Beat the Teacher Contest

Aug 30, 2010 by

This is a great way to get the entire class to work together to monitor their behavior throughout the day.  Draw a box on the chalkboard and label one column “teacher” and one column “class”. TEACHER CLASS   When the entire class cooperates, follows directions, receives a compliment from another staff member, etc. reward them with a class point by drawing a tally mark in their box. When the entire class misbehaves, doesn’t follow directions, gets a bad report, etc., award yourself a point. At the end of the day, if the class “beats the teacher”, an object is removed from an incentive bulletin board. If the teacher has more points, an object is added to the bulletin board. For a tie, objects are neither added nor removed. When all of the items are...

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Treasures in the Attic

Aug 26, 2010 by

A couple of weeks ago my family and I were visiting some relatives in northern Michigan or “up North” as Michiganders would say.  As part of our visit we toured an old farmhouse that my husband’s cousin is renovating.  On our way out of the house I noticed this barn on the property and asked what was in it. Cousin Justain proceeded to tell me about the previous owner of the farmhouse, an old schoolteacher name Mabel Martin.  The mention of a schoolteacher piqued my interest, but I became even more interested when he said, “Yeah, and all of her old files are still in the barn.”  I knew that I couldn’t leave until I got a peek at those files.  So he led me into the barn, up this ladder… into the attic…...

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Blue Strips

Aug 26, 2010 by

I borrowed this idea from a teacher years ago and have used it ever since.  I have found it to be my most effective type of individual student reward system.    Here is how it works: Cut blue construction paper into 2” x 6” strips. You may want to put a special stamp on them so that students can’t “counterfeit” them. Distribute blue strips as rewards for good behavior, good thinking, acts of kindness, etc.  (I always keep a handy supply in my teacher apron). Students save the blue strips in a Ziploc bag and redeem them for rewards. I have a few rules regarding blue strips: Students can never ask for a blue strip or hint that they deserve one.  If I see students counting strips or playing with them throughout the day,...

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Homework Bags

Aug 19, 2010 by

Label a gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag for each student. Have students use these to carry take-home folders, independent reading books and folders, and agenda books to and from school. The see-through bags make it easy to monitor if students are transporting the correct supplies to and from school.   Share...

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Personality of the Week

Aug 19, 2010 by

Each week I like to spotlight one child as our Personality of the Week (my version of Student of the Week) and involve parents in making this an extra special week for the child. I try to schedule each student’s week as close as possible to his/her birthday or ½ birthday. The Monday before the student’s special week I send home a parent explanation letter and a piece of stationery.  As a parent, I find that when my own children’s teachers send the Student of the Week letter home the Friday before, we often don’t have time over the weekend to get the pictures printed, the poster made, etc.  By sending it home the Monday before, the families have a full week to prepare.  I also don’t require that a poster be made—just send...

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Two-Pocket Folders

Aug 19, 2010 by

I am all about keeping my students as organized as possible.  One way I do this is by using solid-colored, 2-pocket, 3-pronged folders. These can be purchased for pennies in the summer at office supply and discount stores. I buy them a year ahead and have class sets of each color ready to label or assemble at the end of the school year for the following year’s class. I use a different color for each set as listed below: Orange: Take-Home-Tuesday Folder Purple: Safe folder (a place for students to keep unfinished work, pieces of projects, reference sheets such as maps, etc.) Red: Reading Workshop Folder Green: Writing Workshop Folder Aqua:  Spelling Workshop Folder Yellow:  Poetry Notebook Blue:  Math Folder Share...

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