Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rewarding Positive Behavior

Second grade has been in session for 16 days and it has been quite a ride so far :)  Along with learning procedures, rules, etc. I have been focusing much of my attention on the POSITIVE behavior displayed in my classroom.  One of the ways I am doing this is by using the Clip Chart I explained in a past blog:

Another way I celebrate great behavior is with our Positive Marble Jar.  This is for whole group behavior whereas the Clip Chart is more individual behavior.  I add marbles for "BIG" moments in the classroom such as a fantastic Writer's Workshop which occurred today.  I had a moment where I looked up and everyone was focused on their work.  Some were Peer Editing/Revising with a quiet whisper voice, others were at their desks publishing a writing piece.  It was so great!  So, at the end I surprised the class with 5 marbles in the jar :)

On the jar there are 3 lines.  Each time the marbles reach a line, there is a whole class reward to go along with it.  I usually have the students suggest rewards and then I look at them and decide.  This time the rewards are:

Line 1: No Homework Night
Line 2: Longer Morning Recess/3rd Recess
Line 3: Lunch in the classroom with a treat

Sometimes I even grab a handful of marbles when I am just blow away by behavior.  It works great and is especially helpful when I have substitutes.  The know all about the marbles and this helps them to remind each other of how our classroom runs whether I am there or not.

I would love to hear your version of rewarding positive group behavior or if you use something similar, how do you add your own twist to it?  

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Classroom, New Technology, New Year!

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning...” -Joseph Priestley

Tomorrow, I will start my fourth year of teaching and could not be more excited!  This summer has been a wonderful learning period where I have discovered a wonderful PLN via Twitter, Pinterest and a variety of teaching blogs.  I have gained so many wonderful ideas for my classroom which makes this year even more special than the last three.  It is quite an amazing feeling to take ideas which you have spent weeks thinking about to see them in action.  My anticipation for the 2011-2012 school year is growing just by talking about it! 

Another exciting part of this year is not feeling like I have to start all over again.  The first year of teaching, everything is new and it can be hard to keep up with it all.  My second year I had a better understanding of the curriculum and I was able to concentrate more on adding more of my own zest to the classroom.  The third year of teaching I switched grade levels AND moved classrooms THREE times between September and April.  So, it was a combination of fun and crazy :)  Now, I am teaching Second Grade for the second year.  I know the curriculum, I feel confident about putting my own style into teaching AND I have a newly renovated classroom with BRAND NEW technology!  It is going to be an AMAZING year to say the least.  I wanted to share with all of you pics of my classroom in which you have ALL helped me to bring together this year.  Thank you and I hope that I can return the favor by showing you something that perhaps you want to bring into your own classroom!

Have a great school year!