Amazing Artwork Part I

Happy Friday Friends,

        Let me just say, I just want to shout from the rooftop all the great things my colleagues accomplish. For example, teaching six different grade levels a variety of art skills and concepts is no easy task. Seriously, I missed the first half of the year and I asked for permission to show off her students' amazing work. I think she should be so proud. I have been so fortunate to work with two amazing art teachers in my career. The Art program is absolutely needed for children of all ages. I hope legislation in all states continue to find ways to adequately fund these programs.
        I wish I could tell you more about the style of artwork that is represented here, but I'm sorry I cannot. Either way, I hope you enjoy.

PBIS- Dolphin of the Day

     Our school is a PBIS school which basically means we try to encourage appropriate behavior by using research based techniques to redirect students. We use it primarily to prevent as much misbehavior as possible. Different teachers use a variety of techniques that best work for their individual students as well as group rewards for grade levels and our whole school.
     One that we do for our entire school is to recognize a Dolphin of the Day. Each teacher recognizes one student each day and they put their name in a box for a drawing at the end of the day. During the afternoon announcements, the principal calls one student from those kids to display their name on a board by the cafeteria. Here are a few of the documents I created for us to use in our classrooms.
Here is the poster that is by my clipboard in the room. 

Here's how I keep track of who I have selected so I can aim to encourage other kids that might need some redirection.  Also, it helps me to look for the kids that I might not notice as much because they don't talk a lot or misbehave.
Most teachers can just put their student name on a small slip of paper. I have created these for our grade level.  I also like to recognize a small accomplishment on their slip of paper.  You could easily do this reward system for your homeroom class if you didn't use it for the whole school.

     Here are the behavior punch cards we use daily to encourage positive behavior in the classroom. I'm also a huge fan of whole brain teaching and Ron Clark and Hope King and their philosophy on keeping kids engaged. I believe that keeping kids involved and engaged is essential to maintaining a positive learning environment. I'd love to hear what strategies you use in keeping order on your ship?

Christmas Economics

      Last Christmas I had maternity leave with my littlest baby. I totally missed doing this major economics unit with my students as well as my awesome colleagues. I don't want to divulge all the details of this amazing unit because I am hoping she will be able to package it for you in the future. However, here's the skinny.  We began by laying the foundation of economics through interactive lessons.  The fourth grade team created Christmas shops and made several ornaments. The students provided the human and capital resources needed and produced products. They were also paid for their labor. Before Christmas break, students created ads, commercials and used their money to walk from shop to shop and purchase gifts for other people. Again, that's the skinny. I really want her to get this out in the open for you to have all the details on this remarkable, memorable teaching unit. It by far was one of the most memorable moments in my teaching career. Here are a few of the ornaments my class or other classes made. Some were built in a factory and some were specialized labor.

     Santa painted on an oyster shell

     Snowman head on a scallop shell

     Peg board ornament

     Candy-cane reindeer (factory made, assembly line style)

Cinnamon ornaments, these smell amazing.

Ombre' glitter scallop shell ornament

I would say this is my Pinterest fail. Glitter, puzzle piece ornament.

     I love taking time before a holiday or break to work on a creative project.  What meaningful Christmas activities are your favorite to do before break?

Fossil Friday

Happy Fossil Friday,

       Thanks to a wonderful friend who happens to be a fossil enthusiast, we had more than enough fossils to review before our test. The only thing we were missing was a fossilized piece of amber with a mosquito in it or coprolite (fossilized poop).
       Sometimes just looking around and talking to people can not only land you some of the most amazing friends, but wonderful resources to assist you in teaching concepts that are.... prehistoric.
       We also have a wonderful fossil pit in our play ground where students can find shark's teeth. Now, they can find echinoids and fossilized stingray's teeth too. Love what you do! Happy weekend teaching friends.

      You can play this amazing clip from Jurassic World in the background as you investigate these amazing finds from the past.