Saturday, August 19, 2017
VIP Status students! I am choosing two students a week per class to showcase VIP behavior and hard work. The kids were so excited to be chosen! They get a special table in the front of my room for the whole week, cool teacher type school supplies to use, Mardi Gras beads, and sunglasses to show just how cool they are! I wrote a note to mail each of their parents to brag about their child's VIP status in my room. Every child deserves to be in the spotlight! Looking forward to recognizing each of them for different reasons this year! #eachstudentinyourclassissomebodyswholeworld #spreadlove
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Ready or not here it comes! I'm about to start year 15 of my teaching career. It really doesn't seem like FIFTEEN years... that would make me old! 😉 But it also doesn't seem like I should have a 12 year old either...
I've done a lot of reflecting this summer on what kind of teacher I am and where I can improve. Education is constantly changing and we have to be willing to change with it to keep the students excited and engaged.
Here are a few personal positives from last year:
- Honored as being a state-level finalist for the PAEMST (Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching). This was a game-changer for me. I went through the application process the previous year and learned so much about myself as a teacher and my students. It's a very reflective process!
- Classroom climate- I feel like I truly. Objected more with my students and their parents last year by sending hand written notes. Throughout the year I gave each student a personal letter from me. I sat and thought about positive characteristics I wanted to praise them for and give them encouragement for the future. (100 students). Also, each week as I observed their behavior, I chose one or two students from each of my four classes to get a "Happy Note Home." I mailed a cute handwritten card (complete with stickers 😊) to their parents bragging on their behavior or accomplishments. This created a good rapport with the parents. I was even asked to write a publication for www.gettingsmart.com on positive relationships. https://www.google.com/amp/www.gettingsmart.com/2017/02/3-ways-to-build-and-implement-successful-classroom-relationships/amp/
- Creating exciting lessons- we all know how much time and effort anything extra is! Last year I did several stand out lessons and the reward of the students' excitement was well worth the preparation! I created an Escape Game complete with locks, keys, puzzles, test prep, and of course racing the time clock. I set up a restaurant in my classroom with the customers in a dining area, management in another area, and a drive-thru window! The students placed their orders, counted change, wrote payroll checks, and calculated catering events. Some of my fabulous coworkers collaborated on an end of year field day type of lesson to review all subjects before state testing began. This included playground equipment, hula hoops, basketball, building blocks, hopscotch, puzzles, and test prep questions. Sooooo much fun!!
- Data- I was a serious data collector this year! But not only a collector, I REALLY USED THE DATA! I had a data wall in my room with several different areas of data on it: weekly Tenmarks class averages, Accelerated Math objectives, Math Facts Fluency, and iReady graphs. The students were very competitive, but it was collective. They always wanted to beat the other classes. I even found an old trophy that I awarded winning classes based on data. I took a picture of the class with the trophy and they had bragging rights for the week. They LOVE bragging rights!!
Goals for this upcoming year:
- Go digital! I want to incorporate Google Classroom and other websites as much as possible. This will help with grading as well!
- Help build a "Sunshine Committee" to boost school and teacher morale.
- Dive deeper into data! Have the students keep an ORGANIZED data folder. Also keep my data wall in my classroom and a folder on my desk.
My super cute room decor!!! Our theme is "We do not hide success, we parade it down the street!"
Saturday, August 20, 2016
My wonderful coworkers and students surprised me as well.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a conference where Ron Clark was the keynote speaker!
I read his book:
The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules For Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, when I was still a new teacher. This book inspired me to create a set of classroom rules with my students. The students got to have some input with creating some of the classroom rules, while I made some of the others. We discussed how to make these rules work in our class and how to hold each other accountable. The students helped set the consequences for those who chose not to follow the rules. The kids had a great time trying to help me watch for rule-breakers. The students would write the rule they broke a set number of times. One of the funniest memories I had was a student I will just call J. My rule number 3 was "Always use your manners by saying 'Yes, ma'am', 'No, ma'am', 'Yes, sir', or 'No, sir'." This was one of the longest rules that was written. I got tired of the students answering with yeah and naw! J broke this rule several times before he realized I meant business. After writing this rule several times, he never missed an opportunity to answer a question with ma'am or sir. As a matter of fact, I saw him several years later and he was so respectful! Sometimes it's the little things that help mold a student into a different person... I'm not sure where this student is today, but I'm sure he remembers Rule #3!
Here is some information about the book that helped me survive a few tough classes early in my career. (Information from book review on Amazon)
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
This past year I used several real-life activities in my lesson on adding and subtracting decimals. My favorite was the restaurant lesson. My coworker's mother owns a local BBQ restaurant. She brought menus and order pads for the students to use for the lesson. She taught them not only how to place your order in a restaurant correctly, but also how to get the most for your money. The students were put into groups and each group had a different amount they could spend on their food. They had to correctly write their order, add to get the total, then subtract from the amount they were given to spend. Great lesson and the students were completely engaged!
Friday, July 8, 2016
I have missed several emails from teachers wanting my icons for the iPad bulletin board door I made several years ago. Sorry! 😔 I have seen it still circulating on Pinterest so I wanted to share the link for you. It's FREE on my Teachers Pay Teachers page. Over 6,000 downloads! Wow!!! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/iPad-themed-door-and-iPod-chart-780331