Thursday, July 21, 2016

5th Grade ELA Centers

Hi friends!

I wanted to share with you some of the changes I made to my ELA centers. After Jen Jones came to our school in June, I realized I needed to do a little revamping to my schedule and activities.

What's Different?
*I'm meeting with my kids for 30 minutes twice a week instead of once for 60 minutes.
*I've grouped spelling and vocabulary together. On the day that students are with me for 30 minutes, they will also be at the spelling and vocabulary center for 30 minutes. They will only complete ONE of the centers, NOT both! If a student in group one chooses to complete the spelling center on Monday, they will then complete the vocabulary center on Wednesday.
*I've added Genius Hour. Students will research ONE topic for several weeks. When they finish, they will be allowed to share their findings with the class during our ELA whole group block some time that week.

My kiddos complete an ELA center every day. I have a 20 minute whole group lesson before our centers start. We are usually working on our interactive notebooks from Lovin Lit. I have all of her literacy notebooks- they're truly amazing. Check them out here! After students complete their Friday center, we reflect on the activities and skills covered that week. The students fill out a reflection sheet that will tell me how they felt about their centers, and if they need extra assistance with anything. I use those sheets along with my teacher reflection sheet and notes (filled out daily) to decide if any reteach or enrichment needs to take place the following week. *Both sheets are within my Math/ELA board packet on TpT. See the link below.

Below you will find my weekly schedule.
Pink= length of time
Purple= activity
Blue= link to resource

If you see that a purple activity does not have a correlating link, that means it is something I have created for my classroom.

For a PDF with clickable links to the blue resources, click HERE.

If you are interested in my math and ELA centers board, click here. Here is a picture of my board from last year.
This year, I will be making two boards instead of one. I will post a picture once it's finished! :)


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Swag Stickers

Hi friends! I am so excited to introduce Swag Stickers to you!

Where the idea came from: 
This product was inspired by a mixture of a two things:
1) Brag tags

2) My vocabulary board in my classroom (inspired by Pat Pavelka)
     If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen my Vocab Builders wall. This wall contains pictures of students flexing their arms with words on top of them. Throughout the year, we learn key vocabulary and take assessments to see if they truly know the vocabulary words. Students must identify the correct definition AND correctly use the word in a sentence to earn a word above their arm. By the end of the year they have many words above their arms.

     Alrighty, so Vocab Builders is great and all, but I wanted more. I felt like I could recognize many other wonderful achievements my students were reaching throughout the year. I mean, the idea of earning a few words above their arms really motivated them to learn their vocabulary. Just imagine the possibility of earning stickers for not only other subjects but behavior as well. (Yes, I'm still using Class Dojo, this is just an extra help for behavior management!) I’ve seen Brag Tags EVERYWHERE, and I love the idea. However, I wanted my students to be able to keep their achievements… to see them and be proud of themselves. Now I know some teachers have their students keep all of their earned Brag Tags on a necklace (brilliant idea by the way!), but I just didn’t think that would work for me and my classroom. Plus, I didn’t want to get rid of the fun wall in my classroom. It’s always a favorite! So, taking the idea behind Vocab Builders and Brag Tags… Swag Stickers was born. I know. The name might be a bit much, but I love it!

How to use Swag Stickers  in your classroom:
1) Swag Sticker Books OR Binders. 
We’re all about that data right?! And not just data, student-recorded data. Your students can store their stickers in their sticker books or sticker binders. This puts THEM in charge of their stickers. Not to mention, it will be so nice for them to have their stickers in an organized place. I’ve included both monthly and quarterly tracking sheets. Which one do you need? You decide. Think about how many stickers you’re going to be passing out in your classroom. For me personally, I anticipate only passing out 1-4 stickers a day. Max. I’m only giving stickers out for ABOVE AND BEYOND behavior and academic achievements. You’ve got to really SHINE for those stickers, kiddos. The stickers should be earned. If you just start passing them out like candy, the stickers are going to lose their zest and respect. Have a student who is super low in math, but finally got that B they worked so hard for?! STICKER. See a random act of kindness happening in your classroom?! STICKER. A kiddo brings in a case of Diet Coke for you?! STICKER. Okay, just kidding about that last one. Kids can’t bribe you for stickers. Resist the temptation. 

2) Bulletin Board. This is how I’ll be displaying my students’ stickers in my classroom. 

I love the flexing arm idea because it shows their “STRONG SKILLS!” The kids' stickers will go above their arms! I take their pictures on the first day of school and then print them on a 4x6. If I'm being honest, cutting them out is not the most fun you'll ever have, but just turn on Netflix and it becomes tolerable. Or better yet, have some of your new parents help you out!

Printing options
1) Print on Avery 6450 circle labels. Please make sure that “fit to page” is NOT selected when you go to print. You don’t want your stickers printing off of the circles.

2) Print on full sheet sticker paper. Cut out with scissors or a ONE INCH circle punch. 

3) Print on regular white paper. Cut out with scissors or a ONE INCH circle punch. Students can glue or tape their stickers to their tracking pages. 

I've created several different options for you to choose from in this new product of mine. From color/black and white, to different tracking pages and booklets. 

Purchase the sticker pack HERE! :)