TPT 3 Million Strong Sale!!

2/27/2014 / Leave a Comment

TpT is having a 3 Million Teachers Strong Sale this Thursday and Friday!
(Feb 27th - 28th)

My entire shop is 20% off, but if you use the promo code: TPT3 you can save even more -- a total of 28% off everything in my shop!!

Here are a few of my center ready activities that are great for the upcoming holidays! Simply print and place in your literacy stations! Click the picture for more info!
My cart is packed and ready to go, so I am off to shop!

Happy shopping everyone!!

Thanks to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs for the sale graphic!!
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Data Tracking Sheets

2/25/2014 / Leave a Comment
I have been working on getting my fifth grade class to be accountable for the grades they earn this year. I have a few students who have a tendency not to take some of their grades too seriously.

In November we began tracking scores, and I noticed right away that it impacted their awareness of the grades they got. Several mentioned "I don't want to mark this test down!" I asked them what they could do next time to avoid this and they all replied "study a lot more!"

Then the holiday's came and all of our many snow days. As many routines do, this began to fall apart. I have a couple of students who never forget to mark scores down, but I know many have not been following through.

I wanted to revamp them (my old ones were just tables with no clipart - so very dull!) to hopefully motivate them to fill them in more often.
I included directions and cover sheets in this set. We currently store ours in a folder, but I think the cover will make it easier to find!
There are sample score sheets so they can see the different options they have for filling in their sheets. A lot of my students use the bar graph, but the line graph is a lot quicker to fill in!

Each month has 7 sheets: Spelling, Vocabulary, Math, Science, Social Studies and 2 Reading sheets, one for Constructed Responses and one for Reader's Responses. We do both responses in my classroom, but the Constructed Response is a bit more formal.

All the subjects are scored 0-100%, except for the Reading Responses and Constructed Responses - those are based on a 5 point scale. I made it larger, in case you want to include 1/2 points.
All of the monthly sheets have thematic toner-friendly black and white clipart.
We are going to make completing our data sheets a habit by incorporating it into our morning routine. All corrected work will be waiting on their desks in the morning and they will fill in their data sheets before morning meeting!

I am looking forward to sharing these with my students when I go back to school next week!

This set is available in my TpT shop. Just click on the store name or the pictures above!
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My New Year's Resolution - A Failure?

2/24/2014 / Leave a Comment

I decided at the end of last year that I needed to take a break from shopping. I had spent a lot of time (and money) building up my wardrobe over the past few years. Since I have a full time job this year (finally!!) I want to get back to the responsible me that knows how to save.

For my resolution, I set out to not shop for 3 months, and I made it 1 month and 24 days.

And then I saw this dress:
It was at ideeli (I do so adore that site!) and I wanted it. Seriously. Like insanely bad. I already have one Evan Picone dress that I am smitten with:
It has been the perfect dress this winter, especially with tights, boots and this jacket:
Not too mention, I had a store credit, so I got a great deal on it!

I must admit that I have enjoyed not shopping - and it has not been as hard as I thought. I have gotten a chance to dig out some clothes that I really love, and toss some of the ones that I am not so fond of.

I do not think it was a complete failure as far as resolutions go. I am still not planning on doing much shopping. I haven't even used my Macy's gift card from Christmas!! But a bargain on a fabulous dress like this one is just too difficult for me to pass up!

Have you found any deals you just could not resist lately? Let me know in the comments below?
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Classroom Management Apps

2/02/2014 / 2 comments
Being a first year teacher I am always looking for ways to better manage my class. I have found two great ones that my class and I are currently obsessed with!

Too Noisy -

Too Noisy is an amazing app that monitors the level of noise in your classroom. It takes a bit of finessing to get the levels right (you just go into the settings and adjust the sensitivity and dampening.) Once you do however, it is a wonderful visual for the class as to what is an acceptable volume!

I use the lite version of this app, the pro comes with an alarm and keeps track of how many times it gets too loud. My class doesn't need this feature, so the lite is perfect for us!

Here's a peek at the stages and how we use them:
My class knows this is where the meter should be during tests and independent work.
During group activities they aim to keep the meter around the top of the hill on the left. If they enter the blue it is getting too loud!
This only happened in the beginning, but they know that the yellow sky and worried face are a sign it is becoming uncomfortably loud.
Lastly we have the maxed out smiley. Fortunately we have never truly hit this in my class. There may have been one or two students who coughed loudly into the speaker the first few days, just to make it do this!!

When I found this I wasn't sure how my 5th graders would react, but they love it! If I ever forget to put it on, one of them will always remind me. It really keeps the volume of our room under control.

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is free too! It really is an amazing management tool. Here's how we use it in our classroom:

I blogged about Dojo back in October, but we have since evolved the ways in which we use it. Back then my students purchased seating and tech devices, but now we use it a bit differently.

My class was one of those pencil problem classes - no matter how often I put them out, there were none to be found! Then when I would grab a new pack we would have to wait for the endless sharpening line!

I decided to try out mechanical pencils, but I wanted a way to make them responsible for them at the same time. I hoped that if they had to buy them, it would help them to keep a better eye on it. So far it is working out really well!

With that in mind, I added in a few new trade in options! Now every Monday morning we pop the class list up on the wall and assess who would like to make a trade!

For 10 Dojo points you can purchase either a mechanical pencil, eraser, dry erase marker or a pen.

For 15 Dojo's you can purchase a mini water bottle.

For 25 points you can purchase a Kindle or be the line leader for the week.

50 Dojo's gets you access to the desktop, laptops or ipads for the week. The only rule is that you must finish your assignments first, then you may go on anything that relates to that subject area.

Finally, 100 points gets you a free homework pass!

The only time that I project Class Dojo instead of Too Noisy is when I am taking my Guided Reading and Guided Writing groups. It is so much easier to keep the rest of the class on task when I can positively reward them for working hard. Or in some cases, send a quick reminder to a student who is off task.

What do you use to manage your behaviors?

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