Five For Snowy Friday

I recently found a new awesome website filled with resources for teachers called Creative Shapes Etc. A teacher had charts that he was using to track students Class Dojo points. Looking to buy my own charts i looked up the company that made them and found this awesome website. Besides incentive charts, they have super cute bookmarks, notepads, stamps and different seasonal and holiday cut outs. They also have individual incentive charts. The prices are affordable and the products look really nice. 
(See? How cute are all those?)

I love the Class Dojo blog!  They have loads of great ideas! I use the digital behavior tracking system with all my classes. They love seeing their little monsters and tracking their points each week. I've found it especially helpful to use it to goal set for points with students before class. It cuts down on misbehavior a lot because when I remind them about how they're working towards earning 5 points that period and it allows them to mentally check their behavior without me having to make a big deal about it. I can also communicate with parents through the app which I love. The parents can see how many points their child earned that day and we can message each other with concerns and with exciting news.
When I went to their blog that I found via Twitter I  initially thought it would just be about how to use Class Dojo in your class but it's not. It is a full blog filled with lots of ideas for classroom management in general. One post I loved recently was about ways to beat the blahs as a teacher which included Someecards and Kid President (Love him!) which had me smiling and instantly lifted my mood. 

My favorite new app is Charity Miles. You can walk, bike or run and with your mileage you donate to worthy causes. For example, I ran about 4 miles and the app donated 99 cents to The Nature Conservancy. It doesn't sound like a lot but over time it adds up. Plus it gives an added layer of meaning to your workout: you're not just running to stay in shape, to challenge yourself or to prepare for a race-you're also donating $0.25 per mile to a worthy cause. There are  about 33 charities you can donate to including Back on my Feet, Special Olympics, and Girls on the Run. 
And speaking of running I am only 5 miles away from successfully running 171 miles in January for the 2,015 miles in 2015 challenge! Wow! I plan on completing that run tomorrow then celebrating! 1 month down, 11 to go!

I successfully finished Module 1 (Classroom Management) for TEAM (New Teacher program in CT)! I just started Module 3 (Instruction for Active Learning) where I am going to be focusing on providing feedback to students. I'm really excited to have completed the first Module (yea!!) but something I realized is that even though I successfully completed the readings and observations, putting my new knowledge into action and wrote my reflection paper, I'm not done learning about classroom management. In general do I now I have the tool kit for managing a class? Yes. Am I able to respond more quickly to individual student behaviors and problems that arise? Yes again. But are there still situations that in the moment baffle me? Absolutely. And that's the thing I realized about TEAM: although it is broken into modules, your learning related to that module is by no means done once you finish the module. The module provides you with a strong base and a great starter tool kit: but I am always learning! And I wouldn't have it any other way. Because with each issue that arises I have opportunity to pause, reflect on strategies and implement the strategy then begin again until I become more and more fine tuned with my strategies and responses. 

I mentioned in a post I wrote in December how my Monday and Tuesday students used the Daisy the Dinosaur app to learn some basic coding. Well this past week, my Monday classes were playing catch up because of MLK Jr. Day and then a snow day; and I didn't see my classes on Tuesday or Wednesday because of snow days. I decided it was the perfect lesson for my Thursday and Friday kiddos (especially since Friday we had a delay-wow!). 
Like I mentioned in my earlier post, when I taught this lesson again I would create an extension activity to go along with the app as well the opportunity to write some of their own challenges. Well here it is!

The students loved writing their own challenges and they loved having their classmates complete them. 

Happy Friday!

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