Thursday, June 30, 2016

Compliments Chart

      Kids love compliments!
     There are no two ways about it.  If you give a child a compliment,  you will have that child doing great things.   My teaching partner and I have Compliments Charts in our rooms.   This is basically a 100's Chart with a maakeover.

Sorry that this picture is a little fuzzy.
        You know the old saying, " You get more flies with honey than with vinegar". 

       Well, this is true with children's behavior.  We begin the year with instructing our students that we will keep track of any unsolicited compliments that they receive during the year. 
        If they are quiet in the hall another teacher might comment on the fact that "they didn't know the class was even there".  A teacher who teaches Art, Music, Gym, Computers, or Spanish might comment on "how well my class participated that day".  A compliment from the principal become two compliments on the chart.   The students have to be reminded that they can not beg for compliments. We mark these unsolicited compliments on our chart as they are received.  You can see the delight in their faces when the children hear a compliment.  
      As the months go by, we tell the class that they need 50 compliments before Christmas to have a movie afternoon and a few treats. Our homerooms have never missed that prize!  
     As you can see, my homeroom has 62 unsolicited compliments as of February 8.  I know my kiddos will get 100 compliments before the end of the year.  Another reward will be on he way!
     This is a much better way than constantly nagging kids to be good. Children will be good if you reinforce the fact that they are good.   There are always the children who act out.  Some reminders can be given to those few who might not get to participate in the reward if they continue the unacceptable behavior. Students learn very quickly that you mean business if you keep to you word.  I am always their teacher not their best friend. 
       The compliment chart works for 5th graders, give it a try!

     Please leave a short comment if you have an extra minute.  I love reading your thoughts.
 Enjoy your day!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Animal Bookmarks

         I saw a cute idea for a bookmark. GoNoodle had these free bookmarks sent in an email.

 I traced the pattern shape and printed them for my students.   Of course I knew my 5th grade kiddos could  make these their own in no time. 
       I put out a variety of colored construction paper, foam shapes, and the pattern. A few simple instructions and my amazing kids did the rest.

           As soon as we they were finished, these generous children decided that they would give their bookmarks to our 1st grade Buddies.  My students quickly scampered down the hall to the 1st grade room and found their buddies.  They were a big hit!

       A cute easy project is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket, especially for our friends, the substitute teachers.


      This could be a fun project to go with your summer reading program. The little bookmarks could be designed to go along with a favorite or current book this summer. 
    Enjoy the  beautiful summer weather.

Please leave me a comment if you have a chance



Sunday, June 26, 2016


        Let's face it, we all deal with kids who fidget and need to move. We can't do anything to stop it,  so we might as well give our kiddos something to relieve the internal motivation they have to move their hands , fingers, and feet.
      I hope all teachers have a basket of fidgets in their room for students to used at will. Not just the students who are ADHD or ADD.  Everyone now and then needs something to hold on to to touch.  When I am teaching, I usually have a binder clip, pencils, highlighter, etc in my hand. I too, am a very tactile person, so I know how my kids are feeling during class. 
       I know that my son has many things on his office desk. He told me that one of his teachers in high school, a very old priest, had a collection of toys on his desk. I guess you are never too old to have a toy on hand, just in case! 

        Here is a small selection of the fidgets I have in my 5th grade classroom. Foam stress balls, pencils with plastic screws and bolts, and little "porcupine balls" are just a few in the basket to choose from.  My students know they are not to be thrown around the room or at another person.  I am pleased to say it is working very well.

         One of my girls came up to me and asked if she could hold a stress ball because sometimes she feels stressed.  If we can make a child more at ease in class, then I say, "Go for it!"
     These small plastic cones are used as a reward for a great answer, but they also become something to hold onto during the remainder of class.  They are also beneficial in getting your shy or quiet child to raise their hand to offer an answer.

     Another option is to sit on a rug or a seat cushion while in my room. This is a very popular choice for many of my students. I have seen the kiddos holding on to the rug or just rubbing their hand on the soft material.  I would rather sit on something soft instead of a hard plastic chair, wouldn't you?

    Do used used fidgets in your classroom?  Please let me know what works in other classrooms.   

    Please take a moment to leave a comment or a note if you have the time in your busy day. I'd love to read your message.

  The end of June is almost here.
Happy summer vacation!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

You've earned a CONE!

             Several years ago I purchased three of these cones from the Dollar Tree to use in my class.
        I try to get reluctant students to raise their hands to contribute to the class discussion.  This was my answer.  I would give these cones out to students who had a good and thoughtful answer or comment to the class discussion.  It worked like a charm. 
      Every time a student gets a cone they actually don't get to keep it.  The cone gets to stay on the student's desk for the class period. At the end of the class the students return the cones so they can be distributed during the next class period. 
            As the years have gone by, my students have given me more as  Christmas gifts in a wide variety  of   colors.  My stack of cones has grown from three to more than two dozen. 

       The cones are well loved.  As you can  some of the lettering has worn off, and I have had to do some touch up with Sharpie marker.

     My kids love getting cones.  Some students actually have kept track of how many cones they have received during the year.  This has been a great positive reinforcement technique in my 5th Grade class.

 Head on over to Head Over heels for TEACHING and check out her great idea on classroom management. I have liked up with other teachers to this blog. 

     Enjoy the sunshine.  It is getting longer each day!

Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute in your busy day.  I love reading your thoughts and ideas. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Frame of Hearts

              My sisters-in-law gave my daughter a baby shower.  My daughter decided to do something with the cards. A heart die cut was a great idea.  I think this is so cute.

Please leave a comment and come again soon! 

Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How Sweet it is!


       Years ago, one of my students, Natalie,  gave me this cute singing bear.  Year after year , he has sat on a self in my classroom watching over my classroom.  When you press his right foot, he sings "How sweet it is to be loved by you!" He also sways back and forth. 
        When I needed my students to line up or get ready quickly, I would make him sing. The kids loved it. It was a great stress reliever.  Some students needed an incentive, so I would say, " We need to do "this" before the bear stops singing".  
       Yesterday, I turned in my school keys for the last time.   I retired after 25 years of teaching. So my little singing bear has come home with me.  He makes me smile and remember all of the students who came to my homeroom. 

Teaching.... How Sweet It Is! 
Enjoy the summer! I will!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Teach Junkie

                   Leslie from Teach Junkie has featured some of my ideas on her blog.  This week I changed the name and URL of my blog.  All my posts were linking back to my old blog.  I sent Leslie an email to see if there was any way she cold help.  Needless to say, Leslie came to my rescue and changed all the links so readers could get to my blog.
                  Leslie is the best!
   So head on over to and check out all the great teaching ideas that feature our fellow teachers. 
Here is the link...
 Thank you again, Leslie!

Have a great summer!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My Flowers in Bloom

         The beginning of June is always a busy time with the end of school.
 Report cards can be stressful for teachers when a student has not progressed as far as we would have liked. Do we give that child a low grade? Or do we add a few points to our gradebook to give the child a passing grade? 

   The wonderful part of June is that the flowers in my yard start to bloom!

    The great part is that my flowers blooms with or without me doing anything! I do some weeding and fertilizing, but they just do their own thing.  
   God has made this amazing world for us to live in and appreciate.  Sometimes we get so caught up in all our daily activities, we don't take time to 
"stop and smell the roses".  I know that is cliche', but very true.

     Oh, here are the roses!

         Years ago I thought this rose bush was planted in the wrong spot in my yard.  It was too shady.  I dug it up and moved it to a sunnier location in my yard. Little did I know that I had left some of the root behind. A few years later the tree that was shading the area had to be cut down.  This rose bush grew back up even hardier than before. So now I have the rose bush that wouldn't give up. 

     So, the moral to the story is not to give up on any child, or rose bush.  God has a plan for each and every one of us.  Some of us take a little longer to bloom than others. Some of us need different location to thrive.  We all need a little TLC to help us grow.

     A few of my former students came back this week to say hello. They are graduating from high school.  As you can imaging, they are taller, stronger, and more mature than when they left 5th grade so many years ago. These girls and boys have matured into ladies and gentlemen.  They have all changed so much. Yet some still have those little 5th grade faces that melted my heart. 
     I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!




Friday, June 3, 2016

Pinterest Pick 3 June Link Up

               I really enjoy posting and linking up with other teachers. So I was excited when I opened the email from Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching and her June link up.


I saw this pin and knew I could use this anchor chart for my 5th Social Studies class.

    I made my on version of the illustration. 

                 It became a note taking sheet, 8 1/2 x 11, that fit into my students' Social Studies duo-tang.

  For the same chapter leading up to the American Revolution, I used this pin.

   This one is from Miss Mill's Blog. 

     Here is my smaller, note taking version of  her great anchor chart.

       This is a pin of my own that I just had to show you. I goes along with the other two pins. We had a Boston Tea Party for the 5th graders.  These are some of my kiddos dressed on their Colonial finest clothing standing under the Liberty Tree. You can view the blog entry here.;postID=2834424318785573254;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=93;src=link

     I love teaching about American History! Can you tell?