Five for Friday

With one of my classes I decided to do some behavior reteaching. I started about a month ago after a class that was particularly disorderly. The first week we had a two hour delay so they only had a twenty minute class. It ended up working perfectly because it was just enough time to build some behavior endurance.

I started with a chart that had two columns: Problems and Solutions.
In the Problems column I listed one example (talking while the teacher or classmates are talking).
Then I explained we were going to reflect on what happened last week and what we could do to solve those problems.
The students knew where they were having problems and easily came up with a list. The thing that surprised me the most was how many students were participating. There are usually only about 5 students  in this class who would normally participate. This time I had probably around 15. 
After they had filled in the problem column I explained their job next was to choose one of the problems, illustrate it, then write and illustrate a solution to it. 
After the students finished this, I called them back to the carpet. This was a little rough and took a while. By the time they were all there it was time for them to go.

For the next week, I did a couple things to prepare.

1) I filled in the Solutions column based on their answers on their sheets. 
2) Then I created a Media Class Rules Chart that was more or less an organized summary of their responses from week 1. I grouped the rules (there ended up being seven) based on the areas we were focusing on. These are also areas that the students focus on in their classroom, therefore being familiar and reinforcing each other. They are "sharing/caring", "following directions", "listening attentively" and "self control".

3) I also created a "How are we learning?" poster idea I got from Pinterest. I left it blank and as a whole class we came up with ideas of behavior for whole class. I then broke the students into small groups where they had to complete several Team Building Activities. We reconvened on the carpet and discussed what Group Work should look like. Part of me wished I  I had discussed small group ideas with them before they broke up. 

The next week I started with brainstorming small group behavior, reviewing class rules and whole class behaviors then went into my lesson that I had taught the rest of the second graders on roller coasters. 
I added a couple items this third week:

1) Group Points Chart: this was an idea my mentor had for providing students with a visual of how they were doing behavior wise. I especially liked the idea because one of the things I want the students to work on is successfully collaborating with other students and treating each other with respect. The students set a goal of 7 points (an amount that they thought they would be able to earn by the end of the period). 
2) Labeled Sticky Notes: I also created two sticky notes one with a W for Warning on it and a second with CD on it for Class Dojo. If I saw a student not following one of the class rules I would write their initial under W. I didn't speak to them. I didn't call them out. I would simply look at them and write their initials. It was pretty effective. The student would get quiet and if they continued to break a class rule, I would write their name under CD which meant they had lost a point on Class Dojo. 
If they continued to not follow the rules then I would circle their initials and by the end of the period they would have to complete a form letter that I had created that was similar to one the classroom teacher used and bring it home to have it signed by the parent. 
3) Another sticky note I added was one that said Ms.K v Class on it. When the students were being awesome, they would earn points. When they collectively were having difficulty focusing (mainly after they had transitioned back from small groups) I would earn points. This was something my mentor had recommended and I had tried it before but always felt it was ineffective - the students would just start talking again 30 seconds after they quieted down. My mentor suggested being really dramatic about it and not having it be just a quick thing but really focusing on the fact that you are WAITING for them to quiet down and not just standing there. I also decided to tie it into Class Dojo: these would be extra points that the students could earn or lose as a class on Class Dojo. By connecting it to a structure that they were already familiar with it gave it more gravity than with just having it be Me v Them as I had it be in the past. 

The Library and Information Technology team hosted a family night for Digital Learning Day on March 13 and. It went amazing! We had sessions on everything from the inquiry process, Internet safety, Twitter for parents, to iMovie, educreations, coding, our databases...the list goes on! The aspect about our DLD that I think made it so successful were: one, our amazing 3-5 librarian who put in so much work towards it; and two, the collaboration and contributions from the whole district as presenters. We had K-12 teachers (in a range of subject areas including math, computer science, and even a PE teacher), K-12 students, our school resource officer, high schoolers who were volunteering as extra sets of hands in all the rooms. It all just came together in the most amazing way.

My school is having a Kindness Week  after our April Vacation, Like it sounds we are focusing on school wide kindness combined with kindness-themed classroom Project Based Learning projects  - ideas so far have ranged from simple to more elaborate (making signs encouraging kindness, food drive, visiting senior citizens). We also have a book The Girl and The Bicycle, a very sweet wordless book with a surprise ending) that each classroom will receive. Since our themes is planting the seeds of kindness one of the member of the committee had the great idea that each class will create a flower of kindness that will be planted in our garden of kindness at a school wide assembly culminating at the end of the week. 

If you haven't read this blog post about 50 Weird Things you never thought you'd say as a teacher, please do!  I started laughing at number 6 then couldn't stop! These are so true and the funniest part is how you understand them all - in the situation you're either just saying it, or you're frustrated and it takes a moment to realize what you've said!

If you love clothes as much as I do then you need the Stylebook Closet app. It's your closet, but virtual. When you first get the app, you have to "shop" for all your clothes which can be a little overwhelming. At first I was going to stores I shop at a lot (like Old Navy) and adding clothes. But it gets to be a little tedious. Now I just add my outfit that I wear each day and that way I'm slowly adding my clothes but not spending hours searching for each piece.

Happy Friday!

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