Thursday, November 5, 2015

Classroom Jobs

I've shared my list of leadership roles that the students in my classroom have. You can see my list here.

So, after seeing this huge list you're probably wondering what some of these are. So here's a quick run down of each job. 

Breakfast Buddy- Goes to the lunchroom in the morning to help younger students open things and clean up after breakfast.

Greeter- Greets people who enter our classroom. Just walk up and say hello and welcome to our classroom.

Tour Guide- When we have special guests in the school, tour guides take them on a tour of our school.

Capri Sun- Our school recycles Capri Sun pouches and students help with this process.

Recycling- Empty classroom recycle bin

Classroom Board- Updates all classroom boards and calendar.

RAK Leader- Random Acts of Kindness leader helps facilitate RAKs our class does.

Computer Lab- Gives hand sanitizer as we enter and takes up ear buds when we leave.

Library- Helps put books back on the shelf and anything else the librarian needs.   

iPad- Makes sure all iPads are accounted for and plugs them in at the end of the day.

Safety- Helps make sure walkways are clear of binders, jackets, and trash.

Communications- Runners who take things to other teachers in the building.

Attendance- Take attendance every morning and lets me know who is absent.

PE- Helps PE coach and even goes in to help K students tie shoes.

Environmental- Cleans up and empties trash cans at the end of the day.

Lunchroom- Lines up students to go to lunch, carries bucket to the lunchroom with extra forks, ketchup, etc. 

Lunch Count- Writes lunch choices on the board and writes the count on a slip to deliver to the lunchroom each morning. Also takes any lunch money to the lunchroom.

Phone- Answers the phone.

Music- We listen to Pandora a lot so this students starts our music.

Tech- Helps with any tech in the classroom. Very helpful when we have a sub.

Paper- Hands back graded papers and other things that need to be sent home.

Sign/Door- We have a Where Are We sign that must be changed when we leave and the door must be closed and locked when we leave. 

Lamp- I have a lot of classroom lamps so this student turns them on in the morning and off in the afternoon.

Desk Inspector- We switch classes and nothing can be left in the desk. This student makes sure nothing is left behind.

Behavior Monitor- Helps monitor behavior in hallway.

Cart Manager- Our classroom has 6 carts with tissue, paper towels, notebook paper, wipes, post it notes, index cards, and hand sanitizer. This student restocks anything that is missing. 

Find Your Voice/Morning Meeting- Find Your Voice is like Show and Tell for big kids. These students look at our Google doc that lists the students who have signed up to share and gets the process going. They also lead morning meeting on Wednesday.

Time Keeper- This student sets a timer any time we need it. This is very helpful when going to lockers or packing up in the afternoon.

Pencil- Makes sure pencils are out and sharpened.

Walkie Talkie- We have to take this to recess each day. This student makes sure I don't forget it. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our Giving Tree & Conduction Ice Race

I've been terrible about blogging this year! I'm so sorry to my followers. One of my goals is to get back in the habit of sharing what we're doing in the classroom.

If you've followed my blog for long you probably see that we love doing random acts of kindness in my classroom. I wanted to come up with a way for us to track the RAKs we had done so I decided to create a tree in the hallway. Each time the kids do a random act of kindness they write it on a heart. I plan to add the hearts to the tree as leaves. We are going to call it the Giving Tree.

Here's a picture of the tree before leaves & after a few leaves were added. I can't wait to see what it looks like at the end of the school year!

Our class was so excited that our Donor's Choose project was funded so we were able to get a few new Chromebooks. The kids used them for the first time this week and I can't wait to have them using them more often. 

Finally, we learned about conduction, convection, and radiation last week. 

I gave each student a piece of ice and they raced to see who could use conduction to melt it the fastest. 

Congratulations to the students shown below! They won a trip to Chick-fil-A in a limo! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dot Day, Nouns, & Word Problems

This week was Dot Day so I read The Dot to my homeroom class. Every year I use this day to start our random acts of kindness that we do throughout the school year. We pick a door in the school and leave many, many positive post it notes on the door. Of course, my kids wanted to start with Dr. Headen, our new principal. 

The only rules are they must be positive notes and they must sign their name. 

I'm sure she was surprised when she returned to see her door looking like this!

We have been studying nouns and I found this game to help them practice concrete and abstract nouns. The kids loved it!

They played the game in pairs and the winner of the game got a ticket for the good job jar. 

Do you need some games to noun practice? Games 4 Gains had this great pack for Nouns so I purchased it. The kids loved this game and I can't wait to use more of them next week. 

We have also been working on making word problems easier. This is something my students struggle with every year. I wanted to introduce them to this collaborative problem solving activity for 5th grade math. 

So I put the kids in small groups and had them work together to solve the word problem. Then I set up the screen and we used our 4 Mobis so that each group could share their thought process and problem solving. 

I love using the Mobis for this because there are times when groups solve the problem in different ways and they are able to share with the entire class. This time everyone solved it exactly the same way. I like using the groups to solve the problems because it helps those who may struggle with word problems because they help each other!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Simple Subjects & Simple Predicates

I've been a terrible blogger this school year and for that I must apologize. Things have been crazy at school and home. So I decided to share this awesome video a couple of my students made when we learned about simple subjects & predicates. I had them make up hand motions to go along with what we were learning. I saw several of them doing those motions during the test!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

1st 2 Weeks- 4 Types of Sentences

I can't believe we've already finished 2 full weeks of school. The first week of school was full of getting to know you activities, learning how to open lockers, and getting back in to the swing of school.

We did several fun things to review the 4 types of sentences. First we watch the Explore webcam and wrote 4 types of sentences about what we saw. 

Later the first week my students went through old magazines and found one picture the liked. They cut it out and glued it to notebook paper. Each student wrote 4 types of sentences about their picture and then shared it with a small group. 

Finally, we wrapped up our review of the 4 types of sentences with this cute activity! Students punctuated sentences, sorted them into categories, and then glued them on to clothes lines. 

STUDENTS: Which sentence activity was your favorite and why?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#LearnLAP Chap 4

Chapter 4 is about improvement focus vs. grade focus. It seems that so many parents and students are grade focused. They are so proud to have had straight A's all the way through school. So my question is, do they have straight A's because the work is too easy? I've often wondered about that. I want my classroom to be more improvement focused, but that is going to take some work.

Set the Expectation: "In our classroom, we have one rule: Be a good person."

I love this quote because students need peers, parents, and teachers to be examples of this as well. We are a Leader In Me Lighthouse School. So we have made many changes around our school in the last 3 years with the focus of becoming a better person. This is not just directed at students, but teachers and staff as well. I worked with my best friend and fellow teacher on a Random Acts of Kindness project at our school. Our classes did nice things for others and I loved seeing the changes in my classroom. We did things like writing nice notes to an adult in the building. Parents were happy to send in old note cards they had for us to do this. We wrote post it notes with positive words like: Great job or Super and posted them on the student work that was displayed in the hallways. We would have a set time and my class would make a loop through the entire building. Each student made 2-3 post it notes and they chose the work where they would leave the note. I always made them sign their name on the note. We also chose random teachers and covered his/her door with positive post it notes. 

Another thing that I really liked from Chapter 4 was the section about having students write reelections. If you know me at all, you know I had to create some super cute signs to post in my room for my students to use as a guide. I also started thinking about having students write in reflection journals. This is still an idea that I'm developing but if you use reflection journals I'd love to hear about how you use them and how often your students write in them! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#DitchThatTextbook Chap 4-7

Can I tell you how much I love this quote? I'm not one to pretend that I know everything. My students are always asking questions and I don't always know the answers. So I say, "Why don't you look that up?" or "Why don't you Google that and share the answer with us?"

It is all about teaching students where to find answers, not act like we know all the answers. I've had several parents tell me when they ask questions at home their child will say what I say, "Why don't we Google that?" I love that they are taking the initiative to find the answers to their questions.

I started doing #GeniusHour last year and my students loved it. They couldn't get over the fact that I would allow them to research and share information about anything they were interested in. We did have the discussion that their projects had to be school appropriate but they were super excited! When I first started planning to do this I had no idea how I would fit the time in. We have specials 4 days a week (45 minute block) but one day a week we don't. I normally used that time to catch up on social studies or another subject if we needed extra time. But I decided to make that our Genius Hour time and my kids never let me forget. There were days when we were out for weather last year and they would give up recess time to make it up. They were allowed to research something they were passionate about and I loved seeing their excitement.

I started by having them create a heart map. They drew a large heart and filled it with all the things they were passionate about. Then I had them write a wonder on a post it note. That would be the guide for what they wanted to research. They posted their post it note for everyone to see and they organized their plan using our class Trello board.

There were so many different things the students shared with each other. Once they finished we would let them share with the class and post about things on their blogs. There are areas where I need to improve and work on some mini lessons to help them grow beyond their basic questions. But for the first year, I'm tickled with the way this turned out. I'm planning to do it again this coming school year and I love learning what my students are passionate about. This last year we learned about aquatic animals, how to draw, break dancing, and many other things!

While I wasn't ready to make my class completely self-directed, I did find a way to allow students to find their passions. With a few little changes I made it work. I'm going to do things a little different this year, but I was willing to start. That made such a big impact on my students. I loved watching them work together to find answers, learn how to use new technology, and share what they discovered. So if you're thinking about finding a way to empower students to find their passions, this would be the route to go! Your plan doesn't have to be perfect!