Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween This-n-That, A Flash Sale, and a Freebie at the End!

Hi friends!  Just a quick Halloween eve post in case you are not a Facebook follower.

I can't believe it's Halloween time already. Then the time falls back on Saturday, and we will be in darkness by 5:15 or so. Flannel jammy weather is upon us.

We were stuffing my daughter's treat bags this evening, and it was sort of sad because I realized this is the last time we will do that. Next year, she will be at the intermediate school, and they do not party. She's growing up fast!

At my school, my firsties get to have a small party. Moms will come in and help run the party with a snack, a craft, and a game. We don't have much time, just around 55 minutes. But the kids really look forward to it.

I found the cutest craft on pinterest that they will do tomorrow. My type of craft -- quick, easy, and not too expensive!

Does your class celebrate Halloween? 

And finally, as a special treat, I am throwing a one-day sale tomorrow at my store. EVERYTHING will be 20% off.

Here's a little treat for you, a little freebie for you to put away for next year.  It's a monthly word bank poster you can assemble and display along with your word wall for seasonal writing words.  Click on either picture to download.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Trick and a Treat!

Trick or treat! This is Laureen otherwise known as Teach With Laughter taking over this blog today as my trick, but keep reading to get your treat!

Several of my blogger friends from the {The Teaching Tribune} have joined together for this Trick or Treat Blog Hop. You will find more tricks as well as plenty of treats as you hop from door to door.

Now for the treat (maybe not as good as Kraft caramels, but close!)

My firsties and I have been working on even and odd so I put together this math work station to help them with it.

The object of this station is for students to sort number cards (up to 20) into two groups (even and odd) then record on a recording sheet.  I find student instruction cards a must so I have included an "I can..." card to help keep your kiddos on task.  The work station includes both a color and black and white option and is ready to print, laminate and add to your fall math tubs.

Here's a little peek at what you'll get:

You can click on either picture above to download your freebie.

I hope you enjoyed your trick as much as I have enjoyed being a guest blogger here at Practice Makes Perfect.

Now it's time to go "next door" to discover the next trickster and collect another treat. Click on the picture below to take you there!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I'm Lovin' It!

Hey everyone!  Isn't this fall weather fabulous?  It is so refreshing that I've been inspired to create, create, create with the windows open and the breezes blowing on me.  LOVE IT!

So I've got quite a class this year:  majority boys, high energy, wiggly boys.  I love them, but they are hard to keep focused for more than 10  minutes at a time.  So I've started using Class Dojo with them., and it has made a world of difference.

Class Dojo is an online behavior management tool.  You set it up and customize it to your class.
Sorry for the side view.  I haven't figured out how to rotate an image in blogger yet.  But you get the idea.

You can customize the positive and negative awards to your classroom rules.  When a child is following classroom rules, you give him/her a point.

  If a child is not following the classroom rules, you give him/her a negative point.  

You can set up your own reward system.  I have a pocket chart where the children earn golden tickets.  So I tied Class Dojo into that.  At the end of the day, for every five points a child earns, he/she gets one golden ticket.  They have to earn at least one golden ticket in a week (yeah, it's that bad) to take part in Friday Fun Day the last period of the day.  To give you an idea of my class dynamics, Last week was the first full week using this system.  Last Friday, 14 of my 24 students did not take part in the reward.  This week, I only had two students not take part in Friday Fun Day.  That's a really drastic improvement!  Of course, this week, they will have to earn at least 2 tickets to take part in Friday Fun Day, and my final goal will be 4 tickets.

As an extra incentive, I've added clip chart reward coupons, and each child who earns a ticket in a day gets a coupon to use the next day.  So there is a short term and a long term goal for the children to focus on.  You can find these clip chart coupons on TPT, and many of them are free.

Some other really nice features are the ability to award multiple students points and the ability to choose a random student to earn a point.  I use this a lot when I want to settle the class.  I will say, I'm going to choose a random student, and if that student is settled and ready to begin, he/she will get a positive point.  It takes a few seconds to pick a student, and in that time, most have settled down and are ready to begin.

There is also a timer.

I love using this timer to get their desks cleaned out and organized.  I set it to countdown for five minutes, and the race is on!  There is a scurry of papers to the garbage, books on desks, and at the end, everyone who is done gets a positive point.  The rules are no papers shoved in desks, books and folders neatly stacked in desk, and crayons, pencils, markers, erasers, et cetera in their pencil cases and cases zipped shut.  One of my goals this year is to help the students learn to keep their supplies organized so they can find them when they need it.

Parental involvement is a big part of Class Dojo.  
There is an individual behavior profile for each student, and you can invite the parents to go online and check out their children's behavior for the week.  I haven't delved into that aspect yet.  It is on my to do list this week.  I wanted to get the system up and running and be sure it was something I wanted to continue to use before I brought the parents in.

And finally, there is a mobile app that I downloaded on my android phone so that I can add points at anytime and anyplace during the day.  I take the cell phone everywhere with me, and the kids know that I can access Class Dojo from anyplace anytime.  That includes church, halls, computer lab, lunchroom, and even on our evacuation drill we had yesterday when we walked from our school to the local high school!  I did clear it with my principal first so she knew why I was carrying my phone everywhere.  Luckily, she knew of my class, and she approved of "whatever it takes."

So there you have it!  Class Dojo is great online tool for managing student behavior.  I'm sure many of you have already heard of it, but it's definitely worth checking out if you haven't already.  

Here's an old blog post to revisit to grab a fall freebie:

I hope you are enjoying your fall as much as I am, and you have settled into your school year nicely!

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