Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Think I Can Do Better

I feel like I am not doing my students fair justice throughout the day.  I feel like there is a lot of downtime and that when my students are reading silently they are just pretending.  I am hoping to get more motivated and implement some better programs and centers for unit two of our reading series.  What do yall do for reading centers or stations?

How do you motivate students to read for real?

What is your dicipline plan?  I am using a clipy chart but im not real consistent in moving the kids up … just down….

I just need some ideas… suggestions….anything!


Mrs. Johnson said...

Laura - don't feel bad about not remembering to move kids up on your behavior chart. I had the same problem last year and could not understand why it was not effective in my classroom, that is until I realized what I wasn't doing. This year, I was determined to make it work because I wanted a successful classroom. I have found a trick that works for me and I hopw that it can help you too. I purchased some little cones from Dollar Tree this summer (hopefully they still have them) that say "Super!", "Good Job!", "Wonderful", etc. As I walk around the room checking on my students as they are working, I place the cones on teh desks of the students who are on task, etc. The resk of my class sees this and immediately changes their behaviors if need be so that they can earn a cone too. Once the class is finished with that project or activity, then the students who had the cones on their desks know to go move their clips up on the chart and return the cones to me. At this point, I don't have to even give them a reminder to move their clip up! Not only had this little trick reminded me to have students move their clips up becuase of excellence, but it also helps to keep those who are in danger of moving thier clips down get back on task. I hope this little trick helps you out as much as it has helped me! Good luck!

Miss P said...

I feel the same way! Too much downtime in the middle of my day during the mandated Reading Workshop block that was designed as a pull-out block for kids who see specialists. The only problem is that the whole school has the same pull-out block, which obviously doesn't work for the specialists. I end up with most of my class but can't teach and not all of the kids are really reading. I decided to take the next couple of weeks to redesign and re-evaluate how I can use my time in a more effective way. I think you need to just realize that it will take time but don't implement anything until you've planned it out. I want to start using it as a math workshop but since I don't know how I'm going to use it with kids missing, I'm waiting until I have it all figured out to change anything.

I also read aloud to kids during part of this time. Sometimes I will read the first chapter of a book to build interest and then tell them the book is in the class library for them to check out. I'll also give out tickets (see below) when I see good readers and good reading strategies being used.

As for behavior, I use incentive tickets. Each student gets an envelope where they store their tickets, therefore, they are responsible for tracking their own tickets. Tickets are earned for good behavior, outstanding work or participation, for helping out, anything you want. At the end of the month, there is an incentive event.. movie in the auditorium on big screen, pajama day, arts & crafts, kickball game, picnic lunch at park, etc. that kids can "buy" entry to with their tickets. They love it and it reinforces positive behavior. When the kids see the others getting tickets, they want them too. I just use raffle tickets from the dollar store.

Don't beat yourself up over these things. September & October is the time to revamp and tweak what you need to until you find what works for you and your kids.

Laura said...

thanks for ideas! I did better today.... I looked for the cones no luck, but i printed out certificate like things that say different things and after the lesson they moved their clothes pins up. Definately used my time wiser today!

Kim said...


I feel the EXACT same way... I had to check Miss P's comment to make sure my name and button weren't beside it!

Must be part of the October "air." I just need an extra day (night?) to sit down and get a handle on things!!!

I use the "dreaded purple clipboard" to keep track of infractions. Sometimes I just pretend to log infractions--often they sit up quickly and tune back in!

Thanks for being here! (You too, Miss P.!)

Finding JOY in 6th Grade