Thursday, September 18, 2014

What I Did Right This Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I'm back for another installment of.....

Now, I must say, I'm not quite sure of what I did right, except that I taught, lol!!

It has been a really rough week, yesterday being the worst!

My one kid who I've really been working on, had the worst day yesterday.!!!!!!!!

No matter what I did, he could not get it together, and he had to 

eventually be removed from the classroom. 

When that happened, I really felt like I had failed him,

because that was what I had been working against all school year!

Fast forward to today, and he was like a new kid!!

He was still hyper, impulsive, and obsessive-compulsive about some things,

but he listened and obeyed ALL FREAKIN' DAY!!!

I felt like doing a cheer in the middle of the gym in front of everyone!

I know that everyday won't be like this for him, but to catch a glimpse of

how it can be, of how we can have more good days than bad,

it just gave me a really good feeling!

I think he felt it as well, he kept giving me hugs all day!!

This one day alone makes me feel like I did SOMETHING right this week!

Thanks for sticking around to hear about my week!!

I hope yours went well!!

If you feel like sharing your story, please feel free to link up below!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Classroom Rewards and Discipline

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Let me tell you, the week is only halfway through, but this girl is pooped!!

Today I want to talk to you about our favorite subject,

 classroom rewards and discipline!! Whoo-hoo!!!

Ok, in all seriousness, I know that sometimes it can be hard to figure out what

works in your classroom.

I've learned that no matter what it is, if it doesn't work for me

as the classroom teacher, then it will NOT work for my classroom!

I know, I've learned the hard way.

In my room, we use a behavior clip chart that looks like this...

Even if they have to clip down, if they really and truly turn their behavior around,

then they are able to clip back up.

I also love the fact that kids who are always good have somewhere to go!

Years ago, before clip charts were the rage, I used library card pocket holders,

and colored sticks. I had every color but pink.

Anyway, getting back on track!!!

Every day, we color a monthly behavior chart, which I have done for the past 7 years.

It's sort of evolved over the years, and I really want to update it again!

I guess I'll add that to my to-do list!

Students color their own chart everyday. I believe that this helps

to give them ownership of their behavior when they are responsible for the chart.

There are two main rewards that I use in my classroom.

Treasure Box and Fun Friday.

If these words are uttered in my classroom, they learn what this means early on!

Fun Friday consists of just total, all-out fun!!

Play-doh, huge coloring sheets with markers, the fun apps and games on the iPod's,

and computers that they can't play during reading and math centers, foam sheets,

foam and glitter stickers, etc.

In order to earn Fun Friday, they have to have 3 or more greens or higher, and no reds on

their color chart. Yes, this means that they can have a yellow or an orange.

Someone once told me that they thought Fun Friday should be for kids

who are on green or higher everyday. Yeah right, if that 

were the case, no one would be able to do it!!

Everyone has rough days, and as long as the good outweighs the bad, hey, I'm good with it!

Students need something to work towards, and I think it's hard for most 5 year olds

to be on green, pink, or purple every single day. Now, I have a few that do,

but they are definitely in the minority, not the majority. 

Alright, treasure box......

I got this box from Wal-Mart, and it was really cheap, like $4!!!!

I just decorated it.....put a bunch of stuff in it.....and voila!

For treasure box, they have to have 4 or more greens or higher, and no reds. 

Children at this age respond really well to extrinsic motivation!

For everyday rewards, when a student goes home on pink, then they get to

put a coin in the bubblegum machine and get some gum!!

Of course they love that, it's always forbidden, haha!!

For students who go home on purple, then they can get a sucker

from the flowerpot!

A lot of people ask how I get them to keep up with their behavior chart everyday.

We know how kids lose stuff!! It goes home, never to be seen or heard from again!

Well, I'll let you in on my secret.....shhhh..........

If they don't have their behavior chart, then they can't do fun friday, or treasure box.

Every since I've created that rule, it has worked like a charm!!

No more behavior charts disappearing!!

I also keep the charts every month, it's good in case you need to talk behavior to a parent

you have months of proof at your fingertips!!!

I hope that I've said something that will help you guys!!

Talk to you later!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September Pocket Chart Activities

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

We have officially been in school for 4 1/2 weeks now,

and although a lot of areas are a work in progress,

for the most part, we are knee-deep into centers, and rotating, etc.

Last year, I wanted to create a set of activities that could be used for a pocket chart.

Somehow, I let last year get away from me, and it didn't happen!

I was determined to make it happen this year, and I finally did it!

At this point of the year, my kiddos need more practice with basic literacy skills.

This pack provides that and more!

There are 4 activities, which include syllables, initial sounds, a sight words

story with shapes and colors, and a noun sorting activity!

If you do not have a pocket chart, don't worry!!

You can still use the materials anywhere you would like, even the floor!

Leave a comment below if you'd like a chance to win a  copy of your own!

Congrats Marcy and Lori!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What I Did Right This Week!!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I don't know if you noticed, but the title has

an exclamation point after it this time!!


It feels so great to focus on what I did right!!

I got a lot of great feedback on this topic,

so it is definitely one that I think that I will continue.

Ok, here we go!

Ok, we all know how long short weeks can be!!

Who's with me?!?!?!

Each grade already has so much packed in, and I sometimes feel like

I'm not getting to everything! 

Wait, scratch that, I KNOW that I'm not getting to everything!!

At the beginning of the school year, students, especially Kindergarten students, 

take FOREVA to do anything!!

There is soooooo much modeling that has to be done, especially if you want

the rest of the year to go smoothly!!

So, I've been tempted to cut recess out, you know how it gets when you're feeling the time crunch,

but then I remind myself that they are 5!!!!

They deserve some freakin' play time, where they can be 5!!

I mean, geez!! Play IS their work!!

(Whoa, what's up with all of the capitalized words today?)

So, we've been doing recess everyday!!  Whoop-whoop!

(Well, except today, because it was wet from the rain)

Ok, the next thing I did right.......math journals!!

I kind of started it this year, but then I realized that my kiddos this year

were not quite ready for it, so I had to back off of it!

I did some more modeling, and they're kinda getting

into the swing of how we do things in Ms. Griffith's class!

So, we've been hitting it full force!!

I just use a simple composition notebook.

At the beginning, I can't even worry about them writing numbers, 

I just use a date stamp!

I also have my own math journal, with my name and everything,

that I do while the kids are doing their own.

For some reason, they like when I'm doing the 

same work that they're doing!

These math journals can be found here.

How was your week?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I Did Right This Week

I know, the title is a mouthful, right?

Hey guys and dolls, what's going on?

I have been in school for 3 weeks, and let me tell you, it's been a doozy!!

I've wanted to share with you guys what's been going on in our world,

but to tell you the truth, I've just been doggone tired!!

Instead, I thought I'd share with you a little bit of what's been on my mind. 

As teachers, it seems as if we get the brunt of backlash against

education and everything related to it.

Sometimes its hard to remember why you started teaching in the first place.

Especially when it seems as if you always get certain sweet babies

because you can "handle it".

Sometimes it seems as if everything we are trying to do is in vain, and

we forget what the finish line will look like in May.

It's so easy to get stressed out, and begin to focus on what didn't go right,

or what you did wrong.

I think the media, parents, etc., do enough of that!!

So I decided to stop, and at this particular moment, 

I'm going to focus on what I did right this week!!!

I have a child who was already expected to be difficult because of 

his brother who was in kindergarten the year before.

(Don't you hate when that happens? They may be related, but they

are individuals!)

We have had a rough few weeks, as I have tried to find what works and doesn't work for him.

The 1st week, he ended up missing treasure box and fun friday, and it was horrible!!

I tried some new things the 2nd week, and he earned treasure box AND fun friday!!

The excitement on his face was unmeasurable, and he came up to me

and opened his arms wide to give me a hug. 

The feeling it gave me was indescribable, and it gave me hope for the 

rest of this year!

I suspect that he is on the spectrum, and I plan to

do more research and come up with new ways to

encourage him to be as successful as he can be!

This is why I became a teacher, to help them be successful, especially

the ones that certain "educators" are already against!

High expectations are important, 

and helping them along the way is the key!!!

I'll leave you today with one of my favorite quotes!! 

Click on the picture to grab it!

This is why I'm a teacher, and you know what?

I love it!

I'm thinking of doing this as a weekly link on Thursdays,

even if it's just me, lol, 

and I think it will help so much to release the stress of

being a teacher, to focus on the positive!!

Please feel free to link up below!!

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