Monday, May 4, 2015

What Works! Teacher Appreciation Linky & Giveaway!

I don't know about you, but I could definitely not be in this career without the mentorship and support of fellow teachers.  The girls that I started working with my first years of teaching made me the teacher I am, and I will forever be grateful to them! So HOORAY for Teacher Appreciation Week! I am beyond blessed for my past and current co-workers - they have been co-creators of the following secrets. Maybe you too share some of these tricks? Or you have advice to make them work better? I would love to hear your thoughts and input - collaboration is key for me! 
Use a mentor text for your behavior system. Make it unique, attainable, and a way that kids can buy back in.

 I use the Very Hungry Caterpillar as my mentor text. The caterpillar eats and grows so he can become a beautiful butterfly and discover newness. That is like learning for us, we learn and grow so that we can discover new things.

  Each child starts the day with 5 food sticks in her/his cup.  She/he can lose sticks or gain "sweet' sticks. The goal at the end of each day is to have 5 or more sticks.

I start the year strictly adhering to the behavior plan and wean off it as we go. This week I haven't used it at all and I now only usually mention it as a way to get some friends back on track.

For me, this helps to mold the behaviors I expect and gradually give over the control of those behaviors to the students. It can be a beautiful thing. 
Don't over do it on Pinterest!

Listen, no one has, or should, have the time to completely re-do your classroom and every element to be ready to be professionally photographed for Pinterest. It's ugly in here folks. Day to day is a hotmess. I take to Pinterest when I am looking for a change-up or visual of new ideas. But I honestly can't spend too much time there because I wind up comparing myself to perfection. I have learned to listen to my students needs. They love "fishing" for sight words, so I used velcro to make this center and I am going to change the sight words to word problems, QR codes etc. Find what they love and what's easiest for you and go with it.  Authentic, good teaching doesn't coming from Pinterest. 

Side note: You know how people post Pinterest "fail" pictures of dinner/crafts/etc. I want to do that of a classroom I said sometimes it's just not cute in here!
Use a password for your teaching point of the day.

 I use one literacy password and one math password. The literacy password is usually the sight word or vowel combo of the day and math can be any concept I am spiraling through. The kids have to say/do the password in the morning when they come in, and each time they come and go from the room. 

 Here is the math password on the way out!

Sorry, I should have put arrows - but can you see the passwords other there by the door? I make sure they are at eye level and bright so I catch the little's eyes!

What works for you? I would love if you left me some of your own ideas or thoughts on mine! 

Alllrighty then....

There are two HUGE prize bundles, each valued at $475 each - crazy talk! Make sure you enter using all the options on rafflecopter! There are a ton of blogs involved so make your rounds, and grab up all the entries that you can!

Here's what's included in the prize bundles...
Can you believe that one super lucky reader will win all this! I am seriously wishing it could be me! Check out the grand list below.
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Here is ANOTHER mega bundle! More teacher swag, and a TON of it! $100 to TPT, $50 Amazon gift card AND more?! Enter to win both and you'll be set for next year- seriously this is too good to be true...but it's true, I promise. :o)
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

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