First, I am sharing Science Mentor Texts with Collaboration Cuties.
I absolutely love teaching about animals, and Gail Gibbons has fabulous non-fiction animal books. My kids loved learning about bats this fall. This book had so much info that we only read a little each day, and they begged to read more!
Bats is a great introduction to informational texts. It has a variety of information and many non-fiction text features that you can focus in on. It also has super interesting facts that keep the kids hooked!
We used this book in the fall when we learned about bats, but we came back to it later in the year as an example of All About Books. The kids learned about diagrams, captions, and different ways to organize information. I highly recommend this and any of Gibbons' other books!
And now, for my second linky...The Applicious Teacher is hosting a weekly idea share, and the theme this week is Classroom Management. This is the perfect topic for a linky, because I feel like I can never get enough good ideas for classroom management.
My school follows PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support), and I truly believe that the best ways to prevent behavior problems are:
- Engaging activities
- Precorrects (Reviewing expectations before a transition or new activity)
- Praise for correct behavior
That said, we all have certain kids who need a little more. This year, I used a ticket system for about half a year. I gave out tickets for any positive behaviors I saw. I did not take the tickets away for bad behavior. Part of PBIS is focusing on the positive (hence the name :). But, I did do a lot of proximity praise...giving out tickets to well-behaved children near a child who needed to make a better choice. At the end of the week, any child with ten tickets could buy something from my "store." My store included old happy meal toys from my assistant's grandchildren, silly bands, used books, and themed pencils and erasers that another teacher was giving away.
The ticket system worked pretty well, but I couldn't use it when we were in the hall, cafeteria, or outside. And I had a few very disorganized students who always lost their tickets. So then I heard about Class Dojo. I'm sure you've probably heard all about it, but it's a free website you can use to give points for positive behavior. It is super easy to set up and use, and you can access it on your smart phone, computer, iPad, etc. I loved being able to grab my phone and give dojo points anywhere! I worried that my young kids wouldn't be motivated by something that wasn't tangible, but they totally were - especially because I paired giving out points with praise. At first, they used their dojo points to buy things from our store (just like with the tickets) but as the year went on, they really didn't even need that motivation. Just getting the points and the praise was enough.
In the last month of school, we did experience some summer-itis, where everyone (including me) was struggling with behavior! I read this fabulous idea from A Teeny Tiny Teacher! She explains it better than I can. But, I didn't have a music box, so I just used my iPhone. At the beginning of the day, I pulled up a song and played it throughout the day when the kids got talkative. When they stopped talking, I paused it. And if they had music left at the end of the day, they got a small treat - sticker, gummy worm, silly band, etc. The kids loved it, and it helped them to work as a team when they were beginning to get kind of tired of each other.
So, those are my *everybody* behavior strategies. But...sometimes, I have a child who needs more direct and consistent feedback. For them, I use a behavior chart. You can find a bunch with different themes here. And here are some charts I've used:
I left them in Microsoft Word so you can edit them to match your schedule, so you will have to download them before they have the right formatting. Let me know if you have questions or need help with any of them!