(Yeah, I said a record. I have a record collection because I'm cool like that. Charlie, however, decided that he wanted to try one out as a snack the other night. Not cool. )
I feel like I need to make an outline for this post, I have so much that I want to talk about!
Laura's Blog Post Outline
- End of the year motivators
- Memory books/advice to next year's class
- Character trait word clouds
- Update on classroom organization
- Preparing for next year (already!)
- A really awesome website (for next year)
Whew! That's quite the list--let's get this started!
1. End of the Year Motivators
I promised that I'd share another one of my end of the year motivators in my last post. Granted, I thought I'd be posting the next day, so I know many of you are done with the year (or are a few days away from the end, like me). But since I promised (and it could be helpful at the beginning of next year), I'll share anyway. You're welcome.
A few weeks ago, I was perusing the dollar store for some prizes for my kiddos when I stumbled across these tickets. As Matthew will tell you, I have a tendency to buy stuff that I like without really having a purpose for it. Typically, this happens at Target in the home decor department, but it also happens with my classroom from time to time. So I found these tickets, and there were like 300 in a pack for $1. I had no clue what I was going to use them for, but I knew that there had to be something fun that I could use them for!As I continued to peruse (isn't that such a great word!), I found this cute little green vinyl bin, which I obviously needed (hey-it was a buck!).
Upon arriving at school with my goodies, I decided that I would use my tickets for a behavior raffle. I gave students the "Keep This Coupon" ticket if I found them working quietly, or for participation, or for any other positive behavior I wanted to reinforce.
(Quick pause. I need to go plant some flowers before the rain gets here. Don't miss me too much!)
Anyway, back to my tickets. During the day I give out tickets. The kids keep one ticket, and then I put it's match into my cute little green bin (I knew I'd find a use for it!). At the end of the day, I draw a ticket ( or two or three) and the person with the winning ticket gets a randomly selected prize from my prize drawer. I inherited a TON of Teeny Beanies from the previous 6th grade teacher, I've got glow sticks, erasers, pencil grips, mini spirographs--all sorts of fun (and cheap) stuff. I've been amazed by how excited some of the boys have gotten about getting a Teeny Beanie. Go figure! The kids beg me to do the drawing at the end of the day--they love hearing the numbers get called and checking to see if they have the winning ticket!
2. Memory books/advice to next year's class
The kids have really been enjoying working on these, and I've been enjoying reading their responses!
One of the pages has them write letters to future 6th grade students and give advice about how to be successful in 6th grade. I was very glad to see that they've picked up on several important things that I've tried to teach them throughout the year.
- You should bring me coffee to make sure that I'm happy (duh!)
- Stay away from drama! (Please and thank you-save the drama for your momma)
- Do your work!
- Be respectful to others
- Ask for help if you need it
- Don't act crazy just because there is a sub
- Do not sing/play country music
Here are some of my favorites (sorry they aren't the best quality, I took them on my iPhone without a ton of light).
Also, please excuse grammatical errors and horrific handwriting. We should have edited these puppies.
3. Character Trait word clouds
Because this post is getting LONG, I'm going to try to start keeping things short. I'm sure you've all seen the idea circulating the blogosphere about making word clouds for your students. You give the kids a class list, and then have them write a (positive) character trait (one word) about each of their classmates. Then using a site like Wordle, you create a word cloud for them.
I had my kids fill out the list last week, but I've been putting off making the clouds. I finally started on it yesterday, and found the Tagxedo website to use instead! The cool thing about Tagxedo is that it lets you choose a shape for your word cloud. I made all of mine into stars (since we're the Superstars), and then printed them off on cardstock. I'll use them as the back cover of the memory books.
4. Update on Classroom Organization
On Friday, one of my girls asked if I had anything that she could do (talk about a loaded question!). I knew our sink area was looking a little icky, so she went and worked on cleaning it up. Next thing I knew, she was peeking in my disaster of a storage cabinet and wanted to know if she could organize it. Um, yes! I was dreading that task!
|The Blue Cabinet of Doom|
She and another girl started in on it before lunch, and were enjoying themselves so much that they wanted to skip their recess to work on it! Instead, I ran to the dollar store and bought some storage container so that they could really clean things up. Then, during their Literacy time, instead of going outside for extra recess, they wanted to stay in again! We eventually filled all three of my class trash cans and had to go get one of the custodian's GIGANTIC trash cans. And then we filled that up.
I wish I had taken a before picture of that cabinet so you could see all of their hard work! I did take a few pictures of the progress that we made, but we still have some more work to do. I'm so thankful that those girls offered to help me get things organized! When I was thanking them profusely, they said, "Oh, you're welcome. We just want to help you make sure that you have an awesome start next year!" How awesome is that?!
|Our progress so far|
5. Preparing for Next Year (Already)
Because of all of the AWESOME stuff I've been finding on blogs lately, the laminator and I have been seeing each other a lot lately!
I found these cute center labels from Ladybug's Teacher Files and some awesome math task cards from Katie at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher-I can't wait to use them next year! And then there are the super-cute labels that I got from Print Candee that I'm using for my organzing project; I love them!
6. A Really Awesome Website (for next year)!
Ok, this post has gone on long enough, so just check out Class Dojo. It's a really awesome way to handle classroom management and track positive and negative behaviors (and it generates behavior report cards that you can email to parents). How awesome is that?!?! Seriously. Check it out. You won't be sorry.
Wow. That was long. I tend to get carried away. I'm sorry. I'll try to start making my posts shorter so that you don't age a year while reading them. My bad.
On that note, goodnight, my dear 8 followers. Have an awesome week!