Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five for Friday/Student Motivation: Quarterly Incentive

I am going to be linking up with both Doodle Bugs and Head over Heels!

As a fifth grade team, we came to the consensus to keep points for each students. At the end of each class period, we go around the room and the kids tell us how many points out of 3 they have earned.

1 for being prepared with EVERYTHING they need for class
1 for participating, not just sitting there like a bump on a log
1 for on task behavior that follows expectations

We, the teachers, can award an additional point to a student that we feel went above and beyond what was expected. That is few and far between. 
At the end of each 9 weeks, we calculate how many points they earned, what was possible accounting for days the student was absent, and then come up with a percentage.
Then we come together and take an average from their three classes (reading, math, & homeroom)
If they have an 85% overall, they qualify for the quarterly incentive. We do not tell them what it is before. It is a surprise! 
(If they don't have 85% then they go to a study hall room and have a packet of work to keep them busy.)

Our plan for this quarter was simple. We were going to watch Mr. Peabody & Sherman and have caramel apples. We found out about 20 mins before school that the movie was a no-go and all of us started thinking a million miles an hour. What were we going to do to fill an hour & a half with 60ish kids? Luckily we have our prep first thing in the morning and I hit Pinterest for "Halloween Crafts". I found a lot of idea but what could we do with whatever supplies we had in the school? 
After scrounging and begging from our fellow staff members: 
Ta Da!
The kids loved it and it turned out super cute!

This was probably the favorite of most kids…
They just got to be kids.
The grass was covered just enough with frost that they could slide down on their coats or shoes if they didn't have that great of traction.

I tried to take a picture with just a couple of kids… others noticed and wanted in on it too. 

Their yummy treat!

This wasn't part of the incentive. This has been a tradition as the advanced/on grade level reading classes use it to spring board into How To speeches. We decided to just make a day of the activities. 

Yes, his head is completely inside his pumpkin.

Most of the 5th grade team…missing one.

Hope you all have a fabulous Halloween week! I have conferences on Thursday and Friday so it's a short week. However, my school basically drips Halloween so I won't miss out on the chaos. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Possessed Scavenger Hunt

We needed to review possessive nouns and I knew that my kiddos would love to walk around the room. I decided find use some task cards. I ended up using Rachel Lynette's Possessive Nouns task cards. I placed the cards while my students were working on their Entry Work, this way they knew something was coming up. 

I introduced our Possessed Scavenger Hunt. Totally appropriate as Halloween is near.
Did a few examples using my document camera.
Gave my expectations.
Set the timer and let them go.
The students worked extremely well. It gave me a chance to observe them and to determine if they understood possessive nouns.

One student using a strategy of covering the "s" to see if it is part of the plural.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Out of the Norm

Have you ever had one of those class periods where you are left speechless, in a good way?

 I had it after having my math students do an activity similar to "Scoot." 
We needed a day to step back, review, and do something out of the norm.
 I had run across The Primary Gal's decimal task cards and decided to try them out, totally intending to try out "Scoot." I decided too late in the evening to print out nice color copies so I used black and white for that day. (I now have nice color, card stock copies ready to laminate.) Before I get into what we actually did with the cards, I just need to express my adoration for her task cards! I now own quite a few of her sets and they all are super cute! The font is easy to read and the graphics are clean, in color or black and white. I also really like the sizes her cards come in. Some are the normal 4 to a page, but you'll see below that some are strips or even smaller. I like that I can use less paper and ink! I think the different sizes also help engage the kids. They don't see just another 4"x5# card.

I was all set to introduce Scoot to the kids when I remembered that I have a kiddo on crutches.
He could have worked it out, but I decided to try something new, ok not really new, but different than planned. I called it "Pass" for the lack of creativity in the moment. 

I walked the route that kids would pass and gave them these directions.
1. Turn your card right side up.
2. Solve and write the answer on your answer sheet, matching the box with your card number.
3. Turn your card back upside down.
4. Pass your card when the time goes off.

Making sure they knew where to pass, they pointed where they would pass to. 
I set the timer on my Promethean board for 28 secs, (totally weird number) clicked the repeat box, reminded them that if they chose to not follow expectations they would be choosing not to participate, and said "Go" hoping that this wasn't going to be a disaster. 
My math bunch is kind of a handful. 

I was speechless.
They moved quickly and set to work on their problem. They knew that it wouldn't be long until they had a new problem to solve.

You can see that some kids are done working and another is still working. I had them turn their cards upside down when finished. That way a kid couldn't look down the row and try to work ahead. 

I mixed the Adding & Subtracting cards even though they only used the Subtracting recording sheet. I just made sure that I only had one of each number so they could have a mixed practice of making sure they were doing the correct operation. 

I'm hoping to be able to incorporate activities like this a little more often, but for now, I'm just happy that something "out of the norm" engaged them for the review!

What have you done that's "out of the norm" of every day routine? 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday: A call for Ideas!

It's been  busy week in my world…but I think every week ends up being busy.

 A call for help/ideas! 
My district is doing an "Innovative Classroom" grant. My principal really wants me to apply for it. I am trying a Modified Flipped classroom using the iPads that we already have. If you had $25,000 do bring some innovation into your classroom what would you buy? 
Dream big! 

I thought these were cool, put them under the desk and it gives those antsy kids some movement!

I used The Primary Gal's comparing decimals for a quick game of "Pass."
I totally made up that name…we couldn't Scoot because I have a kid on crutches but it totally worked! I set the time on my Promethean for 28 secs and on repeat. They answered they problem, turned it over, passed when the timer went off, repeat. It was gold! This class sometimes gives me a run for my money but all of the kiddos were engaged! Loved it! 

My baby girl found some Sharpies and chocolate. 
Fun times! 

This is a happy/sad one. Our "adoptive" Alaskan parents moved back to America (aka the Lower 48) on Monday. 
We spent the entire weekend helping them pack and clean. 
Kasila had the joy of empty cupboards to play in. 

We had our first snow on Oct 4th! Luckily, it didn't stay more longer than a few hours. I'm glad that it happened on a Saturday and we have gotten it out of our system. Now we can get back to being used to having snow occasionally. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Please leave a comment on what you add to your innovative classroom if you had the opportunity!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Currently…. October!

This is my first Currently link up…. Hope you are off to a great month!

I don't create products but here is a link to my {Pinterest Holiday board} with a bunch of different activities or treats for the upcoming holidays!

Check out other fun "Currently" posts and find some treats and a few tricks!