Monday, September 15, 2014

How Do You Motivate Your Students?


That's what I heard when I introduced "The Fabulous Cone" to my 4th and 5th grade class.  What an easy classroom management system!  Here's how I implement it:

Step 1: Acquire a cone.  Mine came from Dollar Tree.

Step 2: Put the cone in front of a student you catch doing something "fabulous."  I'll say something like, "Johnny, I love the way you got right to work- Faaabulouss!" and then I slide the cone over to him and watch while everyone else

Step 3: The student who has the cone at the end of the period gets to clip up.  In my room, they clip up TWO TIMES! Hold the phone!

Step 4: When students reach the top of the chart, they can choose a reward.  (I make them choose without looking...such fun!) Adding the QR codes to the reward coupons brings a great sense of mystery. 

And there you have it! Easy peezy lemon squeezy. 

Let me know what you do to motivate your students and you could win my Editable Reward Coupons! I'll choose a winner by 9/18. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Classroom Reveal 2014-2015

I'm so excited to finally reveal my classroom! I've been in this room 3 years and it really feels like home.  I love how it turned out- come and see!

Let's start with when you first walk in...

Shelves: Sandusky Lee
Bins: Really Good Stuff

Keep walking straight- you'll find my group reading area with library, easel, rocking chair, and clip chart.

Laundry Hamper: Amazon
Clip Chart: Here

Make a left and you'll see my "new" reading area, which is just extra space I created by moving my desk against the wall. 

Rug: Target
Pillow (and LOVE pillow): Ross

Frame: Kirkland's

Green and Gray fabric bin: Big Lots
Book boxes: Target and Michael's
Birthday Straws: here

Simple Visual Classroom Rules: Here
Green three tier drawers: Big Lots
Yellow "Fabulous" Cone: Dollar Tree

"Crazy" sign: Kirkland's
Rewards coupons: Here and Here

Border: Michael's
Proceed With Candy: Target Dollar Spot

Beanie Baby: Amazon
Marzano Scale: here
Magnetic Towel Rod: Big Lots

This is my writing/math/technology station.  Our tablets are in a black docking station that we can't!

Reading, Writing, and Math Boards: here

Alphabets: here

 One last look! The colorful wall in the back is a dividing wall that I covered with paper- I love how bright it is.  My room always feels warm, even when it's dreary or cold out.  

Hope you enjoyed your tour- come back anytime! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Scoop

Hey friends! I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio for a new linky- Sunday Scoop.  How fun!  Last week was a doozy- school started, we had our first obedience class (Lacey's, not mine), we had a town council hearing about our fence (we won but it was an awful meeting), we had a make-up obedience class (because we were late. Really late) and I had my first grad class of the semester.  So I am definitely looking forward to a slower pace this week!

3: I think the first two are self-explanatory, n'est pas? I am giving a placement test in my NC class this week to determine what math levels my kiddos are on, then we'll go from there.  A few years ago I would have been tearing my hair out, not knowing what/how I would teach.  But I'm much much calmer about it now...thanks to TPT! 

2: So, we have a new rule at school: no shoes higher than 1 inch and no open feet (think gladiator style).  My ballet flats which I wear Oct-April are fine, but I am out of options for warm weather shoes.  So a-shopping we will go. 

1. We are celebrating our 1 year anniversary of being homeowners, so we're having our long long long over-due housewarming.  Yay for party planning!!

What's your scoop? Link up with the Teaching Trio!

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Currently September!

Well, here we are.  Labor Day. The last day of an empty 10 am grocery store.  The last day of morning puppy cuddles.  The last day of people-watching my neighbors.  I totally do that.  No judging, please. Instead, why don't you see what's on my mind?

1. My husband works from home, so he gets to spend every day with Lacey.  She's definitely a Daddy's Girl. 

2. I'm super-loving my #bts14 school clothes! I got a great deal at Loft the other day and really lucked out. I am going to start adding to my "administrator clothes" pile little by little, so these were a great start!

3. I'm having mixed feelings about going back.  Not because it's the end of summer, but really because I'm ready to stretch my wings and see what else is out there.  Because you know, the grass is greener on the other side.  It is!

4. Everyone deServes to Learn is on facebook and it's kind of lonely out there! Come say hi!

5. I do a lot of running around on the first day or two of school.  It's my responsibility to test all new possible ELL's who enter the building, K-8.  I don't start my classes until Monday, even though we start school on Wednesday.  It's a necessary evil.  I don't do well with necessary evils.  So calm, cool, and collected it is. Hopefully.

6. I've been so fortunate to have traveled to many wonderful places.  Many cruises, Italy, Paris, Portugal, London, Hawaii...I really am a lucky girl.  But I would love to visit Geneva, Sydney, and Dublin.  I really would like to go to all the places in the world (except maybe not Antarctica.  I'm kind of a warm-weather person) at some point in my life.  An around the world cruise is right up my alley.

So that's what's on my mind as we start a new school year.  What's on yours? Link up with Fabulous Farley!

Monday, August 25, 2014

What do all these people have in common?

 We are all TpT sellers and bloggers from New York and New Jersey! I guess I had meet-ups on my mind, because after the TpT meet-up in Princeton, I was so fortunate to get another chance to meet more sellers!

We all met at Soho Park in NYC, then trekked (one block) to the TPT offices.  I had such an amazing time getting to know people from all over the tri-state area.  Special thanks to Erica Bohrer (Erica's Ed-ventures) for organizing, and Danielle (Study all Knight) and Christina (School Daisies) for taking the trip in from Metro-Park with me.

Aren't we cute?!?
From top left: Viki, Darlene, Christine, James, Lauren A, Amie, Jo, Danielle
From bottom left: Erica, Lauren W, Amna, Christina, Anna, Me!

The group with Team TpT! 

Thanks so much to TPT for opening your office to us.  We could have stayed and chatted all afternoon! 

One more thing! Everyone deServes to Learn is now on Facebook! What?!? How did it take me this long? 

I'd love for you to stop by and say hi!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Paper Wreath: Monday Made It

My library has been hosting arts and crafts afternoons this summer, and I finally got to spend an afternoon with the ladies who craft.  The library supplied all the paper, cardboard, glue, and tape...but some women brought their own glue guns.  BYOG? Those were the serious crafters! Want to see what we made?

The finished product.  Want to learn how to make it? Keep reading!

25 6"x6" papers.  You can use book pages, newspaper, scrapbook paper...whatever you want!
Glue Gun
8" x 8" piece of cardboard (approx.)
2" x 4" strip of cardboard (approx.)
Image printed on cardstock
Crepe Paper (optional)
Ribbon to hang

Start by making cones out of your papers.  Tip: make one and then use it as a template for the others. Here's what they will look like.

(I used scrapbook paper because it was the perfect size!)

Try and make your cones about the same width.  They don't have to be pointy at the bottom so don't spend too much time!

Arrange them how you'd like over your piece of cardboard.  The BYOG crafters drew circles on their cardboard to help them...I'm not that fancy. Glue down until you've used up your cones.  I put some of mine as a second layer on top since they didn't fit on my cardboard. 

Take your smaller strip of cardboard and cut it into pieces.  At the same time, with your other hand, (just kidding!) cut out your image on cardstock. Don't glue yet!

Stack your cardboard pieces (you can glue now) until your cardstock image clears the cones.  You don't want the medallion to be crinkled or crumped <-- word? Word.  Then place the plastic-y velcro on the top cardboard strip.

Place the soft velcro on the back of the medallion.  This makes it interchangeable, and you can just make a new medallion for different seasons or holidays.  As an optional addition, crump/crunch/scrunch some crepe paper around the medallion to make a border, secure with hot glue. 

Last but not least, hot glue some ribbon to the bottom cardboard piece.  Hang, et voila!

A beautiful paper wreath.  

For more amazing crafts, head over to Monday Made It!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Start the year off right with English Language Learners!

So, you have ESL students in your class this year? If you've never had English Language Learners (ELL's, ESL students, ESOL students, EFL students) the job can be pretty daunting.  Even if you've had ELL's for years, your incoming students may not have the same background as your former students.  Teaching ESL students is not something to fear- I've put together a few tips to guide you through your first week.

Buddy Up
 A peer buddy is a great way to take some pressure off you the first few days.  The peer buddy can be an older student, a student who speaks the same language, or a student who is looking for a friend.  Buddy-ing up your ELL student with a native English speaker will not only open up a whole realm of social language (playground talk) where you mostly speak in academic language (school talk).  It's a great way to build confidence and self-esteem for both students!

Sentence ______ Frames
Your students want so much to be included in activities along with the rest of the class, but you may notice a hesitation to participate.  This may come from the fear of not knowing what to say or how to say it.  Lessen the speaking anxiety by providing sentence frames.  For example, if you ask, "Do you want pizza or hot dogs for lunch," prompt (if needed!) by leading with, "I would like ______ for lunch."  Sometimes it helps to put your most frequently used frames on sentence strips.  

Label, Pictures, Repeat
Scoot, Read the Room, 4 Corners...all great games.  However, if there are only words on your task cards your ELL student may not understand the meaning or context.  Provide a print-rich vocabulary by labeling the room with pictures AND words, and try to make sure your task cards are appropriate for students' proficiency level. 

Knowledge is Power! 
Ask your administrator or ESL teacher for as much information about your student as possible.  I always send my teachers the students' individual proficiency levels, a copy of their WIDA Can-Do descriptors and a little personal background (family, prior education, issues with certain topics, etc).  At my school we often have charitable organizations registering students, and we've implemented a basic information form to help us with the process.  Hopefully your admin can provide you with some information!

Think of yourself as the welcome wagon.  You may be the first contact your student has to speaking English , perhaps even the only contact.  Learning English can be a daunting task, so try to make your student as comfortable as possible for the first few weeks. 

Good luck this year! Do you have any tips to share? Post them in the comments!