28 August 2015

How Is Our 'Bear'~Havior?

A question frequently asked by parents throughout the school year is, "So, how is my child's behavior?"

Classroom management is especially important at the beginning of the school year. It sets the precedent for the rest of the year and the tempo of attitude in your classroom. I've found that my "How's My 'Bear~Havior?" system to be very engaging, good habit forming and most of all positively reinforcing for my little cutie~pies' behavior. They feel safe in our classroom environment and know exactly what is expected of them in our daily routine.

I have a whole "bear" theme in my classroom which my kiddos LOVE! I also love the ease of using a clipchart!

The children's names can be quickly moved "up" the chart and it creates a great visual to reinforce those good habits and behaviors which we love to see!

This system is pretty simple and this is how it works:

During the first week of school when rules and expectations are modeled, I introduce my "How Is Our 'Bear'~Havior?" Clipchart to the class.

Each day they earn the opportunity to move their "Bear" Clip up to the next color on the chart based on their behavior (for example when they make good choices, perform their responsibilities well, follow instructions, being good listeners, stay on task and most importantly when they follow the class rules).

The beginning color on the chart is green. They are called "Climbing Bears". Every student is a "Climbing Bear" and strives to continue "up" the chart as they progress. When they reach the top of the chart, they've earned "The Golden Bear" award for that week.

Keeping in tune with my commitment toward a positively reinforcing behavior management system, each color on the chart sends an encouraging message to the students! 

At the end of each day, each student receives a 'Teddy Bear' token whose clip was moved up and can earn up to four tokens each week. 

I punched the tokens out using a 2 1/2" circular scrapbook puncher. It was quick and easy!

With their four tokens they can then exchange them into "Bear" Bucks. (I couldn't resist throwing in a little monetary exchange to reinforce their money math skills :) 

My kiddos LOVE to collect them and place them into their "Reward Stash"! 

They can then use their 'Bear' Bucks to earn reward coupons or select a prize in the class treasure chest where specific reward items or coupons are worth from one 'Bear' Buck on up. 

 They are always really excited to save their 'Bear' Bucks and trade them in for coupon rewards that they themselves have worked hard to earn. It's wonderful to see the look of pride in their expressions when they earn each 'Teddy Bear' token or 'Bear' Buck and receive their reward coupons or treasure!

*For any kiddos whose 'Bear' Clip remains on the first green color, I send home a short note to their parents encouraging them to discuss the importance of making good choices at school and to remind them to keep trying. I believe in all they can achieve and remind them that they "Can Do It!"

It's so important to ensure that these little kiddos are given every opportunity to receive positive reinforcement when they perform their responsibilities well, follow instructions, being good listeners, stay on task and most importantly when they follow the class rules. 

I disagree with having behavior charts that can potentially demoralize a child's self esteem and shut down their initiative to perform their very best.  So rather than "dinging" them for poor behavior choices, I'm committed to reinforcing GOOD behavior choices in my behavior management system.

As with any behavior management system implemented in your classroom, it must be clear to your students and consistent in order for it to be most effective. 

If you would like to grab my "Bear"~Havior System and use it in your classroom, 

Through encouraging words & positive reinforcement, you'll definitely find #happyclassrooms . :)

17 August 2015

Super Summer Software Uploaded AKA Summer Reads Read

As we approach the new school year, I like to reflect and apply as many methods of self improvement towards my work. One of the best resources for continuing my learning as an educator, is through reading and anytime is a great time but for me the SUuMmER TiMe is the BEST time to do it!  

There are several great books available such as
"Move Your Bus" by Ron Clark and "Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me" by Kim Bearden are a couple of my top favorites as these two educators are well known for their tremendous hearts in teaching children and influence as amazing teachers.  

In addition to those RCA favorites, the following books I also highly recommend: "1-2-3 Magic For Teachers" by Thomas W. Phelan & Sarah Jane Schonour: This book not only helps to guide teachers in their behavior management plan for their classrooms, but it also comes in a "parent" version for families too. There are many great examples and questions answered within the pages which makes it a most helpful tool.

Another amazing author and educator who's bark is right up my alley, is David Burgess with his book "Teach Like A Pirate". When I read his words on student engagement and creativity, I felt as though he was looking into my past through a crystal ball and describing me and my strikingly similar passion for lesson crafting and teaching.

These are just a few wonderfully great "reads" which I thoroughly enjoyed "uploading to my hard drive" (oh yes, reading!)  during my summer break. They have definitely enhanced the way I teach and compliment what I love to do. I'm always looking for juicy new tid-bits to change up my game plan and make learning even more engaging for my kiddos.

10 August 2015

Tweaking And Tweaking The Bug Button

Just to update you on (what is HOPEFULLY) my new "Bug" Button.

I began by designing my own clipart. Each graphic is a singular piece to the big puzzle. After the design sketch, I imported my artwork and applied it to the circular design I had created in Powerpoint.

Once this was done, I chose to use the Love&Laughter font along with the GiveMeSomeSugar font I found on dafont.com. I added some text effects such as shadows and glows then combined them with my clipart and VIOLA!!!

I would love your feedback as it aids me in making improvements and enhancements. Please comment below & provide me with your thoughts. 

Your support is greatly appreciated and meaningful to me!

Thank you!!!

03 August 2015

Trying On A New Look

I thought I would post these up to get a sense of which button works better. I am simply undecided. 

I could use some fresh eyes. Please pick your favorite button and comment below. I would be tremendously grateful for any suggestions.

Button A

Button B