Why Don’t You Make Me?

Hahahahaha! I have to say that as a mom of three I am thankful that I have yet to hear that statement from my kiddos, but I also have to admit that I would love to say it to some of the more difficult people I have to deal with from time to time.

This “Why don’t you make me?” moment is a positive one! Why don’t you make one of these for your classroom! I am going to definitely make one for mine!

Take a cardboard circle (like from a pizza box), or just cut one out. Cut out the center and attach clothespins (see the pics)! I plan on either adding washi tape or glitter to my clothespins! I will post pics once it is finished!

I plan on hanging this picture holder on the bulletin board right by my desk in my classroom! I will probably have some pictures on it, but I mostly plan on keeping all of those adorable pictures, notes, and other items from my students on there! What a great way to display those little items that my sweet students give me each year! They are sure to lift your spirits and make you smile every time you see them!

So…why don’t you make me?

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I found this great tutorial on how to make glitter clothespins over at First Grade Brain’s blog!  Go check out her blog and this post to see exactly how to do it!  She gives some really easy to follow directions and hers turned out great!

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Why don’t you make me??????

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Pom Pom Critters are so CUTE (and they are an effective tool for positive reinforcement)!

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My students go absolutely crazy for these little pom pom critters! They can earn them in a variety of ways in the classroom, most often by having the cleanest table at the end of the day BEFORE the bell rings! The entire table earns one each! I keep a variety of them in a plastic bin and they get to pick the one they want if they earn one! You can order them from Oriental Trading Company, by clicking here. You can also find bags of them at Michael’s (arts and crafts store). They are super cheap and super cute! My kids stick them to their school boxes or pencils or just take them home and collect them! I have even had kids make furnished houses for them at home! They are so creative!

If you are looking for a cheap and effective positive reinforcement item, these pom pom critters may be just the thing you are looking for!  Why not grab a bag and try them out!

How to Manage Homework…

I am not a huge fan of homework, but my students need to practice the skills we work on in class and prepare for middle school expectations, so I give homework Monday through Thursday each week.

I copy a page of reading comprehension (a passage and some questions) and a page of math (no more than 15 problems) for homework each day. The sheets I choose are designed to give students a chance to practice skills.

Each day students turn their homework in using a Homework Folder. It is a letter-sized manila folder. On the folder there are dates written for each week of the quarter. Students get a sticker (they love stinky stickers) every day they bring their homework back.

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Even if students forget their homework, they always have the chance to turn it in and get a sticker.  I simply place the sticker over top of the “No HW” or “Ab.” note that I wrote for a particular day.   I allow students up to the last day of the quarter to turn in any homework packets for the quarter.

At the end of the quarter, I figure out how many total stickers were possible and I assign homework grades based on the percentage of homework students turned in.

How do you do homework?  Tell me about it in the comments!

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I have found that students will do their homework more frequently when they have that daily reminder of how much homework they have turned in.  They want the entire folder to be full of stickers by the end of the quarter.  The folders are also a great visual for parents.  They can see how much homework was done for the quarter.  I give students their folders to keep at the end of the quarter (usually during conferences).  I had 30 students in my class last year and almost all of them did 95% or more homework every quarter and I think these folders had a lot to do with it!

Gumball Multiplication ~ Learning those Facts!

Every year, my 5th graders come to me without knowing their basic multiplication facts. I developed this program in order to encourage my kids to learn their facts as soon as possible at the start of the school year.

We start by making little gumball machines for each student. I get chart stickers that look like gumballs. Here is the link to these stickers. Students color and decorate their own gumball machine with their name and the stickers. I move these mini-gumball machines from chart to chart as students pass a certain number of times tests (at a 95% accuracy rate) and earn the different prizes.

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When students pass a certain number of tests, they earn a small prize.  Here is the list of prizes as well as a picture of the links to each of the prizes.  They are pretty inexpensive, but the kids love trying to earn each prize level!

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I think their favorite prizes are the gumball scented pencils!  You can also come up with your own prizes or rewards for a specific number of passed tests.  Each student is allowed to work on their own pace!  Usually, all students have mastered these facts by the end of the first quarter of school!  YEAH!

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This is an example of what each test looks like… students also receive a certificate when they complete each prize level.

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If you are interested in this packet, you can find it here!    **There is a FREE set of multiplication fact cards in the PREVIEW FILE of this product!  When students do not pass a test they get a set of these flashcards to study!  If you have any great ideas that help your students to learn their multiplication facts, please share below in the comments!!

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Table Supply Set-Up Ideas

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I use these three drawer carts for my table supplies.  They have actually held up quite well (I have had them for 7 years)!  I put labels on the drawers.  In the top drawer, we have Math Boxes, Math Problem of the Day, and Science Journals.  In the middle drawer, we have Math Journals and Math Tool Kits.  In the bottom drawer, we have Reference Items.  A basket sits on the top of each three drawer cart and the table supplies are in this basket.  There are scissors, glue sticks, liquid glue bottles, white-out, crayons, markers (thick and thin), colored pencils, hi-lighters, sharpened pencils, a hole punch, a pencil sharpener, and black Sharpie markers in the basket.

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We also have out Poetry Notebooks and clipboards in the plastic basket.  Not all of the supplies are in the baskets yet, I am still working on it!  I am currently stalking all of the school supply sales!

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I also get each student a plastic school box.  I place the name plate on the top of the school box instead of on the table.  When we move seats each month, students just move their school box and folders, etc.  I also get the chair pockets from Raymond Geddes (LOVE THESE), here is the link!  The chair pockets help students keep clutter off the table!  You can catch a glimpse of a red chair pocket in the top corner of the picture above!  I get plastic bins from the Dollar Tree to use as table trash cans.  They are small enough to sit in the center of the table!

How do you organize your classroom supplies?  I am always looking for NEW ideas!  Please share in the comments!