Friday, December 30, 2011

Pack up your good behavior and bring it back to school!

We all know that in January we must go back to the beginning.  The first day back is a great time to remind those little ones of all the rules and expectations.  Role playing, drawing, and discussing are all great ways to let it sink back in their minds after a long break.
Have you noticed all my pictures are from home?  I never find the time to take them at school!

It's also a great time to start new initiatives if they aren't working or the students have grown out of the old.  I find that first graders before winter tend to be a bit needier and then all the sudden they come back in January ready for some independence.  So for me it's time to pull back a little and watch them obtain their goals and I make it a tad more challenging. 

This year I have had a hard time getting the students to turn in homework.  I had a faithful 3 every week but no more.  I started hosting lunch dates for the students that turned in homework and then the papers started to roll in.  I still intend to have my lunch dates because I think they are so important for the kids and myself but I know that I need to make them earn them.

Our school gives out Cougar Paws for being responsible, safe and respectful.  Anytime you notice a student following those rules you write a Cougar Paw.  Every two weeks they go to the store.  They store their Cougar Paws in the chart below and we also chart them every two weeks and I have a special lunch with the top earner.  My school is having first grade try out new chips to replace the paper Paws to see if it helps with paper reduction. So I needed a new way to store for January.
Here is my new holder for the Cougar Paw Chips.
The chips will be held in the lower pockets.  I bought a double sided jewelry holder and glued on ribbon and then used paint pens to write their numbers.  Chip letters finished it off.

On the other side, I decided to use Kinder Gals idea of Happy Rocks.  I am going to use it as a type of monetary system in which they can buy lunch dates, treasure box items, Cougar Paws, free computer time, a day at my desk, etc.  I used to freely give rewards (treasure box once a week, lunch dates, recess parties) and I realized that my students need to learn that earning takes more than just a little work.

I started to make prize passes and realized I had come across ones that I could not have made better. 
First Grade Fever made the wonderful prize passes below that I plan on using.  I will just add a star or heart to represent their value. Check out her page!

We are still a bucket filling class but it is something that the students handle on their own and it teaches them the value of intrinsic rewards....just feeling good because you did something great!  Here are several ways to display the buckets.  I changed rooms two weeks into school so I had to overhaul some of my original ideas.  Our buckets are now on a small shelf.  The command strips didn't hold up for very long on the back of a metal bookcase.

The following paper can be found on Heather Robinson's site.  How to be a bucket filler, which would be a great reminder!
Pinned Image

Hope January runs smoothly for all of you!  And me too :)

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