Weekend Warriors: Back to School Cool Behavior Management Chart

From the second I greet my students and bring them into our classroom, my behavior management techniques begin! I use many different strategies to get "buy in" from the kiddos. However, my color coded behavior chart is the center of it all!

Every year I change how I display and hang this chart-UNTIL NOW! I have always used the side of one of my file cabinets. In previous years, I clipped the chart to metal hooks to hang it. By the end of the day, it was crooked or not hanging straight.  I also would place each students classroom number on a small clothes pin. Here's the bottom line: I HATED the clothes pins. They would break. The numbers would fall off. It was just a hot mess. It frustrated me that it did not work perfectly! This year though, things are different.

I am using the same chart MINUS the clothes pins. Instead, I decided to use these amazing adhesive magnets called Stick-A-Rounds from Really Good Stuff. I just peeled the paper off, stuck it to each students' round number and ta-da!

Now I don't have to worry about clips breaking, numbers falling off etc. The students don't even have to pick up the number and move it. All they have to do is use their finger to push it next to the correct color. I am already in love! These little magnetic dots are a game changer in my book. 

To hold the kids accountable for their behavior, they fill out this chart at the end of each day. They must fill in the circle with the color they end their day on. On Fridays, I send the chart home and their parents must sign it, so I know they saw it. The forms are returned on Mondays. Each student gets a ticket for our weekly prize box if they return their chart signed. This system holds the students and parents accountable for the behavior at school.

I hope you were able to get some new ideas for behavior management as you start your school year. I wish each of you an amazing year with your students. Now, hop on over to my other blogging friends and see what tips and tricks they have in store for you!

Weekend Warriors: Back to School Cool Birthday Board

Most of us are in full Back to School swing or will be starting with kiddos after this long holiday weekend! My Weekend Warrior buddies and I decided we would share some of our Back to School ideas with you to help inspire and get this school year started in the right direction.

One of my favorite things to set up once the kids come into the room, is our classroom birthday board. There are many variations if this idea all over the internet, but I have made it work for my small classroom bulletin board space.
I use the door that connects my classroom to my team partner's room to display the kids pictures. I have very little bulletin board space and this space works perfectly. During the first week of school, I group the kids by their birthday month and take pictures of them. Then, I print and laminate them and display them all year long. My classroom color scheme is turquoise and black. So I made this set to match it. It is part of my Classroom Decor set. I also have a separate colorful Birthday Bulletin Board display set that would work for most classrooms. 

To make each student feel special on their birthday, I give each student their personalized birthday bloom!
I bought a flower pot and filled it with plastic rocks I had in my classroom. Each year I change what the "stem" will be. This year I purchased mechanical pencils. In previous years, I have used crazy straws (a big hit, too).  I also wanted to personalized the flowers for my kids and make them easier to cut out. If you would like to create your own birthday blooms, you can grab the FREE template by clicking the picture below.

Now, I hope you have a few new ideas to help celebrate birthdays in your classroom this year.  Make sure to head on over to check out all the other great Back to School ideas from my amazing blogging buddies. 

Setting Up Interactive Notebooks

I have received several emails about HOW to set up my interactive notebooks. This is a very personal decision, but I want to share how I do it with my kiddos. When you purchase one of my interactive notebooks, there are directions of how to personalize and set up the notebooks to work for you, as well as pictures of what it can look like as a finish product.

I use 70 page wide ruled spiral notebooks for my journals. The pages fit perfectly in them. Many teachers prefer composition books. Either one works. If you choose to use composition books, you will need to print the pages at a reduced rate before you make a class set to fit into the books. Use what works best for you and your students.

Each of my interactive notebooks also comes with strand tabs and strand covers for each of the areas the notebook covers. I like to copy the strand tabs on different colored Astrobright paper. This helps the students easily identify the strand we are working on. 

Since I am a control freak organized person, I set up my student notebooks with the strand tabs ahead of time. This is actually a very hard thing for first through third graders to do and leaves A LOT of room for error. I tried having my own fifth grade son help me, and it was a frustrating task for him. So, I recruited my mom to help me instead. I prefer to use the front and back of the notebook pages and add several extra pages to each section for any mistakes that my occur when they are used by the students. I count the number of activities in each strand and then add about 5 extra pages. 

Then, I have the STUDENTS color and glue the strand cover on top of the tab for reinforcement. Other people have laminated the tabs and stapled them into the notebooks instead of gluing them. Both work beautifully.

Finally, I glue the notebook cover (included) to the front of the notebook. I use clear packing tape to reinforce the top and bottom of the cover too. Some people like to laminate the covers and then tape them, as well. 

Storage Suggestions:
I have my students store their notebooks in their own desk. This does not work for everyone. I have not found it to be a problem so far. The tabs get bent through the year, but that will happen anyway, so it does not bother me that much. I have also used table bins or baskets to store them in. Experiment and see what works for your class. 

Loose Pieces:
As we all know, students work at different paces. This can be frustrating and challenging to manage when some students have small pieces cut out, but not glued yet. I have tried to design many of my notebook pages to NOT have many little pieces for this very reason. However, sometimes it is unavoidable. In previous years, I had the kids put the pieces on top of the page they were working on before they closed their notebook. This was not full proof by any means. This year, I am going to glue a small manila envelope to the inside of the back cover of the notebook. Erin Cobb, from Lovin' Lit, shared this idea on her blog. I think it is simply brilliant and will solve my problem easily. 

I hope these tips and tricks help you get your interactive notebooks set up with ease. Enjoy!

Do You Need A Boost?

With Back To School in full swing for many of us OR it may be lurking around the corner for others, NOW is the time for us all to get a little boost! 

Thank you, TpT for hosting a super duper ONE day sale! Never before has TpT hosted TWO sales in one month! However, they want ALL of us to prepared and ready for this amazing school year ahead of us! I am so excited and ready to go shopping. My cart is full and ready for checkout!

I have been working around the clock to get this baby finished for the sale! I am happy to report, my 3rd grade language interactive notebook is uploaded and ready for all those 3rd grade kiddos to start using! 

Get your year started off right with interactive notebook for math and language arts too!

I started school last week and have been using my Back To School Basics packet EVERYDAY! It's a great way to get and stay organized for the year!

Be sure to load up your carts and get all those resources you have been drooling over! Don't forget to use the code BOOST at checkout for an additional savings! 

Meet The Teacher Blogger {linky party}

I am excited to be linky up with Stephanie from Falling into First for her Meet the Teacher Blogger linky party.

Here's a little bit about me:
I married my college sweetheart. We just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. We have two amazing boys together. I will be starting my 16th year of teaching in Southern California. I have taught first, second and fourth grade. My heart is in second! I love my teaching partner and sweet little K-12 span school. I wouldn't change a thing.

Q&A Session:

Q: These are a few of my favorite things...
watching my boys play baseball and rooting for the Dodgers & Cubs, massages, manicures and pedicures and of course shopping at Target!

Q: If you weren't a teacher, what would you want to be?
Child advocate lawyer

Q: Three little words that describe you.
truthful, sarcastic, dedicated

Q: Finish this sentence, "_______________, said no teacher EVER!!"
I really love grading essays on the weekend, said no teacher EVER!

Q: It's your birthday and you can invite anyone (dead or alive) to the party. Who are you inviting?
My husband and kids!

Q: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would be the title?
Hawaiian Family Fun

Q: You get to pick one superpower. What is it?
To blink and make things appear or disappear!

Q: What is your favorite quote or saying?
Never let the fear of striking out get in your way! -Babe Ruth

Q: If you HAD to sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?
I sing but only in the car when I am by myself. I can't carry a tune to save my life

Q: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
MORNING PERSON! I can't sleep in even if I try. Once I'm awake, that's it! And I fall asleep on the couch every night watching TV. I never get to finish a program. Thank goodness for my DVR.

Q: What is your favorite resource that you've created in your TPT shop?

My MATH and LANGUAGE Interactive Notebooks
I love having all the evidence of learning in one place, aligned to the Common Core State Standards!


My ELA and MATH Task Cards
 These were a game changer in my classroom. My kids love reviewing their skills now!

Q: Share something we might not know about you!
I have always wanted to go sky diving. Then I got married and had children. I had to be responsible. So, I went indoor sky diving instead! LOVED IT! No need to jump out of a plane now.

Tag you're it! Now it's your turn to head on over to Stephanie's blog, grab the buttons and questions and share a little about yourself too!