Sunday, June 24, 2012

Facebook Party

Welcome, everyone, to my blog! I hope you enjoy my freebie, which will only be active until 11:00 PM EST. If you like what you see, please follow me!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Citizenship Anchor Chart

I am linking this post up with Maria for Make a Difference Monthly. This month's trait is citizenship. Here is one thing I do to promote good citizenship in my classroom.

Here is a cute group activity I did in my classroom to promote good citizenship. As a class, we brainstormed ways we can be good citizens. Then, I wrote them all on a chart. Everyone signed the chart and we hung it in our classroom. I know the chart is kind of plain, but, I did this activity before Pinterest and blogging taught me to make more exciting charts! Next year's chart will have fancy letters and illustrations!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Al Pha's Bet...with a freebie!

This is one of my favorite back to school books! It's called Al Pha's Bet, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

She also wrote The Spoon, which is a great book, too. Al Pha's Bet takes place long ago, when many things were being invented, like fire and the wheel.  A man named, Al Pha, made a bet with himself to put all 26 letters of the alphabet in order. The king was looking for someone to do this daunting task, and Al Pha really wanted to be a part of history. Through a series of funny events, he found the perfect order for the letters, and the king rewarded him by naming his creation the Alphabet. It's such an amusing book and my students always want me to read it over and over again. Following the story, my students wrote about the book. Some wrote about how they would arrange the letters of the alphabet and some just summarized the book. I made a text to self connections sheet to go with the story. My students think of a time they made a bet with themselves to accomplish a goal. Then, they write about the goal they wanted to accomplish and how they were able to achieve the goal. If you would like to do this activity, just click on the image below.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ask me, ask me!

Do you get this a lot in your class? You ask a question and everyone wants to answer it. Or, you ask a question and the same two kids raise their hands all the time. This year, I alleviated these problems, and more, by using the ask me cup. I typed everyone's name on a card and put them in a cute cup. Then, whenever I asked questions during whole group lessons, I would simply choose a name from the cup. The children did not even need to raise their hands. The ask me cup helped me remember who I already called on and who I didn't call on. If I needed to assign partners for an activity, I would (without the children's knowledge) pair the cards and then put them back in the container. Then, I would pretend that I was assigning partners right then and there. Sneaky? Yes! But, very helpful! I used the ask me cup all the time and if I forgot to use it, you can bet my students always reminded me! These are the cups I used. I teach three different grades and always use red, yellow, and green to differentiate the grades.

These are the labels I used. You can click on both pictures to download them for yourself. The first one is a Word document so you can type in your own names. The second one is a PDF if you'd rather print them out and hand write the names.

If you don't already have a system in place for how you call on children, I highly recommend this one! Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up with Classroom Freebies! Be sure to go and check out all the other great freebies, too!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, June 11, 2012

Star, Star, Wish

I am a writing teacher and a very important part of my class is sharing. It is unbelievable how much a child can learn just be sharing his/her work and listening to others share their work, as well. Once a a child has finished reading his/her piece to the class, we do what's called star, star, wish. I did not come up with this myself and I'm not really sure where/when I picked this up, but, it is a wonderful part of our sharing routine. The sharer calls on two children to give him/her a star, which would be something the writer did well. "I think you wrote a very strong lead." "You used very strong verbs." They learn really fast not to say things like "I like your story." "I like your pictures." They must be specific in their compliments and they must be ready to say why they like this particular aspect of the story. Then, the sharer calls on one child to give a wish, or something that the writer could have done to make his/her story even better. Again, the children need to be specific and ready to explain exactly what they would like to see the next time. Star, star, wish is always a great learning experience for my little writers. I would like to share the sign I made to hang on my board to remind my students about star, star, wish. I hope you find it useful in your classroom, too. 
Thank you so much for all the kind comments about my blog. I can't begin to tell you how appreciative I am!

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, June 9, 2012

500 Follower Giveaway! It's a B-I-G One!

I am so excited to have reached over 500 followers! To show my sincere appreciation, I have put together a BIG giveaway, which includes products from many talented teachers and companies.

Please use the rafflecopter below to enter to win all of the following prizes...

You can enter this part of the giveaway below. Please be sure to follow all the directions so you don't run the risk of being disqualified. I have already had to remove some of the entries because some people have clicked enter without following the directions. Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky winner will walk away with all of the amazing prizes mentioned above. If you would like a chance to win one of 5 free Samson's Classroom accounts, please leave a comment below with your email and let me know that you follow their facebook page. I will use the random generator to choose the 5 lucky winners.

As a thank you to Easy Canvas for donating a free 8x10 canvas, please check out their main sight BuildASign, if you are interested in ordering any type of custom made sign. They are truly a wonderful company in which to do business.

If you would like to share this giveaway on your blog, feel free to snag the graphic I made:

And there you have it! Lots of great prizes and opportunities to win. I wish you all lots of luck and I look forward to announcing all of the lucky winners on Sunday, June 17. Thanks again for being such dedicated followers. I truly appreciate every single one of you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Do you think I'm too casual?


One of my students loves to use my first name whenever he writes about me. A few times, I've heard him refer to me as Lori. My sister works in the same school and I asked him to take something to her. I heard him ask another child, "Do you want to come with me to take this to Lori's sister, Robin?" I laughed so hard. Is it possible that I'm just too casual?

Today was my last day of school. I have one more planning day and that's it. This week, my first graders were working on an end of the year activity that I created. It's a newspaper article. First, they interviewed each other by asking questions from the interview sheet.

There's that Lori Rosenberg again!

Then, they transferred the information to the newspaper.

They really enjoyed being a reporter and interviewing a friend. This was a fun activity and it allowed me to get a lot of packing done because they were so engaged. In addition, there are also grammar and writing activities, too! And a memory book!

If you would like to check it out, just click here for more information.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Is anyone else brave enough to do this...

I actually had ALL my students take ALL the things out of ALL the shelves ALL at the same time! Now, that's brave! The room was a total mess! But, they had tons of fun wiping and cleaning and sorting and fixing. Funny thing is, these are the same children who will NOT clean their rooms at home or put away their toys at home or clean up after themselves at home. The children were so excited when I told them that they were in charge of the whole cleaning process. And, I told them that if they didn't behave during the cleaning party, they wouldn't be able to participate. Can you imagine if their parents used this strategy at home? It would totally backfire! "What! If I don't behave, I don't have to clean?!" Talk about an open invitation to misbehave! But, not for me. They all worked super hard to make sure that their area was the cleanest, shiniest, and neatest in the whole classroom! Here is the final product...

They did an awesome job! Now, I'm going to let all their parents know just how good they are at cleaning. I actually caught some kids wiping each individual crayon and some were cleaning UNDER the table tops! They're such good kids! I will surely miss them this summer. I'm lucky, though, because I'll still be their second grade writing teacher. It's hard to explain, but I teach three grades for three years. I feel blessed...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Clip Chart Behavior Management Plan

I am linking up with Leigh, from The Applicious Teacher!  She is having a behavior linky party and I love to talk about my behavior plan.

I've been teaching for 19 years, and during this time I have tried just about every behavior management gimmick known to man. I can honestly say I have finally found a management system that truly works for every child in my class. Even the hardest to manage child. I know many of you have heard of and are using the clip chart system, but, just in case you haven't heard of it, or are skeptical, I thought I'd take this opportunity to explain how and why it works. 

The clip chart consists of a chart that has been divided into levels. All of the children start the day on Ready to Learn. Then, during the course of the day, the children move their clothespins up or down the chart, based on the behavioral choices they make. If they are making good choices, they can move their clothespin up a level at a time. Inappropriate behavior would cause them to move down a level. Since the children start in the middle of the chart, they have numerous opportunities to work their way up the chart. This really helps the children realize that they have to have self-control and be responsible for their actions and behavior if they want to be recognized for making good choices. Making it to the top of the chart is not easy, but it is definitely attainable. The children quickly realize how they must conduct themselves in order to achieve this goal. In the beginning of the school year, only 2 or 3 of my students made it to the top of the chart each day. But, as the days, weeks, and months wore on, more and more of them went home on red (the top of the chart). By the third quarter, just about all of them were clipping up to the top of the chart every single day. This speaks volumes! Even my most severe behavior case (someone who used to kick, spit, scratch, knock my tables over, and wreak havoc in my classroom) began to go home on red just about every single day after a few months. The parents love it, substitute teachers love it, and, most importantly, the children love it.

My students clip up when they:
  • go the extra mile to help a student in need.
  • are the first or second to do what I ask.
  • are extra polite and respectful.
  • do amazingly good work.
My students clip down when they:
  • interrupt me when I'm teaching.
  • are disrespectful to another student or adult.
  • cannot sit still or purposely keep another student from learning.
  • do not behave during lunch time or specials.
The children quickly realize how to behave appropriately in all kinds of situations. To make it to the top of the chart (or beyond) means so much to them because they see how proud I am of them. They are six feet tall when asked to clip up.

Each day, the children document what color they go home on so their parents are aware. In the beginning of the year, they needed to earn 4 outstanding's a month in order to get a special privilege. However, I had to change it to 8 outstanding's a month after a couple of months because so many of them were easily clipping up to the top of the chart almost every day. At the end of the month, they count up the number of outstanding's and choose a certificate if they earned 8-15 of them. If they earned 16 or more, they choose two certificates. Some of my certificates are:

  • lunch in the classroom (the most popular)
  • bring in a toy or book to share with the class
  • choose a sweet treat
  • choose an extra special treasure from the prize box (the second most popular)
  • extra computer time
You can download my certificates, for free, by clicking on the image below:

These are the calendars I use for the children to document how their day went. You can find them here.

This is my clip chart.
You can find it for FREE here!

There is so much more I can say about the clip chart, but, my post is already super long. If you have any questions or want more information about how I use the clip chart, please don't hesitate to ask. 

Favorite Font Linky Party

There are so many things I'm addicted to. Thankfully, none of them are illegal! Fonts are definitely an addiction. Natalie, over at Teachery Tidbits is having a font linky party. Here are just some of my favorite fonts:

What are your favorite fonts? After all, we can never have too much money, too many yorkies, or too many fonts, right? You can link up, too!

In case you haven't seen it, today, I am the featured teacher over at Teaching Blog Addict. I blogged all about my fascination with the clip chart. You can check it out by clicking the image below.

I'd love to hear if you use the clip chart or, if you plan on using it for the first time next year. I started a discussion on my facebook page. Please join me over there. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard