Saturday, September 26, 2015

Classroom Behavior Catalog

Behavior management is one of those things that continuously grows and changes with time.  Like with anything else, trends and ideas come and go.
To help our classrooms with behavior management, my school started following SWPBIS (School-Wide Positive Behavior Support) about 7 years ago.  As time has gone on, we've tweaked a few things here and there to work for our school.  
However, there are a few original things that we have stuck with since the beginning:
- Everyone using the same three rules in their classrooms
(Ours are Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe)
- Explicitly teaching these rules through modeling at the beginning of the year.
(We go through rotations at the beginning of the year where we model how these three rules translate into different areas in the school: the cafeteria, dismissal, the bathroom, the classroom, etc.)
- Distributing behavior bucks. 
(Each school that uses SWPBIS creates their own version of the bucks.  We are the hornets, so ours are call BEE Bucks.)
- Giving students opportunities to redeem their BEE Bucks through classroom privileges and school-wide events.
 (We have a Winter Carnival in December and a Water Day in May that cost a set amount of BEE Bucks to attend.)
One of the things I like best about our BEE Bucks is that every teacher, support staff member, cafeteria worker, and administrator can distribute them to any student.  So if a teacher from another grade level sees one of my kids being a great example of our rules, they can give my student a BEE Buck.
Our BEE Bucks have different colors and the colors show how much they are worth.
Teachers have green bucks - worth $1
Assistants have yellow bucks - worth $2
Administrators have pink bucks - worth $3
Cafeteria workers have white bucks - worth $4
I've always been pretty good at giving out BEE Bucks.  However, I've not been great about giving students the opportunity to redeem them.  (I do this in addition to our classroom clipchart)
So I decided to create a behavior catalog to help me.
(If your school doesn't use behavior bucks you could create your own for your classroom, use Dojo points, or something similar to determine rewards for students.)

Here is an example of one of our bucks.
(Yes, I know how to spell my name.  I'm not sure what happened with my signature on this one.)

For the past 7 years that we've used these bucks, I've taught kindergarten.  In kindergarten I kept these little library pockets on a bulletin board.  I hung them up a little high so that I had to put the bucks in them.  I also was the one who counted them to see how many bucks each student had earned.
This summer, knowing I was moving to first grade, I decided to change up a few things.  First, I put the buck pockets in the student cubbies, so my kids are responsible for putting away their own bucks.  Whew!!  So much easier.
Second, I decided that I was going to let my kids count their BEE Bucks and choose a reward on Thursday, that they could then redeem on Friday.  This way I have time to send a note home letting a parent know that its okay for their student to wear a hat.  And it keeps things organized where my students know that they are saving up and will get to choose a reward on Thursday.
So every Thursday, during my reading small group time, I call one student at a time to go get and count their bucks.  I have four students in each group, so while we're looking through the catalog, the others are reading from their reading textbook.
After the student retrieves their bucks, they count them in front of me.  It can get a little confusing for them to switch counting by 1s, 2s, and 3s if they are counting up different colored bucks.
Next I ask the student if they want to spend or save.  Most want to spend.  But some of my girls are wise and are saving up for some of the nicer rewards.

 When I made the pages for the behavior catalog, I created way more than I actually planned to use.  This way I could pick things each year that worked for my class.  And so that friends at my school, whom I shared the catalog with, could pick and choose rewards that were best for their class.
After I printed about 20 pages, I divided them out by how much I wanted each one to be worth.  Then I printed little labels with the prices on them and  put them on each page protector.  This way, students will know how much each reward costs when they look through the catalog.
So here are a few that I choose to be worth $5 BEE Bucks. 

Bringing a stuffed animal is definitely the most popular reward in my class.

Only one student gets to choose this reward. 
Some rewards occur one time on Friday; chewing gum happens during Fun Friday time (the last 30min of Friday class time).
Others happen throughout the day; choosing a spot in line or playing on the computer.
But the reward is only good for Friday.  So if a student picks to be the line jumper, that reward is for the day only.

Next up are the $10 items.

Only one student gets to pick Calendar Helper a week.

My kids love to be the line jumper!
I let the entire class line up, then the line jumper gets to pick where they want to stand.
I only let one child per week choose this reward.

And obviously only one student gets to pick line leader.

For this reward, I have my student choose a student to eat with them right after they pick the reward, and then they go ask the person if they'd like to eat in the classroom with them.  The reason I make my kids choose a lunch friend right away is so that other "friends" don't have time to promise things in return for getting to eat lunch in the classroom. 
Yes, we've been dealing with some major girl drama in my room this year and I'm trying to prevent girl drama from happening with this reward.  (When the first girl chose this reward, I immediately heard the other girls telling her that they wouldn't play with her at lunch if she didn't pick them.  I told them they were too late, that she had already picked someone)
Apparently first grade girl drama is comparable to middle school girl drama.

Some of my girls have been saving up for this reward.

I also created a chart so that I can keep track of who choose each reward. (This also keeps me from forgetting to let someone be the calendar helper or get to chew their gum)
This page is editable, so you can type your student's names down the left side and type your reward choices and prices on the top.
I keep several copies of this page in the back of my binder and use one for each week.

Yes, I know that Talent Show actually says Talent Shoe.
I had already printed several before I noticed, and since I'm the only one who looks at the these pages each week, I decided it wasn't worth it to reprint until I ran out of the current pages.

Here's an example of a week from August.
The first week I used this behavior catalog, I had to write a little note to each family letting them know that their child could bring a stuffed animal or wear a hat the next day.  This took way too long.  I wanted the process to be a bit more efficient and have premade notes readily available. 
So, I created little notes for each reward that required something from home.  I printed them on different colored paper and keep them ready to go in this little pouch from Staples.

So now, when a student chooses to spend BEE Bucks on bringing a stuffed animal to school, all I have to do is get out a little note, write the student's name on the line at the top, and send it home in their BEE Book.
My parents have also caught on to this and know that if they don't get a little note in their child's BEE Book on Thursday, that they aren't allow to bring a stuffed animal.  No matter how much of a fit they throw.
Yes, this has happened.

Having this little catalog, classroom chart, and ready notes has made redeeming student behavior bucks so much easier!
Now that we have our Thursday routine down, my students are quick and efficient when they choose rewards.  Which gives us more time to do our small reading groups.
If you're interested in this set, you can check it out here.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Day in Our Classroom

When I first found out that I'd be teaching first grade this year, I was a little clueless about what a typical day in first grade looked like.
So I thought I'd have a little fun today and show you what a typical day in our classroom is like.
So this is what September 15, 2015 looked like in our classroom...
 Students may enter our rooms at 7:45am, so I usually get to school around 7:30.
I get most things ready for the next day before I leave school the previous day.
So 15 min is the perfect amount of time to get my things put away and get ready for our day.

Our BEE Book baskets (communication folders) usually sit over here by the sink.

But in the mornings I relocate them to my table so that I can go through BEE Books as my kids bring them in.

I check to make sure I've got all of my daily work ready to go.

I love using these little drawers to hold my daily work.
I put everything away in the drawers on Thursday or Friday for the upcoming week.  Everything is in order.  So the item on top is what we do first and the item on the bottom is what we do last.
Then all I do is work my way to the bottom of the drawer.
This works great if I have a sub too.

Next I get my diffuser ready.
I've been diffusing a blend of lemon, lavender, and peppermint lately to help with my allergies.
Plus the scent is very light yet fresh.

 Next, I'll get out our basket of highlighters.  If I forget, the first student will get them out for me.

At 7:45, my kids come in from the cafeteria and hang their backpacks up.

They get out the their BEE Books and reading books before coming into the classroom.

Morning work is sitting on their desks.
They get a highlighter out of the basket and get to work.

This handwriting set is available here from SunnyDays.

My students trace the top part with their highlighter.
Rewrite the highlighted sentences with a pencil.
Trace the words at the bottom with their pencil.
And then they may color the pictures.
I love having morning work where the kids come in and know exactly what they need to do.
They don't have to ask me for clarification on anything.
This frees me up to talk with a parent, take care of a situation, and check their BEE Books.

While checking their BEE Books for notes from parents, field trip money, or transportation notes, I usually go ahead and put their graded papers from yesterday into the left side of their pocket folder.
This way I'm not rushing around at the end of the day trying to get their papers together.
Click here to see my blog post about my BEE Books.

They are so good!
They haven't complained yet about all the writing, probably because they get to use highlighters, and I really feel like their handwriting is improving.

Final bell rings at 8am.
Time for our moment of silence.

The pledge of allegiance. 

Then we pass papers up and go sit on the carpet for our calendar meeting.

We do a few things on our calendar board.
This stays up all day so that the kids can refer back to it as needed throughout the day.

We then move on to our interactive calendar on the Promethean Board.
These are just flipcharts I created on ActivInspire that make use of my ridiculous amount of clipart.
Then we refer to our schedule chart to see what's going on that day.
I haven't found a good place to put this thing yet.  I tried to hang it on the wall with about 7 command strips and came back the next day to it laying on the floor.
So this is our schedule's temporary home.
Schedule cards available here.

We determine our encore class/classes for the day.

Then we check out the weather and label each day with the temperature.

So close to fall!

We've been working on counting by 5s.  So we'll count through our numbers aloud together.
On some days, if we have extra time, I'll freeze the screen so the kids can't see what I'm doing, then I'll use the colored dots to cover random numbers on our 100s chart.  The kids then figure out the mystery numbers.
They love this and ask for it all the time.

When the kids come to the carpet, they sit beside their PB & J partner.  This makes it easier to transition into our next activity.
BTW - I did not come up with PB & J partners, I saw the idea on DeeDee Wills' blog and thought it was a fantastic idea.  I love that when I split them up into partners, I can tell the Peanut Butter kids what their job is and the Jelly kids what their job is, and no one gets confused.  I introduced this last year when we were in kindergarten and it worked so well I brought it to first grade with us.

Next we discuss our picture of the day.
This is from Hello Literacy's Picture of the Day Volume 2 set - click here to check it out.  We used the Volume 1 set last year and since I looped with my kids and didn't want to repeat the photos, I bought her newest set.

First they make observations about the picture with their partner.
Then, when I draw their stick out of my cup they start their sentence with "I observe..."
Next they describe the picture and make inferences with their partner.
When I call on students they start their sentence with "I infer ____ because  _____."
Lastly, they will ask questions about the picture with their partner.
When they share with the group I don't make the kids start their question a certain way.  But many of them still say "I question..."
It cracks me up every time.
I'm in love with this activity!
Not only are they learning and using some pretty big vocabulary words but I love that they are learning to look closer and find out about things around them.  I'm hoping this will translate to their reading as the year progresses.

We've been sitting for about 15 min, so next we'll do some GoNoodle.
I usually switch between Brainercise and Maximo to get them up and moving, but not wild and crazy.
This week we've been working with Maximo and I think we were doing the Surfer Dude stretch on this day.

Next we transition in our reading series.
We use Wonders and I like it pretty well.
I really like that so many components are online.

We started off by reviewing our vocabulary words for the week and our new sight words.

Then we listened to our story.

Next up was phonics.  This week we were working on r and s blends.
I really wish they were introduced separately, but I am not a reading series writer, and nobody asked me.

Then the kids sorted r and s blend words.

Next we practiced reading r and s blends and matching them to the correct picture.

Someone needed to switch out their pencil.

Then I introduced possessives.
This was a brand new concept for them.

Sight word review was next.
Too many words that say to!

Next up was reading workstations.
These are loosely modeled after the Daily 5.
In reading workstations the students spend 15 min in each station:
  • small group (with me)
  • phonics journals (at their desks)
  • independent reading (in book nook)
  • word work (at their desks)
  • writing (at write site)
We go back to the carpet so that I can introduce our workstations for the day.
I always introduce workstations in the order they are listed on our chart.
So first I read off "Small Groups" and tell them what I want them to bring.  Sometimes its their reading book and a pencil, sometimes they bring nothing.
For phonics journals I've usually got their activity cut and glued into my journal, just so it saves time.  At the beginning when I was introducing these stations, we would do phonics journals all together as a class and I would model the cutting and gluing to make sure they didn't cut off anything important.
They tell me the date so that I can write it at the top of my journal.
I do a quick run through of what they need to do on their journal.

Then I place the items at the front of the room so that my students have easy access to their materials and my example.
The next station is Independent reading.
Right now that involves them choosing books in our Book Nook.  Later it will also include book boxes and Raz-kids on our chrome books.

Next up is Word Work.
Their materials for this station are always located in the tower with polka dots. (The other tower is for when we do math workstations)

I pull examples of each activity out of the drawer.

On Tuesdays we sort words with our phonics pattern.
This set is from Teaching with Love and Laughter - you can check it out here.

After the groups reads and sorts the cards together. 
They get this page out and complete it on their own at their desks.
I always put my example out where kids can refer back to it.

In writing we were using our sight word sticks to make sentences with our new sight words.
This is from Reagan Tunstall - check it out here.

After I do my example on the board, all materials are place at our Write Site and I hang my example on the wall.

I bought this really awesome timer from Amazon.  It lit up green when students started working to let them know they had time, then when they had two minutes left the light changed to yellow as a warning, and then when time was up it would turn red and play an alarm.
Great idea, but it didn't work.
So for now, I'm using the timer on my phone. 

I call out my first rotation and we get started.

Today we read from our reading book and then practicing r blends with this fun game from Reagan Tunstall - check it out here.

My kids are in love with these games.
I love that they are easy to get the hang of and then can be used with different skills.

I keep everything I need for this game behind my table.
The game boards are in the folder pictured above.
The recording cards are in a pouch inside the binder.
Eraser socks and dry erase markers are in a medium sized basket.
Dice and teddy bear counters are in a small basket.

Students roll the dice, move their teddy bear forward, name the picture they landed on, then write the r blend at the beginning of the word.

We did this again with s blends on Thursday.

When we finish each rotation, I have a designated student who changes the cards for me.
Students at work word and writing turn their papers in to a basket that is on the table beside me.  If they did not finish their work, it goes in a blue basket on the counter.  Then I read off where each group is going and we start the next 15 min.
My kids are starting to recognize the pattern of which center they go to next, so by the time I read them off, some have already made their way to their next station.  I plan to keep reading where they need to go for a few more weeks and then we'll see what happens.

When we're all finished with rotations, I do a quick check of everyone's phonics journal.
We usually have about 15-20 minutes to work on grammar, then its time for lunch.

We go to lunch in our number order, so no fussing going on here.

Our lunch menu.

The baked potato looked pretty good.

The lunchroom is usually crazy and the kids come back a little wild.  So we have a 10 min quiet time where they can lay their heads down while I play soft music.
When we finish with quiet time I call kids who were quiet and not playing to get a skittle.  If they were playing or talking during quiet time, no skittle.
Then we move onto math.
Some days we only have 1 encore class, so we have time for math workstations, today was not one of those days.
We typically do math work stations on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Our math unit for the past few weeks has been subtraction within 10.
So we did some activities on the board (I forgot to take pictures) and then did some independent practice with counting back on a number line.
Then we worked in our math journals.

Then it was time for Music and Guidance.
And then recess!

I love having recess at the very end of the day.

We were the first class outside, so we got the playground to ourselves for a few minutes.

Then it was back inside for some snacks.

While the kids eat snacks I have them get their backpacks from the hallway and put them on the backs of their chairs.
Then I'll call them back to my table to do their behavior chart.
Next, after snack trash is thrown away and backpacks are all packed up, we'll sit on the carpet while I read a few chapters of Magic Treehouse.  (I love that these books have 10 chapters each, so I can read 2 chapters a day and we finish a book each week)
Then the bell rings and its time to go home.
Thanks for spending the day with us!