Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tree of Choice

This one goes along with my behavior management plan. This is the tree of choice we use beside it (out of the picture) is a basket with the purple apples they can earn and where they put their other apples when they make a bad choice. So far letting them earn back apples is going well. I have a couple that don't really try to earn them back but we just did treasure box for the first time on Thursday and they realized that because they had a yellow apple that they didn't work to earn back they didn't get to do treasure box. I am going to have to work on my treasure box though. The teacher before me left four boxes  full of stuff, but when we got into it on Thursday we quickly realized it is mostly boy toys. When I was in Kindergarten I would have loved it, but in a class of 11 girls most of which are very "girly" I need some more girl things!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Classroom Updates

Okay so when I started doing this blog a few weeks ago I didn't realize how difficult it would be to blog after going back to work with a 16 month old and being 6 months pregnant. Boy am I tired! Last week was our first week back, teachers only no kids. Last night was our open house/tailgate party. Only Kindergarten knew who their teacher was so we work hard to keep it a secret until the party. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before at a school, but it was so much fun!

Anyway I think the room is about ready for Wednesday (that's when Kindergarten starts). I have a little bit more to do Monday and Tuesday between conferences. We meet with each parent for around 30 minutes to go over what Kindergarten is. I have a few pictures to share this weekend, but plan to take a lot more Monday and will try to post then.

The above picture is the shelf before. A piece of plywood was added to give it a back. Then I recruited some help from my dad and he painted the plywood with magnetic primer, then covered it with a blue paint.

And the result was a magnetic back on a bookshelf. This will be great for using magnetic letters to spell word wall words. This area is where my word work center will meet (I plan to post about my centers later this week). My word wall is just to the left of this area and on the right is another bookshelf where my magnetic letters are stored. If you use the magnetic primer I have a few recommendations.
1. Have them check it where ever you buy it. It is not a popular item and tends to sit on the shelf for a while and it can go bad! I had to return my first can and get a second.
2. Make sure where you get it at shakes the can really really well, again ask them to check it before you leave. The metal flakes in it sink to the bottom making it difficult to use.
3. It stinks, so it at all possible use it outside. At the very least in a well ventilated room.

It only took us one day because the primer dries in 30 minutes. So we did 3 coats of primer and then one really thick coat of blue paint. Let it dry outside for about an hour and then brought it into the hallway where it dried for a day in half (we did it on Saturday and came back on Monday). Monday morning it was ready to go back in my room and worked great!

More to come this week.....
I have pictures of my new "tree of choice" and plan to write up my new center management plan, with some pictures of the chart.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Behavior Management

The Lesson Plan Diva is having a Linky Party on Behavior Management! So I thought I would share mine. I am doing the same sort of thing this year as last but with a few changes. Last year I did apple bites. The students started the day with a whole apple and could lose bites for behavior problems. I did allow them to earn the bites back during the day for making better choices (this was dependent on why they lost the bite). This year I have a tree in my room so I made whole apples in 4 colors. Every student will start the day on green. They can lose the green and  go to a yellow, then to red. Similar to the stop light system. I would rather focus on the positive then the negative so I have a fourth color, purple. Students don't start the day with purple, but they can earn it. This way if I see a student starting to go the wrong way I can find someone doing a great job and ask them to get a purple apple. Hopefully this will encourage the others to do the right thing. I have a sheet I send home each day with a face marked on it, either happy, straight, or sad. This year if a student has a purple apple I will give them a sticker in this space instead of a stamp. I also have a place for comments on why they received that face, and a place for parents to sign so I know they see them.

Here is a link to the Behavior Sheet I use:
Behavior Sheet

Be sure to find other great ideas at the Linky Party

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just a moment I had to share!

I had to take my son with me to work in my room yesterday. I snapped this picture of him "helping". Who says there is no napping in Kindergarten!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paint Sticks

While exploring the internet a few weeks ago I came across an idea on Kelly's Kindergarten for using paint sticks to make name plates for the children. I had planned on using this idea when another one came to me. I sort my classroom books by themes for reading stories, math topics, holidays, and so forth. I was using pieces of long thin pieces of paper. I made a list of my all my themes, counted them and headed down to Home Depot. They were kind enough to give me 75 paint sticks for free (without any paint). I wrote each theme on the front and back of the sticks and slid them between my books instead of those papers. My thinking behind this is that the wooden sticks will last longs and stick out from between books better than paper. In the pictures you will see a few of my sticks written on front and back, and the sticks in use on the top shelf with my old paper dividers on the lower shelf. I still have several paint sticks left so I am considering the name plate idea, but if any one can think of another use for them I would love to hear it.