Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It {Linky Party}

Happy Monday! I'm finally linking up with 4th Grade Folics for Monday Made It. I've made A LOT of things to start off the new school year but sadly I haven't been awesome about taking pictures and blogging about them.

So I have this chair. It's the one I use on the carpet when I'm teaching mini-lessons. I found it my first year at Home Goods on clearance for $25. It's actually a lawn chair and had a crack down one of the arms but I knew it wasn't anything a little wood glue couldn't fix.

After 4 years of being loved, I noticed that the chair was starting to shift. I had already had our wonderful custodian help me tighten the screws one time. Sadly at the end of last year it completely fell apart. Like, one side of the chair just fell off.

My coworkers told me to throw it away and get a new one but I wasn't ready to give up yet! This chair is SO comfortable and I love it! I took it home and put it on my porch.

Yesterday my mom and I decided that we would try to fix it. We looked at it, realized it definitely needed some screws and bolts, but being the blondes that we are had no clue what kind.

So we took the chair to Home Depot, put it in a cart and pushed it inside the store to the hardware aisle. I was laughing the whole way. I'm pretty sure we provided lots of entertainment for everyone at Home Depot.

A nice Home Depot worker came and helped us figure out what exactly we needed. I'm sure he thought we were quite odd, especially when I took a picture and said I was going to blog about it. :)

After we got the right screws and bolts we took the chair home to my parents and fixed it up. There's still one spot that we couldn't find the right screw for but it's much sturdier and stays together. I'm excited to be able to use it again! I will be establishing a no kids sit in it rule. I want it to last me for many more years!

In more teacher related made it, I made a quick pick me up for my team this week. It's been a busy and somewhat stressful start to the school year and I thought we all needed a reminder to keep calm.

I got the lotion from the travel toiletries section of Target. It's called "Melt Away Stress: Lavender & Chamomile Lotion". I love the smell of it! 

I made the little tag, printed it and laminated it before attaching it to the lotion with washi tape.

The best part is, I'm sharing the label with you! Just click here for the download!

Have a great one!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Easy Peasy Whole Brain Scoreboard & Rewards {Freebie}

This is year 2 of my attempt at Whole Brain Teaching. After watching a few Whole Brain videos last summer I was hooked and knew I wanted to try it. Last year I took the plunge and learned a lot as I went. This year I know more but am still learning.

One key part of Whole Brain Teaching is the Scoreboard. Students earn "happy" and "sad" points as a whole class. I call them "Oh Yeah" and "Oh No" points and the kids say oh yeah or oh no when I make a mark. The rule of thumb (that is AMAZING) is to keep the score within +/- 3 points. That way the kiddos aren't winning too easily or losing too much.

To match my new green/blue chevron theme this year I made my own scoreboard. I made a few colors that you can grab here as a freebie.

I laminated my scoreboard so that I can use a dry erase marker on it every day. It hangs with magnets on the chalkboard behind my chair at our meeting area. I find that it's extremely useful when I'm teaching on the carpet (which I do a lot of) and it's not hard to walk over and mark points on when my kiddos are at their desks.

At the end of the day if there are more "Oh Yeah" points the kiddos get a prize. Last year I started with some small prizes and then had the kiddos earn one extra minute of recess for every day they "won". Once they reached 15 minutes we would use them.

This year I decided I really wanted to emphasize the small rewards to start with to really get them motivated and hooked. Through some searching and brainstorming (and looking at what I have in my classroom) I came up with some fun rewards that are very simple. It's key that they are easy, don't cost anything to me, and don't take up a lot of time.

This is such a simple one. I grab one of my coveted Scento Markers and give each student a "smelly circle" on their hand. 

I put my easy button on a desk next to my door and each student gets to push it as they leave for the day. They loved this one!

Turn up the music and dance! I play some fun music (Kidz Bop on Pandora) and let them air guitar and dance their hearts out for a minute.

Simple yet my second graders still like it. 

We use Brain Pop Jr all the time in our classroom. It's so educational and fun! The kids start humming along when they hear the intro music. Since they love it so much I figured, hey why not make it a reward? I let one student pick a favorite video and we all watch on the ipad.

I haven't tried this one yet but I'm pretty sure my kiddos would enjoy it. :)

What simple rewards do you use in your classroom? I'd love to hear in the comments!