Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Behavior Management

   It has taken me a long time to decide what behavior management system I want to use with my behavior support class. I have came up with a comprehensive system that I hope will work for most of my students.  This system will be easy to differentiate for students who it may seem to complicated for.   My plan is a mix of check in/check out and a classroom economy system.
    At the school I will be teaching at they have a PBIS plan.  This is a schoolwide plan of expectations.  The three major expectations are that students are responsible, respectful and life long learners.  Throughout my management plan, my students will be working to learn exactly what meeting those expectations looks like.  The first part of the plan is the ability to earn Raider Bucks.  My school mascot is the raider and I debated for a while between having a treasure chest or coin or just having a buck with our mascot on it.

The way the economy system will work in my classroom will be that whenever a student is meeting an expectation he/she will get a raider buck.  Before he/she can put the raider buck into his/her own bank, they must check on it which expectation they met.  For example, if a student has a goal to participate more in class and during class they answer a question then I may give them a buck for being a life long learner.  Another example would be if a student has a goal for keeping hands to themselves and they met this goal for a certain amount of time, at the end of the time I will award them with a buck. They would then mark on their buck that they were being respectful.  I am having students check what expectation they met so that they stop and think about why they are being rewarded.  The first month of using this system I will help them think about which to check.  We will have a short discussion about what each expectation means and decide together which to check.  This system will also help by giving me data to see what expectations my students are exceeding at and which my students may need some more practice with. 
The economy system will be used as positive reinforcement. If a student is misbehaving then they will not earn any bucks, but the bucks they have already earned will not be taken away.  Other parts of my behavior plan will address misbehavior but I want students to positively view the economy system.  

Weekly rewards

The second part of the system works with students individually on their behavior goals.  I plan on using a check in/check out system for most of my students.  This is where each student has a sheet with their behavior goals on it and each subject they go to each day. At the end of the subject they give the sheet to their teacher to mark how well they did meeting their goals.  At the end of the day all of their points are tallied up and they earn a prize if it meets the daily goal set for them.  Check in/check out only works when all teachers buy in to the system and works the best when parents buy in as well.  A lot of time has to go in to preparing everyone involved in check in/check out and explaining the benefits of the system.  I haven't made any check in/check out sheets for my new students yet but I did find some on teachers pay teachers for anyone wanting to see what the system is all about. 

I am sure I will tweak my behavior management system some once I get more into my classroom and learn more about my students.  The biggest suggestion I can give anyone is to pick something that you know you can be consistent with.  My management plan is designed for a small amount of students. If I were to implement this whole system with a class of 30 kids it probably wouldn't turn out very well.  I look forward to posting more about my management plan when school starts. It is hard to believe there are only 3 more weeks left of summer! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

iPad apps for the classroom

   At my new school I will have a mini iPad and a regular iPad for my students to use.  At my previous school we had to check out an iPad cart and it was rare that it was available, so I'm looking forward to have iPads of my own to use. Most of the time I won't have but a few students in my classroom at a time so 2 iPads could go a long way if I find the right apps to use.
    Here are some free/cheap apps I have found that I hope to use next year.  If you have used any of them personally please let me know what you thought of them.

1) iReward- ($2.99) The image pretty much says it all but this app is for tracking behavior and letting students see a visual of what reward they are working towards.  I like this because you have so many options to customize such a recording a voice for praise, taking a picture to show what the reward looks like, changing the apps color backgrounds, etc.

2) The Grouchies (Free) This app is a story that teaches children how to handle begin in a bad mood. It has cute cartoons and rhymes which will help keep student attention.  I would use this app when teaching social skills

3) Sock Puppets (Free) This app allows you to record your voice and have the sock puppets lip sync what you are saying.  You can make video using your own words and backgrounds.  This would be great to practice speech development with students.  It also would be great for story telling.

4) Learning Money with Leo (Free) This is a game for learning to count money.  It has multiple ways of learning such as mazes, sorting, games, coloring, etc.

5) Geoboard (Free) Use virtual rubberbands and a geoboard to form shapes. I love this especially for special education because I can just imagine my students shooting rubberbands.

6) Spelling City (Free) -  This app has many different games that can be used to reinforce spelling and vocabulary words.  I've used this website before with my sixth graders so I'm excited to try the iPad version.

I know there are TONS of apps out there for the classroom.  What are some of your favorites?

Throwback Thursday- A chat with my professor

     Yesterday I visited the college where I got my masters degree from. A past professor of mine had sent me some articles to look over and read for my new job as a behavior support teacher. Just being on campus was super exciting to me. I loved everything about being a Wolfpack student! My masters degree experience was so much better for me than my undergraduate years. My main concern with preparing for my new classroom is getting my management system in place. Dr. Cullinan, my professor, talked to me about all kinds of options. We discussed a token economy, the good behavior game, check in/check out, homenotes and types of reinforcement. My major takeaway from our conversation is that I can approach different behaviors in similar ways. For example, if I have a student who has a behavior goal to stay on task I can reward him for every 10 minutes he stays on task. For a student who has a behavior goal to refrain from cursing I would reward him for every 10 minutes he didn't curse. I learned a lot about behavior recording during my masters degree program so I am looking forward to putting it into practice. For anyone who would like to learn about behavior modification through recording, here is a great pdf file that explains how to do it.

I'm going to post again soon with the main behavior system I plan on using. For now, I am linking back to an old post about what behavior system worked great for me when I taught sixth grade. This shows how I used Class Dojo to give student feedback on their behavior.


Add your throwback Thursday post to The Teacher's Desk 6's bloghop. Just click the image below!

Also don't forget to check out all the advice from special educators on my bloghop.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Special Educator Bloghop

   This week I'm really starting to work on preparing for my new classroom.  I will be heading back to college on Wednesday to talk with one of my professors from grad school.  He is going to be helping me design my behavior plan and procedures.  Now that I'm thinking more about next year I would love to network with other special educators.  I'm hosting a blog hop for special educators to meet each other and give their best advice for the new school year.  If you teach any type of special education please join in!

To join in the blog hop create a post that describes what type of special education you teach, what grade, how long you've been teaching and then your best piece of advice for starting a new school year off right.  You could also include a link to an old post that you think would be helpful. Make sure to link back to my blog and come back to meet other special educators who have linked up!   You can grab the button above to add to your post if you'd like.

I'll get us started!

Enjoy linking up at the bottom of the page. Feel free to use my graphic below to add your own information in.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day Five for Friday!

Happy Independence Day to all my blogger friends in America.  I hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing day celebrating our freedom!

Click on the image above to join in on the five for Friday fun!


So far this past week was the least busiest week I've had yet this Summer.  I enjoyed a lot of time playing with my dog, Jack.  He is so happy to have me around more lately. 


Wednesday night I went to dinner at a fabulous place in Greensboro called Europa. I ordered the steak and frites which was only $15.95 and literally one of the best steaks I've had in a long time!  I need to figure out what kind of sauce they put on top of the steak! 

Last Sunday I went down the Uwharrie River with some friends.  It was supposed to be just a 3 to 4 hour trip but because the water was so shallow it turned into a 6 hour trip! It was still fun to be on the river.  We didn't see but one other person on a canoe the whole trip, so it was very peaceful. 

Yesterday several teachers from the middle school I taught at went out to dinner for a teacher's birthday.  It was really nice getting to see everyone out. I hope the school I work at next year will be a fun group to work with.


I have a lot of books that a professor suggested I read to prepare for my new job as a behavior support teacher.  I enjoy reading books for professional development so I hope I can find these books and some other good ones to read soon.  I'm amazed at how expensive some of these books can be though!  What are other people reading for professional development this summer?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Currently July

As one of my first posts for my new blog I thought it would be fun to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

It is kind of sad to think that today is the first day of July.  That much that next month is the start of my new job and I have A LOT I want to learn and do before then.  

Currently I'm listening to Sesame Street on TV as my niece and nephew are here weekdays during the summer.  
I'm loving the days I've been able to lay out by the pool lately.  I'm surprised it hasn't rained much lately and it has been amazingly hot.  I remember last summer it rained so much I didn't get to have as many pool days as I would have liked.
I'm thinking that I have a lot of professional development to do over the summer that I need to get a jump start on.  One of my college professors is helping me prepare for my new job and has recommended some articles and books for me to read.  I am meeting with him next week to discuss what he suggested I read.
I am really wanting my room and basement to be clean and organized.  I brought some much home from my old classroom that in order to really get clean I'm going to have to get rid of a lot of things.  
Currently I'm needing to get busy organizing my Mary Kay inventory.  I'm really enjoying selling Mary Kay and have done well so far.  I need to work on inputting all of my inventory into a spreadsheet so I have my sales organized.
My July 4th plans are finalized right now but some friends of mine have talked about going to dinner somewhere and watching fireworks. 

Speaking of July 4th plans I need to get an outfit to wear.  I haven't done anything for July 4th in a few years so this year I want to go all out!  I would love to find this outfit I created using Polyvore!

July 4th Outfit