Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Behavior Plans and Getting to Know Our Students

Hi Friends! I’m here today to post about a personal experience I'm having this year with student behavior.  Let’s face it....I think every year I wouldn't mind the class from the previous year even if I was so happy sending them off for summer vacation!  New classes definitely have challenges but this year is different for me.  I think more in a humbling way.

I started the year with a few students that struggled with their behavior which was also having an impact on them academically.  I decided to try a weekly behavior plan.  Yes it was a PAIN at first!!  Like I wasn't busy enough, right?  I sent it home every day and they would bring it back the next day.  Yes, it was an extra effort, but let me tell you how this humbled me as a teacher.

4 weeks into this plan, these students began to change.   I grew to really “know” these little ones.  One student’s father is out of the picture and his mom had brain surgery and is cared for full time by her mother.  Just by knowing this, it helped me adjust my teaching and he has blossomed so much that it brings tears to my eyes.

The second student also blossomed!  She started out very angry.  Well, it turns out she had her second surgery this past week to remove tumors.  She wasn't so lucky this second round and will need to start Chemo this week and won’t be able to return until January.  Breaks my heart!  She's six years old! 

As teachers, please get to know your students no matter the behavior.  They have lives outside the classrooms and it often follows them to the classroom.   They need us! 
I hope you will see the “good” in your students this year as I have!  
If you want a copy of the behavior plan I use, just CLICK HERE.  

Have a great week!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sentence Scramblers

Happy weekend friends! Here with a quick post giving you a little snippet from my Writers Workshop! 
Let me start by saying I have 23 English Language Learners in my First Grade class this year!  All but 2 are labeled intensive and many are still acquiring the language.  It’s going to be a busy year!

As I introduce our Writer's Workshop, I start the students out by having them draw a picture and then move to words to describe their pictures.  This is when I realized they did not have much sentence structure or enough vocabulary to make a sentence.  I came up with a way to make sentences they could manipulate.  They LOVED this!
I used sticky back Velcro and the big dice you can find at the Dollar Tree.  I laminated 5 different
colored cards with white labels so students could write with a dry erase marker.  Each Di would have one of each color.  The students would make sentences using one color for each word in their sentence.  

I put the students in groups to work together.  Each group got a different color to work with.  Since we were talking about pets, I used pictures to help them as they wrote. 
After they finished the sentence, they put one word/color on each of the Di.  We scrambled them and the students got to unscramble everyone’s sentence together as a whole group.
With the sentence scramblers being a foundation, our next activity was introducing Nouns and Verbs.  They got to choose another pet and work in groups.  

After drawing a picture for the Noun and Verb, they generated a sentence using the nouns and verbs they drew.  I'm planning to use this for centers and may write sentences for them to unscramble as well.
If you’d like the Noun and Verb page you can download HERE.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm Finally Back....and with a Freebie

I feel like I'm blogging for the first time!!  Last July I started to redesign my blog (which I'm still working on), posted once during the 2013-14 school year, and then took a very long break from blogging!  Why?  Well, I needed a wake up call I guess.  I was getting too wrapped up in social media and teaching to the point of exhaustion!  I was running from the fact I have Multiple Sclerosis and was in full denial of it.  I was still thinking I could do anything on 5-6 hours of sleep.  And it caught up with me physically and I have spent this past year getting more educated about my disease and spending more time with my family.  I don't regret it one bit!  On that note, I have some catching up to do!

Speaking of catching up....is it really that time again??  Back to School already??  We start back up in about 2 weeks and this is my classroom!  I went in yesterday, looked around, moved my desk, and left.  I really went all out didn't I....hee hee! Oh well, maybe tomorrow...

Okay, here is something else I wanted to blog about today....I'm still an author at Blog Hoppin and we are getting it up in full swing with new designs, new authors, and a scavenger hunt.  Some of you might have already started, but if not, you need to head over to find out how to have fun taking pictures and winning some really cool prizes!!  Start by clicking the picture link below.

More randomness..... Last year I spent most of the school year trying to get students motivated to do well in their academics.  While student of the month and student of the week are great motivators, it doesn't always target the students you really need to do well, especially the ones whose behavior will never grant them access to being a star student.  So I created a little incentive to ALL the students and tailored it to THEIR own weekly goals...student Super Star Certificates.

Whether that means a reading goal or behavior goal, I wanted the goals to be reachable to encourage them to keep trying even if they think they could never be a student of the week or month.
Every student gets one each week based on a goal they set for that week.  I gave one out to a student who was always getting in trouble and could NEVER stay in his seat for longer than a few minutes.  He was so excited when he started to get one of these each week!  He ended up being such a great student by the end of the year!

Thanks for taking the time to read my poor neglected blog!  By the way, these certificates are free at my TpT store.  Click the picture link below to download.

I hope you all have a wonderful school year!