Tried It Tuesday - Point Sheets {Freebie}

It's been a while since I've linked up to Tried It Tuesday. I'm trying to get back into the habit by writing posts for my weekly linkies on the weekend prior to the link up, but I spent this past weekend working on something exciting for this upcoming weekend. *hint, hint - come back on Saturday and Sunday!*

Sometimes you just have that kid that can't figure out what's expected in class. Or maybe you need to collect some data to get a kid some additional help with behavior. I have used point sheets for the last fourteen years to help those kids either get on track or get the data I need to take it to the next level.

They look like this and they are totally tailored to the kid. The top one is the blank template, and the bottom is a sample of how one might look.

The first thing that you do to set it up and decide on up to five goals for the student. State the goals in a positive way. Speaks at appropriate times is better than Don't blurt out. Here are some examples of goals that I have used over the years.

Shows a positive attitude
On task
Respectful to others
Follows instructions
Speaks at appropriate times
Keeps hands and feet to self
Uses kind words
Uses extra time wisely
Works quietly
Be respectful to teacher
Be respectful to classmates
Uses appropriate language
Controls humming and other noises
Accepts decisions
Brings materials to class

These are just some of the more common ones that I've used, but it really depends on the student.

Students can earn up to two points per goal per class. So the example above has 100 possible points. I always start the goal at 80%. If they are meeting that consistently, I bump it up. Usually 90% is as high as I will go.

The classes get filled in in chronological order across the top. Each class will have an adult that will need to fill out the sheet and initial it. The student gets two points for meeting the goal, one point for having a few issues, and no points for having several problems with that goal.

At the end of the day, write the actual number of points earned after the word Actual. Usually I have some sort of reward or consequence set up ahead of time for either meeting or not meeting the total goal.

If you would like a free copy to try out, click {here}.
Free Point sheets for tracking student behaviors

Native American Simulation

Well, we'll see if I can blog about my day while drafting a fantasy football team. Hopefully I don't end up with eight tight ends.

Today was cut short due to heat advisories, but we were still able to do our {settling the room simulations}. I told the students to think of a place in the room where they could have access to resources that they may need during the day. They had access to everything within arm's reach. Then they moved to that spot. I asked them to write down where they settled and why, then list the advantages and disadvantages of that location.

Here are some of the choices they made:

After sharing why they chose their locations, the advantages and the disadvantages, I told them that I would allow them to take two steps in any direction (to simulate travel). Then I asked them what additional resources that got them.

The last thing that we did involved a little problem solving. I asked those students who were not within two steps of the trash can how they could get access to it. Same to those students who did not have access to a pencil sharpener. I am happy to report that all classes figured out that trade was the key to getting access to something that they didn't have. Hurray!!!

I found this idea from my Native American linky. Go on over to find more great social studies ideas!

A Peek at My Week - August 26

Jennifer at {Mrs. Laffin's Laughings} is starting a new linky for what you have coming up during the week. So this is what I have on tap for the rest of August...

Girl Scout pool party and fantasy football draft for my husband's coworkers. Then lots of procrastinating because that will make Monday come later, right?!

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that this giveaway ends tonight!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This will be my very first lesson with our new Journeys series. It has been quite a process to get here, including being short by six textbooks and having to go on an emergency run to our AEA to pick up laminating that wouldn't have made tomorrow's van delivery.

We are doing the simulation in social studies that I saw {here}. Students choose an area of the rom to "settle" and write down the advantages and disadvantages of that location. We will then watch a video that will overview each region and complete some {3-2-1 notes}. Remember that if you have anything that you're doing for Native Americans, American Revolution, or Reconstruction, link it up {here}.

We will read an overview of Native Americans and answer some questions. Then we will start digging in to the Eastern Woodland Indians. I really don't have anything interesting to show at this point.

That evening, we will go to a PTO meeting at my daughter's school, which is not the district in which I teach. I hope that it doesn't get political as there is a very heated school board election coming up. But it will be interesting to see this side of meetings.

More Journeys, more Woodland Indians, but don't have the details of what I'm doing exactly. Guess if it's anything good, I'll blog about it Friday! ;)

College football! Yay! I'll be spending my day at Kinnick Stadium watching my Hawks. My husband goes early to tailgate while I wait for my MIL to get to our house to babysit. Then my parents pick me up on the way and we take the Hawkeye Express to the stadium. It's a pretty fun way to get there, and the unveiling of the new HD jumbotron will be cool. I used to play in the marching band, and so I always like to see what they have in store and comparing it "back when the band was good" ;) As for the football team, they will probably lose :( It will be a long year as we are trying to rebuild. Especially since the forecast is in the 90's all week. At the very least, I'll get a sunburn that may eventually turn into a tan.

Make sure that you check in sometime on Saturday because another blogger and I have something planned that you must do that day!!!

A Peek into My Classroom (and Freebies)

A peek inside my 5th grade classroom and freebies
So. Exhausted.

I feel that I've been neglecting my blog this week, which I have. Since it's my first week with kids, I'm sure that's totally expected. So I will warn you, this will be a long post, and it will be all over the place. And it might take me all weekend to write it!

Our goals banner in a window display.
Early in the week, we did the {Our Goals} activity that I have listed on TpT. It followed the discussion of our fifth grade homework policy and the {No Late Work Club}. I read the transfer cards from the fourth grade teachers, and it seems many students in this class have work completion issues. So I was very happy to see that many of the goals on these pennants had something to do with making the No Late Work Club. Some of the more responsible students even went as far to make their goal to not even use their oops pass. So we'll see if this class is also motivated by the club. I hope that the sixth graders get asked lots of questions about it because we really talked it up!

This is my goal. We adopted a new reading series this year. It's HMH Journeys. There is a LOT to it. And we only have a ninety-minute block. AND, we're missing a lot of materials that either haven't been sent or are hiding somewhere in the building. For example, I only have 20 of the 26 reading textbooks and we start teaching with fidelity on Monday. Wish me luck.

You can read the back, but I had to make the goal that I shared with my students a little less dramatic and desperate-sounding than that. It's something to the effect of "My goal is to do my best teaching the new reading series."

This next idea I had seen on Pinterest somewhere, but {Jivey} recently reminded me about it. If you want a free copy of the letters, click {here}.
NOISE behavior management system to help with talkative classes.

Mustache check in and out posters help students remember what they need to do.

Here are my {check in and checkout} posters hanging in the front on my room. Next to it is small sheet pan for lunch count. I may have bought one that's too small for my twenty-seven students! Oh well. It was only 98¢, so I could buy a second one. The white magnets were made with my label maker. This is actually my second label maker. The first one I ever owned was given to me at my bridal shower eleven years ago. Of course, I registered for it ;) And I wore that puppy out! Anyway, Dymo makes magnetic refills! Score!

Supply signs for rotating classes help students come to class prepared.
I made these supply labels for the outside of my door. Hopefully as students are in the halls during the day, or at least right before they come into class, they will take a peek to see what they actually need to have for class. They're still trying to get used to this middle school thing, and living out of their lockers is foreign. I made circles with the different supplies that they might have, then used Velcro squares to swap them as needed. You can click {here} for the freebie.

Brag tags motivate students to go above and beyond.
And my brag tags display... So far they just have a generic fifth grade tag with their names on the back. (Click here to see my brag tags products.)

This quarter's No Late Work Club display... This quarter will be a fall party, so we gave the tracking sheets and signs a football theme. Gotta know the clientele...

And now some actual content. I have the kids make a collage of anything they know about American history. Anything major from way back when to as recent as yesterday. It's a nice beginning of the year social studies activity because it lets them use those brand new colored pencils. It also gives them some extended coloring time. I think that I gave my students forty-five minutes over the course of two days to complete theirs. The requirement was that they had to fill as much white space as possible. And what could be more fun than an assignment with no wrong answers?! Well, at least that's what I told them. I do see some pretty strange things that obviously are not part of American history. Regardless, it's a nice project to hang up on those empty social studies bulletin boards. It also clues me in to some misconceptions that they might have. According to this picture, cavemen came to American on boats. They rest of it is pretty good, though!

So after everyone was done, or close to it, I had the students do a picture walk around the room. The spent about ten seconds at each picture before I gave the signal to move. I kept saying "switch" to get the kids to move from desk to desk, but later I found out that my associate kept visualizing some movie that I can't remember anymore. So I had to mix it up next class to keep from laughing.

Okay, that's it. Happy weekend, everyone!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Tried It Tuesday - Adjusting Width in HTML

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm a touch OCD. When I put buttons and things on my sidebar, it drives me NUTS to have them all different sizes. So I have a quick tutorial on how to make the HTML objects that you add to your sidebar the same width. I haven't figured out how to do it with pictures that I upload (like my state button), so if anyone knows how to do that, please share!

Notice how this top button is a lot bigger? Not acceptable in my world. Here's what you do. Click on the wrench/screwdriver thingy in the lower right corner so you get this window.

Add in what I have highlighted and click Save. If you can't quite make it out, it says width="125" and put it right before /></a></div> It might work somewhere else, but I'm not an expert.

Ahhhh..... much better!
And if you were one of the first 17 people to link up to my {Helpful Blogger Network}, I have fixed the code in the box when you grab the button so it's a little smaller :)

Monday Made-It - Personalized Notebooks

I'm probably going to be the 746th link-up, but I actually had to finish my MMI today. I decided to address the partially-used notebooks that I still had from college 15-20 years ago *cough*.

I tore out all of the still-good paper and made some cute covers that I printed on cardstock and laminated.

Then I unpacked my new binding machine for its maiden voyage. I was a little disappointed at the sheet capacity, but it's still pretty slick.

Check out my new personalized notebook!

And don't forget to dig up your best ideas for Native Americans, American Revolution, and Reconstruction!

Laminator Tip

If you own a Scotch laminator, use this tip to help maximize your pouches.
So it seems that many of you jumped on the laminator bandwagon this summer. I know that you're very happy that you did. As soon as you print something out, you want to laminate it immediately. Am I right?!

I'm right there with you. I just got {these clock numbers} cut out and ready to laminate. Look at the genius going on in this laminating pouch.
And as you're aware, there are twelve numbers on the clock, thus...
So, I either wait until I have something else or just do the whole page and waste the rest.

Run it through the laminator. When I'm sure that my little bit has been laminated, move the release lever and quickly take it out. Cut off the unused part (make sure that you cut through a part that has been laminated so you leave a new sealed edge) and it's ready to go for next time! I just blew your mind, didn't I?! You're welcome ;)

Disclaimer: I'm not sure if Scotch would approve of this technique. You could also turn off the machine and pull it out that way. I leave it on, however, in case my things didn't get totally laminated so I can run them through again and wait a little longer. Plus, I feel that I need to be quick to maximize the unused pouch.
If you own a Scotch laminator, use this tip to help maximize your pouches.