Update on No Late Work Club

I really don't have anything new to add from this week of school. I was at school Monday, had a scheduled surgery on Tuesday, and have been in a drug-induced slumber recovering the rest of the week.

So, I realized that I haven't talked about our No Late Work Club in awhile, so I thought that I'd give an update on what we've been doing and how different parties have gone. {Here} is the original post if you missed it, and {here} and {here} are updates.

First of all, we changed the name from the No Late Homework Club to the No Late Work Club. There was some arguing confusion out there of what was "homework." To teachers, "homework" meant anything that you didn't complete in class and had to do on your own time. To students, "homework" meant work that was specifically assigned to be done at home. Thus the surprise when we told them that they weren't eligible that month.

The other change that we made was to issue Oops! passes. I talked about it earlier, but not in much detail. Each month, each student gets one Oops! pass per class. If they do have a late assignment, they staple the correct pass to it. It doesn't count against them. But a second late assignment in that class will eliminate them from the party for that month. It takes a little organization to stay on top of it, but we didn't want to punish students for one little slip-up. If students don't need to use the pass, then they get one PBIS buck for every pass that they didn't need to use. The PBIS bucks are used in our school store. They cannot opt to keep the buck to cash it in if they have a missing/late assignment.

November was a technology party. We checked out a cart of laptops and the case of iPod Touches. Students were allowed to bring their devices from home (phone, PSP, DS, MP3 player, whatever). This was really fun for about a half-hour, then they started to get silly with taking pictures and things like that. Part of the problem was that the Touches weren't all synced with all of the apps, so only some of them had the fun games on them.

The December party was cookie decorating and holiday crafts. (Someone else made the sign for that one, so I don't have it on my computer.) We ordered plain cut-out cookies from our head cook. Each teacher brought a container of frosting. A retiring "home ec" teacher donated sprinkles. We ordered a bunch of crafts from Oriental Trading. I ran off a bunch of coloring sheets. We had three stations of twenty minutes each - cookie decorating (and eating), coloring, and crafts. It was very successful! Definitely would do again!

We are planning a sports movie and board games for January. Do any of you have any recommendations for a school-appropriate sports movie or board games for large groups of kids?

Also, my Vistaprint linky is still going on if you have anything to share! Links to old posts are fine!

January Monday Made It

Seems that I'm in a rut of making banners every month, and this month is no exception. This time, I tried making it in PowerPoint. I'm not sure that I'm totally satisfied with it, but the process was sure easier! Am I the only one that was still trying to do everything in Word? Do people make their cutesy documents in PowerPoint as well? And, I just bought the iFontMaker app, so I'm guessing that next month's projects will be incorporating that! I can't wait!
Click on the image to download this free banner

This year, I used my Cricut to help "class up" my gifts. Normally, I stick whatever I can in a gift bag and call it good. Or if I do wrap it, there's no bow or anything. So I decided that this year I would put forth some effort in wrapping presents. I used the same paper for all gifts, and I used red ribbon for one side of my family and white ribbon for the other side of the family. This made it easy to grab presents when it was time to pack up and go! For the tag, I used my Cricut to cut out the first initial of the recipient. Then I used my sticker maker to adhere the letter to the package. I think that they turned out nice!

This made-it is actually by my daughter. These were the parent gifts for Christmas this year. I know that I've seen them on Pinterest, but it's sure cute! She covered her palm and fingers with white paint, then grasped the bottom of an ornament. Then she decorated the fingers as snowmen.

And when you're done here, head over to Fifth Grade Freebies and check out what freebies are currently available!

Friday Flashback (All Two Days) and Tonight's Giveaway!

This was a quick week! Wish they all went this fast ;) Today I'm linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for her Friday Flashback. I have three activities to highlight this week.

On Thursday, we started off with the activity I posted a few days ago. Click over there do download it. I gave the student about seven minutes to fill in the organizer. I drew names and allowed them to share one thing from their organizer. Then I discovered that many of them have better phones than me, so I bought an iPhone last night ;) I have an iPad, but if you know of any must-have apps for the iPhone, let me know!

After that, we continued an activity from before break. We had a snow day the Thursday before, and one-third of my kids didn't come Friday, so not everyone got to share. I gave students papers that looked like this:
We spent a day or two thinking of what we would give each classmate if money was not a problem. It showed how well they knew each other and who they needed to get to know.

The last activity was from our professional development on Write to Learn. One of our literacy stories is about a fictional town that changes over time. It has I Spy elements to it. One of the main skills is how to use pictures. I gave them a blank chart to fill out with as many questions as they could starting with the word in the left column.
 This picture shows the group result after I allowed them to each fill in a square (or two or three).

Check back tonight for my 100 follower giveaway! It kicks off at midnight and lasts until next Saturday at midnight.