Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Blogger...Kristen

Hi everyone! I'm Kristin from My Carolina ClassroomI  just finished my first year of teaching and I'm a brand new blogger.  Darleen is kindly allowing me to take over for the day!  I want to share something I learned during my first year in the classroom. 

By the end of 2nd grade, all of my students knew the sign language alphabet and were using it daily. I'm not going to act like this was part of my master plan to enrich my students' learning; It was a TOTAL accident! In retrospect, teaching my students sign language was one of the best things that I accidentally-on-purpose did as a first-year teacher. It all started during word study. It was one of those days that I'm sure all first year (and veteran) teachers have. I was tired, I had a headache... and I had a brilliant idea. I pulled up and projected the sign language alphabet. We talked a little about how ASL (American Sign Language) is a different language. I paired up the students, pointed out the week's spelling and sight words, and said "go." My second graders spent 20 minutes signing words to their partners, who in turn had to figure out which spelling or sight word it was.
Just like that, my class was HOOKED! They begged me to do sign language every day. I printed each of them a copy of the alphabet and sometimes we practiced sign language as a brain break. My kids could not get enough. It was amazing to me how quickly they all picked up on it. It wasn't long before I could start incorporating sign language into our daily routines.

RAISED HANDS: When students raised their hands, they made a Q for a question, C for a comment, or an R for restroom. This was a major help to me, as I could avoid the storytellers when needed.

BATHROOM BREAKS: You know that awkward time when kids are done using the restroom and they have to stand in line silently and patiently? I would sign the name of someone standing the correct way in the hallway, and that student would raise his or her hand. We started with first names, then last, then middle. After they got the hang of it, I let the kids be in charge. (Once, I used this method to keep my class under control while waiting to be dismissed from an assembly. My administration was impressed!)

CHORAL RESPONSE: As you know, it's important to use choral response as much as possible so all students stay actively engaged. When we practiced multiple choice questions, I had students show me their answers by using sign language.

ATTENTION GRABBER: Occasionally I would use sign language to grab my students' attention at the start of a lesson. I would stand silently at the front of the room and use the ASL alphabet to slowly sign a sentence. The kids would sit still and quiet, trying to figure out what I was spelling.

LUNCH: When the cafeteria monitors decided to put the students on silent lunch due to noise level, my class got creative and began communicating to each other in sign language. My colleagues and I thought it was hilarious and couldn't decide if we should put a stop to it or not, because although the kids were communicating, they were technically being silent! Thank you so much for having me, Darleen and Darleen's readers! I hope that you find a way to use sign language in your classroom. Come by My Carolina Classroom anytime. :)

My Carolina Classroom

 
 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

You Oughta Know About...

I am linking up with Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for an awesome new blog hop!  Lots of bloggers are teaming up with Mrs. McClain to share tips, advice, websites, ideas, apps, and just about anything else they think fellow teachers "Oughta Know About"!  I am so excited to be part of this super, duper blog hop!



I am so excited to share with you my behavior plan.  In the past, I have always used colored cards.  You might know what I'm talking about: Green=awesome day, Yellow=okay kinda day (warning), Red=not a very good day (note sent home)---Does this sound familiar?? I must admit that I have used this system for the first 11 years of my teaching!   It worked for me and still works for many teachers.  I just feel that children today need to take ownership of their behavior & consequences.  About 6 years ago, my behavior plan began to change.  Today I use a clip chart system (Yes, you see them all over Pinterest).  I searched and searched the web looking for something different and stumbled upon the clip chart system. 

Here is how mine looks today!


Here is a close up of the chart (I changed the numbers)
Grab your FREE copy HERE


Students each have a clip (clothespin) with their classroom number. Everyone starts on "Spectacular Behavior" at the beginning of each week. Each behavior has a point value. The clip is moved according to the inappropriate behavior.  See the chart below.



Students start with 100 points at the beginning of each 9 week period and lose points throughout the semester. As you can see, the point values are not that harsh for 3rd graders.  As they move up in the grades (4th-8th), the point values begin to increase.  

Whew!!! That was a lot to tell!  I hope you learned something new and can use this type of behavior plan in your classroom.  To read my entire discipline plan, you can scan the QR code below.

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers who teamed up with Mrs. McClain's: You Oughta Know Blog Hop.  

   
   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Monday Made-It

This is my first Monday Made-It with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics of the summer.  At the beginning of May, I decided it was time to start a hobby.  Believe it or not, the only hobby I had was blogging! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE blogging! But...I have always wanted to make & design those precious sugar cookies.  I started on Pinterest first and searched for ideas on how to begin.  I watched tons of You Tube videos and stalked a lot of cookie blogs.  I was determined to make my own fancy cookies with royal icing.  I shopped at Michaels and bought all my supplies (Michaels gives teachers an additional 15% off of your total purchase!).  As of today, I have tried 3 different sugar cookie and 2 royal icing recipes.  I FINALLY found the recipes that work for me.  I am in total shock and awe at how I am doing with making cookies!  To this date, I have sold 5 dozen of cookies and made 2 cookie bouquets.  I have an appointment with a hair salon tomorrow for a cookie order and I have a cookie bouquet I need to make for Friday! My little hobby is awesome!  I am surprised at how much I have learned in such a short amount of time!  I love making and decorating cookies!  Who knew?!
 
So...I am linking up with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics for a personal Monday Made It!  I hope to link up lots this summer with school and personal crafts! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
my first attempt

 
 
 
cheerleading camp
 


 
 
my niece's college graduation from SLU



Fleur de Lis

 
 
dance recital cookie bouquet

 
 
dance recital cookie bouquet
 
 
 
butterflies

 
 
Nun Run 5k

 
 
End of the Year for my students

 
 
practice with flooding cookies

 
 
bathing suit practice

 
 
flowers for the Garden Club at school



 I am having the best time making and decorating cookies.  I'm not a professional yet, but I keep trying!!!  Don't forget to check out more Monday Made It projects with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics!



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