Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lots of "Stuff" to Share!

Christmas Behavior

Can you feel it? Christmas break is right around the corner and I can definitely feel the joy coming from my students and the longing for a much needed break. Yesterday about drove me to a crazy house. Their behavior wasn't "bad," but it wasn't what I call good, either. Their focus was on anything BUT learning and I felt like I was talking to a brick wall even during small group. Ugh. So... I came home last night and created a Christmas behavior chart that I introduced first thing this morning.

I started off by telling my crazies that I felt crazy, because they drove me bonkers yesterday. Of course they laughed, but quickly stopped when they saw I was (fake) serious. I did invent this with some humor, and had to smile to myself when I saw their faces of horror as I was explaining.

First I told my students they needed 15 presents in order to attend the winter festivities on Wednesday, December 18th. From there, they had to work with a partner to fill out the other blanks, and then we went over the answers. We discussed ways to lose presents, and then brainstormed ways to keep presents. I told my students those who kept more than 20 presents may get special treats and those who had less than 15 would get coal. And work sheets. And no fun. <--all of that was said in a mean teacher voice, by the way. Then they cut out the behavior chart and left me with the signed portion. Why did they have to sign it, you may ask? This is my proof of their knowledge of my expectations for the next week of craziness, so if they happen to lose more than 10, and cannot participate, and decide to tell a not-all-the-way-truthful version of a story to their parents, I can whip this bad boy out. That is that. :)

It worked GREAT today. I marked off a few presents in RED. I felt like the grinch, but at least it's a Christmas color?! Overall though I will say their behavior and engagement was so much better. Click on either of the pictures below to download a copy for yourself. Or, to purchase a set of behavior charts for the entire year, click here!

Here is a sample version for you to see. 

You've been R.A.C.K.ed

Have you heard about all the craziness of random acts of classroom kindness? This is my first year participating with my class so I thought I'd share some pictures.

I bought this pack from What The Teacher Wants.. 

There are editable forms for you to create your own acts of kindness. Because I have a sweet friend who has been sick for 5 days, I thought it'd be a good idea to make our first act towards her.

All of the students wrote notes and cards and stuck them in this envelope which her mom picked up for her. I included a note myself and a bottle of energy. Her mom told me she LOVED IT all and read each card 3 times. 

Tomorrow we will be gifting our principal with cards and letters. My favorite part will be the part that says, "My principal has probably been principal for _______ years." Those are the best types of questions.

And finally, Main Idea ideas:

Why am I trying to teach/review such a HUGE thing right before Christmas break? Yah, I'm asking myself that, too. But, with the help of the behavior chart above, it worked well today. Like seriously, REALLY well! I'd like to share a couple resources I TRIED that helped me TONS.

1. Flocabulary main idea rap. Seriously, it's worth the 3 minutes to click on this link and watch this rap. It is meaningful in every way. You won't regret it. For real.

2. Main idea bags. These are a hands-on way to teach main idea and your kids will love it. And you. After you show them the rap. :)

3. And for stations, we're using some main idea task cards that I made.

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  1. Wow, wow!! This post is FULL of awesome ideas! It is perfect timing for me because we are just digging into main idea. I love your R.A.C.K.ed too. I'm sure it brightened your student's day so much! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. I am laughing at you describing your convo with your kids. You sound EXACTLY like I sound. Too funny! Glad you found something that will work for your kiddos!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'