Friday, September 21, 2012

Classroom Management Linky

I am so excited to link up with Rachelle & Natalie's linky party. This is honestly my favorite topic to blog about! This has been my biggest obstacle when I started teaching nearly 10 years ago. If you're anything like me if it's a challenge you must accept the challenge and overcome the obstacle and I did! 

Last year's group of students was the MOST challenging bunch I've ever had! I knew within the first day either I was going to retire @ 39 or have to come up with something really good. First I'm going to give you some examples of things I do in my classroom that have gotten me to this point & have worked magically. 

I have a's magical & it's NOT too late to start.............2 words.........WARM FUZZIES. I have been using this for at least 9 years & LOVE IT! Here are my fuzzy containers. 
Here are my two containers for big & little warm fuzzies. One  BIG one equals 5 little ones. So to get a big one is kind of a big HUGE deal to a first grader. I will give some examples for earning & losing fuzzies...big & little. 
1. Each student that passes an AR test gets a BIG fuzzy. 
2. If a student gets a "wow" on a spelling test or any random test they get a BIG fuzzy. 
3. I have a line leader...refer to classroom job line leader & I work together to watch the "secret walker" to and from our destination. My line leader picks a stick (I have about 5 cups in various places with each student's name on a popsicle stick) & is sworn to secrecy that they won't tell that person. If they are not caught talking in the hall they get a BIG fuzzy. If they are caught talking in the hall, they OWE me a BIG fuzzy. This pretty much keeps my whole class quiet down the hallway because they don't know if it's them or not. 
4. Today I was reviewing what we have learned about apples thus far. If they remember important facts, I will give them a BIG fuzzy. 
5. I give voluntary monthly reading logs, extra spelling homework, etc & if they return it finished they get a BIG fuzzy. 
6. When I blog on my classroom blog, I usually put a little note "If you read this blog tell your child I owe them a BIG fuzzy. We keep this on the down low & they know to whisper it to me. This is how I know who is even bothering to read our blog. 
7. The first 5 who finish their morning work with NO mistakes get a big fuzzy. If they have one mistake then they get a little one. More than one mistake=NADA. 
First of all I take these more than give them. 
1. If they don't write their name on a paper...all I say is "fuzzy" & they turn one in. 
2. If they are a "chicken" refer to post HERE...they owe me a fuzzy. 
3. If they hand in homework w/out a name....fuzzy. 
4. If they forget to pick their lunch, turn in their homework, sharpen a pencil, etc by the bell....fuzzy. 
5. One of my classroom jobs is a "Scrap Monster". I will give them a heads up when the scrap monster is coming & if they have a crayon, pencil, glove or whatever on or under their desk...fuzzy. If they are clean & organized they get a fuzzy. 
6. One of my jobs is "Cubbie Inspector". If they leave a book, coat, shoe, whatever they may leave on the floor...fuzzy. 
7. If another teacher pays us a compliment...each of them will get a fuzzy. 
8. If they ignore the principal & don't attack him every time he walks in the room...fuzzy. 
9. If they interrupt me while I'm gossiping taking care of business on the phone...fuzzy. 
10. If they interrupt me and another adult while we're complaining talking about an issue with a parent...fuzzy. 
I think I might just tally myself & keep track of how many times I say "fuzzy". Once this system is in place when I take one away it's like I just ruined their life. There are tears, kicking & name it...I've seen it. works. If we are ever gifted with a child I will totally do warm fuzzies with them at home. In fact, I just suggested that to a parent today. This was our 4th conference...btw. I think I need to invent ritalin scented candles, what do you think? Don't even try to copy me I have a patent. 

This is what they hold their fuzzies in. I used to use old film containers & even ziploc baggies until I found these. I was at a teacher store about 5 years ago & walked passed these & a light bulb went off. They are supposed to be used for painting. The brush just lays inside. The hole is perfect. This caused problems at first. Basically, if they touch it, I take it. I know I'm a meanie. But you know if I wasn't strict about playing around with it they would have their hands in it or on it ALL. DAY. LONG. On Fridays is when we trade our fuzzies for the following. The lid ONLY comes off on Friday when I say they can count their fuzzies. If I see them trying to count them before, I take them all. Needless to say, this doesn't happen...EVER. Check them out here from Lakeshore Learning. 
This is a view of the shelf with all the trading goodies. 
They can get a pencil, pencil grip, homework pass, or pencil top eraser for the price of 2 big fuzzies (=10) or 10 little fuzzies. 

Here are the infamous reward coupons I made in the beginning of the year. Pin them & then grab yours here!
They are currently on TPT's top 10 list! I have received so much positive feedback it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm so glad these are saving teachers money all over the place & they are impacting so many students. What a great feeling! 
No, I can't give you editable versions, sorry. I paid for a license for the graphics & with it I have to agree NOT to give an editable version with these graphics on it and I don't have the time to edit them for everyone...they are over 55 to choose from. Pick & choose what works for your classroom.
After the first week of school last year I knew the treasure box or a piece of candy WAS NOT going to work with that bunch. Let's just say their very active with MAJOR verbal overflow issues.  When we trade they can only pick the same coupon once. I learned this the HARD WAY. I had one student that chose 5 "Teacher's Desk" coupons. That is one of the most popular ones BTW. It has been trial & error with each coupon. For example, the "Teacher's Desk" coupon can only be used in the morning. They must go back to their own desk after lunch. If they are not focusing, which has happened....BUH-BYE. All coupons must be given to me by the bell or they are not "valid" that Trust me, they remember this. They don't remember to pick their lunch but they remember to give me the "Stinky Feet" coupon! At first my little nuggets were overwhelmed by the choices but eventually they all have their favorites. 
I was a lot little annoyed when I first started this BUT like anything "new" you have to make adjustments. 
I love when it's trading day & they get all excited....especially my really good students...because they get TONS of coupons that they deserve. On the flip side, if they are not reading, passing tests & not listening they barely have enough fuzzies to get one coupon. It's a very sad day for them BUT it makes them make better choices...for an 
I printed them on card stock, laminated & cut & store them in the plastic container. It's their responsibility to hold onto their coupons in a safe place. If they lose it, not my problem. I think I have had one student lose a coupon & he's lucky he even had one. It's A.M.A.Z.I.N.G how responsible they become with these coupons. It gives them ownership & even more responsibility. It's great to reward the students that deserve all the prizes they get. 
me now). 
I get emails CONSTANTLY about this container! I found one at Joann's website. I have two different ones since I switch out the coupons every quarter. 

The three front dividers are fixed but the rest are removable. 
 I also use this container as well. 

If you are interested in a more in depth explanation of how I use this system check out my Classroom Management presentation here. 

I also use the bucket filler system in conjunction with my fuzzies and reward coupons. Here is a pic of my student bucket display. 
 I made my current bucket slips that we use. Check them out here.
 I printed about 5 of these necklace because the students LOVE when they get to wear one. I have them hanging next to their buckets. Check them out here.
 Here is a picture of my classroom bucket that I made. I put styrofoam peanuts that I call "nuggets" (just because I am obsessed with the word "nugget") in each time the class is working well and being kind to each other. If we get a compliment by another teacher or any adult then I add some nuggets. Once our classroom bucket is full the class will get rewarded with a party. If is the sweetest thing when they are trying to earn the nuggets...they try so hard to keep quiet after lunch & go straight to their seats before I get in the class & they are always peeking to see how close they are to having our bucket full. Our classroom bucket is almost half full & September is not even over. That is how good they are! They heard about the coupons coming into my class & are obsessed. Most of the teachers in my district are using them & love them!

 Click the pics above to download my bucket filler freebie! 
 I had a request this summer to make these character necklaces & I am so happy with the turnout. My students get recognized for their achievements I have never had so many parents give me such positive feedback this early in the school year. Their kids absolutely LOVE coming to school. This is wonderful to recognize all their character traits & raise self-esteem at the same time. Below is how I store them. Please excuse that BIG, UGLY vent. I CAN'T WAIT FOR A NEW CLASSROOM! Click on either pick to check them out.
 I also started using the clip chart system last year & LOVE it! I LOVE how they are not stuck on a color all day. This gives me the option of moving them back up if they do drop. It also gives students who go above & beyond to raise their clip. Up is good, down is bad. Click on the pic to check out my behavior chart.

The chart below is to incorporate voice levels. I started this last year in the hallway & started it in my classroom and it really works. I do have some verbal overflow issues with quite a few students so this seems to help with them. While they are in Daily 5 or Daily 5 Math they are allowed to be at a level 2. Read to Someone they can be at a level 1. When I am teaching, we're in the hallway or during morning work they are at a level ZERO. I simply move the arrow when we change voice levels to remind them. Check out the chart below.

I apologize for being so absent lately. We moved and my computer got destroyed. I am trying not to think about it because I will cry...very hard. I am trying to get back in the swing of things...blogging & making products. 

Raise your hand if you are stressed out this year. Can you see my hand waving in the air?!? I am beyond stressed! We've had some MAJOR changes in our corporation. I can't put anything on here...I don't want to get written up...I'm serious. All I want to do is teach my kids. I want to get up like I used to & want to come to work. Why can't these politicians just leave us alone! Grr! I'm going to leave you with this...................

Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, FB & TPT!
Peace out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yes, I'm alive! have I been one busy girl! Since I last blogged I have moved into a new home, our permanent home. I will post pics soon. We are doing some remodeling & the hubs makes me help ;o( What is that about! Anyway, we had a bit of a disaster accident @ home. We had a friend of ours painting & he leaned on the mantle & the mantle & four rows of bricks came tumbling down...he is ok BUT pinky (my laptop) is not. Yes, that is right, it was on the hearth & got destroyed. FML. Excuse the language....I am beyond devastated. The last time the hubs backed up pinky I had over 55,000 hoo. Now I am forced to use the MAC which has been sitting around staring at me since December. There is a learning curve & it's not easy to go from a PC to a MAC....well for me at least. Back to pinky, we are hoping my hard drive is ok & I can transfer everything onto a new PC...I mean my MAC. 

I am back at school and am loving my new class. I am teaching high ability first graders this year...although they are all NOT high ability. I have quite a mix of ability levels. They are very chatty but they are smart & ready to learn. They heard about my reward coupons & the parents were so complimentary about them. The kids are obsessed! I was so excited to see they are in the top 10 on TPT....GO ME! 

We have started to tutor at school 2x/week. Do we get paid for this? Um no. Anyway, this is more planning on our part. I work as a team with 2 other co-workers & we rotate the students. I was lucky enough to receive PLINKO from Lakeshore Learning. I was DYING to purchase this! This is ideal for the students I tutor. They practice their rhyming words &  beginning & ending sounds. I would highly recommend this game. Anything I purchase from Lakeshore is HIGH QUALITY. I also use this during word work in Daily 5. Here are my students in action. 

Enjoy 25% off from Lakeshore: 

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