Friday, September 11, 2015

Simple & Effective Classroom Managing With Class Dojo

 After the big clip chart debate this past year, I got wondering what other options there were out there. I loved my clip chart system, but was willing to try something new to compare my experiences with.  I had dabbled with Class Dojo in the past, but did TONS of reading and researching this summer to see if it was something I would want to try.  The more I read, the more I was convinced that I needed to at least give it a whirl.  Every reporting teacher's experience was nothing but positive and Class Dojo really makes it easy to set up and implement in your classroom.  FREE. Yes, FREE!

I think the final selling point for me was the clip art of each of the monsters they provide FREE at the web site.  I am all about bringing each student's avatar "alive" to personalize the program and get the kiddos excited......ideas went racing through my mind.  First off, I printed off 3 of each of the 30+ monsters available (if you are gasping at all the ink I used, don't worry- I have HP Instant Ink, I can print TONS now without worrying about the high cost of ink anymore!).  After I signed up my class, I pulled out and laminated the monsters that were assigned to each child for our Class Dojo Board.  I labeled them with their names and they chose where they wanted to put them. (Obviously- right? If I had done it myself, it would have been much more balanced out-but I'm all about giving kids choice, as hard as it is at times like this... :) ).

 The behaviors I am looking for throughout the day align with our school's ethical principles, along with our school and class goals.  For example, our school system has a percentage goal for attendance, so that is something my kiddos get a point for- just coming to school and being on time!  We have a quick chat every morning about how important it is to be at school, etc.  It is just so cool how you can personalize the program for YOUR class even giving some things more weight than others if you want!

I saw lots of reward coupons that teachers attached to the kiddos receiving points and it got very overwhelming to me.  I love the ideas and think it's great that teachers can coordinate that, but this girl is all about simple and easy.  So, here is the break down for the "reward" part of it:
  • If a child reaches 5 or more points in a day, they get to choose a sticky jewel to stick on and decorate their monster with.  You HAVE NO IDEA, they absolutely LOVE getting jewels. I buy a variety of jewels whenever I find them on sale and cheap.  Usually at craft stores, but you never know where you might see some jewels (even holiday themed ones!) so keep your eyes open. 
  • At 25, 50, 75 and 100 points, they get in the prize box.  Simple and they love pawing through that box of treasures!
  • Also, at 100 points, they get to retire their jewel-clad monster from our wall and take it home (but, now that I think about it, I wished I'd said we would put them in the Monster Hall of Fame--darn, there's always next year!) and CHOOSE THEIR OWN MONSTER....oooooh- do you know how excited they are about this?? I mean, its as simple as me opening the screen of all the monsters and them pointing to the one they want and VOILA, they've picked their own monster..maybe a twin of one of their friends' monsters or a new one that hasn't been revealed yet....

 I was super excited when I found a pack of 160 blank white round stickers at the Dollar Tree in the stationary section.  They are Polaroid brand. I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.  I made stickers with the Class Dojo monsters so the kiddos can have "personalized" stickers of their very own monster avatar.  They were in disbelief when I showed them I had stickers of "their" monsters.  "Where did you get those?" "I saw my monster!" I mean, really, for a $1.00 and some of my instant ink, how could I go wrong?  The template for the stickers is found at a web address and you can simply insert the monster pics that you've downloaded directly from the Class Dojo site under Teacher Resources!  Please, tell me your experiences and ideas with Class Dojo!  I have ZERO complaints thus far and absolutely love it.  I'll keep you posted as we move forward with this great classroom management program!

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let's Play I have/Who Has With Freebielicious
Everyone loves the game I have, who let's see how good you are at OUR version.  Click on the picture above to start at the beginning and see how well you know the
Freebielicious girls!  Keep track for bragging rights and let us know how well you "know" us.
Did you guess that I was the queen of Pokey Pinning and loved monkeys?  Ding, ding, ding....
You are correct!
Hhmmm, not sure what would ever give away that I love, love, love monkeys....I have a strange sort of fascination with them. Like, all I want is a pet monkey, but, living in Maine it isn't even allowed with a permit. Booo!
You've probably seen this picture of me, but I'll share again because it was a (minor) dream come true for  me:
I met this diaper-clad monkey in South Carolina at Barefoot Landing (they were just visiting, they actually live in a reserve by Myrtle Beach).  He LOVED me...I mean like climbed right over my cute, sweet boys to get to me and hug me. He knew I loved him, too. I wanted to bring him home with me so badly, but it wasn't happening.  And, yes, my boys were slightly embarrassed about my show of affection for this monkey I'd never met before. "Mom, it's not a baby, it's a monkey..." hence the reason he wanted to hang with ME and not them. 
If you have NO IDEA what Pokey Pinning is,
click here for all of my previous posts and explanations and even a tutorial.
Now, I didn't invent Pokey Pinning BUT I can say that, when I posted my first Pokey Pin product years and years ago, there was nothing available like it on TpT (Yes, I always check for that before I post a new product).  It seemed like such a given to me when my student teacher introduced me to pinning pictures for the fine motor development.  We were working on the Nursery Rhyme 3 Little Kittens, so we did a picture of a cat to connect it to our learning AND I added the words "the kitten", or something to that effect.
The kids were....
They were....
They were.....
They were...
They were...
and I was...
I knew it had to become a regular part of our curriculum and so I created the ABC, simple patterns for my students to pin and it just kept going from there
....sight words, Dolch words, fluency phrases, numbers, shapes, etc...
Pokey Pinning became a regular part of all of our different workshops.  It was a WIN for ALL of us, because, let's face it, fine motor is development is SO important
but is ALSO missing from most primary curriculums nowadays.

I have lots of different choices at my store for you, but my favorite is this basic skills bundle. It is like buying 3 kits, but getting 5 including ABCs, sound correlation, sight words, numbers to 10 AND 2d and 3d shapes.
  (and even less during the TpT B2S sale when you get an additional 28% off-
actually a $25 product for $10.80- a 57% discounted rate)
OR you can click below to find all packs listed separately because I also have kits for students who need to practice more difficult sight words AND sight word fluency:

 So, now that you've realized that it is more than necessary to add Pokey Pinning to your classroom, starting the first day of school and have added it to your wish list for the sale tomorrow, you need to figure out if you know which Freebielicious girl is up next by using the following clues:

Guess before you click....then see if you are right!
Have fun and don't forget to add the promo code BTS15
to get a total of 28% off my ENTIRE store
(not speaking from experience or anything).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Resources for a Sense of Numbers Before Introducing Math Facts

A big push for our kiddos the past couple of years has been addition and subtraction math fact fluency.  Of course, it makes sense because it is the basis of so much of mathematics.  If you read my post about math fact fluency, you know that my journey began with the following book: 

Reading it really gave me some insight into students learning their basic math facts, starting with fluency from 0-5 in kindergarten and moving onto 0-10 in first grade.  The most important information I gleamed from the book was the ORDER in which to introduce math facts. Of course, in the book, they give you reasons, but, here, I will just give you the list (and you can read reasons later-it's really interesting):

 Also, if you click on the picture below, it will take you to a 50+ page sample of the book, so you can decide if it is a book you should purchase or not.  The graphic below is included in that sample and may give you a clearer view to print as a resource.
..what they already know
...what they need more practice with
...It is an incredible tool to get that information, but, the question then becomes,
what do I do with that information now??
That is something I want to pull together with the help of other bloggers and readers as a RESOURCE for all of us.  I am going to host a linky party that will allow us to gather information for EACH type of math fact eventually if there is enough participation.
We are going to start with number sense, because, naturally, they need a good sense of numbers before they move onto putting numbers together and taking them apart, right??

When you link up, please keep the following question in mind, maybe even addressing it at the beginning of your post(s):

In what ways would a strong understanding of numbers support students as they focus on math facts?
When you link up, please post the picture at the top of this post in your post and link it directly to this Linky Party so that others can grab the resources as well!  Thank you!


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