Saturday, August 17, 2013

Classroom Tour 2013

Well, here are some pictures of my classroom this year. We just had open house on Thursday and I start school Monday. Ready or not, here they come! I have 24 sweet 5th graders on my list so far... you never know how many will really show up or how many extras you might get. We shall see. Hope you enjoy the tour!

View from the front door...

My "ticket out the door" poster. Students will write something they learned on a Post-It note and stick it on the poster.

My Boggle board for word work.

View of my cabinets and cubbies. I will put my word wall on the cabinets and the cubbies hold their math and reading stations.

One side of the classroom library. All books are in baskets by genre and then stickered with reading levels. More about my library can be found here.

View of the front of the room.

Another look at the word wall and classroom library.

This is my data-tracking board. I will show student progress on this board through our formative assessments we give. It will not have their name on it, but rather, just show how many students in our class passed each skill tested. There is one for math and one for reading.

This is my small group table. I recovered the chair to make it match the room a little better!

My desk... palm tree is just a carpet tube, lunch sacks over it, and an umbrella in the top.

My podium and chair I also recovered so it matched.

Small reading and writing area. Table and chairs are from Target a few years ago.

Writing center with writing supplies and our VOICES posters.

These are my "turn-in" folders where all work is turned in. They turn in their work in alphabetical order inside the subject-area folder.

Table for staplers, paper, highlighters (to highlight their names before turning in their papers).

Behind my desk... kind of messy in this picture, but you understand that, right?

Open house homework... students are asked to bring in a picture of their family to show the class and parents are asked to fill out a survey about their child and family to return to me.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Classroom Economy

Oh my! My summer is already over and I have not blogged ONE time! Yikes! I have been so busy, but will share about that later! But now on to the important stuff....

A Crafty Teacher’s Classroom Economy

Here is how I conduct my classroom economy that I use all year. I learned this when interning and have kept it up every year of teaching. The students love it, it's easy, doesn't require a bulletin board or anything special, and it works! What more could a teacher ask for? I have detailed directions below as well as a printable (front and back) of the transaction sheet you can use! Hope you like it. Please feel free to share how you use a classroom economy in your classroom too. 

 1. Give students a copy of the transaction register (a front and back copy has been provided). I always give my students some money to start their account with (about $5-$10). I also pay my students weekly for their class “job” that they do ($5 a week). This can be anything from being the line leader to organizing the classroom library. Every student has a job that they have applied for and been given for a nine-week period. They know that if they aren’t doing their job, they will not get paid. 
2.   Students can add or subtract money for whatever you choose throughout the day. I do the honor system, but also have a class “banker” that is supposed to check to see that students are being honest and paying when I ask them to. Some ideas are:
a.    Withdrawals: incomplete homework, running in the hall, not doing their class “job”, misbehavior, not getting their class planner signed, taking excessive bathroom breaks, not following classroom procedures, late work, etc.
b.    Deposits: turning in homework, the whole class is present and on time, doing the right thing, completing their class “job”, bringing back their weekly folder, scoring an A on a test, etc.
3.   Give students a set amount of time (I do 9 weeks at a time) to collect their money. They need to make sure they are always writing the date and description as they go. I tell my students if the date and description are not there, it will not count.
4.   Let students go “shopping” in your class store with their money at the end of the given time. Your class store can have whatever items you have available. Some ideas are: cheap toys, dollar store items, prizes from fast food meals, class coupons for things like pillow passes or sitting at the teacher’s desk, folders, mechanical pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, etc. I subtract it off their account as they shop. They have to add it all up and see if they have spent all of their money or how much is left for them to spend. I usually do this while they are doing an independent activity at their seats or working at centers.
5.   Once they have spent all of their money, I give them a new account register and they start all over again.

Additional ideas:
- I use the account system for my unit on the events leading up to Revolutionary War. I come into class as we are starting that unit and tell the class that I am the Queen and will start enforcing some new taxes. I "tax" them for anything and everything I can think of. For example, I have a certain stamp they have to stamp their paper with before turning it in or they will be taxed; students must be taxed to take extra bathroom breaks; if a student needs more pencils or supplies than provided, they are taxed; Use of drawing or writing paper is also taxed. This really hits home with so many students. They then can empathize with the colonists and all the taxes pushed on them. 
- If a student is doing something to another student (like pushing someone in line) I make them subtract money from their account and "give" it to the student they were pushing. This also applies if I see a student is getting someone else to do their job. They have to subtract the money from their account and the other person involved gets to add the money to theirs.