Sunday, July 23, 2017

Behavior Management Pros and Cons

With September just around the corner I want to share my experiences with different behavior management systems. I will explain shortly how I've used each system and some of Pros and Cons I found. Each class in different and sometimes a system that worked with one group of children does not meet  the needs of a different group. You have to pick and chose what works for you and what works for your class. I currently use a combination of Whole Brain Teaching and Class Dojo. I also use individual behavior plans as needed.  Enough set up... lets jump in to it

Behavior Management systems 
  • Clip Chart
  • Class Dojo
  • Whole Brain 

CLIP CHART     My First few years  of teaching I used a simple clip chart system. The children would start the day on ready to learn and depending on their choices throughout the day their clip would move up and down. I also gave small prizes or stickers out for students with excellent behavior at the end of the day.

PROS:  This method is great for students to visually see how their behavior throughout the day. It gives them feedback as to their choices and there is an immediate consequence for their actions (clip moving up or down). This system also helps to motivate students to make better choice in order earn a reward, prize or sicker.

CONS:  Personally, I found it difficult to be consistent using the clip chart especially when we weren't in the classroom. I would tell someone to move their clip down for fooling around in the hallway and then forget to actually have them move it once we got back to class.  I was also not recognizing positive behavior as much as I should have. That might have just been me that year (head shake)

CLASS DOJO One of my class parents was also a teacher and she recommended I look into Class Dojo. It is an app that allows you to track student behavior in real time. Each child can be assigned an avatar and you can award or remove points based on student actions and behavior. 
                                                                            Image result for classdojo

PROS: The Avatar choices are super cute. My kids had fun picking out their character.  The students can CASH in their points for a reward coupon or they can combine points for a class reward like a pajama day (My personal favorite ). Through the app you can assign or remove points on the go. If you have your phone or ipad with you, you can even monitor behavior in the hall or during assemblies. No more forgetting to move clips when you are back to class.  The parents can also log in and review their own child's behavior points for the day.  There is also a social media aspect where you can post pictures or quickly communicate with parents. They just need to create a secured account.

CONS: I haven't found too many draw backs yet. You do have to have access to the internet either through a lap top, tablet or phone. You have to play with you settings to set up your class and select which behaviors or actions you are tracking. There is a slight earning curve with this, but there are excellent you-tube tutorials out there to help get you started.  There is also a question of having other children see the point values of their peers. This may or may not be an issue depending on the makeup of your class community and how you set up DOJO. 
I do not use the social media aspect of the app. I love communicating with parents but I prefer to do it through the school's secure email. I also did not feel comfortable positing pictures of my students or their individual work through the app. I know there are plenty of privacy settings and everything is secure, I know many teachers who use it but it just didn't work for me.


 WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING is an interactive method of instruction. It incorporates repetitive gestures, movements, and words to help make learning multistory. Whole Brain Teaching also incorporates simple to follow class rules.  Students work together as a whole or in small groups to earn behavior points. When you catch the students doing something good  you verbally praise that student and the whole class celebrates with a 10 second "party" cheer. A point is given on the smiley face side. If you catch the students doing something negative the whole class  "groans" and a point is given to the frown side. You do not call out the individual student for the negative behavior, you just verbally describe what you saw or what rule has been broken.  No SHAMING here. If there are more positive points than negative points the class or group earns a reward. This could is usually something small like 3 extra minutes of recess, music or a video during snack time,  sticker or stamp... If the students earn more negative points a consequence is given. This is usually something equally small like 3 minutes off of recess or 3 minutes of silent snack. 
In Kinder the students benefit from short periods between rewards. I track points in the morning for a reward before lunch and in the afternoon for a reward at the end of the day. I keep a dry erase scorecard on my name badge so I can tally points earned vs points lost on the go. At the end of the day the score card is erased and the students start over the next day. 

PROS: The multi sensory approach is great for the little ones who need to move.  The rules are really simple.
        1. Follow Directions Quickly
        2. Raise a Quiet Hand
        3. Make Smart Choices
        4. Use an Inside Voice
        5. Make Your Teacher Happy
The students have to work together to earn the reward. You don't have to spend money buying trinkets for a prize box.  You can monitor behavior on the go without the use of technology. This system focuses more on positive behavior. Students are motivated to follow the rules and earn points because of the positive reinforcement of the 10 second "party".

CONS: With this system students are not individually rewarded beyond verbal praise; like wise there in no individual consequences for behavior unless there is a server infraction. If  you have a student with behavior or emotional issues you may need to use an individual behavior plan for that student. Sometimes habitual rule breakers will relay on the positive behavior of their peers to earn them points. The behavior of these students may also drag down the points of the rest of the class and it may not be fair to give a consequence to everyone because of the actions of a few.

There you have it. Don't be afraid to change up your behavior system if it is not working. Just try and be consistent with whatever plan you choose. Each year is as unique as the students you share your room with. No two classroom communities are the same so take what you like from each behavior system and make it your own.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Learning Through Play


Hey there,
Life has been kinda crazy these past few months. We moved in to a new apartment and recently got married so I haven't had much time for blogging. Now I am back at it.

I picked up this awesome book for summer reading and it got me thinking about how I could incorporate more play into our Kinder routines.
  Image result for the importance of play book

 I saw how much my kiddos loved using Hot Wheels and toy cars during indoor recess. What if I could find a way to use them during our learning time. Then it hit me.... LETTER ROADS!!! I went home, hopped on the computer and whipped up these.
Now my kiddos can follow the roads to build muscle memory and practice forming letters. They think they are playing having fun racing their friends through the letters while they are actually learning. SNEAKY.

I am always looking for new ideas. How do you infuse play in your classroom?

***Don't forget to hop on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to grab this awesome Freebie

Friday, May 29, 2015

My May Bulletin Boards

Hey everyone. Today I am linking up with Amy over at Teaching is Sweet to showcase this month's bulletin boards.

This past month we've been busy exploring digraphs. I had the students make these cute flowers as a culminating craftivity.  Each student selected a digraph to focus on. Then they cut out the petals and assembled flower. You can grab your own copy  HERE!!!

We recently went to see a Curious George play at a local theater. The students loved seeing their favorite monkey in person. After the trip we made these cute monkey's to display our reviews.
Don't forget to stop on over at Teaching is Sweet to see what others have been up to this month.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

You Oughta Know May

It's blog hopping time! Once again I am teaming up with the lovey Mrs. McClain and a bunch of other fabulous teacher bloggers to share classroom tips and tricks. 

Some of you know that I am a fanatic when it comes to organizing. Everything needs to be color coded and labeled plus you get extra points if it is alphabetized. As the year is winding down I have been busy filing stray papers and getting my binders cleaned up.

Is anyone else obsessive with their binders too? Anyway, here is a look at how I organize my Guided Reading and Sight Word binders.
I love these letter tabs that I found at the office supply store. They are kind of expensive but it makes alphabetizing a breeze. I originally bought them to organize my Popcorn Word (sight word) Binder.  I can easily access the activities and resources I need for each word.  By the way, the photo below features awesome sight word activities from the Moffatt Girls.

Of course after alphabetizing the first binder I had to do another one. Organizing can be an addiction I tell you.  Next I tackled my Guided Reading binder. This one is massive. I keep everything in there... comprehension passages, leveled reading response sheets, lesson plans, student data, the works. The lesson plans featured below are from JD's Rockin' Readers.
I love how alphabet tabs allow me to quickly skip to the DRA level I need for each group. Obviously, my Kinders are not reading on level P, but I have the resources printed and ready to go for tutoring sessions. It never hurts to be overprepared.

Here's a chance to spice up your own binders with this free nautical binder cover. Click Here to snag your own. Don't forget to leave some feedback if you like it.

I would love to hear how you manage your classroom binders and resources; tell me I am not the only nut out there. Also, please take a few minutes to check out the other bloggers below.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Teacher's Appreciation Week

This past week was Teacher's Appreciation week. Families all over the country showed their support and admiration for teachers.  I can not believe the level of gratitude shown towards me this week.

One of my Kindergarten Families nominated me for the Scholastic Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes. I was selected among the 100 teachers who won the sweepstakes. I still can't believe someone took the time to even nominated me. Scholastic was generous enough to send me these delicious strawberries. Being a Kindergarten teacher, I did share them with my family, but it pained me to do so.

Our PTO provided the staff with a beautiful French themed lunch.  It was great not having to get up 5 minutes early just to pack something for lunch. The whole school really went out of their way to show that they care.

I would love to hear how you celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week in your school!

Monday, May 4, 2015

TPT Flock

This past Saturday I joined a group of fabulous TPT sellers and bloggers in Binghamton NY for a meet up. It was such a wonderful experience! I had the chance to collaborate with some really talented ladies. I left with some Tech Tips. Many of the ladies suggested that I start an Instagram account so I can quickly share ideas and classroom inspiration on the go. Here's the link if you want to follow me.

The workshop was sponsored by some awesome donors! The Holiday Inn in Binghamton was generous enough to donate the meeting space along with offering a discount on the hotel room. Teachers Pay Teachers provided us with some nice swag and a delicious breakfast.  I have gotten so many inquires about the cute tote bag. We also received a goodie bag filled with resources from fellow TPT sellers and some really talented Etsy artists. Many regional Etsy artists donated teacher themed creations as door prizes.  Three  people even won iCreate Hue document camera

We also did a teacher tool box exchange. Each of us brought a $10 gift classroom gift for a fellow teacher. I was fortunate enough receive these awesome Thank You cards from Mary Beth over at Brain Waves Instruction. Mary Beth is a passionate and enthusiastic Secondary ELA teacher. She did an amazing job facilitating one of our round table discussions on TPT success. I am so glad I had to opportunity to learn and grow with her. Thank you for the note!!!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved in this amazing event. I can't wait untill next year!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stop, Swap, and Roll

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Hey everyone. This week I am participating in Jungle Learners' Stop, Swap, and Roll TPT swapping party. Participants are partnered with another Teachers Pay Teachers seller/blogger and test out the others' products. I was fortunate to be paired with Laura over at Year2Tastic.  Laura teaches year 2, the UK equivalent to 1st grade here in the USA.

Superhero Addition and Subtraction Games {year2tastic}Laura has so many great products in her store that I had a difficult time selecting which product I wanted to test out. I finally picked her Superhero themed Addition and Subtraction game. My class is super excited about the new Avengers movie coming out so I thought this would be a nice surprise.  You can snag your own copy HERE  at her TPT store!

The pack includes 4 adorable game boards, directions, and playing cards. The games included are...
  • Addition through 20
  • Subtraction through 20
  • Addition through 50
  • Subtraction through 50
I printed the boards on card stock and laminated them for durability.  They make great print and go centers.
This past month we have been focusing on addition through 10.  I used this game in small groups to introduce addition through 20.
This was a great challenge for my advanced group, but the some of my Kinders struggled with keeping a running total in their heads. I decided to modify the game by having the students use counting chips to keep track of their total. This made a big difference. I played the Subtraction Through 20 game with one of the 1st graders that I tutor.  It was a perfect review game. He had so much fun, he asked me to bring it back next time.

 My class had a blast playing addition to 20. Want a chance to play with your class? Enter below for a chance to win a free copy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again to Melissa over at Jungle Learners for the opportunity to collaborate with other amazing teachers. Hop on over to her blog to meet some other fabulous teachers.Click Me. Don't forget to check out the product Laura selected from my store. You can read all about it and enter to win it free Here.

Jungle Learners