Sunday, December 9, 2012

Is It Break Yet?!

What an exhausting week! First of all, I've been fighting this nasty cough since Thanksgiving. The running joke is that "I can quit smoking whenever I want!" I don't smoke, but I have *that* cough.

And my kids have been very talkative and rude to each other this week, so I put them on a class point sheet. In previous years, I have done point sheets for specific kids that have had problems with behavior, and I have done point systems for my class when they go to other teachers, but this is the first time that I've done a full point sheet for my whole class. Each day, one student will be responsible for getting it filled out by the teacher. We'll see if that can get me through break.

To start, I expressed my frustration with having to constantly redirect behaviors. It put me in a negative mood. Then I said that I thought that some of them felt the same way, too. So we had a Festivus-style airing of grievances (without using names, of course). From that list of grievances, I created five goals for the class. They can earn up to two points per goal per class, with a total of sixty points for the day. If they achieved 80% of that total, or 48 points, then they earn one day towards our class party (which will be a PJ/electronics day). I randomly award PBIS bucks to a student for every extra point above 48, so four extra points means that four randomly drawn students would get a PBIS buck. For every point that they were short, they owed me a minute after school with their heads down and no talking. The earned exactly enough on Wednesday, owed me four minutes on Thursday, and today is looking good. Here is what the point sheet looks like.
We spent most of the week preparing for Thursday's explorer test. One of the favorite review games is Wordo, which is pretty much like Bingo. Students fill in their own boards with terms and phrases that I project on the board. Then I read sentences or definitions that go with each term of phrase. Five in a row wins. For the first few rounds, I let students raise their hand to answer the questions so we can all hear the correct answers. After they have heard each clue once or twice, then I don't call on anyone, but I do allow them to quietly help their neighbors. This allows the lower-ability students to still participate (and win). I allow the students to win more than once. However, when a student who has already won that day wins again, I still let them get a prize. But instead of making everyone else clean off their boards, I keep going with the game until we get a new winner for the day. It helps to keep the mood positive if the same kids (who probably studied at home for the test) keep winning. Another variation that I do with about ten minutes left in class is to let them trade boards. Then when someone wins, the person whose board s/he's using wins, too! So if John won, and John used Mary's board, they both get prizes. They love it, and it gets them cheering for each other!

I also started my TpT store. It's pretty weak, but I wanted a place to put things that I wrote about on Fifth Grade Freebies. I don't know if I'll ever have anything that would cost something, since I'm still trying to get a handle on what fonts and clip art I can and cannot use for commercial use. And if buying the commercial license would be worth it...
And we started using Kristen's Season's Readings. The kids really like the one where you design the ornaments. Of course, they love anything where you get to draw!

Ten more days until break!

Update:
I'm linking this post up to a Friday Flashback :)

2 comments:

  1. Love that you have airing of grievances. We have those meetings on occasions as well!

    Jennifer
    http://teachingtoinspirein5th.blogspot.com/

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  2. I can relate to your issues with your students and then I found Class Dojo. It is a great interactive behavior management system that allows you to sent reports directly to parents. The kids can review their behavior and customize a monster avatar. Rachel (one of our T3) came up with a great incentive system that I tweaked for my students. It has been so helpful.

    Rachel & I are reviewing this weekend on our blog.

    Angela

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