4 students doing their homework weekly. Don't judge me.  
4.  Needless to say I did some major reflecting at the end of the year/research on teaching blogs.

5.  I see Tara's Monday Made It Post for Homework Club. (source)  *Light bulb!*  The first thing I thought of was my own class (will be this year's class too since I'm looping).  My kids loved loved loved to eat lunch with me.  This would be perfect!  Also it kind of adds the "cool factor" - who's in the club?  *lol*  I can't wait to add my own variations of these and come up with different activities for club members.  *** I do want to add that the original idea is from Molly at Lessons with Laughter.  If you don't follow her - get going because she's amazing!

6.  I got my cookie sheet right away - the day after she posted her  Monday Made It.  I really liked her color theme as well, but it was just a little off from my pink and green classroom.  So it took me this long to create something.  Here's what I came up with.

*I have it in a PDF document to share - I will be posting that tomorrow. 
From My Credits Page
Original Idea: Molly from Lessons with Laughter
http://www.lessonswithlaughter.com/
Use of Numbers and Design Inspiration: Tara from 4th Grade Frolics
http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/
Graphics Courtesy of:
Cara Taylor
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Flash-Freebie-Back-to-School-Kids-Clip-Art-792230
Ashley Hughes
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Julie-Paper-Collection-12x12-Digital-Papers-for-Commercial-Use-743784
Fonts Courtesy of:
Kimberly Geswein Fonts
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Janda-Manatee-Font-Personal-Use-353872




Classroom Photos Update #2

If you don't follow me on Instagram  check out my classroom photos here!!



Goodnight blog world!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Do List *Updated*

*List originally posted July 4, 2013 * Go to original post for links to references.  

1. Create small easy to do crafts/projects found on blogs and Pinterest. Find links below text.


  •  Personalized Sanitizer Bottles (Resourceful Room)
  • Bulletin board with spot for each student using clips and numbers similar to the ones below (Darling Little Learners)
  • Make these signal pictures for the classroom (Clutter Free Classroom)
  •  I want to make a video for my sub plans.  The link below is to put them on a cd - I would like to put a variety of sub plans for any given day and a video on a USB drive and have that ready.  I think it would be a good idea of the students and I made a video together.  In the video the students could model procedures in the classroom and introduce ourselves.  The teacher could watch it during my plan or at the beginning of the day - or even watch it with the students to review. (Learnnc)
  • Organize classroom board games into plastic containers.  (meckmom)
  • Make cute magnets that have been seen everywhere.  I'm not sure what I would use them for but I'm hoping maybe to make some for my clip chart???  We'll see - they're just too darn cute. (Kickin it in Kinder) 
  • Make binder for master copies (Orange polka dots)
  •  Make classroom club board (4th grade frolics seen below;originally from Molly at Lessons with Laughter
  • Make a "Grade, Copy, File" plastic organizer(Fun in 4b)
  • Follow blogs and look for cute things to make.
2.  Get organized
  • Finish putting together teacher planner - hole punch calendars, laminate cover pages, add meeting notes, district schedules and CCSS
  • Update teacher binder:  parent contact forms, discipline forms, pt conference data, student information forms
  • Update reading binder (pensieve): new conferencing forms and data tabs
  • Create Reading group, math group, and writing group folders with cute covers 
  • Organize bulletin board letters into cd holders. photo albums
  • Organize spelling lists on Spelling City 
  • Get all digital files organized. 
  •  Create binder with all word sorts from wtw and print spelling inventories for first week
  • Update procedure packet
  • Organize/laminate all task cards
3.  Work to get accomplished
  • Make sure all referral data is entered into SWIS and turn into admin
  • PD: 7/16, 7/24, 7/27, 8/5-8/9, 8/14
  • Lookover new math curriculum
  • Work on PYP units with team 
  • Long Range planning - work math concepts into PYP units
  • Before August 8th (registration) - make welcome packets with newsletter and mail student welcome postcards
  • Update class website
4.  Classroom Stuff
  • Finish unpacking classroom
  • Work on PYP Bulletin boards:  Front bb: spot for central idea etc.; Transdisciplinary themes across the top ; key concepts; skills; question of the day.  Closet door:  learner attitudes and profiles where students can goal set
  • Add homework club stuff to back bulletin board
  • Either put word wall on bulletin board behind desk or create some sort of movable word wall
  • Leave a space for objectives on white board
  • Look up student supply organization on blogger and pinterest and decide how you want to organize supplies
  • Organize library - maybe use book retriever or a system for check - out/investigate how other teachers are doing it.  Sort through books and decide if any could be given to new teachers.  
  • Write down and finalize your system for clip chart and reflect on if any changes need to be made
  • After classroom is organized - do I need to make another Vistaprint order?? (birthday cards, homework passes, recognition tags, etc.)
  • Label new math curriculum and number
  • Label student cubbies
  • Make final copies of roster and schedule
  • Make sure all lessons and units through November are in planbook - don't get too obsessed with decorating!
  • Organize a place for student binders/notebooks  
  • Classroom jobs - keep from last year or update? 
  • Create handouts for Meet the Teacher Night
  • Buy a new stapler and classroom friendly pencil sharpener/organize supply center for sharpener and pencils
  • Create 10 new student packets with all prepared materials in gallon ziploc bags
  • Make "I'm so lucky" bags for first day and "Thanks for poppin' in" bags for meet the teacher. 
  • Find activities for class building and fun for first week of school. 

So I'm putting myself out there and I've only completed like three things.  It feels like I have added to this list.  In all honesty there a lot of these things that I'm like halfway done with but not completely.  For example the student supply organization.  I did but baskets for their tables and prettied them up with ribbon - but I haven't completely decided if I like how I have it planned out so I didn't want to cross it off.  My wedding reception was yesterday and my family is in town for Wyoming until Friday.  So hopefully I can have more of this crossed up next Sunday.  We'll see!  (Disclaimer:  I fully expect this list to get longer after MIM tomorrow!)

Happy week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Next Step in Guided Reading and Genius Scan+

Hey everyone!  I haven't been blogging very much because I've been planning my wedding reception on Saturday. 

I wanted to stop by briefly and talk about a professional development opportunity I attended yesterday. 


Have you read this AMAZING book, yet?  Our school has had access to these for about a year but our school district is really focusing our PD on this book this year.  While Jan Richardson will be at some of the trainings, our training yesterday was with Debbie Rosenow.  Debbie Rosenow teaches in Chattanooga, TN and her district had the privilege of working directly with Jan Richardson.  There are some resources in the text such as some of the rubrics that were developed by Debbie's class!  Anyway,  I got a lot of great ideas for reading workshop that I want to try this year. 

My Personal Goals
  1. Stay true to the First 20 days and developing routines before really pulling reading groups. - see page 2 of my notes for a brief breakdown of First 20 days (link below).
  2. Reading notebooks - students writing often and being accountable for their reading (page 2 of my notes talks about different sections of reading notebook). 
  3. Independent Reading Letters - Weekly letters that are turned in based on reading response questions. 
  4. Research for Higher Readers - do not become comfortable with letting them read what they want to read.  Really push and challenge them to get into informational and nonfiction texts. 

Enter Genius Scan+ (app for Ipad!)  I first found out about this app from the lovely Ladybugsteacherfiles  Please go and check out her phenomenal  blog! (Her review of this app is more in depth).  So I thought that I would use it to scan my notes.  The idea is that I will start scanning my notes and sending the PDF to my dropbox so I don't have all of this paper in my teacher binder.  I am keeping all of my notes and corresponding CPDUS in the filing cabinet.  However, the two things I always have with me are my IPAD and my planner.  If my planner can be as clean and organized as possible, that is awesome!  Then I have my IPAD to quickly reference notes or agendas if I need instead of going back to the filing cabinet. 

Check out my notes from my PD. (click below)

7/16 Next Steps in GR Training with Debbie Rosenow

I know that the light is awful (it's night time and my lamps stink).  It's also my first time taking them so I know the agenda picture is kinda funky - but not bad right?  I will probably retake them when I am at school and it better lighting. 

I definitely plan on using this app a lot in the classroom.  I think it would be great for students to scan their work in reading or writing notebooks - I could take them home to read/grade and not have to carry all of those notebooks.  Or even serving as an electronic portfolio of their work to share with parents. 

Have a great night!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Pile of My Stuff





Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge is hosting a linky of the piles of stuff that is taking over your house.  Check it out and link up!

If you're like me you've been going to Target, Staples, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's weekly and most of the time more than once.  Well I've been stashing my bags in my living room.  When I saw Christina's post I decided to dump everything out on the floor and after this post I will organize it. 

So here it is - Squiggles decided to help.  Can you find him?

So in order from top left to bottom right.

1.  You can see my Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote (amazing!), green Lands End bag, and Laptop bag (that blag blob in back corner).  These are all full of curriculum/binders/lesson planners that need a makeover for this year.  Then you can see my green baskets (see picture 5) with my cat Squiggles.  On the far right of the picture you can see the coupon organizers from the Target dollar spot - I got these to organize flash cards and task cards.  My teal lesson planner is in the corner but I will do a post on that when it's done.

2.  Does this picture remind you of Target?  Ha!  Everything in this picture except my label maker came from Target today.  The hamburger coasters will be used in writing to demonstrate the parts of a story.  The water bottles are for my students.  I buy each student a water bottle each year to decrease time out of the classroom.  I love that these were a dollar but I need 8 more! The United States poster was in the dollar section.  The crayon set below is a set that is from Target as well but from the school supply section - "We Are a Bright Class."  By the hamburger coasters are little blue and lime green magnetic board erasers.  I bought one pack to see how well they work.  If I like them I'll go back and get more for centers.  (or I may just continue to use socks). 

3.  Vistaprint -
I had a new clip chart made to go along with our school magnet theme.  I got new keychains, postcards to send home, a t-shirt, return address labels, etc. 

4.  More water bottles, my math master binder (blue), stapler with staple removers, and dollar spot pocket charts in teal!  And the all important laminator!

5.  My green baskets again with Squigg.  These are from the Dollar Tree.  I haven't quite figured out what to do with the flat ones yet, but the handled ones will definitely be holding student materials on their desks that are in groups.  The organizer folders are going to be turned into conferencing folders for math workshop, reading workshop, and writing workshop.  Stay tuned for when those are finished!

6.  My teacher's manual - starting lessons plans for this year.  I have to start over since I'm new to 4th grade this year.  There's also Common Core Math 4 Today and Language Arts 4 Today.  Under those I have laminating pouches and printer paper/cardstock. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

To Do List (Before School Starts) Linky

Hey everyone!  I hope you're enjoying the holiday!  While I listen to fireworks I'm linking up to Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies for what is on your To Do List before school starts.  

Now as I've already looked through some of the blogs that have linked up I noticed that my list is a lot longer than theirs.  I can almost guarantee I forgot something and will come back to add on more.  But I know how concrete I need things to be laid out for myself so I think that by having a detailed list that I can continually refer back to will help me actually get it done.  Can you believe this is the first time I've actually sat down and thought about what I need to get done?  (on top of unpacking, planning a wedding reception, and doing normal adult stuff).  Anyway - hopefully my list helps you organize your thoughts.
 

*These are not in any particular order.

1. Create small easy to do crafts/projects found on blogs and Pinterest. Find links below text.


  •  Personalized Sanitizer Bottles (Resourceful Room)
  • Bulletin board with spot for each student using clips and numbers similar to the ones below (Darling Little Learners)
  • Make these signal pictures for the classroom (Clutter Free Classroom)
  •  I want to make a video for my sub plans.  The link below is to put them on a cd - I would like to put a variety of sub plans for any given day and a video on a USB drive and have that ready.  I think it would be a good idea of the students and I made a video together.  In the video the students could model procedures in the classroom and introduce ourselves.  The teacher could watch it during my plan or at the beginning of the day - or even watch it with the students to review. (Learnnc)
  • Organize classroom board games into plastic containers.  (meckmom)
  • Make cute magnets that have been seen everywhere.  I'm not sure what I would use them for but I'm hoping maybe to make some for my clip chart???  We'll see - they're just too darn cute. (Kickin it in Kinder) 
  • Make binder for master copies (Orange polka dots)
  •  Make classroom club board (4th grade frolics seen below;originally from Molly at Lessons with Laughter
  • Make a "Grade, Copy, File" plastic organizer(Fun in 4b)
  • Follow blogs and look for cute things to make.
2.  Get organized
  • Finish putting together teacher planner - hole punch calendars, laminate cover pages, add meeting notes, district schedules and CCSS
  • Update teacher binder:  parent contact forms, discipline forms, pt conference data, student information forms
  • Update reading binder (pensieve): new conferencing forms and data tabs
  • Create Reading group, math group, and writing group folders with cute covers 
  • Organize bulletin board letters into cd holders. 
  • Organize spelling lists on Spelling City 
  • Get all digital files organized. 
  •  Create binder with all word sorts from wtw and print spelling inventories for first week
  • Update procedure packet
  • Organize/laminate all task cards
3.  Work to get accomplished
  • Make sure all referral data is entered into SWIS and turn into admin
  • PD: 7/16, 7/24, 7/27, 8/5-8/9, 8/14
  • Lookover new math curriculum
  • Work on PYP units with team 
  • Long Range planning - work math concepts into PYP units
  • Before August 8th (registration) - make welcome packets with newsletter and mail student welcome postcards
  • Update class website
4.  Classroom Stuff
  • Finish unpacking classroom
  • Work on PYP Bulletin boards:  Front bb: spot for central idea etc.; Transdisciplinary themes across the top ; key concepts; skills; question of the day.  Closet door:  learner attitudes and profiles where students can goal set
  • Add homework club stuff to back bulletin board
  • Either put word wall on bulletin board behind desk or create some sort of movable word wall
  • Leave a space for objectives on white board
  • Look up student supply organization on blogger and pinterest and decide how you want to organize supplies
  • Organize library - maybe use book retriever or a system for check - out/investigate how other teachers are doing it.  Sort through books and decide if any could be given to new teachers.  
  • Write down and finalize your system for clip chart and reflect on if any changes need to be made
  • After classroom is organized - do I need to make another Vistaprint order?? (birthday cards, homework passes, recognition tags, etc.)
  • Label new math curriculum and number
  • Label student cubbies
  • Make final copies of roster and schedule
  • Make sure all lessons and units through November are in planbook - don't get too obsessed with decorating!
  • Organize a place for student binders/notebooks  
  • Classroom jobs - keep from last year or update? 
  • Create handouts for Meet the Teacher Night
  • Buy a new stapler and classroom friendly pencil sharpener/organize supply center for sharpener and pencils
  • Create 10 new student packets with all prepared materials in gallon ziploc bags
  • Make "I'm so lucky" bags for first day and "Thanks for poppin' in" bags for meet the teacher. 
  • Find activities for class building and fun for first week of school.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Class Video

We are lucky enough to have amazing custodians that put everything back in our room for us the way we ask them to. So when I came into my room today the desks were already in groups.  This is only after thirty minutes of work. We don't report back officially until August 15th but with the reception and professional development and family visiting, I'm trying to do what I can now.  Instead of take pictures I took a quick video. I didn't have a lot of time so it's probably shaky. When the room starts coming together I will take more pictures/better video. Otherwise- Happy 4th!!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Preview of my planner

I will post the final product but here is what I got so far! I ended up going with the making my own route but via Martha Stewart and Staples. Enjoy the pics.



Monday, July 1, 2013

I can't decide!!

I'm having a dilemma of how to organize for this year!!  It happens every summer - do I keep my binder or do I type them online. 

Let me break my problem down for you. 

Erin Condren.  Heaven  I know what you're thinking.  I've said her name and now you hear angels around your head.  I've used Erin Condren planners for the last two years and loved them.  I always get a lot of compliments on them.  I absolutely loved the checklists for my grade book.  So I should get another one this year right? 


Well maybe not.  Here are my reasons for hesitation.

1. I rarely used the lesson plan pages in the EC planner:  Last year the majority of my school starting using https://www.planbook.com/  While it isn't as pretty as some templates out there, it definitely is convenient.  I type faster than I write, and with our school on a copy watch, it was nice not having to print them out.  For a more indepth review check out Think Wonder Teach
2. Do I need a paper copy for gradebook anymore?  IDoceo!: So one of my many blogging idols did a blog about IDoceo.  The Fabulous Ladybug Teacher Files!!!  So if you read this blog entry, don't you just fall in love with the colors and the different ways you can manage student data?  I bring my IPAD to school everyday anyway.  But that's one less thing I would need in the EC planner :(
3. I could just create my own with what I want in it.  I have seen several of these popping up around the internet on Made It Monday's but especially A Modern Teacher.  Seeing all of these really cute planners make me think I could just make my own planner: calendar, note pages, sub info, etc. 



So I'm torn.  I'm worried that if I don't get the EC I will hate myself later.  However - why spend that much money if you can make something cheaper? 

Thoughts?  How do you do it? 

My lesson plans are set.  But I guess I don't know how to manage everything else because most planners involve a spot for plans.....

Any advice would be great!  Thanks in advance!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

July Currently

It's that time again!   Time to link up to the Currently on Farley's blog!  Click the image below to link up! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Listening:  I often will turn on a video on Netflix or Abc streaming and just listen to it for background noise.  Not sure what I clicked on this time.

Loving:  So as you all can agree we get SO MANY wonderful ideas from blogging.  Between all the linkys, Made-It Mondays, freebies, awesome Tpt files, etc, there is just so much inspiration.  For the past two summers I have felt like I was drowing in all of the ideas.  I'd see something I wanted to do for homework management and then I'd see something else.  So I'm definitely loving that I'm staying organized with it.  One thing I did do was open up One-Note on my Ipad and create different pages.  Each page is something related to my classroom.  For example - I have headings for:

  • Note taking Ideas 
  • CAFE
  • Math Workshop
  • Student center ideas/task cards
  • Common core
  • Teacher supplies
  • Student Supplies
  • Conferencing
  • Technology
  • Tpt stuff I need!
  • Weekly Linkys I want to participate in
I have a page for pretty much everything you can find in a blog.  Then what I do when I'm blogging - if I find something that I know will have a great chance of actually occurring in my classroom - I cut and paste the link into my one note file.  *The trick is differentiating between "This is cool I'm going to pin that" and "I am DEFINITELY DOING THAT THIS YEAR."  I only put the latter in this file.  Then I take this file and my pic collage (see below) on my ipad when I'm out and I have immediate access to the ideas from blogland while I'm scouring Target, Hobby Lobby, Michael's etc.  Because if I don't write it down I see plastic containers at Target and then I catch myself thinking "oh god, did someone have a good use for these????"

Thinking:  There is just not enough time in the day.  As you know we got married a couple of weeks ago.  Well, since most of our family did not come to Maui with us, we are having a big reception on July 20th for our family.  Our wedding planner lost her job so we have a new lady we're working with - the whole thing has just been stressful.  I don't even want to mess with it to be honest - I'm fine with blogging.

Wanting: a laminator.  I really want to stack up on center files, task cards, etc and laminate.  Any laminator suggestions?  I also need to order my new Erin Condren planner.  And reading this post from Ladybug Teacher Files convinced me I need to purchase a subscription to Spelling City.

Needing: to unpack and clean.  I always need to do that though.  No point in elaborating any further.

Tips, Tricks, Hints:  I don't also blog on my phone but I do follow a lot of blogs on Facebook  - which I most often check through my phone.  I basically use Pic Collage much like I use One Note.  Yes I have pinterest for all my ideas.  But I find myself going to pinterest and having so many things I have to sort through.  So pic collage is for the items that I want to buy for certain projects.  So for example if I wanted to make those marble magnets.  I would add the picture of the finished project and then in a text box next to it create a list of what I need to buy.  It's easier and faster to pull that up rather than pull up pinterest, click on the link for blog, and then scroll to find it.  Whatever organization system works for you, but use one.  I spend a lot of money on blog projects last year because I would see something one week and want to do it and then the next week I would have all new ideas.  Staying organized has definitely helped me shop with a purpose.  Which is much needed when I walk into Target.

Speaking of Target - have you heard of ShopKicks?  Amazing!  Basically it's an app and you have the app open when you go to certain stores.  You get kicks sometimes from just walking into the store - other times you have to scan items with your phone.  But then you can trade in your kicks for gift cards!  Amazing!  Check it out and help us both get extra kicks.  Click here

6,250 kicks = $25 gift card to Target - you can get 50 kicks just from walking into Target.  It may take a couple months to stack up but if you're like me - it won't take long~!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Blog Design, Homework, and Remind 101

First of all isn't my new design b-e-a-utiful?!! I'd like to thank Dreamlike Magic Designs for once again hooking me up with a fab design!  Check her out http://dreamlikemagic.com/


Second, I haven't liked how I've done homework, but I never had any inspiration or time to think about it until I saw this post.  Abby from Third Grade Bookworm is having a linky.
I encourage you to link up and share how you do homework - I'm trying to debate between homework every night or a packet/week.  Thoughts?  Click on Abby's button to check out her blog!

 
 
Third, while I was on Facebook I saw CrissCross Applesauce's post about whether or not to give cell phone numbers to parents.  Another discussion spurred by Facebook!  Now this past year I had some difficult behavior issues that required parent contact in the moment.  I had to use my cell - yes we have phones in our class - but it just seemed more quick and effective.  Plus, a lot of my parents do not have internet access.  BUT - almost all of them have cell phones!  I just thought it was unfortunate side effect of working in a low-income school.  ENTER Remind 101.  
 
How have I not heard of this!  Rather than explain how it works I will refer you the lovely blog The Teacher Garden.  Click HERE.  Essentially you can send messages to your parents without giving your number away.  Fabulous!  Yet another great idea I've learned from blogging that will make this year better!  I love blogging! :)

Have a great weekend!
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Blog Design Coming

Just wanted to give you a heads up that a new blog design is coming to reflect my name and grade change. 


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bloglovin and Class Dojo vs. Clip Chart

I'm linking up to to Tori's Teacher's Tips for blogs joining Bloglovin'.  Please click on the button in the top right to follow me on Bloglovin'!


Check the linky out here.

Personal Life Break - my wedding pictures




Back to Teacher Talk
As for everything teaching, I'm following Made-It Mondays, but I feel so swamped to even create something.  I know I want to return to my clip chart. 
 
Despite the fact that the clip chart worked for me for a year and a half, this past semester we needed a change so my class and I did Class Dojo. Check out a pretty good post explaining it here.  My kids did love Class Dojo, but by the end of the year my class and I decided that we ultimately preferred the clip chart and since I'm looping they would rather do that. 

This is how I did Class Dojo..
We brainstormed what to earn points for and what to lose points for together.  This was a great conversation.  It was extremely easy for me to use my IPHone to give or take away points throughout the day no matter where we were in the building (hallway, cafeteria, class, etc.) because I only needed my IPHone.  It also worked wonders because when they saw me pull out my phone, they knew and they tried hard to look good!  The problem for management was it was so easy to give and take away points that it was hard to set warning limits.  I found myself giving a them away too loosely and taking them away too harshly.  With the clip chart it was easy for them to see - yellow (warning), orange (5 minute recess reflection), red (office/phone call home).  But with class dojo it was hard for me to set a limit for how many points because they were all at different amounts.  I couldn't say if you have -5 you get a detention because by the end of the week they could've racked up 40 and even if they were having an awful day they couldn't get down that far.  So it was definitely hard to keep track of what they were losing.  I thought about resetting the points everyday, but that didn't go along with the class wanting to accumulate them to earn prize tickets or Fun Friday time.  My class decided to accumulate points for a week and then turn them in on Friday.  Well enter the next problem - for some of my students who make poor decisions by Wednesday they could have -20 points - what incentive do they have to try.  It's reminiscent of the card system when they were already at the red card by 9 a.m.    The other issue is that while I had it on the smartboard so they could hear the "dings" and "dongs," I couldn't always be showing it because well I have the use the smartboard to teach!!!!  So the problem is that students couldn't always see their scores during a lesson, so then you'd constantly have students asking how many points do I have?  While I love that they were interested in their learning, this at times became annoying.  My final reflection is that the numbers and point system made it too much of a competition and less about intrinsic values.  So I'm returning to the clip chart, but not just any clip chart.  I made this one and ordered it from Vistaprint last night. 


I'm exceptionally
 PRINCIPLED
I'm extremely
RESPECTFUL
I'm very
COOPERATIVE
I'm 
BALANCED
I need to
REFLECT
I need to make a
CHANGE
I need a new
PERSPECTIVE



It is not original at all - it's from this website.  Ms. Twist's Classroom 

It's made to go along with our IB/PYP school framework.  Are there any other PYP school teachers out there?  Anyway, I'm hoping that we will be able to get back to where we were last year with the clip chart.  But there is always one thing I struggle with - how do you document student behavior on the clip chart and do you have a reward system?

Let me know!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Currently and other Randoms

So I've changed the title of the blog to 4th Grade Sprinkles because the year is over.  I need to have Dreamlike change the design, but I'm currently putting that off until after the honeymoon.

Yes!! You read that correctly.  My wedding is a week from tomorrow (Fri. June 14th)!  We're getting married in Maui, and we leave Tuesday.  It cannot come soon enough.  We were engaged a year and eight months ago, so it's been a long time coming.

Our last day of school was last Friday the 31st.  We were told we had a week to get our belongings out.  I have gone in at least everyday, but I tell you its slow moving.  In years past I've had the bad habit of putting everything in the closet and then coming back to a mess in August.  So despite my urges to go to the pool and not to school, I have been using Clutter-Free Classroom's end of the year packing guide.  (see here)  It's helped a little bit.  Boy do I have a lot of things I have to throw away!  There are also a lot of things I'm not sure about since I've never taught 4th before.  I think I'm keeping too much because I'm nervous about getting rid of it.

The end of the school year was a lot of fun, and it's definitely exciting that I get to move up with a lot of the same kids.  I work in a school where upwards of 85% is free and reduced lunch.  I know a lot of students get bored over the summer so we set up a kid blog where students can keep in touch over the summer (almost all have internet).  We set it up the last week of school and students were able to get on during workshop.  It has provided a lot of good teaching points for writing!  The fourth grade team and I plan to use it to blog about their learning next year.  The website is here if you want to check it out. 

I've also started thinking about how to arrange my room for next year.  (One of the things we have to do is leave a map for the custodians).  The biggest challenge I face is student desk arrangement.  The desks we have are like table tops (they have no storage) and they are very wide.  Approx 30-35 inches wide.  We also are told that we have to keep our reading table (kidney shaped), activity table (regular rectangle) and teacher desk (massive) in our room.  That leaves little to no room for room to walk let alone creativity.  hm.... So instead of packing for my trip, I'm blogging and pinteresting classroom arrangements.  Isn't silly how are brains get fixated on things that later seem irrelevant or less pressing?

I also have the June Currently.  If you don't know about the Currently - check out Farley's blog here.  It's fabulous!

  


Listening - at the time I typed the currently I was listening to Mike Posner, but as I'm actually typing right this second I'm listening to Dance Again by J Lo and Pitbull.

Loving - that my wedding is so close!  and vacation!  

Thinking - I'm supposed to be done with room and turn in my key tomorrow at school by 4:30 p.m. EEk  My house is a less pressing issue, but we will have a friend cat sitting while we're gone and I worry about other people's opinions of my messy house.

Wanting -  Of course I want the new Erin Condren planner.  The past two have been amazing, and the new videos and pictures that were just released this week are making me giddy. I also need to have Dreamlike Magic change my blog design to say 4th Grade Sprinkles.

Needing - I probably need a lot of things like sleep, to do laundry, more money in my bank account.  But the one thing that I do need before this trip is a pedicure.  I hate how ashy and dirty my heels get in the summer!

3 Vacay Essentials - This one was tough but I'd have to say the 3 important are  Nate (the almost husband), the Ipad (for long plane rides, face-timing, and documenting the experience), and comfy flip flops or Tevas.  A wide variety of shoes is important for nights on the town, a beach excursion, or sight-seeking.  I just love shoes in general.

So with that I need to go clean or pack or something.  Have a great night!  I probably won't blog again until after the honeymoon.  Boy will I miss 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made-ITs  but somehow I think Hawaii will cheer me up!  :)

Happy summer everyone!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Free Giveaway - 4th Grade CCSS Resource

So - you've heard that I am looping with my kids and moving to 4th grade next year, right?  Well, I have been in the process of collecting Common Core resources for myself to get ready.  And guess what?????  Look what I found!
Common Core State Standards is having a free giveaway for bloggers using Blogger and WordPress. They have directions on their website, but essentially you blog about this product and their giveaway and the book is yours!
The free giveaway ends April 21st, 2013 - so make sure to check it out soon.  
What's the free giveaway?  The ebook Fourth Grade Common Core Resources looks like a great resource for Fourth Grade Teachers.  It has over 850 pages of worksheets, activity centers, and posters that help to teach the Fourth Grade CCSS - both ELA and Math.  This is going to be really useful for me because 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at my school are transitioning into the CCSS next year.  I have been listening to K-2 this year, who made the transition, and I continually hear that they are looking for resources to help them.  I think this book will give me an edge!  Yay!
Want a free book too?  Click the above links to take you to their website, but hurry!  
Time is running out.  :)   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pic Collage in the Classroom

This past weekend I attended a workshop on integrating Smart boards in language arts. I can't tell you how many wonderful ideas I got!

Introducing....

PIC COLLAGE

Have you heard of it? It is a free app for the I phone or I pad that lets you create picture collages, add text, etc.

Before this workshop I used it to make collages of engagement pictures or a holiday party. I can't believe I never thought of the classroom connections! See below.



This is a poster I whipped up in a few minutes to show you an example. If you have wireless, your students can either add pictures from google or take pictures with the camera.

Tomorrow my students will be making picture collages and writing about the different ways animals sleep. Now my school doesn't completely have wireless yet, so I downloaded the pictures from google ahead of time and put them in the photo album. That way they still have some design control.

Not to mention the only IPAD I have is mine. I have created a rotation schedule where groups of two or three will sit down with me and work on their poster. That way it doesn't leave my sight.

Use it for citing textual evidence, poem writing, book reviews, anything you can think of! Then email and print- now you have cool posters for your bulletin boards!

Good night!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently & New Placement

I'm looping to 4th with my kiddos and keeping my classroom!  Don't have too much time to elaborate but here's my currently!


To join go see Farley!