Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year!

Hello friends!!

I'm back in the swing of things and I'm really looking forward to an exciting year of teaching and learning both in my classroom and on my blog! Thank you to those that started following me over the summer break. I'm sorry if I didn't get back to you on a post or comment, but with a year-round calendar when I'm out for summer, I'm O-U-T! We've been back in session since July 9th! When I worked at a traditional school I'd always look on-line for ideas (before the days of Pinterest) and then start heading in to my classroom a week or two before the kiddos showed up. Well, my summer break was a whopping THREE weeks in all this year and I was going to enjoy every. last. minute. of it!!

Go up or down. It's up to you!
First, I'll show off some of the things that I've made and I really have LOVED using so far this year. I, of course, found this classroom management idea on Pinterest and had to make it a bit of my own.  The premise is simple, move up for good behavior and down for bad. The reason I like this better than those that only have down as an option, don't really highlight those students that go above and beyond each and every day. I've learned that I need to do a better job of pointing it out when I notice students that are being kind and compassionate, respectful and responsible, and doing what is supposed to be done not just because they're in danger of getting a yellow, but because it's become part of their nature. Those are the kids that I feel get left out of the other systems.

If you work your way up to "Role Model" you get one of these cards that I had made at (of course) VistaPrint! I love them. The language on the back comes straight from our school's Responsive Classroom character traits.
Students return their signed cards
to the Role Model jar

Students have parents sign the back and return it to the "Role Model" bin. At the end of the month I'll pull three cards and those students will get a bonus treat (homework pass, lunch with friend, etc). 
Also, if you get to "Role Model" ten times you can upgrade your clip. Of course I had to paint mine with sparkly paint to make them special! They work their way up to a gold clip (the gold looks silver in the picture).

The language on the sign is intentional as well. I didn't want to put the consequences on the lower levels because I really want to leave that up to my professional judgment. If someone has gotten to a yellow every day this week I might call home (even if that isn't listed until the red level), or if it's someone's first offence for the day and it's violent or wildly unacceptable I want to be able to send them to the office or have a more serious consequence without feeling like a hypocrite to those other students that had a different consequence come their way. I try to be fair (as we all do), I just liked this better... but that's just me. For the most part yellow is warning, orange is partial loss of recess and a conduct slip, and red is a parent phone call or office referral. 

I'm really excited to share with you more of what I've been up to in my classroom for the last few weeks, but I must go home and snuggle with my furry-babies for a bit. It's been a LOOONG day.  

Until next time, 

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  1. I'm your newest follower! I'm also a new blogger & a fifth grade teacher as well :) Love your page! Great idea for the cards. I may have to steal that!


  2. Do you allow the students to move up and down the chart throughout the day? I wondered if a student had a rough morning and got down to Make a Change, could they move up to Showing Pride or even Role Model? Do you reset daily or weekly? Thanks!

    1. Yes, they can go up and down throughout the day. The deal we made was that once you get to orange the conduct slip goes home regardless of where you end the day. However, if they end the day well I will make a note of it on the slip (along with their infraction). So, it's not all doom and gloom if they go to orange, but it tells them that there will still be communication with parents about behavior. We reset every day! I have a chart in my grade book to keep track of conduct slips (that's not something I want to display) and a chart to keep track of "Role Models" so I know when to upgrade their clips. Hope that helps!

  3. Amazing!!! I just went to Vista Print and ordered myself some cards... I love it!! The focus on the positive behavior and a slip home is AWESOME! :) Thanks for your wonderful idea!

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  5. I would love teaching at a year round school. After three weeks in the summer, I am always ready to start back. I'm glad the beginning of the year is going well for you. I love your role model cards. I think my students would take pride in that!!

    Thanks for sharing!