Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's Hump Day- Questions from the classroom of a first year teacher...

Wow! I am so ashamed that it has been over a week since my last post! Honestly though, I feel like nose is just above water and that if I stop to do anything other than school stuff I might drown. Please tell me this is normal?! I sure hope so!

First few weeks of school are done and gone and I cannot BELIEVE week 3 is almost over as well! Time sure does fly, those veteran teachers weren't joking about that! :)

As for my classroom, I have such a wonderful class full of eager students wanting nothing more than to absorb knowledge and soak it in! I absolutely LOVE it! It's different from what I had before and it's a welcome change :)

Now, that is not to say it has been all rainbows and butterflies! I don't want to paint this unrealistic picture of perfection (although, they are pretty close!) ;) but I have had a few issues with behavior! Mostly students being talkative and not following directions, but I believe I have corrected this by rearranging the seating. However, I still struggle with one of my students in particular. I'm hoping my beautiful blogging family can pull together and help me out! 

This "angel" of mine is gifted and therefore was placed in the magnet program after being in General Education last year. This angel continually is doing something other than what they are supposed to be doing. From playing with pencils in their desk to kicking and nagging other students of their team. I finally made this student an "island" and today they did a little better. However, that's not the end of it! This student seems to want hand holding every step if the way no matter what assignment it is. If I refuse (because I KNOW they are capable of doing it). This angel COMPLETELY shuts down. I mean, refuses to do work. Why do I do? Have you had a student do this? What was the strategies you used that worked? I feel like I'm grasping at air here, so any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks in advance y'all! 

Also, speaking if behavior- I'm not that thrilled with my individual behavior system. I just don't feel as though it serves that instant gratification purpose that students thrive on. I have tried the clip chart before and was not impressed either because it lost it's valor about half way through the year. Currently, I use the behavior punch cards, but sometimes I cannot just stop what I'm doing to punch a card for good behavior. Any suggestions? The kids enjoy the fact of getting a punch, but I don't feel like I'm doing it enough. For consequences, I use a behavior think sheet, which is also not working because it is so incredibly time consuming and once again- I cannot stop what I'm doing to hand one out. I need a better idea to work instantly. Suggestions here would also be greatly appreciated!

So once again, I sincerely apologize to my awesome followers for the delayed post but I'm still trying to keep my head above the water! I promise posts will be more regular within the next few months- plus I might actually have something to share then that is exciting! For now, I don't feel as though anything I'm doing is blog worthy! Haha! That will be changing tomorrow though! 

Tomorrow is Open House and I have a very nice and thorough presentation ready, so I'm nervous/excited :) Wish me luck and PLEASE leave some suggestions! I truly read every one of them :) 

Thanks y'all!


  1. Your smartie who is causing you trouble I am no help for. But your behavior system I might be of some help. :) I teach kindergarten and I am usin classdojo this year. It's an instinct gratification because when you give a point it dings and they love the noise. It also lets parents sign up and be able to check on their child's behavior during the day. You can do a little prize for when they reach how ever many points you want them too. You should check it out.
    Hope you find something that works for you. :)

  2. I use a ticket reward system in my class. My school uses a clip chart that everyone follows. But within my own class I use the chart and a ticket system. Anytime they are caught being good or doing something good I give a ticket. They never know when they may get a ticket. I even keep a few on me so when I am walking around the room I can just hand one out. They write their name on the ticket and at the end of the day I draw 4-5 tickets out of the jar and they get a candy prize, but in order to get the prize they had to stay on green for the day. If they are on yellow or below and their name gets drawn out of the jar then they don't get the prize. Then on Fridays not only do I draw for candy prize, but also for a prize out of the treasure chest. They really get excited about the treasure chest. I have used this for the last 5 years and it seems to work well for me and it is an instant reward. Another thing I do is: when I notice someone is misbehaving I try to find someone else who is doing what their suppose to be doing and I acknowledge the positive behavior. For example I might say, "I love how Johnny is in his seat working so hard". Sometimes {not always} that helps. I notice that the other kids will start trying to get a compliment. Just a few ideas. Hang in there, you will find what works for you.


  3. Loved the above comments on your post. My suggestion is this... Find what motivates this student. Is it extra technology time? Is it reading a story to the class? Is it free time to do what he chooses? Is it being your personal helper? If so, you can have him work towards earning this. Only work on one goal at a time. Ex: Today I'm going to ask that you try to work independently and get "x amount of things" accomplished. If so, then you may have 5 extra minutes of free time. Often, gifted kids will either want to isolate themselves or be the one in charge of everything. I try to switch the students' roles often, so they have to learn to work in a group, real-life situations. ClassDojo is a fast and easy reward system. You can even do it from an app from your phone or ipad.
    Work a little extra on getting your management under control right now because if you don't, you will struggle all year. If that means lining up eleven times until they do it the right way and quietly, then do it 11 times. They will eventually catch on.
    Also, include the kids in a conversation on what they think might motivate them as a class. Take their ideas into consideration. It may help.
    It does get easier, I promise! My first year of teaching, I probably changed my management system 100 times until I found what worked best for me. What works in one class-one year, might not work as well the next year. It depends on the kiddos.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. Whole Brain teaching saved me. I love the 5 rules. scoreboard and class yes. You must watch this video. It's WONDERFUL. I use class dojo as well.
    Whole Brain Teaching helps even the hardest students.

  5. PS
    Just go to their website and youtube whole brain teaching.

  6. I second the WBT teaching scoreboard for your whole class - it is fabulous!! As for your angel, I would suggest setting a timer for say 5 minutes (to begin with) and tell him/her that you will be back when the timer goes off to check on them. You do expect them to be working, but if they come to something they can't do or don't understand they can skip it and you will be back in a bit to help out. If you are successful with 5 minutes then keep bumping the time up a minute at a time.
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