Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It! (Freebie!)

I was a lazy bum this weekend and plan on making up for it this week. I have completely gotten off my sleep schedule and am having problems falling asleep before 3 or 4am and then getting up around 11am. This morning I made myself get up at 6 even though I think I didn't fall asleep until 4ish. I have got to get back on schedule.

I always find it a little difficult to get back in the routine for school. It seems like my body is trained that unless I am exhausted it is hard for me to fall and stay asleep. Anyways, wish me luck tonight that I can get to bed at a reasonable time after my zombie-like state today. :)

So after seeing Amy's post at The Teacher Next Door I came up with today's Monday Made It! I loved her post on creating a sign to display that shares with the kids what I am currently reading and how many books I have read throughout the school year. It reminded me that we did this at my old school too! We had a sign outside every classroom with what the teacher was reading and the author of the book. It didn't matter what subject you taught. It just reinforced that we are all readers. It was also not limited to just kid books. If I was reading John Grisham's latest book I put that up on my sign. 

Now, y'all have learned I read a lot of romance books. Did I put up "Fifty Shades of Gray?" NO WAY! Sometimes I will put up a book that I just read over the summer that I can still talk to the kids about, etc. Maybe that is bad, but some things don't need to be shared. HA!

4th Grade Frolics

So here is what I made for myself using the paper from The Hazel Owl which was completely free. I should note, I didn't see my classroom colors so I edited her design to fit my needs. I hope this was OK but it didn't say anywhere that I couldn't do this and since they were free already I didn't feel as bad doing this. Since my room theme is blue and green I used her blue and gray patterned paper and overlapped the gray circles with green ones.

Here is what mine looks like:

Available here for free: Teachers Pay Teachers

Feel free to edit it to work for you!

I plan on framing it in a Dollar Store Frame and posting this outside my classroom. Another inexpensive option is to just laminate it and maybe put a cute colored piece of paper on the back. I'm just going to write on the frame with an Expo Marker. Maybe I can get some of my colleagues on board to post one outside their rooms too! It was such a neat thing to see what everyone was reading and for the kids to take notice of this too. 

While I was at it I also decided to make some reward passes. My fabulous collaborating teacher last year, Heidi, had lots of different reward ideas for our kids throughout the year. It was a great incentive and the kids loved getting rewarded! We used QR codes for awhile and did a random draw at the end of class using Class Dojo. She gave out all sorts of different codes. Some said, "Wear a hat in class today," "10 points towards a class party," or even "10 minutes of computer time." 

I really wanted to continue this with my other classes. I liked the idea that someone had shared about giving out a card at the end of class and kids enter a weekly raffle. At the end of the week you draw names from each class to win some of these awesome passes! I also really like this post: Reward Passes

I especially like the "grumpy pass." This might be happening soon! Hey, even middle schoolers have bad days and sometimes just need a break. This is a great way to use the grumpy pass! I think it is important that they realize they don't necessarily get out of work for the day. If it is a test/quiz day they can't use it--or maybe if it was a real kind of emergency grumpy day I'd rather let them use it and make it up later. Not sure... I think you'd have to use teacher discretion.

Here is what I made:

I can't remember whose blog I read about all these different passes on! Please let me know if it was you or if you know who it was! I usually write this down somewhere but I can't find where I wrote it down! :( 

I also posted these for free on Teachers Pay Teachers if you want them! 

Some other people use gum passes, no shoes passes, etc. I didn't make these for a few reasons. First, we have a no gum rule for the whole school. I don't feel that I should go against that. Second, I ask my students to take their shoes off when they are in the reading area to prevent dirt from getting on the nice carpet or, in last year's case, the foam flooring. This makes me feel that it is at least a little cleaner for kids to lay on their stomachs or sit on the floor with a good book.

We do have a school policy on electronics, however I did not feel as bad about bending this one a little. Our school is pretty awesome in that our principal is very open-minded and with teacher discretion I think he would be OK with this. Also, we allow the kids to use electronics at lunch. My principal liked the idea that kids should know that electronics have a time and a place and at lunch is okay--I LOVE THIS! :) After so many years of babysiting (17+, but who is counting? LOL), I also realized that more and more of my kids were reading on their devices. Hey, if they want to read on their tiny iPod screen I'm not going to stop them! So I allow them to use them in my classroom with permission. Yes, they must ask me every time so that I know exactly what their intent is and so they have told me as well. I have let them know up front that if I catch them not reading and playing games, etc. then they lose the privilage. Simple as that. Don't ask me again if you are caught. I don't go looking if the kids have lied to me about this either. I believe them. I mean reading on an electronic device looks completely different than playing a game, right? So far I have not had anyone violate this rule. I think they find it fair. Because this is also their personal reading time I don't care what they read--they can read comics, sports, magazines, etc. Just enjoy it! :)

The last thing I made was name plates for my desks. Harry Wong always said to start off the first day of school assigning students seats. It lets them know your expectation from day one. I haven't always done this. In fact, last year was the first year I gave it a shot and assigned seats. I just tell kids to find their name when they walk in to class. I didn't know the kids last year so I put them into alphabetical order. This year, since I am moving up a grade level and will have about 1/3 of the same kids again, I intend to mix them up. I know a lot of them and so if they are a talker I'll try to find them the best seat possible for them--maybe close to me or maybe near some people who I know are not talkers. There are 7 class periods at my school--2 I do not teach but share my room with an exploratory teacher. I went ahead and included all 7. I will explain more about why I did that in another post. :) 

I don't mind sharing these, but I wasn't sure if these would be appropriate to put up on Teachers Pay Teachers since they are specific to 1st-7th hours. If you all are interested I can put them up too!

That's it for my Monday Made It! I am off to the Teacher Resource Center for an hour or two. I have a few things I need to finish making for my bulletin board and I need to print a few things in color. I plan on working in my classroom afterwards. :)

Hope you have a fabulous Monday!

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  1. I love that you share what you are reading with your class. I have never posted it in my classroom I usually talk about my current book with them. I might recommend this to my principal for the whole school too. Very cool. Thanks for the idea!

    1. You're welcome! So glad you all liked this! The school-wide thing was very cool to see! :)

  2. I'm going to copy your "what I'm reading" sign. I usually (if it's a school library book) know what they're reading so it's only fair they know what I'm reading. GREAT IDEA!!! I'm going to encourage my teachers to do so also.

    1. I am so glad you loved this too! I think it is so important for the kids to see that our love for reading isn't just a school thing but carries over into our personal lives. It was super cool to see what the other teachers were reading too!

  3. Great idea about posting what you are reading...going to do that myself!

  4. What a good idea for the students to see you as an avid reader! Thanks for the download!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. You are so welcome! Feel free to change it however you want so that it fits your needs. :)

  5. I love the idea of posting what I'm reading as well! Thanks for sharing!

    Life in Room 24

    1. :) So glad that you all can use this in your classrooms too!

  6. I am so glad I am not the only teacher who struggles with their sleep schedule. When I say I have a problem breaking sleeping till noon teachers at my school look at me cross eyed.

    I have been doing weekly drawings with reward cards similar to yours and I can tell you hands down it has been amazing for my students and participation. They look forward to the weekly drawings and always feel so 'proud' to get to listen to music when no one else can.


    1. I keep trying to tell myself sleep is overrated. HA! I love to sleep. It is nice to know I'm not alone on this. I feel like unless I am exhausted it is hard to fall asleep. That is great to know about the reward cards! I was lucky that my colleague helped do a lot with the rewards, especially with our collab. students. She was really great about switching up the rewards to keep them fun and interesting for the kids. I'm hoping to implement that this year as well. :)

  7. I cannot for the life of me go to sleep before 3. I'm going to be in so much trouble when school starts!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. It is nice to know I am not alone on this. I feel like sometimes I can't go to sleep unless I am exhausted. My plan worked yesterday but I did sleep a full 8 hours today and got up at 8 instead of 6. At least I have 2 more weeks to figure this sleep thing out. HA!


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