Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: End of the Year Awards and Memory Book

You're almost there! So many things race through my mind at the end of the year and I ALWAYS forget to do something or have so many things to do on my list I can't get to all of them. So, with 17 days left, I want to get two things that are important to me (and to my students) ready to go this week!


Our school only holds an "end of the year awards ceremony" for our 5th graders, so I hold my own ceremony in our classroom. First, I have my students vote on their peers to receive awards.

 
I give each student a class list of names and they have to vote for every person in our class (including themselves) at least once, then they can fill in the blanks with repeat students who are deserving of that award. This really shows how much they know about each other. Every year I'm impressed with how thoughtful they are with their decisions.


I give every student the M.V.P. award because they're all M.V.P.s to our classroom. You can pick up this award for your students here {freebie}.


These awards are editable, so you can type in the recipient's name or write it in with black marker. I like to print mine on colored cardstock so they last longer (or you could laminate the paper ones). I hold my ceremony the 2nd to last day of school so I have time to present the awards and not feel rushed that last day. There's 52 of them, so there's something for everyone!


I also present my awards with a "trophy". Yes, I have the High Heel Awards! Some ceremonies include a golden statue, a colorful blimp, a plaque, a crystal trophy...mine are clear plastic heels! They think it's funny when I whip those out for the first award! I'm sure I'm the first to give them that kind of trophy! LOL! I purchased these at Hobby Lobby in the wedding section.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/End-Of-Year-Awards-Student-Certificates
The memory book is very important for me to provide to my students because many can not afford a yearbook. This is a fun, creative way for them to hold on to our class memories and look back for years to come! It's also an inexpensive way to celebrate our year together.


I have my own binding machine at home, so I can get them done in between others chores! I like to bind them and use cardstock for the front and back covers for durability. Plus, it makes it "feel" like a "real" memory book.

I purchased this at Office Depot a couple of years ago and it's been a lifesaver for several projects.

***BONUS!!! This memory book is 26 pages and will keep your students busy while you tend to end of the year clean up or paperwork! AND, it's perfect for a substitute if you're going to be out!


I think this is a great end of year gift I can give my students...a book with a collection of memories!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Memory-Book-for-Students-End-of-Year-690451
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, May 2, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: ABC Countdown

Before we talk about sparking student motivation...what about my new blog makeover!!! Kassie has MOTIVATED me! I couldn't wait to post today on this beautifully designed blog! I'm so happy with the layout and colors! Thank you Kassie-you're patient, talented, and flexible!
How many days do you have left?
The end of the year gets hectic, so let's add some fun and a little something your students will look forward to each day! It's simple and motivating!
ABC Countdown to summer! I forgot last year and almost forgot again this year, but the night before A I remembered! I first learned about this exciting end of the year activity when my buddies Ideas by Jivey and Collaboration Cuties linked up a couple years ago. This is a great incentive for a substitute to use if you're out too! Count backwards 26 days from your last day of school and starting with A, give a letter to each day until the end of school. Brainstorm possible ideas of activities with your class for each letter, then start the ABC Countdown! :)
Here's our first four days:
 A-Make and fly an AIRPLANE! Of course, you know kids love this activity even if they're not professional airplane makers! I actually had a sub this day because of a workshop and it went very well. You can have a contest too for furthest flying airplane.
B-chew BUBBLE gum ALL day! This has probably been the most exciting day so far for my students because we're not supposed to chew gum at school. I provided one piece and then they could bring their own. They had to spit it out each time we left the classroom (lunch, special area, end of day).  
C-COLORING Day. I found this coloring book at Cracker Barrel and the designs are intricate and cool for BIG kids.
 D-DONATE our time. We read books with our kindergarten friends! Both 4th graders and the kindergarteners LOVED it! They were too cute! I loved the way my students asked questions to monitor their comprehension without any prompting! Such great little teachers!
D-DONATE our time (again). Our school held it's first Special Olympics for our pre-school students. We cheered on those little athletes with our spirit sticks! My kids they're so big and kept saying, "They're so cute!", "Look how little the obstacle course is!", "That was the most adorable Olympics I've ever seen!". I know the pre-k kids loved seeing all those colorful ribbons flying at the finish line!

 The possibilities for these activities are endless! You can make the entire day an "A" day, or just complete one activity a day...either way it's very motivating to kids! It gives them something to look forward to each day besides summer! :) The activities my students have done so far are a mix: educational, fun, volunteering, following directions! Even if you've missed a few days you could catch up!


Want a copy of the ABC Countdown fill in sheet? Click HERE! This is also a great to send home to parents to increase participation.

If you need some end of the year resources, check these out:


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/End-Of-Year-Awards-Student-Certificates




Book Character Awards, End of the Year Editable Awards, and to keep the memories preserved a Memory Book!

Have a super week!
 
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, April 25, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Community Service

Let's leave a little sparkle wherever we go!
 Community Service is so important to teach and incorporate in our classrooms. There are many reasons to encourage your students to do community service projects:
  • Brings your class together
Our class worked as a team to complete the project and they had fun working together.
  • Builds self-esteem
My students are growing and learning from these experiences, it makes them feel good about themselves.
  • Teaches them about civic responsibilities
They learn about taking care of others and our community, everyone should have an invested interested.
  • Shows each student they can make a difference
When they see the results or praise after completing a project, they realize they helped make it possible and it mattered.

 
For this community service project we cleaned up our campus on Earth Day.
 



 
They were very excited to participate in this project to make sure our school campus stays clean. When we returned to our classroom we discussed what they learned and how they felt about this community service. They learned that by picking up trash they are saving the earth, animals, and plants. Also, just as important, they said they'll never litter again because it's hard work picking up trash that other people didn't throw away. :)
It's super hot here in Florida and they worked hard for an hour helping each other and our community and I was very proud of them!
 

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.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The End is Near! Calendar/To Do List

Isn't this the time of year that EVERYONE gets a little crazy??!! I'm not sure what happens in April and May, but emotions and stress can run high. I have joined up with some superstar teachers to try to help alleviate some of that stress by giving you some helpful hints to de-stress and to host a giveaway for 4 lucky people!
 
NOW ENTERING...
 
The tip I'd like to share is simple, but effective. It requires the printing of a few pages and to cross things off as you complete them. I'm a visual person and like crossing things off my to do list. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something, even if my list is pages long, it still makes me feel better to draw that big black line through an item on the list. Plus, I like to know what's ahead of me.
 
 
First, you need to brainstorm a list of all things you HAVE to do and a list of all the things you'd LIKE to get done by the end of the year. You can do this alone or with teammates. From this list, you will plug each item in your calendar. TRY to only do ONE thing a day-this sets you up for success and will make your feel accomplished when you complete your task and can cross it off. The HUGE list by itself is too overwhelming...which is why so many of us get so stressed at this time of year. Take one day at a time. Enjoy your last days with your students and yourself! :)
 
Some possible items to include on your list:
  • end of year conferences-schedule dates
  • clean/organize top desk drawer 
  • take pictures of your classroom to remember when thinking of new ideas for decorating over the summer
  • measure your classroom space to create a new layout for next year
  • send home end of the year party information
  • make end of the year awards
  • organize files (not an entire file cabinet-1/2 a drawer-full drawer at a time)
  • inventory books
  • make a list of materials you will need over the summer (manuals, read alouds, professional books, paper, markers, etc.)
  • take an inventory of your room, what organizational items do you need to pack up for the end of the year? Labels, tubs, boxes, file folders, packing tape, etc.
Your calendar dates should have items that can be completed in one day, if the project is larger, it should be broken up into parts (like the file cabinet or your desk-one drawer at a time).
 
After you make your BIG list, start plugging in the items on your calendar, starting with the items that can be done right away. REMEMBER...only one a day! If you get ahead great, but the idea of this calendar/to do list is to underwhelm us, not overwhelm us! Think about how many days you have left...I have about 30, so that means I will get 30 things accomplished before school gets out! Yay! Now doesn't that sound satisfying, rewarding, and doable?

I've created a page to print on the back of each monthly calendar for notes and reminders for current/future months. This will help organize and keep track of my thoughts without having to commit to a "date" so far in advance.
 
Think about how you will feel once you get your calendar and list organized! You'll be happier and you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, your students will feel your sense of calmness and behave better (well okay, I can't fix everything with a calendar, but they'll definitely be able to tell you're not stressed!) Would you like a copy of the calendars and to do lists?
http://bit.ly/1G29BbA
I hope this Stress Free Tip helped you! I'd love to hear your comments or suggestions for the end of the year list ideas.

 AMAZING GIVEAWAY!! SIMPLE ENTRIES!
YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY!
FOUR WINNERS!
1 $75 Amazon gift card
1 $40 Target gift card
1 $25 TpT gift certificate
1 $20 Starbucks gift card
 
Enter below for your chance to win!
 




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: BINGO With a TWIST!

It's the weekend! I know with so many states and schools testing, you're ready for SATURDAY!
3rd and 4th graders are finished with testing in our county, but 5th grade is in full swing with 6 days of testing! It wouldn't matter to 4th grade except they test on computers directly under my classroom. So we have to move quietly around our room because every little chair moving can be heard!
BUT... we still have to have FUN with our learning!



I present the classic game BINGO with a TWIST! Quizmo is the multiplication version of bingo.
It's a game that requires students to listen, know their multiplication facts, and sit quietly. :)
 
Well, even one change to Bingo is exciting to kids! How about candy markers? Smarties, M&M's, skittles, any small candy will work! Or a healthier choice: Cheerios, gold fish, or Fruit Loops. When my students saw the Smarties they forgot they were "working"!
 
Change the traditional Bingo to making a "T" (or U, X, Z, H) or four corners. It keeps the game lively and keeps your students on their toes!

A longer game could be played if you wanted them to cover the entire board (Blackout) or you could
DOUBLE the fun and give them TWO boards! They thought they struck gold when they got to have two boards which equals double the chance to win! (It's the little things that make us happy!)
 

 OUR FAVORITE version and new to me was STINKO BINGO! This is played reverse of the traditional Bingo as you don't want ANY of your numbers called (or in this case products). Everyone stands up their board and if they hear a number called on their board (using multiplication facts) they have to sit down. This game is suspenseful and quick! They loved this new way of playing!
 
These TWISTS on Bingo can be used with any Bingo game boards-I hope you will try Stinko Bingo...it will be a hit in your class! A quick game of review is a nice "learning break" for you and your students!

 
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, April 11, 2015

Spark Student Motivation:Popcorn and a Book!

Who needs POPCORN AND A MOVIE when you can have POPCORN AND A BOOK??!!

I thought of this idea when I presented parents with ideas to get their children excited about reading at home. Then the other day I thought...why not try it in our classroom? I selected a book I wanted to be my "FEATURE PRESENTATION" to share with my class. I made these signs to post on the door as a surprise and to get my students excited when they walked in to our classroom.
NOW SHOWING: The Day the Crayons Quit
STARRING: Drew Daywalt (author)


As soon as they came back, smiles and curiosity spread through our line!

I set up these popcorn bags with our "feature presentation" to get the feel of seeing a movie. As soon as my students saw these, they couldn't wait! (I'm not sure I'd use the bags every time I have Popcorn and a Book, but it was cute for its first appearance! Warning: The bags are kind of noisy when you're reading.)
 After explaining all about Popcorn and a Book and the procedures for our viewing, we got started. The Day the Crayons Quit was a perfect read aloud for this event because it's so funny and kids love this book!
 Some procedures or tips you may want to discuss if you'd like to plan this event:
  • Students: Open your bag completely (can be folded down) so you can quietly put your hand in and out without disturbing the reader.
  • Students: No drinks until the end (they will get thirsty with popcorn).
  • Students: Use good table manners when eating. :)
  • Teacher: If you have an audio enhancer or microphone it's very helpful when they're all chewing and digging in their bags.
  • Teacher: Choose an appropriate length and exciting book so you can keep their attention and they won't want to get up to get a drink.  

 
 This was a special treat! I enjoyed it as much as my students did! This isn't something I would use daily or weekly, but probably once a month. Making reading exciting and motivating is so FUN for me too! When end of the year burn out is edging its way in, this is the perfect motivator for ALL!!
 
 
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, April 4, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Class Memory Jar




 
Such a wonderful quote from Dr. Seuss! And, we need to keep our class memories cherished!
I've had this on my "to do list" since summer and I'm not sure what took me so long to make it because it only takes a few seconds. Anyway, I figured it's never too late to start a memory jar, so I decided to add it to our classroom this week.
 I introduced this small jar to hold all of our memories and my students loved it! Ideally, when a special event occurs in your classroom someone should document it and put it in the jar, but reminiscing about all that's happened this year was so fun!
Here are some of the memories we'd like to treasure:





I love that they've remembered such an assortment to events from our classroom this year. Academic, accomplishments, community service, friendships, field trip, etc. It makes you realize how many incredible things that happen in our classroom.

We create memories all the time with our students, so making a Memory Jar is a wonderful keepsake for your classroom to show how important these memories are to you and them.
If you don't have one, make one today and start Monday-it will be a great addition to your classroom!

 
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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