Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to School Weekly Linky: Week 1!

Welcome!!! It's FINALLY here - the weekly Back to School linky that Mrs. D's Corner and I are collaborating with - a labor of love :)

So, what is the B2S Weekly Linky all about?? Well, I'll tell ya!

This linky is a linky that is dedicated to getting you as educators, parents, and administrators ready for BACK TO SCHOOL!! As a group, we will share tips, stories, advice, and other such information on ten different topics, each week being a different topic. 

Topics might be about behavior management, your schedules, online tools that you love, and so on.

Check out the schedule below to see each week's topic.

So, let's begin with Week 1's topic!
Behavior management is a struggle for many teachers, especially new teachers like myself. I have taught myself that I don't need to be my students' friend, but rather, someone they can talk to but still look up to. 

So, I make sure that my behavior management techniques employ the positive reinforcement rather than negative.

For example, this past year, we used three separate things in my classroom.

First, we used our star chart.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but you'll get what it is after I explain it!

I purchased gold star stickers and a blue incentive chart from the teacher store. The students' names are written down the side and then the dates that we are in class are written across the top.

As you can see, the school I was at used the "behavior chart" with green, yellow, orange, and red cards. If a student made it through the day on green (with lots of other positive reinforcement, many ended up staying at green ALL day), they received a star.

At the end of the quarter, I counted up how many stars student MISSED. They were allowed up to 5 "no greens" and then they were out of the running for a Target gift card. I did this for 2 quarters and saw the behavior improve tremendously.

I will DEFINITELY use the Star Chart in the future, but in a different context. Next time, I will be using a personal, smaller star chart that I created. I think I will also do the chart monthly instead of quarterly and will also give a LOT of responsibility to the students by having them hold on to their own star charts!
Want a little freebie star chart to implement in your classroom this upcoming school year? Hang tight and check out the bottom of the post for a mini-freebie from the larger pack :)
Another positive reinforcement I used in the classroom to help behavior was the Homework Club created by Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.

The idea behind the club was that if you did your homework, you stayed in. If after the month ended you were still in, you received some sort of prize. It could be take your shoes off for the day, write in a pen for the day, homework passes, sit at a different table during lunch for the week, or anything else - prizes were things that did NOT cost me any money. So, it worked out well.

Their enthusiasm for the homework club impressed me and I had a few still not turn in homework… but a majority turned it in daily!

Finally, we used my fantastic system known as Party Puffs.
Others may know it as a marble jar or star jar. But, I found these BRIGHT, fun puffs at Hobby Lobby two years ago and thought of the name party puffs… why? Well, after the jar is completely full, the class gets to have a party!

How did they earn puffs? If they received a compliment from another teacher, parent, etc., they get 1 puff. If they received a complement from the principal, vice principal, or anyone else that holds an upper position, they got 22 party puffs (1 for each student in the class). They knew, though, that if behavior went downhill, I had the authority to remove the puffs and start over.

That crushed them so they ALWAYS did their best to make sure they didn't have to lose them, and instead, they were probably the BEST class when walking through hallways, when someone came into the classroom, etc. I was impressed with how well they acted and couldn't have been happier with the outcome of our party puff jar.

As of right now, I'm not in the classroom as a full time teacher next year. But, when I do go back, I plan to employ a few other techniques… one being a classroom economy system. This will help with the bathroom trips, daily jobs, and the overall behavior in and outside of the classroom.

My good friend Corinna who blogs over at Surfin' Through Second has a great product called Beach Bucks Classroom Money System.

I'll be using it to help my students not only practice their math skills, but also their social studies/economy skills... AND we'll be working on behavior at the same time! Amazing.

Oh yeah, that freebie! Are you still interested? Click on the photo below to be taken to GoogleDocs to download the Star Chart freebie :) 
So, what kinds of behavior management techniques, stories, advice, or other tips do you have for others? Link up below to let us know!

14 comments:

  1. I love how you have so many different ways to focus on all of the positive things your kiddos are doing! Love the idea of "Part Puffs!" and I love the name! The bright fun and colorful puffs would be super motivating for kids I am sure. I need to also get going on implementing this homework club so that I am doing a better job of simply rewarding the positive and not only focussing on who doesn't do their work! Thanks for hosting this kinky-I am incredibly excited for the topics each week!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

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    Replies
    1. Hey Amanda! Thank you for coming by! The Party Puffs are motivating to them I think purely because of the bright colors LOL and they love how they can squish them!! I liked the homework club because it does reward those who are turning in their work rather than the focus on negatives. It's a great positive reinforcement for the class to see, too.

      See you this week!

      Sara

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  2. What a great post...very informative! I like the party puffs idea...such a simple yet visual way for the kids to earn their party! I think I am going to use something like that this year. I'd love for you to check out what I do in my classroom. I've linked up!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

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    Replies
    1. Hey Angie! I'm surely going to be coming by to see what you do! I hope that you get as much success from the party puffs (or similar) idea that our class did!

      See you at this week's link up!

      Sara

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  3. Love the Party Puffs idea! So cute! Thanks for the tips. :)

    Stephanie
    Forever in Fifth Grade

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  4. Great post Sarah and I am excited to link up with you. I am writing a guest post right now on Classroom Management but it would be done for a few days - will I still be able to link up or will it close after this week? Your party puffs are so cute!

    :) Shelley
    The Write Stuff Teaching

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    Replies
    1. Hey Miss Shelley! The link up is open indefinitely so you can join whenever you would like!! It will be the same for the future weeks, as well :)

      Thanks for coming by, sweet friend!

      Sara

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  5. I want to do something like your puffs with my high school students. They always ask what they get for helping out, and I say a warm fuzzy place in my heart. I think I need real warm fuzzies.
    Sarah
    Kovescence of the Mind

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    Replies
    1. LOL, Sarah, that would be so perfect! And it's a cute idea even at that age - something fun for them to make them feel like "kids."

      Thanks for coming by!!

      Sara

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  6. This is such a great post!! I LOVE the Party Puffs idea, I do something similar with my kinders called 'GEMS of Kindness'. Thank you so much for hosting such a great linky where we can learn about so very many other tips and tricks for behavior management!!

    Warmest Wishes,
    Erin
    www.kinderdragons.blogspot.com

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    1. My hope is that this linky will allow us teachers to "teach" each other in a variety of ways and allow us all to find new & unique things to integrate into our classroom. I love the idea of gems of kindness. Are they little marbles that you use, or what is it that makes the "gem" part?? Looking forward to your post this week!!

      Sara

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  7. Love the Party Puff idea! I used a marble jar my first few years of teaching but always hated how loud they were! :) What a great link up, I can't wait to join in the fun!

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  8. Thanks for all the tips mentioned in this article! it’s always good to read things you have heard before and are implementing, but from a different perspective, always pick up some extra bits of information. Visit@
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