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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Day Productivity!

Well, we are having our first snow/ice day this year, and I just got an email from our superintendent that we won't have school again tomorrow either.  Here is the picture he sent us of the main road that leads to our campus...

The snow was pretty while it lasted yesterday afternoon, but it was followed by sleet and freezing rain...which makes for a mess!  We had President's Day off yesterday, and early release on Friday, so we are having a nice long weekend!

With the super cold weather we have had since Sunday - I've been inside doing some TPT work!  First off was updating the first set of monthly math centers that I ever made last year - my April set.  This was a set of baseball themed math centers and I was excited to get to a month where I didn't have to make math centers...welp, I was wrong!  Looked at them the other day and was like "wowzers! that needs a face lift!".  So Sunday and yesterday they got a facelift and added some more centers while I was at it.  Now I just need to print, laminate, and send home for parents to cut!

This morning after exercising, eating a yummy breakfast and enjoying my coffee while watching Golden Girls, I got settled in to finish up my economics unit that I started on about a month ago.  We are going to be doing an economics study leading up to our field trip to the mall and Kanki (a Japanese steakhouse where they cook the food right in front of you).  At the mall, the students are going to be doing an economics scavenger hunt looking for goods/services, wants/needs, producers/consumers, and deciding if they would spend or save their "money".  We are very blessed at our school, since we don't do buses, to have most all parents go on each field trip.  This time, I have 22 out of 23 kids chaperoned by their own parent!  The amount of parental involvement helps make field trips like these successful.

Anyway...back to the economics unit!  This unit has a lot of goodies to help your students understand the basic principles of economics through graphic organizers, reading comprehension, and more!
I've even included the economics scavenger hunt so you can do this with your class too!

Back in August, when I had one of my students lose a tooth at school, I got all excited, bought some Melonheadz clipart and made him a little certificate to mark the special occasion.  Then, that document sat on my desktop since then...6 months...and I only used it that one time, even though I've had several kids lose teeth at school since.  Today, I got tired of it sitting there unfinished, so I finished it up and made it a Freebie in my TPT store!  There is both a girl and boy version!  Hope you enjoy!

Hope you are staying warm if you are being hit by this big winter storm!  No school for me tomorrow and they are predicting more snow for tomorrow afternoon.  Yikes!  We don't have any make-up days in our calendar and I sure don't want to have to make these days up during track-out!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Goodbye Clip Chart!


So, I posted on Instagram a couple weeks ago that we were ditching our clip chart and I was making my kiddos Class Dojo credit cards.  This was our first week sans-clip chart, so I wanted to share with you what has been going on in our room, behavior wise!

I have used Class Dojo for 3 years now and LOVE it.  Those little sounds that go off when a point is given or taken away can totally change the behavior of my other kids, even if just for a moment.  So, I have used Class Dojo points in conjunction with my clip chart and the number of points the kids earn determines what color the are on.  Everyone starts on green and moves up or down.  0-2 points is green, 3-5 points is blue, 6-9 points is purple, 10+ points is pink.  Negative points were yellow, orange, and red.

Two Saturdays ago, I saw a 100 point Dojo club on Pinterest and my wheels started spinning.  I reset points daily and the kids start with 0 points each day.  I liked this idea of a 100 point club and it got me thinking about redoing our behavior plan.  Kids and parents are so focused on what color they are on at the end of the day, and that shouldn't be the focus!  The focus should be on what they learned and what choices, good and bad, they made throughout the day.

Now, I'm sure I'm like many of you and when you get an idea like this, you just can't wait to make the change!  Me - I moved just about every piece of furniture in my room on afternoon and the following morning last spring because I couldn't wait until the end of the year to do it!  So, I couldn't wait until after track-out at the end of March to start this - I wanted to start NOW!!

On the Monday of last week, I talked to my kids about it and they fully agreed and were excited to start.  I just had to figure out how I was going to manage it all in an organized fashion.  I decided that each day we would track behavior on a graph.  I love looking at my TPT sales graph, because I am a visual person, and after one week, I can see the kids like looking at their graphs too!  Before, the kids would color in their color on a monthly chart, so now we have a monthly graph instead.

Last week we also adjusted our positive and negative behavior points during lunch one day.  They gave some input on what we should add.  We have 8 positive points and 12 negative.  The kids kept adding negative ones - BUT, I liked having more of the negative because it helps parents know exactly what their child did, rather than email me, want to know what they did and I have to think back to tell them.  Thankfully Class Dojo time stamps the points, so that would help me, but not always.

Positive Points:
Cubby Fairy - occasionally I check cubbies in the afternoon to see who has a tidy cubby.
Follow directions quickly
Helping others
Making smart choices
Straight in line
Tidy Chair Pocket - I also occasionally check chair pockets to see if they have papers in their folders and things look tidy
Turn in Homework - this is a new one that the kids LOVE.  I re-connected my Mimio so that they could use the pen and give themselves a point for turning in their homework.
Working quietly

Negative Points:

Bad report in specials
Being defiant (I have a few that lose points for this on a regular basis.  And they have started calling each other out on being defiant!)
Blurting out
Dress Code Violation - my kids wear uniforms and so they decided they should lose a point if they are out of dress code (usually it is missing a belt)
Leaning back in chair (driving me CRAZY lately!!!)
Not following directions
Off task
Playing in the bathroom
Poor Choice
Snack not in basket (working on taking snack out in the morning and putting it in the snack basket - being prepared!!)
Talking back to an adult
Talking/making noises
Touching others

We are one week in and our "behavior lingo" has changed a little, but the kids are excited to get their credit cards next week and begin cashing-in once a week.

So, here is how it works in our room:

1.  Kids color in their behavior on the graph every day.

2.  Once a week, on their change books & iPad charging day, they will be able to cash-in their dojo points for dojo dollars to put on their Dojo Freedom Credit Card.  I will total their points earned from the previous week/days and write their total on the back of their credit card.  They can spend any day of the week, so we will deduct that from their balance.  The cards are laminated, so I can use a sharpie and Mr. Clean to easily change the balance - whether adding to or taking from when they spend their dojo dollars.  The back of the card has a "swipe strip" and the kids signed the back of their card just like a real credit card!

3.  Kids can purchase items/activities in our Dojo Store.  The Dojo Store took the place of the behavior chart on the door.  All eyes were on that closet door last Thursday when I changed it out and I was constantly finding them standing at the door deciding what they were going to save their points/dollars for - talk about excited kids!

4.  Class Dojo Leader of the Week - this is my version of the 100 point club I found on Pinterest.  Each Friday afternoon, we will look at our totals for the week and the student with the highest combined positive/negative points will be the Dojo Leader of the Week.  They get to pick out one of the laminated Dojo monsters I printed and laminated and I write their name on the monster and post on the door with the sign.

They are still getting used to not having "pink" because when they get to 10 points, they say "I'm on pink!" and I have to remind them that there isn't a pink anymore!
You can check out this Class Dojo pack in the TPT store.  More goodies may be added at a later date, but the price will probably go up!

Have a great weekend!
We had an early release today and the day off on Monday...with the possibility of snow Tuesday - so fingers crossed for a really long weekend!!