Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teacher Brain

After a nice little nappy nap on my couch, I was ready to hop into my lesson plans for the week. My Sunday routine usually consists of heading to school for a few hours in my classroom, but tonight I was drawn to my TV for some high quality trashy television. I'm a sucker! It's my weakness. Forgive me!

So, since I spent the majority of my time in front of the TV... I also had my computer in front of me 100% of the time. Lucky for me (and you!), I found some neato ideas.

A Teacher's Treasure is a uber great site for all teachers. After browsing her site for awhile, I stumbled upon her "Post It Parking Lot" idea. She uses post its at the end of lessons for students to reflect on their learning in the form of a sticky exit slip. BRILLIANT! Naturally, I wanted to add this little diddy to my classroom.

Last year, I attempted exit slips but I wasn't very successful. I kind of "forgot" that second graders aren't the quickest at processing and writing responses. The clock would show 3 minutes until specials and I would realize we went another day without an exit slip.

Let's be honest, will these exit slips happen everyday? No way. My time management isn't stellar (yet) and there have been several times that I look at the clock and shout ..." OH MY GOSH, WE HAVE TO GO!" and I quickly rush the kids out of the room. Isn't this the #1 do not of teaching? Probably. I'm not perfect!

Anyway, Teacher's Treasure suggests having students write the following on their post its:

Name and date
list 3 new things they learned, 
one thing they are confused about/didn't understand, 
and 1 question they still have

I can handle that! So, I bought some poster board for .63 cents for my "lot" and made three parking signs on my computer. I see three groups in science!

A Teacher's Treasure
I chose not to draw the spots in my parking lot. I guess my parking lot is more of a free for all. Park where you can! I know, I know.. it's hard not to be amazed by this masterpiece below, right? Ha ha kidding! This was simple. 

Next up we have behavior ..ahhhhhhhhh--uuhhhh--waahhhh (that's me groaning, can you tell?)

Last year, I went with the "Stoplight" approach. Students started on green and moved to yellow for a warning and moved to red for more serious offenses. This system didn't really work for me. It was difficult to manage and I found it tough to hold the students accountable. 

I'm sure it sounds awful that it's going on day 8 of the new year and my behavior system isn't quite established. But wait! My school uses the PBS system (Positive Behavior Support) and I wasn't too familiar with it, and I was under the impression that PBS would take are of any behavior plans needed in my classroom. That is partially true ...but I need something else. 

The Clip Chart behavior system created by Rick Morris is all the rage! I'm hoppin' on that bandwagon reeeeal quick. Read all about the system in his FREE ebook here. I like this idea because it emphasizes the positive. Students have opportunity to move up and up as well as move down for misbehaviors.  Here are a few variations I have seen popping around the internet using Morris' system. 

The Inspired Apple's adorable Rockstar theme!

Life in First Grade blog
Life of Momma K
Sunny Days in 2nd 
Read up on the ebook link for neat shortcuts and ways to implement this into your classroom. I'm diggin' it. Hope my kiddos think the same thing!

Yikes! It's wayy past my bedtime. Happy teaching, friends!


  1. You are so adorable!
    I can't believe you go into school on Sundays! That's crazy girl! That's your weekend! I don't blame you one bit. Who can think when Jersey Shore is on?!

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your blog is super adorable :) Can't wait to read more!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the ebook! You are so adorable. I love your blog!!

  4. I was so glad to see my Post It Parking Lot on your post :)

    Visit my blog for some great new posts :)

    ❤ Mor ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure


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