Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daily 5 and The CAFE

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE ... did I mention LOVE?.... using the Daily 5 framework and The CAFE Book for our reading/language arts. My instructional coach introduced this last year and I can not wait to start it again this year. For those of you who want 1/2 the work to do and 3 times the student progress, at least buy the Daily 5 book by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey (the "two sisters"). You will never spend your conference, before school, or after school creating any type of "center" or file folder game or ANYTHING for reading/language arts. I have even incorporated the framework of the Daily 5 into my math and somewhat into my science time. It not only is great for classroom management, but truly helps you individualize your instruction based on the needs of each individual student while getting the concepts you need to teach to everyone done also! Anyway, enough of my rant. Just read the books and you will be hooked!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Question of the Week

I know sometimes it is hard to come up with something to blog about. Therefore, I think it would be fun to have a question of the week. You can comment to the post with your response or ideas. I think it will be a great way to share ideas on topics we can all relate to no matter what grade level we teach. So here it goes!

Question of the Week:

What kinds of positive behavior rewards do you give your individual students, groups of students, or your whole class?
I forgot-I also send home every Friday a behavior sheet that I have made up which documents behavior Monday through Friday-made easy with check marks on which behaviors I have seen. I also write a parent letter every week detailing what we have done, what we are going to do and reminders of tests or projects coming up. Parents are informed and I am able to say that I have apprised them of anything important. They have to sign the behavior sheet and send it home with their child on Monday. If the child does not bring the signed sheet or folder by Tuesday, they miss recess until I get it. That way I KNOW they KNOW their child's behavior week by week (phone calls are also included if big problems arise!)
I do something sort of similar. I have a stacking kind of box which holds hanging files. Each file is numbered and corresponds to the student's number. I don't know whether your school allows students to file other student's papers but I put the graded papers by the box and anyone who is finished with their work can file the papers for me. On Thursday I either have my "paper passers" put the papers in their Friday folders (also numbered, named and laminated for longer use-9x13 envelopes) or I do it myself if I have to-ready to go home with the children on Friday. Some schools use Monday folders-whatever-I prefer Friday if allowed! Some kids really enjoy doing this filing for me-saves me time and gives kids that are quick finishers something to do. (Other than read!)

Cheap Mailbox Solution

When leaving Arizona, I inherited a classroom mailbox system and was VERY excited to use it the following year. When I tried to put it back together after moving, the entire thing broke into pieces and was not able to be fixed. On a trip to IKEA one day I got creative and thought of a new mailbox system. When I taught Kinder, the end of the day would be SOO hectic with trying to pass out papers and trying to get my students ready to go home at the same time. Now I teach 2nd grade and my classroom I have now has a wall with cubbies and hooks behind it. I positioned my easel so that I could attach hanging closet shoe organizers from IKEA to be their mailbox system. I numbered each mailbox so that each student could be assigned a number and they would know exactly what mailbox to go to at the end of the day. Beside the mailboxes was a class list with each student's number listed next to their name for easy reference. This system saved my sanity at the end of the day! It was so incredibly quiet when my students were getting ready to go home. I highly recommend coming up with a mailbox center instead of trying to pass out random fliers and graded papers at the end of the day. Enjoy!