Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back to School Brain

Why is July going by so fast?! I felt like June draggggged on (or is it drug on?)--but that was probably because I was in class everyday. Now July is half over, and I'll be back in the swing before I know it. 

I have been doing lots of thinking about my classroom, but not much doing. Lots of thinking about what worked well last year, and what I want to change for this year. Now it's about time to get my booty in gear and actually start doing things for my classroom.

One thing I loved about my class last year was the behavior management. It worked wonders with my kiddos! Who would have thought that pom-poms would make my kiddos actually listen?!

I give out "little warm fuzzies" to my kids for making good choices. I kind of went in waves last year. I would go through a week and realize I hadn't given out a single one! EEK! But then I would bring them back and they worked so well! After they earned 5 little warm fuzzies, they could trade them in for a big one. (I had my students keep them in plastic pencil boxes.) After a few weeks, (aka whenever I could find a few spare minutes or I started to run out of warm fuzzies to hand out) the kids could trade them in for prizes. Most of my prizes are coupons, but I do have a few toys--mostly party favor type. I love, love, love using these! It's super easy for me, and it works!

One thing that didn't work last year? Our math block. It was booooring. We attempted math centers early and they lasted about the 1st 9 weeks. They were never independent (like not even close to independent). It was a lot of prep for me. Basically it just didn't work. So we ended up just following our boring book. Ugh. I hate that.

So what's my plan for next year? Math Daily 5! And I am so excited about it! My kids have done great with Daily 5 in the past. They like the choice, and I love their independence. Hopefully, they will pick up Math Daily 5 just as easily as they do Literacy Daily 5!

Any tips from those of you that have done Math Daily 5?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Brain Breakfast

Is it just me or is summer flying by? I started grad classes this summer, and it took over my life. Sitting everyday from 9-4 is definitely something I have forgotten how to do. I feel like I have had almost no time to get anything done, much less relax! My summer to do list has almost nothing crossed off yet!

One thing I did finally get crossed off is my newest TpT product! This is the morning work I have been using for the last 2 years--and I love it! It is simple to prepare and predictable enough for my kiddos to be super independent (which I definitely need in the mornings)!

Right now, it is 135 pages of morning work, but I am already adding more! Pick it up from my TpT store now before it's updated!