Sunday, September 8, 2013

Going Back to School!- A post full of randomness!

Whew!  We've been back to school for 12 days, and boy has it been jam packed!  Between getting the students to learn the routines and procedures, the Reading/Math/Classroom Management/Growth Plans finished, and sending home and sorting through all the beginning of the year information, I've been super busy and super tired!

My teammate made this for our Back to School Social!  Too cute!

Let me just say, this is one of the toughest classes I've had in awhile!  My toughest was my first year teaching, when I taught Kindergarten.  There were some tough students in that bunch!  And while I've had my one or two tough students each year, this year's class is just ... different.  Tough.  Let me just say I'm already tired of hearing 'I want my mommy' when someone gets in trouble. I've walked 2 students out to their cars to chat with their parents, and called 3 more.  Calling parents is an absolute last resort for me, but our clip chart says red is "parent contact" so I have to follow through!  And with being able to move your clip back up, there is no reason you should end up on red!  They overall are immature and impulsive.  We've got it under control, but I'm giving a LOT of reminders and trying every positive trick I know!

So I am actually thrilled that I made a change in my behavior system. After reading an e-book by Rick Morris, I got to thinking.  And I decided I wanted to try this positive behavior system in my own classroom. So I created a clip chart for my classroom, shared it with my new first grade teammates, and created a version for each of their classrooms. :-)  I really love it so far!  I love being able to "threaten" them with moving their clip UP instead of down!  It's awesome saying "I have clips I want to give out!" and then clipping a pretty clip to an awesome child's shirt.  And they love it too!  For this being a new routine for both them and me, we're doing pretty well so far!  If they get to move their clip up, I can give them a pretty clip I covered with washi tape.  I wear an apron and I have them in my pocket.  During transition periods, they can walk over and move their clip up.  Then they bring me back the pretty clip and I save it for another awesome student!

For the students who move their clip down, they have to go complete a "Think About It" sheet at their seat.  It's a simple half a sheet where they write why they moved their clip down and what they will do better next time.  It helps me keep track of why they moved their clip and helps hold them accountable!  And if they rip it up, I send it home in a baggie for the parent to see.

I was asked to list my clip chart on TPT, so it's available in my store for $2.  It includes the chart, a parent letter explaining the chart, and the Think About It sheet.  There is also an editable parent letter if you need to make changes to it for your own school.  Please feel free to check it out if you need something like this.


I also decided to try the binder idea I've seen going around!  I found some binders at Office Max for $1 and decided to stock up!  I call them their "GROW" Binder, and my students love them!  I just hope they last the whole year!  I'm making it a big deal- I had 2 students who didn't get to take theirs home already.  I made them earn them back.  They had to carry a folder instead.  Who wants to do that when you can have an awesome binder instead!  :-)  I'll have to post a picture of our binders soon.  The kids and I love them!

I have more photos I took of the first week of school, but at our Open House the other night, I decided it would be fun to hit my head on the chalkboard ledge and give myself a mild concussion.  I saw stars.  And my head STILL hurts.  I've spent all weekend on my couch sleeping or playing on the computer, except for yesterday when I went outside to work in the yard and almost passed out.  So I've been trying to take it easy.  Staring at a computer screen isn't really helping.  And if I added those pictures and everything else I wanted to blog about, you'd be reading until next Tuesday!  So once my head stops hurting, I'll get them sorted through and post a bit about our first 3 weeks of school and some other great things I've been working on!

Also, I am FINALLY starting my Family Visits this week, so I will share all about that with you soon!  This is also the first week for Family Journals as well. :-)  I can't wait to see how my students decorate their journals this year!

I hope you all have a great week back at school!

2 comments:

  1. I just created a clip chart and am really excited about using it. I love your idea of fancy clips and the Think Sheet.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Becky
    Compassionate Teacher

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    Replies
    1. I love mine! I was looking for ways to keep track of the ups and downs of the clip chart, and that's what I came up with. So far, so good! It might be nice to have something that they can do when they move up as well! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Erica

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