Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yes Ma'am

Well, there goes the New Year's Resolution of blogging more frequently. This has been my first post in a few weeks and my goal was to blog once per week. Oops.

Anyways, moving on.

I have noticed on many other blogs that teachers have been visiting the Ron Clark Academy. So I decided to get Ron Clark's book The Essential 55 from my library. I had heard about Ron Clark and his book when I was in college, but I never found the time to read it. I still don't have the time to read it, but I decided to make reading this book a priority.

I started reading it and so far, I love it! In the book, Ron Clark gives 55 rules that should be included in every classroom. Not only that, but they are great life lessons, basic things that everyone should be doing anyways.

Rule number one is to respond to adults with "Yes ma'am" or "No ma'am." This may seem like a really simple rule, but I love it.

I am from Illinois and where I come from, the majority of students do not use "ma'am" or "sir" when addressing adults. However, when I moved to Texas, these words were ingrained in my students' vocabulary. I was so shocked on the first day of school when I asked the students a question and they responded with "Yes ma'am." I have also heard young parents using these words with their children. If their child is grabbing for something that they are not supposed, the parent will catch them and say "No ma'am." I think this is something worth instilling in children at a young age. I have also taken to addressing my students in the same way. When I call on my students to answer a question, I will say "Yes ma'am" or "Yes, sir."

Since reading this rule in the book, I have addressed with my class the need to speak these words whenever addressing an adult, or even another student. I believe that it will foster a culture of respect in the classroom.

I can't wait to see what other great tips I gain from reading this book! Check it out for yourself!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Exit Slips

Exit slips, or exit tickets, are very common means of assessment, especially in the older grades. However, I believe that they can be used in all grades, even as young as kindergarten.

But first, what is an exit ticket?! An exit slip or ticket can be a small notecard or Post-It note that is used to take a quick assessment. Generally, it is an informal assessment, but I have started to take grades on a few of my exit slips in some subjects. Basically, it is meant to "take the temperature" of the class, if you will. You can quickly see who has "got it" and who does not.

I recently started using exit slips in my classroom and the students love them. I used library pockets and adhered them to the door frame. They each have their name on them. Then, when it is time to use an exit ticket, I will pass out a notecard. I try to keep the exit slip short, maybe 5 questions. For example, a recent one that I did was to assess common and proper nouns. I was pretty sure most of my students were getting it, but I wanted to check. So I had them number the notecard from 1-5. I told them that I would give them 5 words and they had to write C for common or P for proper on their notecard. That's it! So quick and easy, yet so informative. Once the students are done, they can place the notecard in their pocket and it's very easy for me to just grab them and take a look.

I have also seen various boards and displays where students have a Post-It note and they stick it on the square that has their name. Then, the teacher can also quickly see who has not finished yet. Either way, it is a great tool to use in the classroom.

Depending on the method of exit tickets that you choose to use in your classroom, I decided to create some exit slips. You can download them simply by clicking on the picture. They're FREE!



Friday, January 2, 2015

January Currently

In my last post, I wrote my 2015 goals for my blog and TPT store. And now, here is my January Currently! I can't believe it's already January!

Listening - I get to be at home until tomorrow and I love being able to listen to everyone talking. I love my family!

Loving - Again, I love being at home. My husband and I are visiting Illinois from Texas and we are enjoying all of the holiday activities and down time.

Thinking - As I wrote in my previous blog post, I have a lot of goals for my store and blog for this upcoming year! I just need to get started...

Wanting - One of the best things about being home is having people to play board games with. My husband got two new games for Christmas - Ticket to Ride and Pandemic. We have had so much fun playing together!

Needing - In order to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself both in my store and at home (working out more, reading) I need some more free time. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. I think I need to start making lists and crossing things off. It will keep me more accountable.

Yes to working out more! I want to join my husband's gym and take some spinning and body pump classes. I have never done either, but I'm excited to try to make exercising more fun!

Maybe to getting a new blog design - I have been wanting to get a new blog design for a long time. However, I want to establish myself a little bit more before I take that step. Perhaps a birthday present?!?!

I wish to go on a short vacation - Now, I know that I am currently on *vacation* - vacation from school, spending time at home, etc. But I want to go somewhere like Disney World or the Carolinas just to get away and think about nothing.

What are you currently doing? Head on over to Farley's blog and link up! 

Happy New Year!