Monday, April 21, 2014

Adjective Hats

Here is an activity that worked really great. We finished our adjective unit so this was the finishing activity.

All you need are long pieces of paper, markers, and a stapler.  I got board papers from the 99 cent store and cut them in 3 pieces. 

I asked the kiddos to write down five adjectives that described them, but all of them did more than that! 






When they were done, I just checked them and stapled te hat around their head. They loved wearing them around school.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Teaching Time + Bits O' Character Education


After a great lesson, we had some time left over so I decided to do an activity that they could have fun with.  Overall, it went very well, and we got an awesome product from it.

To begin, we brainstormed some times during the day that we  love.  






Then I showed them how to do the activity on the SMART Board. I <3 my SMART Board. 







So the kids got cracking with the work.  It was so wonderful.  I didn't think they would be so excited to complete it, but they were!







Here is another student working on the assignment. 




Here is an example of the finished product. 






So cute, no!


Monday, April 14, 2014

American Flag Comes to Life


My class is learning about the American Flag right now!!! :) I thought it was be a boring topic for them, but so far it's going great! 


Here is one of the videos I played for my students. It was a complete hit!  They made me play it two times.  This video really brought to life the history of the American flag.  



After we watched this video, I asked for a couple of volunteers to play as George Washington and Betsy Ross.  I scripted to those students what to say, but after my volunteers did that, the other students were able to practice their own mini-skit about the creation of the American flag.  I think this really helped my students remember the story, because I had parents tell me that their kids were practicing the skits at home. :)



Before we practiced writing in guided practice, the class and I read a poem about the flag.  There are about a million of them online, so choose the one best for your class. 


We then went into the writing portion.  My students gave me the ideas, and I wrote them down. 
I <3 my Ipevo. It was only $60 on Amazon. Which reminds me....I <3 Amazon. 
Here's a student sample. My students totally were digging the American Flag mini-lesson. 

More student samples from students from varying levels.  
I couldn't imagine teaching writing without guided writing.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What does Bullying Look Like in the Classroom?

You may have known that I am in graduate school, but you probably do not know that I go to school almost every single Saturday form 8-4.  I cherish these days because I learn so much from my graduate advisors, workshops, and lectures. 

 Today I had the pleasure of learning about creating a safe classroom that was positive and productive for learning. It was at first very difficult to begin discussing bullying, especially because my advisor began with the video below.  Please check it out! I was bawling like a baby because I was remembering all those times I was bullied  as a kid.  :(



I also began this series of posts because it is also something that students are faced with on an everyday basis!  The first part will be identifying what bullying looks like.  

(Side note) I am being very careful as to not call the students that have bullied "bullies," because I want to focus on the actions of bullying rather than naming students as "bullies." 


What is bullying?

Physical 
  • throwing things
  • throwing spit balls
  • tripping
  • snatching things
  • punching
  • kicking
  • stealing
  • confining

Psychological 
  • name calling
  • dismissing gossiping
  • rumor spreading
  • hate speech
  • rejection 
  • threatening
  • exlcusion

Cyber
  • texting 
  • messaging
  • spreading pictures
If you see anyone of these actions in class or school, please do not take it lightly! It is a serious issue needs to be dealt with. 

second part of Bullying to be continued...


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Successes of my First Year

It's April.  Just one day away from Spring Break, and I couldn't help but reflect on this past year.  I realize that I had made mistakes on a daily basis, but this learning curve was expected.

But as I look at my students work on the last day in school before Spring Break, I can't help but feel proud of them!  They were totally on it!

I owe all of that to my advisors that have given my wise guidance! In this post I want to list the five pieces of advice that I have followed.  It has truly made the greatest difference for me. I had a whole lot of great days, and only a few bad ones.  So, without further ado, here they are...

1. I spent 2 months on classroom management and procedures.  I am so happy I spent so much time on classroom management.  It completely paid off during the rest of the school year.  The kids knew their classroom procedures, and I didn't have to waste any time with menial tasks.  Here is the list of procedures I used for my classroom.  I added and took away procedures at my convenience.


2. I started with extrinsic motivations, but weaned my students off of the rewards to allow them to have intrinsic motivations.  In the first few months I gave out rewards to motivate my students extrinsically, but I gave them less and less with time.  Now, I only have rewards for 2 of my students.  I love that my students are motivated to learn for learning's sake.

3. I kept my relationship with my students friendly, but not informal. I am not my students' best friend, and I don't pretend to be.  I love them, and they know it.  I do not cross that line so they don't think I am their best friend.  I need them to know that I still have authority.
:) 

4. I follow through with my consequences.  My students know that if I give them guidelines with consequences, then I would follow through with the consequences if they didn't follow the guidelines. That is why my consequences are doable for me. :)



5.  I was among my students throughout the day. I ate with them during recess and lunch (I had to supervise them).  I sat with them at their desks.  I walked around during quizzes and tests.  I walked with them from one class to another.  I made sure I was with them, not just in the classroom.  I made sure they saw me as a person with feelings, emotion, dreams, and nightmares.  It allowed me to create strong relationships with my students.

Well, I am done.  And it's Spring Break!!!!!!


Teachers Pay Teachers Startup


Hey everybody! I have been an adamant user of teachers pay teacher.  A lot of my resources come from there, and I get so excited when I find something I was looking for!  When I don't find something I am looking for, I create it! My creations have been helpful for me (first year teacher and all), so I thought I might share with the world! Here is my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  Everything is free!

Ok, too many exclamation marks.  I need to calm down. :)
Below is an example of my work. Let me know if you want to create anything! :)