Thursday, December 29, 2016

Time SLOW down....PLEASE!!!

A new year is approaching.  Holy smokes.....I can't even begin to understand how time moves so dang fast.  I really want to slow it down because I have been so blessed with 14 sweet Littles this year.

I know...14!  It is utterly crazy to think that I have such a low class size this year.  Last year, I had 24 almost all year long.  That's overload in my district in WA.  I got paid a little more for that 1 extra kiddo, BUT the scars that the class left behind overshadowed the tiny bump in pay.  So, with 14, I just want to savor the ability to meet with each kiddo and live a less stressful existence. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July, please slow down!

I swear that summer just started. 

I think I just said goodbye to my 1st Grade Littles like a month ago yesterday.

Big Brother just started.  Big Brother is synonymous with summer break.

And now summer is beginning to feel like it's going to leave me broken hearted.  It's almost over.  I am one of the lucky ones that don't go back until the very end of August, but obligations are starting to over shadow my lazy days of sweet summer relaxation.  This is me...100%

I am getting excited about my next year as a teacher though.  Summer break is that magical time where the anxiety about last years challenges just seem to dissipate and dreams of hope come forth.  I hear childbirth is like that.  I know not of this so I can only assume that is why people have more than one child :)

Anywho, I love lounging in my pajamas and sitting in my recliner (named Bessie) and pinning awesome, amazing, too cool, ideas to try out/make/implement for the following year.  Here are some of my favorites.  You can click each pic to go to the spot I pinned it from. 

1.  Homework Club:  Each student's class number is a member of the club at the beginning of every month.  When homework is skipped, their number is removed.  At the end of the month, those that are remaining participate in whatever reward was designated.  Cool beans!
I like the QR code idea for those that don't complete their work on time - less paperwork white still keeping students responsible:

2.  Bottle cap letters:  I can think of so many ways to use these in my classroom.  Building words, sound recognition, partnering kiddos up are just a few. 

Bottle Cap Letters (w/stickers):
3.  Paper plate border:  Holy cow this is cute. 
Small paper plates cut in half and then patterned colors for 3D effect.:

4.  Kindness Bulletin Board:  I think I might make one of these for the staff lounge....cause the reminder is unfortunately necessary.
Confetti Bulletin Board. So cute! Could add student work on top of the confetti.:
5.  Scissor storage
Found scissors on clearance at Walmart for 25 cents and a miniature crate on sale for a dollar. It made a perfect scissor rack for my classroom!:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Class Dojo

Do you Dojo in your classroom?  I started this year with a clip chart and by about December it seemed that those same littles that needed reinforcement, where still my repeat offenders.  My sanity was waning and I honestly was beginning to wish the year to be over.  I still want summer to show up soon, but I have found a way to keep some "on task/ do your best work/I see that good choice" motivation going throughout our day.  Class Dojo is pretty amazing and it's free!  FREE!!!  My Littles love to hear that DING throughout the day and love earning points.  Also, it really gives me data on how my behaviorally struggling students are doing compared to their peers.  I have 6 students that fit this category this year.  1/4 of my classroom!  Here's the breakdown of how Dojo is used in our classroom.

*We earn points for a whole week.
*At 20 points, we earn the choice of changing our avatar.  I have read that you can basically change it to any picture, but my Littles love the Dojo monsters and I haven't mentioned anything beyond those.  I try to save time where I can!  When a Little reaches 20 points, they simply sign their class number on the board and when a time comes that works for me, I call them up to pick a new avatar. 
*At 30 points, they earn some sort of treat from me.  It could be anything.  This week 30 points earns a new pencil with a Dojo character flag (see photo below).  But, the prize could be anything really. (candy, extra bathroom pass, homework pass, read with a furry friend during Read To Self, etc)

*On Friday, if the class has earned 90% positive points, we get a class reward.  We love 10 extra minutes of recess and GoNoodle and almost always choose one of these. 
*On Fridays, we also see who the Dojo point champion is for the week.  That student gets some swag to commemorate their accomplishment.  They proudly display an award on their desk the entire following week, and their picture and name go outside our door.  They love that their Kindergarten teacher or big brother/sister can see them in the spotlight!  They also take a note home to share with their families along with a lollipop. 

I love that families can join and see how their Little's day has gone.  Dojo connects you to families with instant messaging.  You can message all the families at once or correspond with one at a time.  You can also post pictures to the whole group or personally to families.  It really helps track times of when students are struggling and succeeding.

Here is a link to the pencil flags that I made.  Make sure to note that I printed them on Avery Address Labels 5160.  Class Dojo offers a classroom d├ęcor pack to download.  I recommend utilizing their amazing FREE resources!   I used them to create this resource for my own use.  Please feel free to snag a copy if you want :)