Sunday, August 14, 2011

Behavior at the Beach. . .

Where in the world did the summer go?!?!  Can't believe I'm officially reporting back to school tomorrow!  I was just telling Mr. Perry today that even though I should know what I'm doing by now I get nervous around this time of year!  There are so many What If's. . .that run through my mind. . .

Anyway-on to what this post is really about classroom management, behavior systems, and rewards. . . 

I SO loved Sarah's post about "beehavior" catalog's that I decided to whip up a few of my own.  I am so excited about donating all of those little prizes, stickers, and toys to the children's ministry at my church!  

Here are some of the rewards. . .

So everyday that a student is on "green," they earn a ticket.  They can also earn additional tickets throughout the day by being a good citizen.   One of my classroom jobs is the "ticket master."  This person checks the "Behavior at the beach-tree" and passes out tickets.   You'll notice that some of the prizes include trading tickets in for "Bronco Bucks."  That's because we have a school wide "Bronco Store" with all kinds of gadgets prizes in it (that are paid for by the school).  I love the idea of giving them tickets and letting them decide which kind of reward they want.


I also added an order form with a few questions for the students to answer about their reward and suggestions for future prizes/rewards. 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Updated Letters

I am hoping and praying that no one has already printed 26 letters for the project!   I decided to change the format of the letters from portrait to landscape.  Please download a new set here. . .if you've already printed your copies please e-mail me.

Thank you so much!

Letter Exchange

I know the first month of school is super crazy, exhausting, and unpredictable (especially in kinder and first grade) so I really appreciate your willingness to work collaboratively with other teachers during this project! I hope your students absolutely love it.  My kiddos loved getting mail last year when we completed several projects.

If you haven't received your letter assignment that means I'm missing your school mailing address, and I couldn't assign you to a group.  There are about 5 teachers in group 4 who have submitted their addresses, but I cannot send out the information until the entire group has provided all of their information.  If you're still interested, go ahead and send me your school mailing address as soon as possible.

Below you'll see the letters for the project.  I left them as plain as possible without a border or any extra details.  Be as creative as you'd like to be with your decorating skills, but keep in mind that when the letters are mailed they may get jostled around a bit!  Remember to print 26 copies of your assigned letter on white cardstock.  Keep one for your own classroom set, and mail 25 to the teachers who are in your group.  I'm planning on hanging all of the letters in my classroom on a clothesline to show them off so I can't wait to see what you and your students come up with.

This project is  based on the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. . .but here are a few additional alphabet books that I love to use during the first few weeks of school!





Here are a few optional ideas:
I also love to use Google Earth to keep track of the location of each class.  If you're interested in using Skype with another teacher/class, you can contact one of the teachers in your group via email.  Also you can send a short written letter or picture with your letter of the alphabet if you'd like to.  I think my class is going to brainstorm a list of simple clues that describe our letter and send them out.  We'll give clues to let our group know whether it's a consonant or vowel, describe the letter features, and name words that have our letter in them.

You have from September 1-30 to work on the project with your students.  If for some reason you run into a problem or need to send your letter a little later,  please e-mail your group members so they'll know when to expect your mail.
Letter Exchange Project

Thank you again for your help. . .please let me know if you have any questions or if you need anything else!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Under Construction. . .

I have received many e-mails asking about the construction of a classroom reading loft.  I have to tell you that the best I can do for you is to share pictures of the process.  My hubs and I are the perfect match for each other because he's got the analytical/mathematical/problem solving skills and I have the creative/artsy/linguistic skills.  Together we make the perfect brain!  My mother-in-law says he used to spend hours upon hours playing with legos and blocks. . .that let's you know how important that play time is!

He drew these plans. . .
front view

side view

back view

Calculated how much wood he needed. . .

Measured, cut, drilled, and nailed. . .

This is the base. 

. . .and ended up with something like this!
This wasn't the finished product-don't worry!  He added stair rails and finished the railing on the sides-can't have kiddos falling out of the loft while reading!  I left early this morning to go to a professional development workshop so I didn't take any pics of the loft when it was complete. This one was made for a new kinder friend of mine. . .Jennifer I hope you're kinder sweeties love reading in this!  

Of course this job couldn't have been completed without the help of two additional handy men. . .

 There was a little bit quite a bit of time spent taking a rest on the bricks due to throwing wood chips and getting into stuff that was "off limits."  

Look at Christian's mad face. . .
He was not happy about taking a rest break at all!  We had to find him a special job to keep him occupied and out of all those wood chips!  Despite my efforts to keep him somewhat clean. . .he was covered in saw dust by the time we went back inside!

Next up. . .construction on my new loft!   Also I've received many e-mails wondering about the Promethean Board shower curtain cover.  I'll post a step by step "how-to" post soon-be on the lookout!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fab Finds. . .

I know it's not Friday, but I wanted to share a few things that I've found recently. . .
 They're from Dollar Tree.

These would be cute to use for completion of the first day of school-I plan to use them as "official 1st grader" certificates!

LOVE these-so cute and fun. . .

sight words. . .

short/long vowels. . .

Birthday hats-6 per pack. . .

Here we are at the one of the busiest times of the year for teachers-just remember. . .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Updates. . .

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. . .Here's a sneak peek at my room!  
There are so many fun little spaces in this room-I can't wait to post more pics!  I have more things to do so April if you're reading. . .I can still use your help!  I still have to finish my word wall, add my fish tank, add the reading loft, add the palm tree, get out all of my back to school goodies, add in new shelves for my classroom library, and label a few lot of things!  

My favorite part of the room so far is the Promethean board cover. . .it's amazing how something so small and inexpensive can really make a room look and feel great!  I spend a lot of time in my classroom so I want it to be a place that reflects my personality and a place that's warm, cozy, and inviting.  I still have 5 additional tips to share for a How "Tues"day post that I started several weeks ago.  Once the room is completely finished, I'll post those-hopefully by next Wednesday!

The Letter Exchange lists are almost ready to go. . .I hope to e-mail them out some time this weekend.  We actually need more teachers to complete the 4th group-18 to be exact!  I apologize for running behind on my original date, but I want to try to include a few more teachers if possible so that the 4th group will be complete.  If you know of a teacher on your team who you think might be interested, please tell them to e-mail me.  I'll e-mail out the list of teachers who are in your group, along with your assigned letter, some great books to read while completing the project, and the template of letters.  I know you have 1, 284 things to do during the month of August so I will really do my best to get the information as soon as possible.  

One last thing.  .  .
Here's a cute and simple project for the first day or first week of school.  It's actually a project that can be ongoing.  It was inspired by this create your own-time capsule that I saw at Target.  I think this would be especially cute if you have a pirate or ocean/beach theme, but it's a great activity for any group of students!

For this project you'll need an empty canister with a lid and scrapbook paper.  

I used this one which was full of some delicious popcorn. . .

  You can have your students draw a self-portrait, write a message, or complete a more specific task (depending on the age of your students) to place inside the capsule.  Select a time frame when you would like to open the capsule and review the contents.  Another idea (which I'm going to do) is to hide the capsule somewhere in your school.  Create a map and guide your students to the location.  I'd like to hunt for our capsule when we study about maps and Christopher Columbus.  I would also like to place something else in the capsule and complete another hunt close to the end of the school year.

Maureen from First Grade Splash has a really cute printable that can be used, and I found this really cute treasure map from an amazing blog that I recently discovered called Hip Hip Hooray-little kids, big celebrations

We're on day 33 of triple digit heat here in Texas. . .yes-33!!! Yesterday it was 110 degrees, and it's almost unbearable-hoping it cools off in the next couple of weeks-you know how important recess is-for students and teachers!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Questions about Daily 5?

I'm finalizing my literacy notebook for teachers and students, and I'm wondering if I've addressed everything.  Does anyone have any questions or something that you'd like to see included in the notebook.  I'm including lots of full color pictures, examples, and printables.  I'm no expert at Daily 5 or Literacy CAFE, but this will be my third year to use it in a classroom setting.  I've also read both books about 12 times. Each year my confidence has increased, and I have seen tremendous growth in all of my students.  I know there are several bloggers who have been posting "how-to's" about Daily 5 and how they organize/manage/setup, but just in case you still have a question I'll see if I can help out. . .

So's looking pretty cute, but I don't just want it to be cute, I want it to be a useful tool!

Questions anyone?
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