Friday, June 8, 2012

Behavior Management

Hello, all!

This is officially my 3rd Friday of summer! We get out a little earlier than the other schools in my area. Today's my handsome's official last day with his students. Yay for being married to a teacher!! It's almost time to start our 3rd summer of love! :o)

I wanted to show you my behavior management system. I've used four different systems in the past 6 years. This one seems to work the best...but as usual, next year I have a few tweaks to make.

To understand where I come from when speaking about discipline (and by the way, "discipline" is defined as a way of teaching the consequences to our actions, both good and bad), here is our class philosophy that I wrote this year and kept in the student homework folders. The first two pages are kept in homework folders to remind parents of the rules, what colors mean, and the consequences for the colors. The third page is posted in our room directly above the behavior chart. Feel free to use it or to adapt it to your own philosophy! :o)

Classroom Rules for Folder

Each student in the class has a pocket with different color cards inside. Everyone starts on green each day and moves up or down the color system according to behavior. We use a calendar packet that has extra work for each day of the month. The students record the day's color on the front page of the calendar (calendars are adapted from Kelly's Kindergarten CLICK HERE to go there!). Here's a picture of our pockets in our classroom...they are attached to the side of my large filing cabinet.

The way our system works is that you can move down if you break a rule, but then go back up if your behavior improves. I've only done this for kindergarten. In first grade, you didn't move back up at ALL!! But with the color system, if a student has a warning and then breaks another rule, even if s/he improves the day, the highest color s/he can go to is green. Purple is reserved for those students who go above and beyond and do not need any warnings for behavior.

I will say that the downfall to this approach has been successfully communicating the ENTIRE day to the parents. A student would get down to blue, but then have a great rest of the day and end up on green. Unless it was an honest child, the parent potentially never knew there was a problem. THAT is a problem for me. I feel like it taught my students that they could mess up but then if they corrected it, no one would ever know and they could continue to act out... Did I communicate this to the parents? Yes. Did it improve these students' behaviors? No. Keep reading if you can...I have a solution...  ;o)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE pinterest!! It is so cool! So in my surfing of the site, I found this fabulous tool that I'm going to start next year. I'm going to adapt it to my own classroom rules and colors. PLEASE check out the link to see.

If you click it, you will find a wonderful send-home note that is not only extremely informative, but it is super quick to fill out at the end of the day. I didn't have pre-written notes, so I would DREAD having to write out a note at the end of our busy day.

For next year, I'm thinking that I will create one of these notes for each "bad" color (blue, yellow, and red). They will all look the same as far as the behaviors they list, but the heading will be different. Even if a child is on green at the end of the day, if s/he went down because of a misbehavior, a note will go home to alert the parent. The reason why I love the choices to check on this specific note home is the way it's worded. "I CHOSE to blah, blah blah..." Every single one is "I CHOSE." Because it's true. I (as the teacher) didn't choose to act that way...the child did! No one took control over the student and MADE him/her make that choice... I love the wording!! :o)

The unfortunate reality is that as sweet and caring and kind and loving and ADORABLE as these children are, they learn to LIE!!! They learn to lie so quickly!!! They are SO SMART, and they totally understand that if they did something wrong at school and their parents find out about it, they are going to get in trouble at home. This sucks!! And they know it.

I had several students who rode the bus home in the afternoons, and if there was any kind of note in their folders, a select few would hide them in the crease of their seats on the bus! So I started recording notes home on carbon copy paper. However, this paper is one of my moms in my class had an absolutely brilliant idea! Listen to this: write a note home and make sure it goes home with the student. BUT, before you put it in his/her folder, take a picture of it with your camera on your phone (don't tell me you can't do this - it takes 2 seconds and is VERY affective). Email or text message it to the student's parent either right that second or after school (I know some schools are strict about cell phones, so you could do that OR ask permission from your administrator). That way, the parent knows something is coming home AND their child has to be responsible to give it to mom or dad. LOVE IT!!! Thanks again to that mom for the suggestion. :o)

So I think that's it...we go to the treasure box every Friday afternoon. Only the students who had purple EVERY DAY get to go. I'm obsessed with John Rosemond, and he is a stickler for not rewarding bad behavior. It seemed to work well, because we have super great treats in the treasure box, and the students who didn't get to go truly seemed to work harder the next week.

It's not perfect...if you have any further advice or suggestions, PLEASE let me hear them!! I need all the feedback/constructive criticism I can get! at peace, and all will be well...

Oh, PS: 36 weeks preggo!!! Only 2-6 more weeks till we meet baby Nate! :o)

Pinterest inspired "mobile" above his crib - Handsome worked hard to put these up and I am in love!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Spring!!!

Remember the "chia pet" heads we made last year? Well, this year, we out did ourselves! This is how they turned out this cute!! ;o)

CLICK HERE to find that post for directions.

This year, we put velcro dots on the back of our friends' eyes...and also to their puff ball noses. :o)

Around Easter time, just before Spring Break, we had this as our Word Study Center. Again, it's a free printable from Shannon. The plastic eggs were left over from last year. :o) They LOVED them! I typed up word cards to go into the eggs and color-coordinated them to the color of the eggs. This helped the students tremendously. They spun the egg, read the word, determined if the word was real or nonsense. Then they recorded them on their "Egg Family" sheet.

Click the button to go to Shannon's page for the free printable...

All About March...

Here's March in pictures!

Happy 100th Day of School!

Counting by 10's ice cream cones...

Counting by 5's to 100...we hid these candies all over the room when the children were at specials. The candies had a circle label with a number on it. The students came back and could each find 5 pieces. They matched their pieces to the numbers on the 100 chart. They had a BLAST...especially when we got to eat some! :o)

I know we've all seen these...but I LOVE THEM!! Two students at 100...

Then we made pizzas. We split up into 2 small groups and sorted the pizza toppings. They counted the toppings and recorded them. When finished, they put the toppings all over the pizzas. LOVED IT!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
(Writing Center)

Leprechaun Traps...

Footprints!! He came in through the window and stepped on our art project paint!!!  ;o)

Some of our traps... at peace, and all will be well...

All About February...

This school year has been so much fun! My students have absolutely blown me out of the water watching them take everything in. They have come a LONG way since August. I know we teachers, especially kinder teacher, say this around March/April of every year. BUT this time, I REALLY mean it!!

Here is a "picture snack" of our February main projects/events. ...Well...the ones I got pictures of...

First, to celebrate Groundhog's Day, we read some of our favorite books and then created this class graph. It was inspired I THINK from Mrs. Jump, but I honestly can't remember...

Here are our Valentine Cookies! We practiced addition before we learned how to add as a class. They rocked!!! :o)

This is a complete copy from Pinterest. I mean completely copied. I LOVED how these turned out! These are our owls that we made for our parents for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of the "caption" that the students wrote and put right underneath the owl. 
It said "Owl Always Love You."
CUTE!! :o)

We practiced letter writing, so I wrote a love letter to my handsome. We talked about the opening, body (which in a love note HAS to include something you like about the person) ;o) and then the rest all of y'al know already...

I told y'all about Shannon's blog before...Shannon, if you read this for some reason, please understand how much I LOVE YOU!!! For this tired, preggo, kinder mama, you have been a God-send! I know I can't say any of those things to you for sympathy...especially when you were cranking out posts preggo and almost ready for the hospital, but still, THANK YOU!
This is one of Shannon's amazingly cute printables. We used it in our math center when we were learning about money. In this game, the students read the number and then match that many pennies. Then they record their matches on their paper...they tally the amount of pennies on the card and write the number that matches.
Every printable she makes that we use, we print out two sets and mount each set to different colors of construction paper and laminate. This was the light pink set...there was a neon pink set as well. :o)

February was Dental Health Month. We talked ALL about teeth, and then we did this science experiment. I can't remember where I got the idea from, but it's a great idea!! The experiment is to see how soda affects your teeth. We took eggs and left them all day in small cups filled with Pepsi. That afternoon, each student took his/her egg and observed how it had changed to a brownish color. They discussed what we could do to fix them (one answer included "take them to the dentist! He'll know what to do!") ...I love my job! :o) Finally, they decided that maybe we could try brushing them. We needed a little water, some toothpaste, and toothbrushes. After a lot of scrubbing, they whitened right up!!

**If you do this, please make sure you hard boil your eggs first. We did it last year, but I had the bright idea to forgo it this year. Disaster!! We had 3 egg casualties. And 3 student casualties (aka meltdowns). So promise me, hard boil the eggs!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! We graphed what kind of toothpaste we use at home...

MIA...and then some!!

Good Lord in heaven....I never meant to completely neglect my poor little blog. I don't know if it loves me anymore.

SOOO much has happened since December! I'm going to do some picture posts to show what we've been up to for the past how many months?? I literally had to's been FOUR months!! So sorry everyone. Blog, I'm so sorry.

Anyway, I've been taking pictures along the way with the hope of having the motivation to pick things back up. Thank you to Jessica at She emailed me the other day, and I realized I have got to get in gear! ;o)

So before my classroom posts, here's a personal post about what's been going on in our at-home life! Remember last time where we're Prego? Well it's DEFINITELY showing now! I am 30 weeks preggo...10 more to go until we meet our little man! That's right...IT'S A BOY!! We went in for our last ultrasound today and got to see his sweet little face! This mommy is in love. No other way to describe it. He has his daddy's mouth...we're still trying to figure out where the rest of his features stem from. ;o)

Pictures every 2 weeks...starting at 15 weeks :o)

 27 weeks                   and now 30 weeks!

Introducing Nathan Lee "Nate" :o)

(his hand is in his face) at peace, and all will be well...