Saturday, May 4, 2013

So... I'm still here!

I confess...

I am a horrible blogger during the school year. It just slips to the bottom of my priority list. No excuses! I do want to share some highs and lows of this year, though.

This has been my first year in 4th grade and I L.O.V.E. it! I was really apprehensive at the beginning of the year, but I am so glad I made the move. My team is fabulous and the age is perfect for me.

Do you remember all the great ideas I had this summer? Do you wonder how they worked out?

Classroom Economy
This is one of the best things I have done this year. The kids love it. It really works as a classroom management tool. I am going to dedicate an entire post about how my classroom economy has evolved this year in the next few days.

I have found an awesome tool that I want to share now. It is called It is a FREE fake online bank that you can set up for your class. It is amazing! The students really feel like they have an official account.

This is a screenshot of what my view of their account looks like. It is very user friendly.
STAR Binders
We relied heavily on our STAR binders the first semester, but then it tapered off. I won't be using them next year. It was an unnecessary expense. I will encourage all my students to use a binder to organize their papers, but we will be mostly using folders, which are on their school supply lists.

Turning in Papers
So this is something that never happened. I do want to give this another try next year. I didn't make this a student job, so it was never taken care of. Oh well. I do use the baskets for the kids to turn their work in daily. I won't be using the clips. Too much work.

Hand Signs
These signals have been wonderful! I will always use them. When a student has to use the restroom during silent work, they just raise their hand and show me the sign. I nod at them and they quietly leave the room. No big deal. No distractions for the rest of the class. Perfect!

Whole Brain Teaching
I started the year off strong with WBT, but I didn't stick with it. It is a work in progress, but I still love it when I use it. WBT increases student participation and retention of concepts being taught. Hopefully one day I will use it the way it should be used.

Birthday Bags
These have been a life saver! Now I don't have to scramble on student birthdays. I will be doing this every year!

I will be posting soon about:

  • working on an iPad proposal for 1:1 next year (I want it more than anything!)
  • the awesomeness of Edmodo
  • our enjoyment of EduCreations
  • some great technology resources I have found and used this year
  • evolution of my classroom economy
  • my lesson plan journey


Lauren said...

That banking site sounds a lot like Class Dojo. If you haven't already, you should check it out!

I also noticed you jumped from 2nd to 4th. I just found out I am jumping from 2nd to 5th next year - yikes! I am 100% nervous, but equally as excited for a challenge.

I just posted about it.. if you have a chance would you mind stopping by and sharing some tips on how to make the transition, where to start, etc.??

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