Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Day!

So, I just got the call almost 2 hours ago...NO school tomorrow due to Hurricane Sandy. You know, living in PA I can't tell you when the last time was that we had school called off/out for a hurricane because it's NEVER happened before! Okay and seriously, people have been going crazy the last few days buying generators and all of the water and milk and eggs they can get. There are pictures of Wal-Mart and grocery stores with BARE shelves. Guess who decided not to shop (even though I need to anyways)??? ME! I mean, I've spent the past few days thinking..."this won't be so bad, a little rain won't hurt, people are silly!" Truthfully, I don't eat eggs/bread/milk daily and if we do lose power for a God awful amount of time, wouldn't that all go bad anyways? My thought process works like this: Wawa, Dunkin Donuts, or McDonald's WILL be open. Let's hope...

Now, let's move on from my lack of preparedness and pretend like everything is just peachy. :) So this year, I'm using a clip chart for my classroom management system. Yes, I've finally evolved from the traditional Green, Yellow, Red system. I always found this to be a bit negative...But, the clip chart has really changed the climate of the classroom because it just seems to really highlight the good choices that students are making. It took me a year to be brave enough to implement the system, because I thought it might be too complicated for parents and students. Last year, I piloted the clip chart with 2 boys that needed some personalized behavior plans and when it worked for them, I knew that it could work for everyone. Here's a pic of my clip chart (I grabbed it from another blogger, but I don't know who...eek, SORRY).

The original creator of this clip chart had red at the top and pink at the bottom. But since most of the students and parents in our school are used to red being associated with negative behaviors, I searched blogs until I found someone else who had a similar train of thought. You might be wondering why I have smiley faces or frowny ones to the left of the clip chart. There are faces that correlate with each color. Students draw them on a calendar at the end of the day to indicate where they finished their day. Parents must initial this calendar nightly.These smileys are quick and easy for the students to draw and it saves time from having to get out your crayons, find a certain color, color the calendar, etc.

My reward system this year is pretty simple too! Each time a student moves above green he/she earns a ticket. I have these simple reward tickets that I bought from Lakeshore in a cute box on my desk. Students just take a ticket and put it inside a zip-lock, labeled bag in their desk. (These baggies are kept inside pencil boxes). Students can "buy" things with their tickets. Above my clip chart is a simple sign that is titled:
 "What can I Buy?"
Lunch With Teacher.... 5 tickets
Switch My Seat........... 4 tickets
Homework Pass.......... 3 tickets
Job Choice.................. 2 tickets
Sticker......................... 1 ticket

Can I tell you that the MOST popular items are job choice and lunch with teacher! I schedule lunch with teacher about once weekly and on Mondays students can buy a classroom job for the week. They actually pay ME to WORK for ME. Sweet! And the best part of this system is that, there is no need for a prize bucket or Treasure box, which is saving me some money this year. All of my rewards cost me 0 dollars...gotta love saving money!

So, I'm super happy that I implemented the clip chart this year. My class loves it, it's working wonders, and 2 other teachers on my team have now adopted it! I love it because I can simply say "clip up" or "clip down" and I never really look too intently at the chart during the day because the students know that their choices move the clips. It's their responsibility to get their clip up by the end of the day. What's really neat though is to hear them setting goals for themselves on a daily and weekly basis. For many of them, green or "Ready To Learn" simply isn't good enough. We're setting high goals, awesome!

Alright back to preparing for Sandy and by preparing, I mean charging my macbook, kindle fire, and cell phone to the max...and downloading a few good kindle books. Stay tuned for hurricane updates!


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