Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Must Read Monday: Favorite Series

Hi friends! Sorry it's been a little while.  Like all of you, things have been a little crazy in my fourth grade classroom lately.  Only three more days until spring break! :)

I frequently get asked what books my kids like to read.  So today, I'm linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for Must Read Monday! 


Must-Read Monday Linky
I am very blessed because my kids LOVE to read. More so this year than any other, which I fully attribute to them being able to have more independent reading because of the Daily Five. 

Today I'm sharing some of their favorite series. By favorite series, I mean the ones that I can never keep in our classroom library for more than a day or two. :) Next week, I'll share some of their other favorite books. :)











Amazon Link

Amazon Link

 Amazon Link

Amazon Link 
I am always looking to add to our classroom library. What series do your kiddos love to read? :) I need some suggestions for great series for fourth grade girls! :) 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Mystery Motivators

Welcome to next stop on the Bright Ideas Blog Hop! 

Thanks, Gina for the warm welcome! I hope you enjoyed reading her post on easy ways to collect papers. :) Today I'm going to be blogging all about my new favorite behavior management tip, mystery motivators! 

This year my teaching partner and I have a student who has been extremely hard to motivate to make good choices.  All our tried and true tips and tricks have failed and we were desperate to find something that worked to motivate this student to make better choices, so we could teach

We consulted our administration, who are FABULOUS, and they suggested we give our student a motivation survey.  We found that peer approval motivates our student and we started brainstorming peer approval rewards to motivate our student to make appropriate choices.  

We decided to have our student work towards a treat that the whole class could enjoy as a reward for his good behavior.  He earns things like a special snack for the class, going to recess 10 minutes early once a week, extra computer lab time, etc.  

To keep him on track, we came up with three things we wanted him to work on and then broke up our day into nine sections.  If he is successful in meeting his goals during each section of his day, he gets a star.  Each week, we determine the number of stars he needs to earn a treat for the class.  

He was initially excited about this but it wasn't working.  He'd not earn a few stars, and then automatically think "Why bother, I'm never going to earn _____ stars?"

Our principal suggested the concept of a mystery motivator as a reward for making good choices at the end of each day for earning a certain number of stars. We have started out low, 5/9 stars, but will increase the number of stars he needs to earn as his behavior improves.  We sat down with our student and brainstormed things he'd like to receive as a reward for making good choices at the end of each day. It was important that HE come up with this list so HE felt motivated.  It was important for us that they be free and easy to implement since he would get a reward each day he met his goal. Our student's list of motivators is below.  

He carries his behavior chart and mystery motivator envelope back and forth between his two classes.  Before the day begins, I slip a slip of paper with one of his mystery motivators written on it inside the envelope.  I try to rotate them out so he doesn't get board with them.  At the end of the day, if he reaches his daily goal, he gets to open the envelope.  He likes it because it's a surprise and a present he gets to open at the end of the day. It also helps us build a more positive relationship with us as well.  



Opening his mystery motivator has become a special moment for my student, as well as for the rest of the class.  They are always excited to see what he earned for making good choices that day.  

I am proud to report that last week, our student earned a treat for the class. So I let him choose a special snack for the class.  He chose fruit snacks, and I was happy to buy them!

He also reached his weekly goal on Friday, so the class will get to enjoy a special treat next week as well.  

I hope you enjoyed reading how mystery motivators have been a difference maker in my classroom this year.  Mystery Motivators could also work has a whole class incentive for making good choices as well, especially if you use the WBT Scoreboard System! :) 

For another bright idea, hop on over to The Second Grade Surprise.  Jeannie is sharing a bright idea on keeping students quiet in the hallway. :) 


For even MORE bright ideas, feel free to hop along the links below.  I know I will be after I pour my first cup of coffee! :)


You can also check out more bright ideas on our collaborative Pinterest board {here}! :) 






Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fluency Intervention Tub Update

Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a great day! I'm loving the warmer temperatures and am so excited to take my sweet babies on a walk later. :)


Before I start tackling my Saturday to do list, I wanted to share how fluency tubs are working in my classroom this year.  I originally blogged about them {here}

Fluency tubs is a time of the day that my kiddos really enjoy.  It's full of games and fun stuff like reading in fun point of view voices and I LOVE being able to let them play games in language arts. Playing games is something I really miss about teaching math.  My OTES, our evaluation system in Ohio, goal was to have each of my kiddos grow about 30 words in the oral reading fluency by the end of the year, a gain of a little under a word a week. I am proud to say that 98% of my kids are well on their way to surpassing that this year.   Which I fully attribute that to fluency tubs and lots of independent reading during Read to Self. 

My fluency tubs consist of five tubs/rotations.  My students rotate through each rotation/tub with their tables.  My students visit one rotation/tub a day and each rotation/tub lasts about ten minutes. 

One rotation is working with me.  We work mainly on context clues during this time.  We mainly use these cloze passage to practice or various materials I purchase on TpT.  :) A few times a month, I also do ORF checks/data points with my kiddos.  


You can check out this resource {here}.


Another rotation is fry phrase fluency games.  I several sets in my store {here} and even though my kids are bigger, they LOVE getting a new game every month. 





I alway try to keep my eyes peeled for a fun bag/container at Target/Party City each month.  It just adds a little bit of extra fun. :)

This month, we are using my Pot of Gold Fluency Game

Another rotation is some type of poetry reading.  Last year I used these poems.  This year, my kiddos weren't exactly loving them.  So now I just search online for free seasonal poems, or use ones I've collected throughout the years.  For some reason, they like these a lot better. I still do add some of the partner poems for building fluency, just not every week.


Since the element of choice is very motivating for my kiddos, I love including several poems on a page and allowing them to pick.  My students take turns reading the poems with their shoulder partner and using the awesome Point of View Cards from my sweet friend Amanda

Another rotation is repeated readings of decodable passages using our weekly spelling patterns.  This is a new addition this year and something I just recently discovered came with our reading program.  This isn't their favorite but it's AWESOME fluency practice.  



The last rotation is another type of game.  Right now, it's Fry Phrase Tic Tac Toe

This activity is from one of my newest resources. 

Tic Tac Toe has been a recent addition to our rotations, and we have been loving it. :)  I have a fourth grade edition, fourth one hundred phrases, and a third grade edition, third one hundred phrases.  First and second grade fry phrase tic tac toe boards are coming soon! 


I keep all my fluency tubs on a book shelf that stores all my word work centers.  We keep the lids off this year, for easy recognition.  



I hope you've enjoyed learning about how our fluency tubs are working this year.  This ten minute time in my room is fun, purposeful, and makes such a difference. :) 

Have a great weekend! 
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