Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Behavior Modification Program & Positive Reinforcement

Hello Everyone,
As the first few days of school are behind us, our class is beginning to use the behavior modification program I set up. Routine and structure are my middle name and I am quite regimented in the way I run my classroom. With that said, I also FIRMLY believe in positive reinforcement and spend much of my day praising students and supported their positive behaviors. 

I run a simple behavior modification program, that many of you are probably familiar with.
 I believe in keeping it short, easy, quick, and visual. 

We have FOUR rules.


These rules encompass a lot and I feel that 4 is a good number. Students do not have to worry about remembering dozens of rules and the rules that are important are simple, clear, and to the point. 
They are displayed in our classroom and we go over them regularly.

I use the program as follows...

Students begin the day with a green card in their pocket, if they have trouble following class rules, they change their card. They receive TWO warnings (2 yellow cards). After two warnings, they lose their recess (orange card). If they are still having a difficult time, they must change their card to red (note home) and finally blue (visit to the principal). This almost never happens, but when it does, I ALWAYS follow through. It is important to keep your word, whether it be for something positive or for a consequence. Students must understand that you are in charge and what you say matters. 
No empty threats from this teacher! They DO NOT work!

It can sometimes be difficult, however you must always follow through. In the long run, it really works out! Last year I had a difficult group. Tantrums, running out of class, foul language, were a regular occurrence at the beginning of the year. With constant structure and follow through, the behavior improved and after some time all I needed to do was look at my students and they turned their negative behavior right around! It was hard work and sometimes I just wanted to give in, but I didn't and in the end it paid off! 

Take your time at the beginning of the year. You do not need to rush into activities and worry about getting things done. Setting structure, routine, and behavior expectations is crucial at this time of year and the time you spend now will be returned mid-year when your class is running smoothly. Practice, practice, practice! Demonstrate the expected behaviors and PRAISE them when they display it. 

I use these fun, clear containers from the dollar store to display all the wonderful prizes students can receive when they do behave appropriately. They LOVE to go to the prize box and I LOVE to send them there! Each time a student demonstrates exceptional behavior, I ask them to put a stick in their pocket (6 sticks = 1 prize). What I like about this system is that even if they have had a difficult day and have changed their cards, they can still get a positive by putting a stick. This is great for those students who have trouble letting go and/or "turning it around." I give students sticks for remembering class routines (I always have a few who need to be constantly reminded), following directions, working hard, helping out, being kind, etc... I love to make a big deal about everything good that they do and they feel so good about themselves when I do. It's a win/win situation! 

You can grab a free copy of my Prize Jar labels right over HERE.  
Be sure to display them somewhere visible. This will remind students about what they are working towards. 

Until next time...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Back to School Sillies

Hi Everyone,
I hope you're all doing well! I'm doing great! I have been going crazy, getting ready for the new school year and had the best first week with the kiddies! Thought I'd stop by and share a few silly tidbits about our first four days together. It's looking like it's going to be a fabulous year!

I have such a great group this year and am so excited to get things going 
and just, well, HAVE A BLAST!

So here is a short silly post about the first week!

My colleague and I nominated ourselves as members of the newly founded Bulletin Board Committee (we are the founders - hehe). Basically, we are prepared to make our school beautiful!!!!

Here is our very first bulletin board for the year. It is the first thing people see when they enter the building from the main entrance and will soon be filled with class pictures :)

We love it and can't wait to decorate more bulletin boards around the school. 

On our first day with the kiddies, we drank some of Babbling Abby's Jitter Juice. It was delicious and got rid of all our first day jitters. What a great first day activity. Her pack has so many cute ideas and fun ice breakers. 

I displayed Jennifer's (from First Grade Blue Skies) Edible Banners for Back to School and the kiddies loved them. They felt so welcomed and it created an instant sense of belonging and community. I plan on editing them all year round and possibly turning it into an achievement bunting banner! 

Another activity we did to foster a sense of community and togetherness was to sign our class "mural." We used Crayola Window Writers and created a wonderful display for our classroom. 

I also gave my kiddies a fun first day gift. 

We read the book as a class and the kiddies loved the personalized note :)
The bracelet says Sensational Second Grader and they are still sporting them this week!

On Friday, we wrote about our first week in second grade and had a Back to School Party! 
Hey, I'm happy to be back at school! I love teaching second grade!

Ok, now for the sillies... 
I MAY have been annoyed with the cobwebs and grass blades that were lying on my window sills outside my classroom... And, I MAY have used my snow brush (from my car) to clean them... And my friend MAY have gotten it all on camera! 

And one last silly... One of my sweet, adorable, students drew a picture of MOI and NAILED IT! Especially the sock bun. Yes, I do have that much hair!

This sums up my first, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G week of school! Looking forward to more fun this week.

Until next time...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Good Morning Friends, 
I hope you are all having a lovely Saturday morning! I sure am!
I wanted to stop by and tell you all about the fun we had reading The Wizard of Oz! It's such a great story with some amazing lessons. The creativity and imagination is so captivating. 
The kiddies just L-O-V-E-D it!

I found the books hiding away in a cabinet in the school book room and decided it would be the perfect way to end our year. I created a Novel Studies Unit and Craftivities to go along. I decided to create 4 activity pages for each chapter. Two of which asked questions and two others that looked at a variety of concepts (meaning, connections, inferencing, making predictions, art, etc...). I also included some non-fiction information cards when interesting topics came up in the chapters. 
My students loved the All About Cyclones Information Card. 

We read the chapters together and each time a new character was introduced, we wrote a story and created a craft to celebrate the character! 
My personal fave has to be Dorothy and Toto (with the Tin Woodman coming in at a close second)!

I provided the templates, but as you can see my creative little kiddies added their own special touches.

My former students loved non-fiction so we had a great time learning about cyclones, the heart, the brain, hot air balloons, mice, lions, and more!

This was such a great unit. We had so much fun and learned a lot about appreciating a novel and about science! This year I will be working on a similar unit for Charlotte's Web! I can't wait!

You can check out my Wizard of Oz Novel Studies HERE!
You can also check out my Wizard of Oz Craftivities HERE!
You can check out a bundled copy of my Wizard of Oz Novel Studies and Craftivities HERE!

Until next time...

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Quick & Easy Fluency Practice

Good Morning Everyone, 
I'm so excited to link up (AGAIN) with some F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S bloggers in yet another amazing Bright Ideas Blog Hop! 

This is such a great way to get, well, BRIGHT ideas!

This month's BRIGHT idea is one that I use all year round. It is also a great tool to use in any classroom and at any grade level.

I call it: Fluency Fun!

It is a quick and easy way to practice fluency with your students. Take a short text that the student is not familiar with. Read it aloud to the student. You will need to read it a little slower than usual for this activity. As you read, time yourself. Once the passage is complete, ask the student to read the same passage aloud, while trying to beat your time! Repeat this activity a few times. Always be sure to make the goal attainable for the student and always be sure to up the ante! 

Be sure to make it interesting!

You can give the student a sticker or small prize when he/she beats your time.
You can make an announcement and/or display his/her triumph!
You can choose funny passages and/or write funny passages with the student.

The possibilities are endless! Just have fun with it!
This little trick really DOES help improve fluency skills and the kiddies love it because it's competitive and fun and one-on-one with their favorite person at school: YOU!

I hope you enjoyed this BRIGHT idea! Please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram, and my Teacher Store.

For more bright ideas from over 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Until next time...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. T.M.N.T

Any other 90s kids out there! Who's with me! TURTLE POWER! 
YES, I knew it'd be cheesy, Yes, I know I'm not an 8 year old boy, but YES, I saw it anyway!

2. Reading

Yes, I know I'm a little late to the party but better late than never! Started reading this amazing book this week and it DOES NOT disappoint!

3. Hanging with my Peeps!

I've been really taking advantage of my time off and hanging out with my friends! AND... their dogs!!!!

I'm an animal lover, what can I say!

4. Primping

My mom and I have a monthly date to the spa, where we get a pedicure and then a Girls Dinner! Love spending time with my mama!

5. Getting my TpT On!

As I've previously mentioned in past posts, I want to make sure I don't go too crazy during the school year! I am creating centers and packs for the first few months!

Here are a few of my Back to School Packs!
I will be using my Magic Crayons Pack with my second graders and my School is Sweet pack with my 3/4 split! Both packs include 2 weeks full of literacy activities!


Click on the pictures to check them out in my store!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Back to School Survey Fun

Good Morning Friends,
The time is fast approaching for Back to School. I don't start for a little while longer but I know many of you are already back in the classroom! I got these amazing dice in Vegas (believe it or not, they were impossible to get in Canada) and can't wait to use them ALL. THE. TIME.

I decided that their first use should be for Back to School and that I should also make it a FREEBIE! 

I like to ask my students a lot of questions, especially in the beginning of the year. The more we know about our students, the better we can teach them and ensure a positive successful year for all. 

I plan to use this particular little activity in the first few days. I will place the students in groups and have them take turns rolling the dice. I'll walk around and jot down notes based on their answers and discussions. Then, I'll use what I've learned to help guide some of my teaching throughout the year. 

Some questions included in this freebie are: What do you want to learn about this year? What would you like from your teacher this year? 

I have also included a hard copy of the survey for those of you who would prefer paper and pencil. 

You can grab a copy of this FREEBIE right over HERE!

Be sure to check out some of my Back to School ESSENTIALS

Have a GREAT year!
Until next time...