Friday, April 5, 2013

Do you Dojo?

Do you struggle with classroom management?  Is paperwork getting you down?  Do you have difficulties keeping up with different behavior plans?  Well, have no fear!  ClassDojo is here!

Seriously... You have got to try this!  It is a free classroom real-time management system that you can use on your computer, smart phone, iPod, and iPad.  It will even sync between them all.  I log in on the computer, and walk the classroom with my phone! It is amazing!  Once spring break is done, I officially switch to this instead of the Look Book and Reminder Binder.  I am even going to stop using my paper behavior plans for my little friends that need extra reinforcement.

This doozy of a website/app is customizable so that you can load all your students in, create the tags you want for positive behavior and negative behavior, set up parent email notifications, and even give the students logins so they can change their avatar and see their progress.  This system tracks behavior and attendance.  It will keep data each day and you can see an accumulated score, or per day.  If you turn on the sound, the students hear a chime for positive and a "bwah" for negative behavior.  Its amazing what a little noise can do!   My students love to see their points at the end of the day and to see the percent of positive behavior for the entire class.

There are so many great things about this program, that I wanted to create a way for me reward my students for earning the positive points.  I created a supplemental packet for users of Class Dojo!  I have it in my TeachersPayTeachers store.  Even if you don't want the packet, you REALLY must try Dojo!


I have now entered the world of creating graphics!  I am SO excited!  I love drawing and now I can use that skill to help others that need cheap clip art for their educational needs!  So far, I only have 2 sets, but I tried to make them big and included different saved formats as well as blackline and color graphics!  You can find them at my store on TeachersPayTeachers.  Check them out!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Leibster Award!

Many months ago, in a galaxy far, far away.... well, in South Carolina.... and Spain... and just around the corner in Northeast Ohio.... I was nominated for a Leibster Award (thrice).  This is a recognition award for new bloggers that have less than 200 followers.

I was nominated by Laura at Second Grade, but First Class,  by Alyssha at Teaching and Tapas, and Tami at Blessed in First! I'm not sure if I am following the rules or not, but I am going to combine the 3 here!
So, here are the rules of being nominated:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see whom you nominate.

11 Random Things about ME!
1. I have two boys that were born 2 years and 3 days apart.
2. My youngest was born on April Fool's Day!
3. I love to create teacher materials to use in my class.
4. I have taught 5th, 4th, and 2nd grade.
5. I heart Caramel Machiatos from Starbucks.
6. I have the largest sweet tooth in the world with no self control!
7. I have to remind myself to practice patience.
8. Sleeping is awesome and priceless.
9. One of my cat's names is Ginger, I had one named Gilligan, and my name is Marianne.
10. I walk non-stop every summer with a group of girlfriends.
11. I want to cry that my baby starts kindergarten next year!

1. When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? I could say it was when I was little and played school with my little sister, but I actually spent 4 years of college undecided before switching to education.
2. What is the hardest part of teaching for you? Staying up on the grading.  I am thankful for Common Core, the STEM approach, and observations which are all keeping my head above water.
3. How late do you stay at school at the end of the day? The school day ends at 3:45 for staff, and I zoom out to pick up my children.  On Tuesdays, I stay (until I can't stand it anymore) because my children are with Grammy and Pa.
4. How often do you change your bulletin boards in the hallway? Bulletin boards? People still have those? :)
5. Do you have any other paying jobs, besides teaching? I only have the hobby of TeachersPayTeachers.  It adds a few bucks to my pocket, but nothing real significant.
6. How do you include parents in the classroom? I have an open door policy. I only ask that they notify me in advance. I try to work them into the lessons or give them administrative work to do, but I have someone in my room at least once a week.  Our school also has a fabulous program called Watch Dogs that involves the dads and male figures in children's lives by volunteering for the school.
7. When do you do your lesson planning: during the week, the weekends, daily? I plan on the weekends, but with a STEM setting, I have the flexibility to change lessons as I go.
8. Where do you find cool graphics/ideas for your blog? I am a Pinterest freak, TeachersPayTeachers junkie, and surf blogs.
9. Do you eat with your students at lunch? I do a Birthday Lunch Bunch  once a month where the birthday children invite a friend and we all eat in our classroom together.
10. If you could wear a school uniform, would you rather that than deciding what dress clothes to wear each day? No, I am always changing my clothes in the morning due to fit, but I want to have the choice to wear what is comfortable, yet looks good.
11. What gets you through a long school day? The fact that I have so many small group lessons and movement in my classroom gets me through the day.  When those things are missing, that is the only time I feel like it is a long day.

My answers for Teaching and Tapas:
1. Do you believe in astrology? Not really.  I think it is funny to read the horoscopes because they are usually so generic.
2. What is your favorite subject to teach? I love to teach math and reading.  I have so many fun activities I have picked up through the years that replace worksheets.  Its fabulous.
3. What is your favorite childhood memory? My grandpa George is the only close family member that has passed and I think of him often.  He was always gruff, but very loving.
4. Any hobbies? I would love to say I still scrapbook and make jewelry, but that is all collecting dust right now.  I think I should say my TeachersPayTeachers products are my hobbies.
5. Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes.  My husband and I were engaged after 1 month of dating.  My mom and dad were engaged after about a month as well and have been happily married for 40 years.
6. Are you close with your siblings? I am extremely close with my sister.  We are like best friends.  We are only 2 years apart.  I can be close with my brother who is 4 years older, but we don't connect as well.
7. Dog person or a cat person? I like dogs, but when they belong to someone else.  I have 2 adorable cats - Marty and Ginger.
8. Apple or PC? I use a PC because my husband is Dell, Google, etc. all the way and is a computer programmer analyst.  I am learning some Apple because I now have a school iPad and got 6 iPods from DonorsChoose this year.
9. Best travel experience? For a pre-married honeymoon, my husband and I went to Florida.  We spent a week seeing the sights.  It was blissful.
10. If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would it be? I haven't been many places, so I think I would say right where I am.  I am close to all my family here.  
11. What is the perfect Sunday like for you? Sleeping in, time to myself to get my work ready for the week, and an evening with my family.

My answers for Blessed in First:

1. What is your favorite concept/subject to teach your students and why? Math is really fun because of the activities that can be incorporated.  I have also come to love reading groups because it is not just about reading a book, but about immersing yourself in the book, becoming the characters, or using the information for something real world.
2. If you were given a million dollars tomorrow, would you retire from teaching immediately? Yes because of the politics, stress, and pressure.  No because of the children and the love of teaching.
3. What is your favorite TV show currently? I love the fantasy stuff out there right now like Grimm, Lost Girl, and Being Human.
4. What good book have you read lately?  You mean besides children's stories? :) I have read all the Sookie Stackhouse novels and I am reading various books on how to teach my own child to read.
5. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing? I would be either a stay at home mom or I would pursue a different degree like book editing or graphic design.  I am interested in always learning new and more technology.
6. Would you consider yourself an "animal person?"? Yes.  I like most and love some!  We spend many days of summer at the zoo!
7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? My dependency on food... especially when I am sick or stressed! This would fix many things if I could control that!
8. What is one thing you really love about yourself? I love that I am realistic.  There are things I would love to be perfect, but I always remind myself that things are meant to be messy because they help us grow and give us character.  I take a deep breath and just go with it... most days :)
9. Name three things you are thankful for today. My husband, my oldest son Xavier, and my youngest son Owen.
10. Do you like to do laundry?  [had to give you a silly one to answer! :)] I don't like to do laundry, but I would rather do that than have my husband do it.  We have a deal that I do laundry and he does the dishes.  It works out pretty well!
11. What's on your Christmas wish list this year? Well, since I took so long to answer this and Christmas is a while away, I would love to be expecting a third child by then.  It is difficult for us and it may take extra work, but I think it is possible.

My Questions for You!
1. What is your favorite thing to do when you get home?
2. File cabinet or digital files?
3. What inspired you to become a teacher?
4. What is your funniest student story?
5. If you could be a kid again, what would you play with?
6. What is your favorite spot in your school?
7. What do you do with your class that others don't do with theirs?
8.  What is the secret to teaching success?
9.  If you could redesign your classroom, what would you change?
10. What is your favorite school lunch?
11. How much time do you spend on school things outside of the school day?

My Nominated Blogs:

Congratulations and don't forget to leave me a comment when you post your Leibster so that I can read what you wrote!

Happy Spring!

Well, I think I may be back!  At least for spring break!  I have been busier than I thought possible.  I may be pulled in too many directions right now, but I am surviving! Such is the life of the teacher!

There are many things happening for me to be excited about.... I have had a fabulous year with my new teaching team.  We have meshed very well and I feel we compliment each other excellently!  They are very supportive and wonderful!

This weekend we celebrated, not only Easter, but my sons birthdays on March 29 and April 1... What a busy weekend it was!

I have also been working on my TeachersPayTeachers products.  I have a variety of things from classroom management to activities and games.  My best sellers are the Common Core Record Books! Check them out!
Click here for my TeachersPayTeachers store!
I also am gaining experience with having a student teacher right now.  She is with me for only have her term, but she is doing a great job!  I am very lucky to have such a good one as my first one!

One of my favorite time fillers nowadays is to PIN, PIN, PIN!  I think I am addicted and I love that it organizes so many things for me to refer to!  I love technology!  If you would like to check out my boards, you can CLICK HERE!

Well, I hope to not be gone so long, but I am in high demand (mostly by my 3 and 5 year olds!)  I wish to share more of my educational knowledge and discoveries with you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...