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Spring Fever is here ~ Managing the Crazy!


I know it's like this at this point of the year every.single.year.... but I think I honestly forget just how CRAZY my babies can be in the classroom!

I'm a pretty patient person but these last few days I am pretty sure I am teaching only about 3 kids.  (at least that's what it feels like).

Am I the only one re-directing every 4.7 seconds, pulling out all the tricks in my bag as well as my hair, and still feeling wiped out at the end of the day?!  Please tell me it isn't just me!

I knew I had to come up with something new that would hopefully get them to settle down *just* a bit.  I mean... we have state testing coming up for our older grades, which means we are LOCKED down into our rooms the entire day (multiple days!), with indoor recess, no PE, and they are stuck ALL.DAY with me!  Something needs to be done!

I just wanted to share a few ideas that you can use for whole group, small/table groups, and even for individuals!

Let me just say....I am no expert at this.... I'm just trying to find something simple, yet effective for these last two months!

"Poppin' Points"

Y'all... my kiddos are SO excited about this idea!  

What you will need:
- balloons
- a place to keep track of points
- incentives written on small pieces of paper (to place inside of balloons)

So I whipped up a poster real quick and had it laminated so I could easily add (or yes... even erase) points!   
You can do this however you see fits best for your students, but we are doing increments of five points.  
Each time the entire group is working well, walking quietly in the hallway, receives a compliment in the hallway, etc...  they get a point.  Once we reach FIVE points, we get to POP the first balloon!  Inside the balloons I have written little incentives (work with no shoes for the day, sit anywhere for the day, popcorn party, arts and crafts, etc...)

We are *slowly* working towards this goal...

This is a look at our poster and ballooms in our classroom:

Nothing fancy... you can create it in NO time!!!!

"S-P-R-I-N-G into Great Behavior!"

This whole group activity is using the word SPRING to encourage our friends to make better choices!

Again, you can use this to how it works best for you.... below is ONLY a suggestion!

As your class or whole group is staying on task, doing their work, etc....  they will begin to build the word "SPRING'.  (one letter at a time)

However... each letter represents something that they are rewarded with each time they get a letter!

Here is a suggestion:

S - Shoes off
P- Partner fun (sit by a friend)
R- Recess time extended
I - Indoor Fun (games, etc...)
N - No Homework or No ________
G - Grab a prize (treasure box)

These are just options.... of course you can easily change the rewards to match what you want (I just made something that matched each letter)

I keep the letters for spring in a baggie above my board (you can EASILY just write the letters on the board!) 

You can share the rewards up front or let it be a surprise!  

You can also just build the word SPRING and then have one large reward or incentive!  It's up to YOU!

For most of us in the lower grades, our babies sit in small groups throughout the day.  Sometimes we need a little small group management to keep certain tables on task!

"Flower Power" or "Petal Points"

This simple little management idea is perfect for spring! 

All you need is yellow circles (can easily cut out or just print).  Write the group number or group name in the center (or type on the computer).

You can get different colored paper (a different color per group) or all the same color!

Each time the group is working well, on task, quietly, etc...  they get to add a "petal" to their circle.  You can easily use triangles, circles, or simple shapes to create the flower.

Once the group creates an entire flower, they receive a reward (teacher choice)

I just taped them to the board!
(simple...nothing fancy....just effective!)

"Sunshine Surprise"

This idea is very similar to the previous idea!  

Each group will have a circle with their group number or name on it.  This time you will be creating suns and the groups will be earning their "rays" to create a complete sun! 

Rewards are given when a group completes their sun!

You can always adapt to what works best for YOU!

"3 Strikes"

I am LOVING this idea that I got from my OWN child's kindergarten teacher!  
Have I mentioned how AMAZING she is?!  
She has to put up with my precious little child!   Bless her!  Jaxon is learning SO much and is so happy this year!!


(I'm not sure if she call it this.... I just wanted a name for this idea!)

So she gives each student 3 cubes at the beginning of the day.  These three cubes represent warnings and each time the student receives a warning, they lose a cube.  When all three cubes are gone.... the student receives a consequence!  (We do the color chart system, but again, you can easily adapt to meet your students and system you use!)

This is just a look at the entire group:

I love this because the students can SEE where they are and it is visible to them at ALL times!
(and yes.... my perfect child gets cubes removed!)

"All Star Team"

This goes along with the cube idea.... but this time students begin with nothing and work their way UP to how ever many cubes you decide!

So... let's say your goal is 5 cubes.  When a student is showing great behavior, good manners, staying on task, etc.... they receive a cube.
When the student reaches the determined goal, they become part of YOUR "All Star Team".  

You can create a bulletin board of "All Star Behavior" - I mean it is Baseball season now :)

This "team" of students will get special privileges such as:

- they get to line up first

- they are first onto the playground

- they get to be the teacher's helpers (pass out papers, run errands, etc...)

- they get first pick on the rug during learning time

(again... you can make up what works best for you!)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I know we are winding down the year... but we still have A LOT to accomplish and we NEED to keep these babies motivated and in the "game"!

Hopefully some of these ideas will help you somehow.... 

and I would LOVE to hear any ideas you may have!!!  You can never have too many tricks up your sleeve (especially this time of year!)

Until next time....

Have a great rest of the week :)

Jessica Travis
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TIME for Fun!

As Tuesday comes to an does our unit on Time in Math!

The past week has been a blast learning all about the parts of the clock and focusing on hour and half-hour!

Just wanted to share some of the FUN we have had the past week....

Since we dipped into time to the hour earlier in the year, we began by reviewing and creating a life-size clock using our round group tables! (perfect huh?!)  We already knew the numbers on the clock, but since we were about to learn HALF hour.... we needed to learn a *little* bit more about these numbers and what they represent!

I had my friends create and label their own clock to get a good refresher in!

After getting to know our clock and just what these little numbers mean.... it was time for the (dun...dun...dun)
Half Hour!

Some kiddos pick right up on this skill.... and others .....well.... it's good we had 3 days of half hour!

With Easter right around the corner on this particular day.... we had to make it fun!

I stopped by the local dollar store and they had their packs of eggs on SALE (even better!) and I brought two little trays that I had picked up at Wal Mart the week before!

I just wrote the digital times for each o'cock and half-hour.  (This is ALL that we focused on during day 1 of half hour - being able to identify the difference!)

My kiddos selected an egg out of the bag and had to sort to the trays.  Such a simple activity.... but they LOVED it!

and by the end....

(I just printed these titles and folded some construction paper in half to create a little card)

After sorting the digital hour and half hour.... we busted out the ole' Judy clocks and worked on using the analog clocks for half hour!

We played a little "I SPY" detective game where my kiddos had clues and they had to write their evidence (digital times)

I gave them a clock to work out the clues and off they went...

I had my kiddos complete their flip-flap sort for hour and half hour:

Today we wrapped up time (taking our unit assessment tomorrow)....

We turned an individual student center into a group game!

I had my centers in individual bags and gave each group a bag.... they had to sort the analog clock cards to hour and half hour... and I'll admit... it turned in to a bit of race!

and just as if they were doing an individual center... they completed their recording sheet:

We had such a blast with telling time.... but we must move on!

You can find all of these activities and SO much more in my TIME Out packet!

Just click on the picture below :)

And it's on sale through tomorrow!!

Have a great week!

Jessica Travis
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