Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Classroom Managment-- Starting Fresh

Last year was rough. r.o.u.g.h. Reflecting back I see huge errors that I made. I spent too much energy on the girls causing the drama, and not enough praising the students who were doing the right thing. I also would occasionally turn a blind eye when a "good" student would mess up. I remember thinking, 'She never makes a mistake, don't worry that she just shouted out in class. It won't happen again.' Instead, I should have gone through the procedure with the great kid, because it would have shown my drama queens I mean business with anyone! But.... It was a learning experience. Now I know, and am ready for this year!

I was blog browsing last night and saw a great idea that varies from the traditional red, yellow, green light. It allows for mistakes and makeups. I am going to implement this in my classroom in August. Everyone starts on "Ready to Learn." Good choices move you up to "Doing Great" then "Fantastic." Not so great choices move you down to "Make Better Choices" then "Get Back On Track."

If you end the day on Fantastic or Get Back on Track, you get a parent contact either in the agenda or a phone call home.

As I was reading I found some tips that I want to implement:
- If lots of students are off task, give a specific praise to a student doing the right thing and have him/her move up on the scale.It will straighten up everyone quickly.

- Apply the rules to everyone. It doesn't have to be a huge deal to move down, because you can move back up.

-Take the passion out of it. Say in as little words as uninterested as you can, "Sally move down one because you were breaking rule 2."

-Be sure you are moving kids up equally (if not more) as you are moving them down.

I am excited to use this, because it makes it easy to see and not permanent. For students that are repeat offenders, I am going to have a log where when they move down they must sign and write the rule they broke.

I made the signs I am going to use. I used the ever adorable Amanda and Kevin fonts, of course. I am going to print them on different colored paper then laminate them. I will sticky them onto the metal cabinet in my class. I already have magnets with student numbers that I made from white poker chips and magnet strips. It will be a simple slide your magnet onto the next level (hopefully up).

Here are the 5 pages and the log... they are free.Classroom Management Slider Pages and the Student Behavior Log

Monday, June 25, 2012

Microcar Museum

This weekend we took a road trip to South Carolina for a wedding. The wedding was pretty much in the middle of No-Whereville. I did some googling and found an awesome website Roadside America. This website has mapped all the little weird, unique, and interesting things around America. There are markers for Civil War monuments or battle grounds, Muffler Men, and even a Tupak statue. Awesome! I am not sure it is 100% kid friendly, so check it out if your creative gears are going like mine were about how I could incorporate this into my classroom. (I was thinking Google Maps plus Roadside America attractions, and measuring distance.) But I didn't have time to think it through all the way, because I had to go to this wedding, so I filed it in my "ideas to go back to" log.

On the way to the wedding we stopped by The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum. WOW! It was fantastic, and I  am not even a car-enthusiast. Vinny was in love. He took 430 pictures in the 45 minutes we were there. Every time I turned around I heard another, "Wow!" It was pretty neat. The microcars are tiny. How in the world did they fit in the cars!?

Of course I came up with a teaching idea there, because that's what I am good at :) My thinking was towards 5th grade and World War II. There is a section of cars that were built during WWII and after WWII. I had a few boys last year who LOVED cars. I mean everything was about cars. The idea is they make a dual timeline of WWII beginning a little before 1939 when Hitler began to gain power. They chart the major events on one side of the timeline. On the other side of the timeline they would research when German cars were being made and introduced. They should notice that few cars were being made towards the end of WWII when the Axis Powers began to fall. Then again after WWII was finished and the economy/people began to recover the cars start being produced again.

The timeline would bring in student interests but also allow students to examine the affects of war on an economy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello Educators!

Hi! I am Laura and I am so excited to share with you all of my creative ideas for the classroom. I am a passionate, energetic, driven, and creative uppergrades teachers. I really love teaching...you'd have to for what they pay us-- right :)

I taught third grade for two years. Love it. Moved up to teach fifth grade for two years. Loved it more. And this upcoming 2012-2013 year I will be teaching fourth grade, and I am sure I will love it!

I know it is summer, but I have been busy, busy, busy planning away for next school year. I am excited to be using the Common Core (CC) that Georgia adopted. It will mean more teachers working on the same standards and more creative and exciting ideas being produced.

In college I had a teacher, Bob Smith, who was fantastic. He always said, "Beg, Borrow, and if you must Steal." (I'm sure he borrowed that quote too). Feel free to use my ideas and improve upon my ideas, but please give credit where credit is due.

So a little background on myself. I am a Georgia native. I don't consider myself southern, but Vinny (from Jersey) sure does. I have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful son who turns 3 in July. I am in awe everyday of him. I do a sport called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. (Here is some Wikipedia if you have no idea what I just said.) I love to laugh and am constantly thinking about school.

Welcome and thank you for reading!