Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Open House Idea
I came across this idea tonight while searching for back to school ideas.  During open house night, Mrs. Mccomish blows up balloons, writes a student's name on each one, ties it to his/her chair, and lets them take it home when they leave that night.  Very clever, inexpensive, and visually appealing.  I will be using this during open house this year.  Great idea!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three New "School" Year Resolutions


What are three things you want to improve this year as an educator or in your classroom?
Of course we all want to be the best teacher we can be...right?  It is great to have ambitions at the beginning of the year, but as the year starts, it is hard to find the time or energy to try lots of new things.  If I had to only choose three, here goes...

1. Behavior Management--This year I am going to focus more on creating a positive classroom environment where students individually know they are doing the right thing all the time.  Each time a child is caught being good or doing the right thing, they will get a token.  Each token has a number on it that has been assigned to them.  The tokens go into a bag and then when I need a helper, I pull out a token.  The World's Easiest Token System was seen on Angela Watson's website, who is the author of The Cornerstone Book.  (Her website is listed on the right-hand side of this page.)
2. Reading Logs--Last year I read The Next Step in Guided Reading  by Jan Richardson.  I changed lots of things in how I taught my guided reading groups.  This year, I want to extend upon this.  I want to use the ideas seen in her book regarding reading logs.  The students each keep a 3-ring binder that keeps the information in it regarding their self-selected reading work, guided reading work, notes from mini-lessons, etc.  The students can see the progress they have made over the course of the year through looking in one place.    

3. Math Tubs--"What do we do now?" This is a question I hear more than I want to admit.  Those early finishers are always going to be a part of your classroom.  This year, I am going to create math tubs for them to go to whenever they have a few minutes of 'down time'.  These math tubs will have games and activities in them we have learned throughout the year.  This provides a quick review for them as they are waiting for others to complete a previous activity.  
What three things do you want to improve on this year?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Year, New Blog

This is the first time I have ever attempted to use a blog about my classroom and things that occur daily within it.  Each year I try to improve in a different area, and this year, technology seems to be calling my name.  While I am anxious about this attempt, I am excited about the possibilities it holds.  Let the fun begin!