Saturday, August 24, 2013

School is Kicking My Butt...and 50 Followers Winner!

I was so excited to check my email and see the reminder from Rafflecopter that my giveaway had ended. I have been feeling kind of icky lately (there's a crud going around our school, and the kids have only been back 2 weeks!) so that cheered me up! So, after my Dayquill has kicked in - I have broken out the laptop to write a post, and pick a winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amanda - Check your email! I am SO excited for her!! Since the new Thirty One fall catalog is coming out - I will do ANOTHER giveaway when I reach 100 followers -so spread the news people!

I feel like last week kicked my tail! The heels of my feet are STILL sore, laundry is piled sky high, my lesson plans for next week need to be written, and all I want to do is SLEEP! Seriously -- I logged in to Bloglovin' to catch up on my favorite blogs-- and I had like 40 entries I hadn't read! Say WHAT?! It was good though, because I made myself go to the gym and stay on the elliptical until I had read them all! I will lift weights all day, every day - but I hate hate hate cardio. I would rather be lifting some serious iron than run on the dread-mill any day of the week! Last week was our 2nd week of school, and the kids are settling into their routines - and their true behaviors are shining through! I know a lot of teachers have success with whole brain teaching (WBT), and one of our first grade teachers is trying it out this year-- it's so cool to see her in the hall with her kids doing the "Class Yes" to give them directions. They're so tiny, and it really does seem to be going GREAT for her! This is the first year our 3rd grade is not departmentalizing - so I actually get to keep my own kids for most of the day! It has been great to work on behavior - which is something that I spend a LOT of time on. There are SO many standards in 3rd grade to cover, that we just don't have time for students to not stay focused. I love to do as many hands on activities as I can (as in-- every single activity, somehow I try to make hands on), and classroom management is a MUST to make those transitions and activities go smoothly.

What have you found works in your classroom? I have a clipboard system that stays with the kids all day. If they go to library, it goes with them. Any behaviors that are not acceptable get marked RIGHT away. To be "marked on the chart" means next to your name, the number of the rule you broke gets written down. (The 5 rules are from SFA- our reading program. They are Team Goals, but we use them school wide as rules.)  You can grab it for free on one of my old post by clicking on the picture!
At the end of the day, in the student's planners, I write a smiley face for 0 or 1 marks (hey- everyone makes mistakes, and if students turn it around to make a great day - then that deserves a smiley face!). 2 marks gets a check mark, and then a note explaining what happened. 3 or more marks gets a sad face, and a note explaining. I very rarely have 3 marks in one day, because as you can see in the last column - there's a space for Freaky Friday. Students who have 3 marks or less by the end of the week get to participate in Freaky Friday - which is 15 minutes of extra recess. If it's raining on Freaky Friday- we have Maniac Monday- and the kiddos get so excited. They will do ANYTHING for extra recess - and 15 WHOLE minutes - on a day they have PE AND Music-- they think it's the best.  It's nice to positively reward the kids who always follow the rules, always have their homework completed, and are always prepared. On the other hand, it gives kids with no internal motivation something to look forward to and work toward. The specials teachers and substitutes LOVE it because it really holds the kids accountable throughout the WHOLE day. 

As much as I want this to be a lazy Saturday - the hubby just got off, and we are going to our Roanoke gym to lift. Have a great weekend!!