Saturday, January 23, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Book Raffles



 Get books off your shelves and into the hand of your students!

 I've always displayed new books on my book displays, and it's usually first come, first served, but it's way more fun to have a BOOK RAFFLE! The way I'd like to start doing book raffles differently is to have them on set days so my students can't wait for the introduction of new books! Then I'll just display my sign, books, and buckets and let the excitement begin!


What are book raffles? When you get new books (not necessarily brand new, but new to your classroom), you let your kids enter to "WIN" a chance to read that new book. In order to build excitement, I had them displayed all day with no explanation and they're not allowed to touch them!! :) (Makes them want them more!) I do a short book talk on each book (short summary, genre, reading level). For the books I haven't read, I allow students who've read the books to do a short talk, or you could find a YouTube video on some too. Even reading the summary on the back of the book would work! Just giving them enough information and a description to make your students want to read the books!

Each student gets one ticket to choose the book they want to read most. There's no set number of books to have a book raffle, but you need to allow time to talk about each book. I have about 6-7 books.



The easy pick is if only one person enters to read a particular book. Then there's the book that half your class wants to read... (see picture below when I was about to pick the winner!!)


 See? Building excitement about reading! You would've thought I was giving away a gift card to a toy store! LOL!



The good news...EVERYONE is a winner! The students who won the chance to read the new book are reading and the ones who didn't WANT to read it! They get put on a waiting list. Depending on the length of the book I give each winner a date to complete the book. If they don't finish before the due date and there's a waiting list, they have to return the book and give it to the next person. The book pictured below was a big hit! I think because they're all into scary movies right now, this scary book enticed all of them!


If you haven't tried Book Raffles, you need to! You and your students will love the excitement about books and reading! You don't have to buy new books...my big hit book above was ten cents at a thrift store! Score!

Want a copy of the Book Raffle sign and waiting list? Click here to get a copy.

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Tune Tuesday!!

Close Reading With Music?!!
That's right! Engage your students and they will LOVE close reading!
 
What better way to spark motivation than to use music in your classroom?

But how will we use music to practice close reading? Reading closely means reading for meaning and understanding. Close reading requires students to read, look, listen more slowly, noticing details, making connections, and asking questions. Close reading takes practice and needs to be practiced regularly. This is why Tune Tuesday is the perfect “scheduled” close reading practice each week.
  
NOBODY is absent on Tuesdays! :)
 We ALL love Tune Tuesdays! I can't wait either!

Several other grade level teachers have come to our class to join us during Tune Tuesday and they get just excited as the kids do! My administration loves it too. It's a fun and refreshing way to teach reading!

Close reading with music has so many benefits!

•Your students will ENJOY close reading!

•Engaging for all students

•Deepens comprehension

•Promotes student talk

•Cite evidence from text

•Analyze song lyrics (helps with poetry and transfers to other types of texts)

•Improves listening and speaking skills

•Helps struggling readers (listen to lyrics first)

•Teach multiple concepts and skills: theme, inferencing, drawing conclusions, vocabulary, author’s purpose, observing details and facts,

•Teaches to all modalities of learning
  
 
 
Music is a way of letting our emotions out and allowing ourselves to express our feelings. Music speaks to people, it inspires people, and it allows people to express themselves…why not teach with music in our classrooms?

Students can make connections with the songs and love singing along. This is such a self-esteem booster for my struggling readers as well because they listen to the lyrics and then are able to read the lyrics. This is a time for them to really be involved in a reading discussion with their peers.
 
video
 Disclaimer: You don't need a disco ball to do close reading with music! LOL!
 

The discussion they have with each other is simply incredible. They use accountable talk to discuss their findings and points they want to make. I sometimes forget the age of the students I teach (10/11) because they sound like adults when they pick apart the lyrics and defend their thinking.
I have been using these high interest song lyrics to engage my students since last year (I looped with my class) and these lyrics make them want to dig deeper. Practicing with these strategies transfers over to other texts we use in our classroom. It's much easier to get them hooked on a difficult process with an activity that is enjoyable and they can relate to.
 
 
Here's a peek at a lesson in our classroom during Tune Tuesday.
I apologize that the sound quality isn't that great.

YOU HAVE TO TRY IT...YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS WILL LOVE IT!
 
 If you're interested in trying this in your classroom, click on the resources.
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-With-Music-Engage-Your-Readers-Set-One-2284630  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-With-Music-Engage-Your-Readers-Year-Long-Bundle-2297631
 
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Get Up and Moving!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!
I'm hoping to get into a better blogging schedule for 2016, starting with a simple idea I want to share today for my weekly Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!

OK, you know I love being able to share SIMPLE motivational ideas, right?
Well, I have another one for you!!
 
I call it...
 
I Get Up and Moving! I
 
I simply wrote problems to assess their math knowledge on colored index cards and taped them around the room! (That's it! Told you it was simple!)
Wait...I also passed out clipboards!
This get out of your seat assignment could be used with ANY subject. Instead of giving your students a regular worksheet, write the questions on index cards or paper and let them walk around the room. You will see...they will think you're the coolest teacher ever! :)
 

Other ways to use Get Up and Moving:
  •  with a partner or group (for introducing new concepts or study buddy)
  • vocabulary (fill in the blank, synonyms/antonyms)
  • text features
  • any math computation
  • science review
  • multiple choice test
  • book genre identification
  • any easy fill in the blank questions
  • true/false questions
  • endless possibilities
 
I just used quick problems that wouldn't be too time consuming, not performance tasks or multi-step problems, just a quick review of the skills I had been teaching that week.



It's not like Scoot (which my students and I do love!) because I don't have control over where they go or how long they take. They simply walk around the room and write the answers to the problems on their paper.
(I number the cards like I'd number a worksheet).


I'm sorry, I did do one more thing...
I created this Get Up and Moving template to make it easy for me to assess!
Snag your Get Up and Moving template here. Use it for any subject for review or a quick formative assessment on your students' understanding.

What do you think? Will you give it a try? Please share what you'd use it with.

 If you haven't grabbed my new "A Teacher's File Cabinet", I will be adding to it this week, so that means the price will increase...check it out!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teachers-File-Cabinet-A-Growing-Bundle-of-Teaching-Tools-2288293
All sorts of teacher goodies in one place!
 
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

MERRY AND BRIGHT: Christmas Themed Activities

Come on, you can do it! We're almost there! We know this week can be a little hectic, so some of my blogging friends and I want to share some tips to make this week before Christmas a little easier for you!
 
 
Just take a deep breath...
 
 
 
My students love "Christmas" themed activities! So, as soon as I change up a reading or math lesson and make it "Christmassy", they get excited and there's no groaning! :) It's amazing how changing the name of an activity, wrapping books up, adding Christmas clipart, copying on red or green paper, or making paper chains for each Reading Counts or behavior point earned will change the mood and mindset of kids!
 
I created this math game for math intervention and early finishers. Using dice, they calculate a number using any operation and then color in the ornament. Whichever players has the most colored ornaments is the winner. They BEG me to do math (play)!
 

Click here to get your copy. Your students will spend lots of "quiet time" playing this game! I plan on making several for the year! Stay tuned....
 
 
Want something to brighten your spirits too? This "Christmas" themed reading wreath will excite everyone and make an adorable display! Use with any fiction or non-fiction text. Your students won't mind thinking critically when they can sprinkle some creativity in their assignment!
This is part of a Reading Wreath Bundle!
 
 
Enter to win this and so many other goodies from the Merry and Bright Bloggers! You'll win lots of lessons for this last week and for January when we return! Our gift to you! :)
 
 
 
 
Check out some other fun ideas from other great bloggers!
  

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: 12 Gifts of Christmas-Easy Way to Get Excited About Books!

The countdown to Christmas has begun!

I love when I get an idea that's simple and gets my students excited!
And, basically it's FREE!
Disclaimer: I actually got the title "12 Gifts of Christmas" from a Hallmark movie! LOL! Yes, I'm addicted to those holiday movies!

First, you need to select 12 books. At first, I was going to have a mixture of subjects and topics, but then I was able to find enough winter and Christmas themed books to make it work. (I didn't think I could find enough in my personal and school library since I shared so many with my class last year.) I chose a variety of genres to mix it up (realistic fiction, poetry, fantasy, fairy tale, humorous fiction, and non-fiction).


I then wrote little notes to myself about each book, so I could plan an activity or mini-lesson for each book.


Time to wrap! This is what creates the element of surprise! It's amazing what a little wrapping paper will do! I precut strips of paper at home and quickly wrapped them at school. (I ended up only using the black and white designed paper-I just love Hobby Lobby's wrapping paper!)
 
I randomly selected 12 students to "tag" our books for the order they will be read. This was a big deal too! :) We will share all of them, but I guess it's fun to put the tag on the package!
 
During our reading block, I share our "Gift of Christmas" book. We've only read two books, but as soon as they walk in they remind me that we have to get our book ready!
(Yes, those are high heels ornaments! Aren't they amazing? My students find them everywhere!) 
 
I pull sticks to see who will open our "gift" book. Even though they know all the gifts are books, they all get excited to watch it opened!
 
 
Some of the books that are wrapped under the tree are just for pleasure, but I also plan on using some of these mentor texts for some mini-lessons too! These are from my Christmas Graphic Organizers pack. (They just make "working" during the holidays a little more fun!)


 
 When I was wrote my notes on each book, I wrote down a few skills I could focus on during my mini-lesson. The graphic organizers below are from my Ultimate Response to Reading Bundle.
 
 

I've also displayed a "12 Gifts of Christmas" countdown to excite my students about opening the gifts of reading!

There you have it! Wrap some books to surprise your students each day until Christmas! The wrapping piques their curiosity and ties into the theme for Christmas!


 I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Personalized Stickers

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Now let the countdown to Christmas begin...
(28 days if you're counting!)



This is idea is added to my collection of simple ideas (my favorite ideas). I like to change things up to keep it fresh and new in my class, but not have to be super elaborate or expensive.

 
I got these circle labels on clearance a while back, but you could also use full sheet labels and a circle punch to make the same stickers. Or... the most common label (30 count) rectangular labels would work too-picture on the left and message on the right. Doesn't matter which sticker, as long as you make it your own!
Disclosure: When my husband saw these stickers he just shook his head...he thinks I'm crazy! :)
 
 
 
If you follow my blog you know I like to leave things on my desk or table for a few days before I use them to build excitement. So, of course my students wanted to know how they could "get" one of these "Mrs. Miller" stickers! Score! I didn't even have to sell it! :)
 
 
So excited for this math whiz! She's been trying so hard! Reading comes very easy for her, but math she has to work at. After triple checking her assignments and completing extra practice, she's got it!
 
 
Look at this student! This is her Reading Counts report! She now has 500 points for this school year! That definitely deserves a WHOOP WHOOP! She's incredible and is determined to keep her school lead!
 

I love recognizing students when their hard work pays off! This young man studies his vocabulary words every night and I'm so proud of him! (He goes by his middle name, but writes his first name on his papers-I didn't want you to think I wrote the wrong name. LOL)

There you go! A simple idea that's different from an ordinary sticker that will make your students smile! What do you think? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

 
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Kind is the New Cool!




Kind is the New Cool!

 
This blog post is very special and motivational to my students and myself. Our hope is that if we spread more kindness, we will wipe out the meanness in the world! Please help us spread kindness by using some of the materials or ideas in your classroom/school and share, pin, and spread the word for us!

I've told by students they can make a difference and we're acting on it. My job isn't only to teach academics, but to create leaders and doers...and my kids are running with it!

I purchased these shirts for my class to wear while presenting. I wanted to look united and spread our message loud and clear! These shirts have gained much attention at our school! Everyone wants one! (We're working on getting every faculty member and student one for our school!)


We started our spread kindness campaign by presenting to our office staff and other classes. Each student selected or created a quote to share about kindness and what it meant to them.

 
 
 We've invited all the classes at our school to join us on our campaign and challenged them to spread kindness everywhere! Each class received a large poster reading "Don't Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle" as a reminder to stay strong and don't let others bring you down.



I was so proud of what my students wrote for their quote meanings/examples to present to other classes. They were from the heart and inspirational. All of the random acts of kindness we've done, books we've shared, and teaching I've done about being kind was shining through during these presentations!



With each presentation my students' presenting skills improved and they gained confidence and excitement in our mission! Each time they hear each others' words, they are further engrained. It's important to start in elementary while they're still so impressionable, so it carries with them to the upper grades.


We wanted to go bigger than just our school...so we invited Fox News to come out and help us get the word out about spreading kindness! This was also a great experience for my students.
(They just filmed yesterday and with the heartbreaking news in Paris (please pray for the victims and families) our story wasn't shown, but as soon as it is aired,  I will add the link.



We share all of these goodies with each class in hopes they will use them and be kind with one another.


This is our Random Acts of Kindness Bulletin Board-it's a great visual and reminder for us to complete these kind acts and to recognize each other when someone else completes one.



We give each class a poster and post-its to get started on their "kindness kick". I've received several emails and students coming to tell me how many post-its their class has used! It's so exciting to see we're already making a difference just at our own school!


Positive Tear Offs are also given to each class-these are kind compliments that are just SUPER FUN! Kids love ripping them off and kids love receiving them! A few classes have already run out! :)


These posters are our kindness quotes we selected for our presentations. They are the perfect visual to remind students of  how easy and important it is to be kind!


Pay it Forward! We've "Positive Pranked" over 20 classes now and my kids love this random act of kindness! They get to be sneaky, knock on doors, and RUN! In return, we've been positive pranked too!
This class wrote individual notes and attached candy to them for my class. My class loved it!


This class left a yummy goodie bag of Blow Pops for us! My students are starting to see how kindness pays off! These random acts on us are making them realize they ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!


Here are some books we've shared in class that promote kindness, uniqueness, and compassion. I know there are dozens more titles for kindness, so please share them in the comments below. (these are just the titles I own and have read with my class). These books will definitely spark discussion and give your students a better understanding of the importance of kindness. (If  you don't have all of these titles, you can usually find the titles read aloud online).





I hope you are able to use some of these ideas to spread kindness in your classroom, school, or community. Please help this movement by sharing this link, we need everyone to help!


Want all of these goodies?
WE WANT YOU TO HAVE THEM! :)
They are free, just be KIND and leave feedback and have others come download too!

Click here. :)
 
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.

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