Monday, September 8, 2014

I Wish I Would Have Known

I seriously wish that someone would have taught me the following two tricks 10 years ago...

1. Helping Hands

Forget the hassle of job charts; just the idea of their upkeep gives me anxiety.  Helping Hands is a quick and efficient way to have helpers in your classroom.  All you have to do is flip to the next two students each day.  This way students get to help more often through a variety of jobs.  My kiddos help with passing out papers and supplies, being line leader, pulling the lunch wagon, vacuuming the classroom, and taking out the recycling bin.  If only I would have known 10 years ago that managing classroom jobs could be streamlined and effective.

2. Clip Chart Add Ons
I have always used some sort of moving behavior chart, but a clip chart has been my go-to the last few years.  I love that as student behaviors move up and down so can their clips.  Three years ago, when I went back into the classroom, I made sure to send an email or Golden Note home, or make a positive phone call for students that made it to Outstanding.  I upped the ante this year with the "Clip Chart Hall of Fame."  When students make it to Outstanding they not only get a positive communication sent home, but they get to add a gem to their clip.  Once they have earned 5 gems their clip retires to the "Clip Chart Hall of Fame" and they receive a new clip.  This little change to our chart has created more excitement than I knew was possible.  Okay, maybe I knew that sparkly gems would bring excitement; just not when related to behavior.  Be sure to check back for updates on this new addition.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started teaching?

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