Thursday, September 13, 2012

Have Fun!

One of my mentor teachers gave me a piece of advice that I think is one of the most valuable I've been given. It was "laugh with your students at least once a day!" Now I usually laugh with them more than that, but you know there are those days where you just do not feel like laughing. So laugh at least once a day and build that community in your class (and it helps keep YOU sane). 

Today our school had a Beach Party to celebrate CRT scores from last year. There were water fights/games, dancing, a slip n slide, a kid carwash, and a shaving cream fight. For most of it I was avoiding the messy/wet activities but I was dancing away with my kids. Then I decided you know what it looks fun and I should go for it. So I went for it....hardcore.

I hopped in on the shaving cream fight and you can imagine how much fun it was for 3rd graders to get shaving cream on a TEACHER! So I got covered and naturally cleaned off with them in the "carwash" after. And then I was drenched with them for the last hour of the day in class. 

That's my plug. Sometimes you just gotta let go and have fun with them!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Knock my socks OFF!

This is a positive reinforcement management technique I used when Student Teaching and it worked great so I'm going to use it with my class this year!
I came up with this idea during my student teaching when I was working with my class on walking in the halls. I told them I wanted them to show me a line that would "knock my socks off". And the idea came to life. 

The way this works is by putting the socks up where they are visible to the students (I used the whiteboard). When as a whole class the students are doing an excellent job behavior wise(maybe on a specific thing they are working on i.e. quiet voices), they can knock a sock off meaning I take one down. When the students have knocked off all the socks, they get a whole class reward (maybe 5 min extra recess!) 

My students were really excited about it when I used it in the past so I'm hoping it works again:)

notes: the amount of socks you should use depends on how fast you want them to go. A couple ways to  make it stretch as long as you want are: you can use a lot of socks, you can make the expectations for knocking a sock off high. 

The Giving Tree/Pot

My classroom has a garden theme this year (Miss Rose's Garden, couldn't pass that up!) As I mentioned I'm big on fostering a positive environment. I wanted something that would encourage my students to serve each other and notice random acts of kindness. This is what I came up with...

It is centered around Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. For those who are not familiar with the book you can view a reading of it here.

I'm going to introduce the giving tree with a lesson during the first week of school. I'll start by reading the book to the class and having a discussion about it. I want to make a point that giving and doing things for other people makes you happy. I also want to talk about how we should do it without expecting recognition but how when someone does something nice for us it is nice to say thank you and recognize them (the boy doesn't say thank you so I want to point out we should).

Then I will introduce: Our Class Giving Tree

The point of the Giving Tree is when a student notices a classmate doing a random act of kindness they will take a leaf (taped onto the tree), write the name of the student and put it in...

Our Class Giving Pot
The pot is going to be pasted to a square empty tissue box. Every so often (haven't decided the exact time frame yet) I will do a drawing from the giving pot and the student(s) drawn will get a reward. I'm hoping this will encourage students to be kind and help each other out without the expectation of something but still being recognized sometimes. 

ideas for differences: I had considered making it so the student wrote what they saw the person doing as well, but I went for the smaller tree and leaves. 

That's the Giving Tree/Pot. Here's hoping it goes well!

Here it goes!

I'm Miss Rose, a first year 3rd grade teacher. I believe attitude is everything and a positive classroom environment is so important! I try to make learning fun and engaging for my students. When they are engaged they have fun and learn more (plus it's more fun for me too!) I'll be posting classroom decoration, lesson plans, management ideas, and anything else I'm excited about.  Considering it's my first year I'm not sure how much I'll keep updating once the school year starts, but I'm hoping I'll be able to keep it up!