Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tattling and Big Books!

Yesterday I posted about some of my classroom management techniques.  I accidentally left out one other thing I have in my classroom.  I have seen the Tattling Turtle in many primary classrooms and love how it eliminates tattling!  I didn't want to spend the money on the turtle so I created my own 'Tattling Teddy'.  My kids love him.  So far, they haven't written anything, but sometimes they tell Teddy what happened (instead of telling me)!  I love the time it saves.  I got the bear at the dollar store and the little note box on clearance at Target (it's actually a desktop trash can). 

Last year I borrowed big books from our school book room, but I didn't have any to keep in my own room. Translation: I never had to come up with a storage solution for big books!  This year I am fortunate enough to have a huge supply of big books that stay in my room!  They were in a storage closet and I wanted them out so we could use them as often as possible for shared reading.  I found that this lamper from Target works great!  Just a tip for those in need of a cheap solution for these awkwardly large books!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Classroom Management Monday!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  I spent the weekend at a cabin in the woods and it was wonderful!  We hiked, played games, visited, made s'mores, and had fun with family.  It felt good to get away from the "city" life for a weekend and just RELAX.  I didn't have ANY cell phone service and it was kind of nice.

I thought for Monday I could share a few of the management techniques I use with my kindergartners.  I teach kindergarten intervention so most of my students are behind....emotionally, socially, academically, behaviorally, etc.  I want to have a system for individual students as well as a whole group system.  This is what I decided on and it has been working great!

My clip chart.  I know there are mixed opinions on these, but my kids love it and it works very well for us.  Each student starts the day "good on green" and has the chance to move up to blue for making good choices, and can move up even higher to purple for having an outstanding day.  If a student is making poor choices, they move down to yellow as a warning.  I always remind students on yellow that they have the ability to "change their ways" and go back up to green.  However, if they continue to make bad choices, they move down to red and I send a note home about their day.  (I also send a note home when a student moves up to purple.)  The kids get very motivated by seeing other students move up.  I've also found that when a student is on yellow, the rest of the class does a good job of reminding that student to make better choices.  (So cute!!)  Here is a picture of my chart.  Click the picture to download the file.  I just printed each page on colored paper, mounted on matching construction paper, and laminated the whole thing.

For whole group management, I wanted to come up with a strategy that  allowed students to work as a group to earn something.  I decided to use the "marbles" technique because it is simple, cheap, and effective.  To go along with our star theme, I call our marbles "star stones".  Every time I catch the class working hard and following directions, I add a star stone.  When we fill up the jar, the entire class will get a reward (I haven't decided what yet)!  I usually give the students an idea of when I'm thinking I might add a star stone if they aren't all on task.  This is another time when they work well together and remind each other to do a good job to earn star stones.

What classroom management strategies work for your kids?  What have you tried that didn't work? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

 I am finally taking a minute to sit down and post because my friend Mandy texted me last night to remind me that I hadn't blogged in about 15 days.  Embarrassing!  I swear I have a good excuse..........soon enough :)  

I'm off work today (thank you Central Ohio Inservice)!  Our district allows you to take courses over the summer and then not be required to take them today so that is what I did so I slept in until about 8:45 (lame, I know) and now I'm relaxing.  We're headed to Hocking Hills this weekend with some family and I'm VERY excited for a weekend of relaxation and family fun!  Here is a pic of the lovely cabin we'll call home for the weekend:

1.   Nothing says fall like     caramel apples, apple cider, and visits to the pumpkin patch!  We visited a local farm and picked up the most perfect pumpkins we could find, hot apple cider, and a delicious caramel apple (covered with mini M&M's).  Yum!

2.   My favorite autumnal tradition is  going to the pumpkin patch (couldn't you tell?)  I can't wait until we have kids old enough to trick or treat, too!

3.  My favorite fall treat is  probably that caramel apple I mentioned in #1 even though I only have one a year.  Other than that I would say something with cinnamon.  I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin (go ahead, kill me), but I did try some pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes that were to die for!

4. Fall makes me think of    warm clothes and blankets    because    I'm the type of person who gets cold very easily so I always bundle up (and then cover myself up with multiple blankets when possible!  I'm definitely a summer girl and I'm craving some warm weather right about now!

5.  Autumn free form word association, go!    colorful leaves, warm boots, sweet cinnamon pumpkin candle (my current fav), chilly days, school days.

6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is    definitely skinny jeans, a sweater (or a shirt w/ cardi) and my tall gray boots.  Unfortunately, this won't work for work...boo!  At work I usually wear black or grey pants, and a cute warm top.  Lately I've been thinking I might need to take an extra sweater to work...yuck!

7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)    Thanksgiving!  I love eating comfort food and visiting with family that I don't get to see that often (and family that I do see often)!  I love Halloween too because of all the traditions that go along with it, but I can't say it's my favorite.

That's all for today, friends (that's my kindergarten language coming out)!  I will be posting some fun updates soon!  Head on over and link up with Lauren @ The Little Things We Do!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Pinteresting Post.....yet again!

I've definitely been a horrible blogger lately and I'm SORRY!  I swear I have some classroom/teaching things to share but I've been too busy let's be honest LAZY to upload my pictures from my camera!  Sue me.


I hope you all (I refrained from typing y'all) aren't sick of reading my Pinterest posts.  I can't resist!  I am 100% for sure addicted!  Linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple.....

I need someone to buy this for me please!

I just think these guys are so cute.  I want one for my mantel!
Source: pier1.com via Emily on Pinterest

I have some corks and tried to make another type of corkboard and I'm thinking this would work better for my OCD!
Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest

What I made over the weekend with some girlfriends...YUM!

The dessert we made - dangerous but delicious!

Chicken & Dumplings....a must for fall!

Makes me LOL!