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First with Franklin

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Daily 5 Posters Finished and a Giveaway

So, I'm totally breaking the blogging twice in a day rule..... BUT I know I won't get the chance for awhile if I don't do it now.  This week is going to be crazy busy.  Anyways, I finally finished the Daily 5 posters that I blogged about early this week.  I decided to go with Scrappin Doodles adorable Boston Terrier Reading clipart.  I wanted something a little different, and since I'm a total dog lover I thought it was perfect.  I just put it on my TpT store for just $2... so be sure to check it out!  I would be happy to change them for my followers if you need something a little different, too.  =)  Please let me know what you think of them!  
Here are a couple of previews- be be sure to click here to see the rest!

Also, if you haven't already, you should totally check out the awesome giveaways from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!.  She has several really cool giveaways going on right now.  Be sure to enter all of them!  Pin It

Class Dojo

Last week I read about Class Dojo on a couple of different blogs and I was interested in trying it out.  If you haven't heard of it yet, you have to check it out.  Class Dojo is an online behavior management system.  The great part is kids can earn positive points for good behavior.  I don't know about you, but I feel like sometimes my sweet, well-behaved students sometimes get overlooked when I'm dealing with the negative behaviors.  Well, not anymore!  
This is a screen shot from yesterday.  All students started with the little round polka dot guy and the students with the highest points at the end of each day got to choose a new avatar.  Click here to go to Class Dojo.

I headed over to the Class Dojo website and started playing around with it on Wednesday night.  I set up a my class and I also set up a class for my RtI small group. I use my SmartBoard to show the students their points several times a day.  They begged me to show points all day.  The really cool thing is you can hear a little *ding* every time a point is given.  If you leave the Class Dojo window minimized while doing other things on the SmartBoard, students can hear points that are given (or taken away- it's a different sound) while working.  

I decided that I would give Class Dojo a trial run for the last 20 days of school so that I can decide if I want to use it next year.  So far, I'm loving it.  I just use either the iPad or my iPhone to give points to students.  I like the iPad because I can see all students on the same screen, so I have been using it in the classroom most of the time.  If we go outside for recess, I tell the students I'm taking my phone so that I can give points.  (I always tell them I'm taking it to GIVE points, so hopefully this will focus on encouraging good behavior).  I also told our superintendent what I'm doing so that if she sees me on my phone in the hallway she won't think I'm texting.  

The reports from Class Dojo are also very good.  You can do an overall classroom report.  I actually pulled this up and showed my students at the end of the day.  (What a great little lesson on graphs, huh?)  An even cooler feature, is the email reports tab.  If parents give you an email address you can automatically email them the daily (or weekly) report.  I love being able to share information so easily.  

I also like the fact that I can see if we are meeting our 85% goal for good behavior (school-wide goal).  We just barely made it today, but I did have one student that had a tough day.  

I'm liking Class Dojo so far, I hope it continues to be a good motivator for students.  I think if I do use it next year, I will come up with a list of rewards students can earn at certain point levels.  You can reset students points at anytime you want to.  I can't decide if I want to do daily or weekly points.  Have you tried it yet?  If not, you should check it out!Pin It

Monday, April 9, 2012

TOMORROW and I've been tagged

Tomorrow is our first day back after spring break and I. Don't. Wanna. Go.   It's not that I don't love my job (I really do!), but I hate getting up by alarm and I have gotten spoiled this week by getting to see my husband everyday.  Right now, he's on evening shift (3-11pm) and I only get to see him on the weekends, so I've been really enjoying getting to spend time with him.  I just keep telling myself that it is only for another month or so.  I am looking forward to see my little ones tomorrow though- they are always so excited to tell me all about their trips and adventures.  

On another note, I have finished reading The Daily 5 book for the first time.  I'm sure I will have to read it a few more times before I'm totally ready to implement it, but luckily I have plenty of time to do that.  I also want to get ahold of The CAFE and read it.  Tonight, while watching How I Met Your Mother, I decided to start working on some Daily 5 posters.  I got going and then realized that I wanted some different clipart for it.  Now, I love Scrappin Doodles clipart, but it seems like I've seen it on a bunch of different things, and I want something different.  Has anyone seen any others that go along with Daily 5?  Here are the posters, so far.  I will be sure to post them after I add it in the clipart.  

I also found out that I was tagged by Mrs. M over at The Daily Cupcake.  

Okay so here are the rules: 
Post these rules ( I almost forgot this part! )     
 Answer the 10 questions posted for you.
Create 10 questions that you want to ask people that you will be tagging.
Tag ten people and link them with your post. Don't forget to let them know that they've 
been tagged!

Here are her questions:

1.  Coffee, tea or soda?  Coffee, although I rarely drink caffeine anymore
2.  How long have you been teaching? What grades? This is my fifth year of teaching.  My first was in Kindergarten and the past 4 have been in 1st. 
3.  When do you do most of your blog posts (evenings, weekends, mornings?) Weekends or evenings- I barely get to school on time most mornings! =)
4.  What's in your teacher bag? What isn't?  My wonderful mother-in-law got me the large utility tote from 31 and I LOVE it!
5.  If you were not teaching the grade level you currently are what grade level or special area would you like to teach? Why? I would like to become a reading specialist if I couldn't teach first grade. 
6.  What was the last teaching conference or workshop that you attended? A great in-service on iPods in the classroom
7.  Do you work with any other teacher bloggers? Nope, although I'm not sure any of them know I blog yet. 
8.  What made you decide to start your own blog? I love being able to share ideas and connect with other teachers. 
9.  What do you like to read when you are not reading teaching related material? I love to read almost any kind of book, I just finished the Game of Thrones series and now I'm reading the Stephanie Plum books.  
10.   What is one tip you would have for a new teacher? Don't be afraid to ask questions!

I was also tagged by Danielle at Twirlybird Teaching
1. Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate
2. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Starbucks
3. Favorite movie? Don't have one- I can't stand to watch any movie more than once
4. If you were stranded on a deserted island what 3 things would you hope to have with you?  my husband, iPhone, wine  
5. Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind? My two German Shepherd furbabies- Patton & Keva
6. Heels or flats?  flats- I wear TOMS almost everyday
7. What is your least favorite thing about teaching? the paycheck and feeling like I don't have enough time to do everything I want/need to with my students
8. Best Professional Development you have had is..... the last one I attended- iPods in the classroom
9. Funniest thing a student has asked or said to you... Will you marry my dad? 
10. If you were given 1 million dollars what would you do with it? move to beach!

Now, here are the questions I came up with for my taggies:
1.  Did you always want to become a teacher?
2.  PC or Mac?
3.  What is your favorite TV show?
4.  What is your favorite lesson/activity to do with your students?
5.  What color are your eyes?
6.  If you were given $10,000 for your classroom what would you do with it?
7.  How long have you been blogging?
8.  Where would you most like to vacation?
9.  Favorite guilty pleasure?
10.  What is the first thing you do when you get home from school?

Can't wait to see what these wonderful bloggers have to say about my questions.
So, tag - YOU'RE IT!!!!!

Okay, I give up trying to find someone else that hasn't been tagged- every time I go somewhere they've been tagged.  Hope you enjoy these 7! =)

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Daily 5

I'm pretty sure that I'm the last teacher on the planet not using Daily 5 in my classroom.  (Well, that's not true because no one that I work with uses it either, but still.)  I started reading the book today and I love it so far!  I've read so much about it on other blogs that I was already pretty convinced I wanted to try it for next year, but now I'm SURE I want to use it.  
One obstacle that I see in my future is the fact that our school uses Accelerated Reader.  I'm not really sure how to use Daily 5 and AR together.  Right now, all of the books in my classroom library are sorting by AR reading levels.  My kiddies LOVE (and I mean LOVE) AR because they earn prizes for # of books read in my classroom.  So, when I implement Daily 5 should I focus on letting students use IPICK for all their own reading and just not worry about the AR level?  HELP!!!  I need some guidance from some of you wonderful teachers that have already solved this problem.  THANKS!!!!

Oh, and today I got bangs.  I'm still not sure what I think of them, but I think they're growing on me some.  What do you think?

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Space and Currently

Two weeks ago, we had a story in our Reading Street series that I hate very much dislike.  It's not that there is anything wrong with it, but I think it's boring and a little out there.  So,  the other first grade teacher in my building and I decided to come up with our own plan for the week.  We decided since The Lady in the Moon was about the moon, we would come up with something about the moon.  Well, our idea grew into teaching a mini-unit on space.  We still taught the skills from the book, but supplemented tons of other space ideas.  We did two days of center activities.  I planned 4 centers and so did she, then I taught my students at centers the first day, and hers the second day.  Clear as mud, right?  
The kiddos LOVED this unit and I am so glad we decided to change things up.  One of the centers we did was what I named Race Through Space.  It is a version of a dice game that we have done with students before, but with a space theme.  I have a couple of sets of big foam dice and students thought I was extra cool for letting them use them.  (It's the little things, right?)  You can see how they filled in the sheet in this picture.  

We played another center that I named Words from Earth or Mars?  We talk about nonsense words when we do our Michael Heggerty Phonemic Awareness and AIMSWeb testing, so I want students to be able to tell the different between real and made-up words.  I wrote out a bunch of our sight words and nonsense words on sentence strips and had students sort them in a pocket chart.  I made students choose a job- we had a Secretary from Mars (to record Mars words), a Secretary from Earth (to record Earth words), and two Word Hunters (they had to take turns pulling words from the bucket).  All the students had to reach an agreement before the word was added to pocket chart and the correct secretary had to add the word to his/her list before the next word was pulled.  I was amazed at how smoothly this center ran- the students did an awesome job sorting words and getting along.  I would offer you the recording sheet, but I can't seem to find where I saved it.  If you want it, just leave a comment or send me a message and I will get it to you when I find it.  

Everyone's favorite center during this rotation, was the Alien Make-Over.  We printed each students' picture out and then he/she cut out the face.  They glued it down and then went to town creating an alien version of themselves.  The students loved using glitter glue, goggly eyes, and stickers. (Who wouldn't???)  They turned out so stinking cute!  We also had each student fill out a star with an "I wish..." phrase on it.  We also let the students decorate the mural and then put it in the hallway.  

Does anyone else have any cool space ideas for next year? 
 I'm definitely taking the boring suggested story out of my rotation again next year.  

I'm also Linking Up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently.  

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