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Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 Classroom Reveal!

Whew!  What a week...well, week and a half, since I went to work in my classroom at the end of last week as well.  I met all my new kiddos Wednesday night at our Open House and we start school bright and early Monday morning!
So, it's time for picture overload!  I'll try to do a little description for each picture and tell you where I got items on TPT - many are in my store!

I have a ginormous 12 foot long bulletin board outside my room!  Back in April - I knew exactly what I wanted for my B2S bulletin board - sunflowers with bumblebees!  My late grandparents were well known in their town for their huge and beautiful sunflowers - so I feel like they are shining in my hallway with these big sunflowers!

My door - I got the super cute Smart Children At Work sign in the dollar section at Target!

My super-cute door hanger that my mom, dad, and I put together!

My cabinets that store a lot of supplies, sink area, and our "food station"!  Since we eat lunch in our classrooms, my kiddos can bring lunch to heat-up - so we have a boy and girl microwave to speed up the heat-up process.  My classroom birthdays are displayed above.

College Kiddos Lost Tooth Club

Then, I have 2 big cabinets!

Math Fact Fluency Tests

Another view of my cabinets with my lights on under my cabinets!
The Robertson family lines the bottom of my upper cabinets - we use them to help us track of our minute math fact fluency tests once we get those started 2nd quarter.  We know our math facts, JACK!

21st Century Skills

The black and red construction paper strips are for our lockdown procedures.

21st Century Skills

Another view of my door from inside.

Our Reading/Language Arts Wall as well as a place to display student work.  I used Command Strips to attach clothespins to my closet door so I could easily change out student work.  #AwesomeWork!
The reading strategy posters above the doors are from Rachel Lamb at The Tattooed Teacher!

My bathroom passes!  Since we have a bathroom in our classroom that connects our classroom to the next, I want my kiddos to use that one if it is not in use.  So, when they ask to go to the bathroom, they have to check our classroom bathroom first - if it's in use and they can't wait, they will put the correct bathroom pass cone at their seat and go to the bathroom down the hall.  Then I know who's out!

We will display language arts anchor charts on the bathroom door!  The grammar posters at the bottom are from Learning In Wonderland.

Anther place to display student work.

Classroom Library

My classroom library.  I'm a cubby girl - and you'll see it in my pictures as you keep reading!  I organized my classroom library by category and this year, I've even numbered my book boxes and there are numbered stickers on the books so that the kiddos know where to put the books back.  Helps them know where to put it back and I don't have one chapter books box filled with books while another one only has 5 books.

Classroom Library

This is the Student Workstation!  I've utilized a lot of these Sterilite drawer organizers in my classroom.  Students will turn in all of their work here for me to check.  Having it organized my subject or even assignments that they do on a regular basis, helps me when it come to grading.  Sorry, the labels for these drawers are mine, but they are not in my TPT store.
I also have some tape and a stapler for students to use on top of the bookshelf.  

Just to the left of the bookshelf, I have some former crate seat lids turned lap desk or cushioned seats!  I just finished the flat side/bottom with some denim material so that the wood is covered.

Let's Reflect!  We use standards based grading in K-2, so it's important for my kiddos to know what a 1, 2, 3, and 4 work look like.  I got these posters from Rachel Lamb at the The Tattooed Teacher.

Now, I've got my little area of the classroom.  These cubbies house some of our guided reading materials and other things throughout the year.  Right now, they're pretty empty!  The white Expo white board easel is from Amazon!  I LOVE it!!

ipad rules

Then I've got my corner with my memories and inspiration along more space for reading group materials and all my files are house in binders - I hate a filing cabinet!
Our iPad rules are in the corner at the top.

A little closer view of my bookshelves.

Classroom Schedule

Above my whiteboard, I've got my daily schedule posted.  This year our schedule is going to be a little crazy as it's going to change every other day because of our PE and Recess rotation.  So, my schedule circles are posted with magnets on the whiteboard projector "house" so that I can change them out every day to match our daily schedule.  Above my board, I have our classroom rules and hand signal posters

Classroom Organization

Once again - the cubbies!  You can get some like this at Target and Big Lots.  At the front of my room, these cubbies house math manipulatives and things my students can access throughout our day.  I also have some more of the Sterilite drawer organizers posted here to house papers for Daily 5 - things for Word Work and Comprehension as well.

Back To School Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice

Another view as well as Decibella's voice level reminders!  These are part of my Back To School Mega Book Companion Pack.  We will be learning all about her and using our 6-inch voice on Tuesday!

Class Jobs

Class Jobs!!  Don't you just love this?!?!  I do - and I'm obsessed with it's cuteness!  Each job is posted on a t-shirt and then I wrote the kiddos names on the clothespins, so they know what their job is based on which shirt is hanging on their clothespin.  

Class Dojo Letterland

My Class Dojo and Letterland wall.  We use Letterland for our phonics curriculum, so I have all of my Letterland posters housed on this wall - there are even some behind our Letterland chart!  The bulletin board you see is my Class Dojo bulletin board.  I did a blog post about Class Dojo last week!

Letterland Writing

Student mailboxes are in the middle of this above picture.  On top of the mailboxes I keep my daily boxes where I put my posters for papers for each day.  Then starts my writing wall just to the right of the mailboxes.  The punctuation posters between the mailboxes and my cubbies are from A Traveled Teacher.


My writing wall above my cubbies.
Uncle Si helps us edit using the CUPS acronym - because you know, Uncle Si loves his blue tea cup! Then we have our writing process posters.
The complete sentence poster is not in my TPT store -sorry!  But the crayons wall display is!


Another view of my cubbies and writing wall...and our fridge.

Another view of my small group table with our 5-gallon paint bucket stools.  

A view from the door.

Standing at my Letterland Wall looking towards the back.

And lastly - a view from my desk/table area.

Thanks for visiting my classroom - virtually!  I'm ready for Monday - I think!
Have a  great weekend y'all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NEW Class Dojo Feature #1 Released TODAY!

Hey Y'all,
I've teamed up with Class Dojo to share with you some new features that they are going to be releasing to you over the next three weeks.  I hope that you will be able to use some of these features in your classroom.  I am personally super excited about the feature that is being released today!
Okay, I've made you wait long enough.  You are probably going - tell me already!!
The first feature that is being released today is the ability to set your kiddos into groups and give points by the groups rather than having to individually select children.

I LOVE this feature!  It's going to be a lifesaver!
So, I have my kiddos seated at 4 tables in my classroom - Pink, Green, Blue and Purple Tables.  There have been times in the past when a whole table of kiddos is on point and doing exactly what they SHOULD be doing and I want to give them all a point.  Well, when I have to go through my class list and select those kids, it can take about a minute for me to think about who is at the table, find their name, select and give the point.  By this point, the other kiddos in the room realize what I am doing and have also shaped up.  So being able to quickly select the Pink Table for being awesome, and award them a point, is going to make my life so much easier.  And you know, us teachers, are desperate for anything to make our jobs a little easier.

Why did Class Dojo add this awesome feature?
"Teachers love organizing their classroom into teams whether it’s table seating arrangements or project teams. ClassDojo, however, didn’t make it simple or easy to support this type of classroom and so teachers have been requesting this feature for years.  ClassDojo Groups is the biggest change to the core of the platform, where teachers can now award points to either an individual student or a group of students both with the same positivity and ease as before!"
If you do table points, this will also be a big help, as the app will allow you to see how many points each table/group has.  So, not only does each student in that group earn a point to their total, their group is also earning a point.  I played around with this feature a little bit on my iPhone last week.
So here is my Demo Class with points that I had given them.

When you slide your screen to the right, you will find your groups screen.

You'll see each of the groups that you have created and the points that their group has earned together.  Another little detail feature that I love is that the monsters that are shown on their group picture are the pictures of the monsters that are in that group.  I assume that even when you kiddos change their monster, their updated monster will show up on their group page.

To award a point to the group, you select the group you want to give a point to, and then select Award Group, then chose the positive or negative behavior that you want to award to that group.
It's that easy!

What devices can I access the groups feature on?
"Class Dojo groups will work and sync across any iOS/Android device and any computer."

Want to learn more?
Check out THIS website.

If you don't have Class Dojo already, download it now!  If you do have Class Dojo, I hope you enjoy this new feature this year!  Our school year starts on Monday so I'll be giving this a try for real next week!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back To School Giveaway!

Hey y'all!  It's so hard to believe that summer is over for me!  I'm back to school today for a week of teacher workdays.  Kids report back next Monday!  We are on a modified year-round calendar, so we have 6-7 weeks in the summer, 2 weeks off at the end of September/early October, 3 weeks at Christmas, and then 2 weeks off the in March.  It's a GREAT schedule - really, it is, even though we start in July!

Anyways, some of you are also beginning to turn your minds back to "Back To School" mode, so I've teamed up with a great group of teachers that I met in Vegas for a Back To School Giveaway!

So, what can you win by entering our super awesome giveaway???

The unit that is from my TPT store in this mega giveaway is my new Back To School Mega Book Companion Pack.  This set is perfect for the first week of school - teaching expectations, gradually getting your kids back in to doing school work, and getting to know your new kiddos.

Back To School Giveaway
Click to the picture to check it out in my TPT store!

This book companion pack has comprehension and writing activities as well as a craftivity for each book and activities to teach classroom expectations.  This set accompanies the following books:

Back To School MEGA Book Companion Pack

Decibella yells EVERYTHING!  You have the kiddo in mind, already don't you?!?!  This book will help you teach using correct voice volume as well as give you reference that you can go back to all year long.

Back To School MEGA Book Companion Pack

And then there's that kiddo that tells you EVERYTHING that goes on in the classroom - the tattler! This book will help your kiddos decide what they NEED to tell you and what they need to keep to themselves because it is a tattle.

Back To School MEGA Book Companion Pack

And then there's the kiddo that can't keep any of their thoughts to themselves - the blurter!  This book will give your blurters some techniques to use when they have something that they really want to share, but it isn't quite their turn yet.

Back To School MEGA Book Companion Pack

Then there's your kiddo that has so much trouble staying focused to finish their work - they just want to do things their way.    That's RJ for ya - until his mom gets wind of all his unfinished work and not asking for help from his teacher.  Teach your kiddos some techniques for staying on task to complete their work with this book.

Back To School MEGA Book Companion Pack

And lastly, you have your kiddo that says EVERYTHING that comes to their mind - whether it is nice or not.  Poor RJ strikes again, but learns some lessons about using his social filter.

So, that's what I've got included for you if you win this mega giveaway!
Enter below using the Rafflecopter - it runs through Saturday night - a winner will be picked next Sunday!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Class Dojo Update, Q&A, and a GIVEAWAY!

Hey y'all!  Over the past couple of weeks I've had some questions from teachers about how I use Class Dojo in my classroom and utilizing my Class Dojo Super Pack.  I had done a blog post back in February when I first ditched the clip chart, but I've changed a few things since then and didn't quite explain it all clearly the first time, so I'm back to try again!
In the past, I've kept all my behavior charts and/or Class Dojo materials on the closet door at the back of my room.  This year, I've moved it to one of the square bulletin boards at the front of my classroom.  Here is my new bulletin board:

This Class Dojo bulletin board houses pretty much all of our Class Dojo "stuff".  In the bottom left corner, you'll see my Dojo Store.  I chose 12 items (tangible rewards and experiences) that my kids will have to choose from at this time.  I will change these out every few weeks - take some off and add some other rewards - there will most likely be some that will stay for at least 2 "cycles" in a row, if not more.
The reward tickets were printed and are housed in regular sized library pockets.  The library pocket covers fit just over top of the library pockets and I used some velcro dots to attach them to the library pocket, as well as put a staple on each side of the pocket cover so that it would lay flat.
My plan for the tickets is for the kids to bring them to me when they want to purchase that item/experience so that I know what they are purchasing as well as take it off of their Dojo Credit Card balance.  I will then put the tickets back in the pocket to be reused later (saving some copies!).

Above my Dojo Store, I have my Class Dojo Leader of the Week.  Each Friday when we are packing up, I will see which child had the most points during the week and they will get to be the Leader of the Week for the next week.
I have printed out little Class Dojo monsters from Class Dojo's online resources - the Leader of the Week will get to choose one of these monsters and I will use a sharpie to write their name on this monster and add it to our bulletin board.  The Leader of the Week also gets a Brag Tag and a certificate - if they are LOTW multiple times, they get a brag tag each time they are LOTW!

Going up the right side of the bulletin board, as well as kind of taking over the top, is my Class Dojo point club.  This is something new that I'm adding this year!
Every couple weeks I will check on my kiddos' total points in the Class Dojo Reports and use printed mini Class Dojo monsters to show which club the kiddos belong in.  For each level of the club, they will also receive a Brag Tag!
100-1000 point club certificates (printed on colored paper) and brag tags.

Their Class Dojo credit card is a laminated card with their name on the front and their signature on the back - like a real credit card.  I have them sign their cards before I laminate.  Since it is laminated, that allows me to use a sharpie and a Mr. Clean eraser to write their balance and erase to change the balance as they add to or take from their balance.
When I give my kiddos their credit cards, I explain to them that this is like a real credit card that their parents may have and that they have to be responsible to take very good care of their card.  I explain to them that if they lose their card, they can't just "get" another one.  There is a penalty for losing their card.  I know this isn't quite how it works in the real world, but they have to learn some responsibility sometime!  When I find credit cards laying on the floor in the classroom, I take them and hide them from the student until they come to me and ask for their card.  When I give them their card back, I explain to them that it is very important to take care of their card and that there is a monetary penalty for losing their card and getting it back - I usually take 10-15 dojo dollars for returning credit cards.  Call me mean - but I want them to treat their credit cards just like real money.
I also only let them spend the money that they have loaded on their card - no racking up a big credit card bill!

**Note - Clipart on credit cards IS NOT included on the set in my TPT store.  You will have to download the clipart and add to the credit cards if you want the look I have above.**

When do your students cash out their Dojo points to add to their Dojo Credit Card?
I have four tables in my classroom and I have assigned each table one day of the week that they are allowed to cash out their points.  I allow them to cash out their points during morning arrival and morning work time and then again during lunch (we eat lunch in our classroom so this works for me).  So, I should have around 6 students cashing out each day.  When they cash out, I quickly add/subtract the points they have on their behavior graphing sheet, total them up, and use a sharpie to add this amount to the back of their credit card.  This takes about 1 minute per student, so it really is not taking up much time during the day.  If a student (or myself) is absent, I either use our extra day during the week, or let them cash out on a day other than their table's assigned day.
When can your students purchase items from the Dojo Store?
I let them purchase items/experiences any day of the week - but it has to be during morning work time or lunch time.  I don't want this to be interrupting instruction, so I restrict it to these times of the day.  If your kiddos stay in our room during dismissal in the afternoon, you could do this during that time while they wait for their bus or car.
Why do you reset your students' points daily?
This is something I have always done.  Previously, when I had my 7-layered clip chart,  my kiddos would start out each day on green.  Once they had 3 positive points they would move up to blue, 6 points they would move to purple, and 10 pink.  So, I would reset to 0 daily because of this.  I also like the idea of a fresh start each day.  I know that all my kiddos aren't going to be perfect and there are going to be some that are not going to have a great day once in a while.  If they leave with negative points, I want them to come in the next day with a fresh start back at zero.  Otherwise, they already feel defeated before stepping into my classroom and that is NOT how I want them to feel about school.  Class Dojo is all about noticing the positive things that your kiddos are doing rather than just focusing on the negative, so I try my best to do that as well.
If you reset your points daily, how do you check their totals for the 100-1000 Club and Leader of the Week?
Class Dojo is super great for reports!  First, click on the Reports page at the top of our Class Dojo screen. 

That will take you to this page.  
Then, you'll want to change the date to your desired date.  For LOTW, I change it to that current week.  For 100-1000 point club, I choose All Time.
Then you'll want to go over to the student column on the lefthand side and use the drop-down box to choose Highest Combined.  This will take into account both positive and negative points and will sort them from most points to least points.  This way you can see who is the Leader of the Week each week and check the total points for each student for the 100-1000 point club.
How do you get your parents and students to set up online accounts?
You may (or may not) know that Class Dojo will send out weekly reports to your kiddos' parents each Friday to parents who have set up an online account.  Fortunately for me, I am at a great school with lots of parental support.  This year, I had every parent set up an account.  Did all of them monitor the accounts on a regular basis?  No, probably not.  All but one of my kiddos had their own account as well.  It was much easier to get the kiddos to set up an account because they want to be able to personalize their monster and that is the only way they can do it.  I also encourage my parents to set up accounts and will pester email them until they do so - haha!  They don't have to set up an account online, but it is very beneficial for them to be able to track their students during the day and get the weekly reports - in addition to seeing their child's daily graph that I send home in their COLLEGE notebook.
Yes, I've had parents who monitor their child's behavior during the day and send me messages on Class Dojo messenger about what their child is doing and messages that I need to relay to their child to straighten up!
What other questions do you have?  Please ask them below and I'll add them to the blog post!
How did you get the Class Dojo Monsters on all the items you have pictured above?  The set you have on TPT doesn't have the monsters?
The set I have listed on TPT includes editable parts.  I had to remove the monsters from the set after I originally posted it because of copyright, so I made the set so that you can add the monsters if you wish.  There is a set of pages in the pack on TPT that does not have the monsters and then there is an editable file that has space on the items to add pictures directly from the Class Dojo website.  The link to these items is included.  So, you have the option to add the monsters or not.

Now, I'm giving away one of my Class Dojo Super Pack sets to one lucky reader!  Complete the Rafflecopter below to enter!
Be sure to check back on July 21st, August 1st, and August 5th!  I've teamed up with Class Dojo to share some new features that they will be releasing on these three dates - they're going to be great!!