Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Positive Reinforcement {w/Freebies}

Hey guys!
My post isn't going to be super long but I do hope it will be useful for you! And yes, there's TWO freebies for you
 I want to talk about positive reinforcement in the classroom in order to manage your classroom.
I have a tough group this year. I am departmentalized so I teach reading/writing to two classes for a total of 51 students
 at the moment. It's different and definitely an adjustment! I do enjoy only planning/prepping for two subjects though so it
 has its perks!
But nonetheless, they are extremely chatty and very quick to argue with one another over the SILLIEST of reasons!
They often leave me looking like this:

We all know it's easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive so I've really been trying to get better at focusing
 on the things students are doing RIGHT versus the wrong choices they are making.
As a result, I have implemented several things in my classroom this year and I'm trying my best to be consistent and 
deliberate in following through each and every day with both classes.

The first thing is that I use a classroom BINGO board. It's very simple but the kiddos really get into it! I print the 
bingo board, laminate it and hang it up in my classroom with a dry erase marker strung up beside it.

When I see a child setting a great example for any reason, I will simply say "So and so, go put your name on the Bingo 
board." Up they hop and scamper to the board! They are allowed to put their name anywhere on the board. Every
 Friday, I use bingo cards to draw a letter (B I N G O) and number (1 2 3 4 5) to pick a winner. If I draw B5, the child 
in the bottom spot of the B column wins! I let them pick lunch with me or treasure box as a reward. Sometimes I pick one
winner, sometimes I pick up to three!

Some variations for this can be:
1. If you use numbers for your students, have them put their classroom specific number in a box instead of their whole
 name. Saves room and time!
2. You can draw however often you want for a winner! Weekly, biweekly, monthly, daily, whatever! It's totally 
what works best for you!
3. I have teams in my room and if the whole team is doing a great job, I will sometimes tell them to put their group 
name on the bingo board. Then, if I draw that square, the whole group gets a reward! They love when that happens!
4. If the WHOLE class is on-task and doing great, I put MY name on the bingo board! That means if I draw that square, 
the whole class gets a reward such as extra recess! :)

Like this idea? Good because you're in luck! Here's a freebie to help you get started in implementing this in your 
 Click here to download! I did LOTS of backgrounds so hopefully one will work for your classroom! :) Feel free to
pin and share with friends!

The second new thing I have implemented is what I call "Count It Up!"

In my class, I have 6 groups of students. Each group is a TEAM. This idea is all about rewarding the team 
as a whole. It encourages students to take responsibility for themselves and for their teammates. 
We talk about how to positively encourage group members and how not to "yell" at them or shush them to try 
and be ready.

Anytime I see a group that is on-task and working, they get a point/tally. I also award points/tallies to groups for
 being ready the quickest, being quietest the quickest, getting materials out the quickest, etc. The list goes on and on 
but you get the idea. At the end of the week, I tell the Team Captains to "Count It Up" and they know to go to
 the team points board and count up their team points for that week. Team with the most points gets.... you got it, 
a reward! I give them options and let them choose. Extra recess, treasure box, lunch with me, no homework pass, etc.

The kiddos really like it because it's a healthy competition. Students will usually get their act together quicker
 because they don't want their table mates upset with them. In the end, it has worked out well for me!

If you like this idea, I have another freebie for you! Again, I included lots of background options! I also have
 versions for FOUR teams and SIX teams as I realize classes often differ in size! :)

Click here to download! Again, feel free to pin and share!
I sure hope you  have enjoyed my post today! I hope you like these ideas and can use them in your own classroom. 
If you do, I would love to hear about it! :)
 Thanks for stopping by today!
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B2S Blow Out SALE! Don't miss it!


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

My top selling SPACE UNIT can be found within this awesome bundle!!!!

First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


My space unit is very comprehensive and includes the following:
1. An Anchor Text (810 Lexile)
2. A Student Mini-Book to accompany the anchor text – the mini-book is on an approachable level for 1st grade students.
3. 4 Concept Maps
4. Vocabulary Cards
5. 5 Experiments/Demonstrations – All with an accompanying worksheet/recording sheet
6. My Night Sky Diary Homework Mini-Book
7. Collaborative Grouping Cards
8. Space Test
9. 5 Math Centers – Focusing on: Addition, Subtraction, Tens Frame Card Game, Measuring, and Counting
10. 5 Literacy Centers – Focusing on: Sentence Structure, Long and Short Vowel Sounds, Past/Present/Future Tense Verbs, Singular/Plural Nouns/Pronouns, and Root Words/Suffixes
11. Various Worksheets and Recording Sheets to accompany centers and anchor text.
12. Alien Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer
13. Rocket Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer

Check out some photos from my classroom of this unit in action!

Don't Miss It!

And please, feel free to PIN or SHARE anything in this post!!! :)


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Stars and a Wish: Start Your Year Right!


I'm excited to be joining some FABULOUS teachers for this fun linky!

The idea is to check out some blog posts where we are sharing Two Stars and a Wish! 

The STARS are great, simple to implement ideas and the WISH is something we want to improve upon for this year! 

My first Star Idea is probably not anything earth shattering that you haven't heard before... but I'm going to say it again because it's THAT IMPORTANT!

Nail down your policies/procedures/expectations BEFORE you meet your kiddos and welcome them into your classroom! This goes for before you meet their parents too! You never know what you might get asked at Meet the Teacher and you want to be prepared for the kiddos and their parents so that they are confident in their teacher for the upcoming year!

Advice my principal gave last year that really made sense was "Think about what really annoys you and gets under your skin and make sure you have a procedure for that"... I was like WOW, that really makes sense. Most likely if your kiddos are annoying you, that's because you didn't teach them a way to deal with whatever the issue is. So there you have it! Start thinking about that stuff and how you want it handled in YOUR classroom so that everyone has a happy year!

One of the BEST resources EVER that I utilize for this is this fabulous freebie by my wonderful friend Tamara over at Mrs. Russell's Room!

Focus on the POSITIVE in your classroom! I had a pretty rough group last year in regards to constant talking, off task behaviors, etc. and I really went home each day feeling horrible because I felt like I had been so negative. Every day I told myself I was going to focus more on the positive and by the end of the year, I had gotten much better at that! 

I created these two resources to use in my classroom to help with just that! When YOU focus on the POSITIVE things in your classroom, so will your students!

Feel free to check these out and give them a try in your room this year!

One thing I wish for this year is that I do a better job of examining Non Fiction passages with my students. It comes easy and natural to me as a teacher to jump into fictional passages and find right there information because that's what the basal (that I have to use) focuses mostly on. The times it does have non fiction passages, they are super lengthy and often too difficult for many of my learners who come to me below grade level. 

I created a resource to make me more accountable for that this year! Students HAVE to be able to find the right there information in all genres! My wish is that, by using these high interest passages, they will enjoy the process and therefore internalize the oh-so-necessary skill of proving their answers with text based evidence!

You can click the pic to check it out in more detail if you would like.

I invite you to follow me on FB, TpT, and Instagram if you enjoyed these star ideas!

And don't worry, the fun doesn't stop now! Check out all of the other wonderful teacher-bloggers who are linked up below and get some more fabulous ideas/tips!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Prove It! Non-Fiction Edition! {A Look Inside}

Hey friends!
If you are a fan on my FB Page, then you already know about my brand new product that I'm super excited about! 
Click on any picture in this post to view/purchase this product on TpT!

You may already be an owner of my other Prove It! resource that looks like this: 

Both products focus on the same reading strategy - looking in the text and finding the right there information to answer comprehension questions. That's why it's called Prove It! The students have to systematically prove their answers in the text to support their answers. A strategy that many students struggle with every year! 

How can students be expected to make inferences, compare and contrast, find the main idea and details, identify cause and effect, etc. if they can't comprehend the information that's right in the text in front of them at surface level. The answer is simple, they can't!

So I wanted to give you a first hand look at what's included in my new Non Fiction Edition of my Prove It! pack! 

Here's what's included in the resource:

Here's a real photograph of what the passages look like:

So as you can see, all you need for this pack to implement in your classroom is copies of the passages/questions and each child needs 3 crayons - A red, blue, and purple! 

I actually have a ziploc bag in my room with only these three colors of crayons in it and I just tell the kids who need to borrow crayons to grab the Prove It bag and they know what to grab and what to take out of it! :)

Every passage and set of questions is laid out in the same exact formatting so that students don't have to relearn what's expected each time. To prove answer #1, you always circle the sentence with a red crayon. To prove answer #2, you always underline the sentence with a blue crayon and to prove answer #3, you always box the sentence with a purple crayon!

You can use these in whole group, small group guided reading, centers, homework, enrichment, for early finishers, for remediation, or any other way you see fit! 

I really enjoy using them in small group because once we have gone through and answered/proven the 3 comprehension questions, we go back and look for current and past phonics skills such as words with r-controlled vowels, compound words, vowel teams, etc. and the kids love it! 

As of right now this resource has 15 Non Fiction passages and is $4.00 (the same amount and price as my original version) HOWEVER within the next week, I will be updating the Non Fiction version with 21 additional passages for a total of 36 passages! 

That's enough to do one passage per week the whole school year! Once I update on TpT, I will be raising the price accordingly so you can snag it now for $4.00 and get the update for FREE! 

Lastly, if you would like to pin an image from this post for a chance to win it, just leave your email and pin link in a comment below! I will pick a winner on Saturday. :) 

Thank you for checking my new resource out and if you have any questions, please ask! :)

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