Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Creating Effective Student Behavior Charts

Finding yourself with a student who might need a little extra help when it comes to managing behavior? I feel you! That's why I wanted to quickly show you my favorite little behavior charts that you might find helpful with one (or a few!) of your students!

These {editable} behavior charts are designed 2 per page, and you can add your daily schedule to them. As students go throughout the day, they will color in the emoji that aligns with their behavior. You can choose between 2 emojis (happy/sad) or 3 emojis (happy, straight, sad).
For one of my students, I used these Crayola Color Switchers (affiliate link), which are basically just magic markers. You can use them to hide smiley faces, and I let my student color in boxes in a little grid when he earned a certain number of smiley faces for the day. When he found a hidden 5 smiley faces, he earned a reward.

Recently I decided it'd be fun to add seasonal/monthly behavior charts. They are basically the same, except they have seasonal emojis for each month. For example, February has heart face emojis, October has pumpkin faces, etc.
Hope these little charts help some of your students! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Organizing Math & Reading Rotations

After seven years of teaching, I finally found the best way to organize my small group rotations. I'm going to share with you how I organize my rotations. Keep in mind this is what worked for my students and my classroom - you might adapt or change these ideas as you see fit!

First: Rotation Charts
I've tried multiple ways of making sure my students knew where they were supposed to go during rotations, but I always encountered a problem... Poster/Chart on the wall = not enough wall space; Rotation chart displayed on my interactive whiteboard/screen = technology is never on my side and won't work OR I have a sub and he/she can't log in so students don't know where to go... SO. MANY. PROBLEMS.

Soooooo... I finally decided that EVERYONE gets a chart! For math, I had 3 small groups and named them different fruits. For reading, I had 5-6 small groups and named them different animals. Every group had their own chart (see picture below), and every student kept their chart in a sheet protector. (I also kept master rotation charts in my guided math & guided reading binders for my reference).
Next: How many rotations do students have?
In math, I had my students in 3 rotations a day.

  • Teacher Table: students work at the carpet with me
  • Independent Work: students go to this station AFTER teacher table & complete a few practice activities that we learned about during teacher table (also a good time to get in district mandated math curriculum work)
  • Games & Centers: students complete differentiated math centers that include card games, board games, puzzles, fact practice, and more.

I differentiate my independent work each day by putting appropriate work in the folders for each group. When students go to independent work, they pull their work out of the correct folder.  
Here's a sample math rotation chart:
In reading, my students go to 3 rotations a day; however, they will only go to teacher table a few times a week (so they'll have 5-6 total rotations). I always have my lowest group meet with me every day (ex: they start their reading rotation at teacher table everyday). My highest reading group meets with me 2x a week (ex: they meet with me on a Tues/Thurs rotation). My on level groups meet with me 3x a week (ex: they meet with me on Mon/Wed/Fri).

Here's a sample reading rotation chart:
Last: How long do students spend in each rotation?
For math, I begin with a 10-12 minute whole group lesson. This includes a number talk and a short mini-lesson so I can be sure that EVERY student is getting grade level instruction. Then, we start rotations and students spend about 20 minutes in each rotation.

For reading, I usually have a read aloud (10ish minutes) and mini-lesson (5-6ish minutes) before starting rotations. Student spend about 15-20 minutes in each rotation. I do not include read to self time as a rotation; we ALL do read to self at the same time together later in the day so that I can conduct one-on-one reading conferences.

I hope you've found some of these ideas for organizing your rotations helpful. You can create your own rotation charts here!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Morning Tub Ideas from Oriental Trading

I'm so excited to share with you some amazing resources I've tested out from Oriental Trading that are PERFECT for your morning tubs!

This year I wanted to give my students a morning that was less stressful (for them and for me) when they arrived in the morning, so I decided to give morning tubs a try. It's been a HIT, so today I'm going to share with you some awesome resources I'm putting in my tubs from Oriental Trading.

First, let's talk about the bright baskets. :) I knew I wanted my tubs to be medium-size for a groups of 3-4 students, and these are perfect. They come in these 6 neon colors, and I love that I can easily see what's in them.
One of my favorite resources we've used so far are these fun, sentence building dominoes. The various parts of speech are all color coded, and students use them to make silly sentences! I even had one student build a silly sentence house! I put these in our morning tubs during the first week of school, and students loved them. Later in the year I'm going to add them to our word work center, too! Did I mention they're also really sturdy? They're wooden, so you don't have to worry about these getting worn out by frequent use!
I also love these contraction puzzles! We aren't quite ready for these yet, but I'm saving them for when we really hit contractions later in the year. I KNOW students will love them! Plus, they're on a sturdy, thick cardboard, so they'll last for awhile!
Last, I have a few items that I absolutely LOVE but the kids were so busy with them that I couldn't get a good picture! We have these big, foam word family dice where students can make words. I also put small whiteboards and markers in the basket so students could write down words they made. Students had great conversations about whether or not the words they were rolling were real words or nonsense words.

If you're looking for hands-on, worksheet free ideas for your morning tubs, I highly suggest taking a look at some of the amazing resources on Oriental Trading. You won't be disappointed!



*I was provided these products from Oriental Trading for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are mine. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Organizing Your Math Rotations

The organization and planning/prepping that comes with math rotations can sometimes feel daunting, so today I'm going to share with you a few different ways I plan my math rotations every year.

If you're just diving into math rotations for the first time, I suggest choosing starting with only three rotations (two centers and one for teacher table). I've found it easiest to split my class into three groups (low, medium, and high levels). I have done this in primary grades AND when I taught 6th grade math.

I am all about keeping it simple. As you can see on my cart, I just label my centers #1-5. The bottom half of my cart is for ELA. My math rotations are very simple: teacher table, math center/game from one of the drawers, and math practice on iPads.
One year I tried doing interactive notebooks with my kiddos, and it just wasn't working for us. Students couldn't do them independently, and I felt like they spent a lot of time cutting and gluing. Don't get me wrong, I know we need that practice too, but it just wasn't a good fit in my room. AND THAT'S OKAY! Don't force yourself into doing something just because you feel like you should. Plus, it can be a lot to prep!

One of my favorite storage solutions are these colorful, plastic 4x6 photo boxes from Michaels. Every time I prep a center, I add the cards to one of these boxes. They're also the perfect size for holding dry erase markers! Also from the picture below, you can see the bins that used to hold my math centers before I got my colorful cart. I really liked these bins, but I ended up needing the table space, so the cart was a better fit for my classroom.
If you missed my other guided math posts, you can find my posts on Number Talks here and Math at the Teacher Table here. To celebrate the end of this wonderful series, we're giving away $75 to Amazon and 2 Magnetic Ten Frame sets! Enter below!

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Find even more guided math posts below!