Thinking Teaching Creating

Thoughts, Tips, Ideas, and Projects from a Creative Teacher Mama

Summer: Time To Catch Up On Hobbies

In between all the schoolwork and impromptu trips to the pool, park, or local children’s museums to provide the copious amounts of gross motor activity 3 little boys need to ever fall asleep each night, I have some hobbies.  Shocking, I know.

I’ve already read 3 books just for fun (Quiet, a random YA novel that was the third in a series I started ages ago, and The Witch’s Daughter), I’m saving The Handmaid’s Tale for when I’m dying for something new while I reread an old favorite, AND I’ve preordered the next installing in The Pink Carnation series, which is due out early in August.  My neighborhood just updated the fitness center, so I decided to take advantage of that and have started exercising.  I got several new card and board games for my birthday that I’ve been playing a lot.  It turns out cooperative games are lots of fun, without the hurt feelings at the end because your husband put a hotel on Boardwalk when he KNEW you only had $300 left. (Talk about overkill!)  I highly recommend Quirkle, Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island, and Chrononauts.  The “forbidden” ones are both cooperative, Chrononauts has 2 variations on gameplay, one of which is a solitaire version, and Quirkle is easy enough that my 6-year old can play, yet it’s challenging enough to still be fun for adults.

And then there are the many sewing and knitting projects I have either in progress or on my to-do list.  It wasn’t until this morning when I actually added all my crafty projects to Wunderlist that I realized how many I have!  And, of course, I want to finish them all before school starts and I get too busy to work on them again.  I have a shawl in progress (Follow Your Arrow Shawl), and I’ve barely started the second fingerless mitt in a pair to wear on those fall days that are cold only in the morning and evening.  I need to actually sew the next size cloth diapers I cut out months ago for my youngest; he needs to move up a size any day now.  I also got a sewing pattern for Christmas (Amy Butler’s Liverpool Shirt/Dress) to do some selfish sewing that I haven’t done more to than look at it wistfully.

I really do have a deadline for the knitting projects though.  My brother is getting married next year.  It will be an outdoor wedding, in October…in New England.  Translation: even if she chooses a long-sleeved dress, the bride will be FREEZING!  So I volunteered to make a warm shawl for my sister-in-law to be, whom I adore and would rather not see her get pneumonia.  I started the Rosana shawl once already, and completely messed up.  I had to rip out everything I’d done, and was irritated about it.  So I did what anyone would do; I procrastinated by starting a different project.  I vowed to restart her shawl at least a year before the wedding though, to make sure I had plenty of time to finish it, which means all other nonessential craft projects stop in October.

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Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop + 6-Trait Writing: First Rubric Complete!

I’ve been planning to attempt to put together the Lucy Calkins units for writing workshop with 6-trait writing for quite awhile now.  I love how Lucy’s units are organized and have a focus of getting kids to write about things that are interesting and meaningful to them, but sometimes have difficulty scoring them.  Another thing I feel like they lack is definite links to grammar rules, so I need to be really careful to add in those lessons.  Since many of the workshop units have fewer minilessons than necessary to fill a month, those “extra” days are where I plan to do specific grammar lessons.

But back to the rubrics.  The versions of the writing workshop units I have do not include any rubrics at all; I don’t have copies of the book, I have essentially “cheat sheet” versions of each unit from my district that were developed from the books.  Because of that, I started with the 6-trait writing rubrics, which are available online for free at Education Northwest’s website.  There are different versions for K-2 and grades 3-12, along with different point scales.  I created an editable version of the condensed grades 3-12 rubric by copying and pasting, and added another page from the 5-point grades 3-12 rubric by copying and pasting the publishing section (not included on the condensed rubric).

From there, I made a copy of the editable version, and highlighted each letter in the 5-point section that seemed to be a goal in the Lucy Calkins unit I created a rubric for (4th grade, unit 1).  Next, I went back and deleted the letters that weren’t included in the unit.  The way the rubric is structured, each section has several items that are looked for, and they are formatted in a lettered list.  When I deleted criteria, I deleted the words, but not the letter it was beside.  I want my students to know that other criteria will be expected later, and if I put a coded note on a student’s paper to show they did something particularly well, or that they should specifically work on improving one skill (WC-B would mean Word Choice, criteria B), I want the code to mean the same thing all year long.  I’m also keeping a copy of my rubric where I did the highlighting so the next unit’s rubric already has a starting point.  If I’ve already taught a skill in the rubric, I’m going to expect students to continue to use it in the next unit.

Here are my resources so far:

To edit the resources above, click them, go to file, and make a copy in your Google Drive, or go to file, download as Microsoft Word (docx.).  To use them as-is, just click the link you want and print, or download as a pdf.  

When I create the rubrics for further units, I’ll probably put newly added skills in bold or otherwise show which skills are new to the rubric and which ones students have been working on for more than one unit.  I think that will be helpful for myself, my students, and their parents.  If a skill has been on the rubric for more than one unit and a student is earning only 1 point in that area, that’s a red flag that we need to do something differently for that child.  Maybe we need to have small group or individual instruction on that particular skill, it needs to be a conference focus, etc.  Either way, the student can’t fix it if they a) don’t know it’s a problem and b) aren’t given help to improve.

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Plans for Blended Learning

I want to implement some blended learning in my classroom this year.  I thought about trying to flip the classroom for just one subject (math), but I’m nervous about the potential problems that will occur when a few kids don’t watch the videos for homework (whether it was because they were busy, they decided not to, or lack a reliable internet connection, the result is the same).  I also don’t know that I’ll have time to create a video for every lesson I teach, even in a single subject, so I’m hesitant to commit myself to a true flip.

What I do have in mind is more of an in class flip for differentiation, and I plan to test drive it in math.

Now, bear in mind that I teach a self-contained class of gifted kids, so very few students are working below grade level, while I might have 6 or more students who can ace all the unit tests on day one.  I have a 90 minute block for math, and I’m expected to have about half of that time as instruction, and the other half as a student workshop of sorts.

math unit mind map

The mind map linked above takes into account that my district (and honestly, good teaching practices) requires that students who earn below a C on assessments are given remediation and the opportunity to retest once, with the highest possible score on a retest of 80%.  It also essentially breaks the class into three groups; those ready to learn the grade level material at the usual pace, those who need the unit compacted, and those who need the next level.

I know you’re thinking, great, but where does the blended learning part come in?

Remember how I said I planned to use it to differentiate?  Well, my plan is to have the lessons for the second half of the unit in video format,  using Blendspace to create lessons that include a video, guided practice, some independent practice, and possible a video going over the answers to the independent practice (although I think the answer key video will be the beginning of the next day’s lesson, and won’t be available until after the independent practice should be complete…just to make it easier for them to stay honest about it).  I also plan to have the lessons for the advanced group, working on next year’s content on the same topic, set up on Blendspace, although they won’t be allowed to work on it until they have completed the unit project.

The unit projects will be real-world examples using the main skills that the unit teaches.  For example, our unit on area and perimeter has students determine the cost of redecorating a room based on their choices of wall covering and carpet.  They are tasks that would take just a few class periods to complete if they have an hour or so of work time.  The plan is to have them start these projects when they finish early as soon as they have the skills to do so, and give just a few days at the end of the unit before the test to complete the projects.  I plan to give tasks that are somewhat open-ended, but not so much that they’re ridiculously difficult to grade.

Here’s what I’m looking at for my typical daily schedule:

You see that my first order of business with each group is to check their most recent independent practice and answer questions on that lesson.  I figure that most questions will be addressed while explaining how to find the correct answers, but I’m also planning to have a place each group can post their questions each day, and I can answer any we don’t hit naturally.  I want all the questions to be visible to everyone in an effort to minimize repeats, but I’m on the fence about having chart paper and sticky notes in the room vs. having it on Google Classroom, Padlet, Today’s Meet, or any other digital tool.  In the classroom is accessible to everyone, especially if our classroom technology is being used for Blendspace lessons, but digital question boards will also be accessible at home if someone comes up with a question while completing an assignment for homework.  I obviously could do both, but would rather only have to check in one place.

And with this model, students are still getting 45-50  minutes of face-time with me, and yet they have 40-45 minutes to accomplish their work.  Because I’ll be working with groups the entire time, I won’t be able to answer questions without taking from someone’s group time.  We’re going to have to set up clear expectations about asking classmates for help, the difference between telling the answer and coaching someone to find the answer, and logistics about things like bathroom breaks.  I know that’s true anytime we use a workshop model, but it’s worth mentioning so I remember to include it in my beginning of year plans.

The hard part is going to be having so much ready up front.  I tend to procrastinate, and would rather stay up until 3am finishing something the night before it’s due than get it done a week early when I have some spare time.  The deadline motivates me, so I need to shift my thinking about when that deadline actually is.  To start each unit properly, I’ll need: a mid-unit quiz to use as a pretest, a unit test to act as a second pretest to separate those compacting the unit with those skipping the unit, at least the first few videos for the second half of the unit ready to use (for the compacting group), a unit project (to be completed by every group, but the advanced unit needs to complete it to move on to advanced content), and the first couple of smartboards ready for the on target group.  Ideally, the entire first unit will be ready to use on the day of the pretest, and I can create the second unit’s materials while students complete unit one.

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Summer Learning Plans

One thing I really love about being a teacher is that each new year on the job allows me to revamp things.  What other job out there gives a natural break that allows you the time to relax and reflect on the past year, deciding what to do the same, and what to change for the coming year?  Yes, of course I reflect and make changes throughout the school year too if something isn’t working quite how I want it to, but the easiest time to make big changes is the beginning of a new school year.  When you get a new crop of kids (and their parents), comments and questions about something you did last year that you plan to change can be swept aside with, “Oh, I’m going to change how I do that this year; I’ll be talking about that at curriculum night.”

On the last workdays before school ended, my team met and did a group reflection, making notes about what we want to do differently, and what we really thought worked well.  My only concern is that we’re having a change in leadership at my school, and we left for the summer without knowing what grade we would be teaching next year, nor the room we would be assigned.  In light of that, I’ve been trying to keep my reflections general enough that they could be applied to nearly any grade.

Some things I want to accomplish or learn more about (in between relaxing) this summer, are:

  • how to incorporate blended learning; I think this would be a great way to differentiate more effectively
  • close reading; I have the gist of it, but want to get to the point that I don’t need a pre-made set of close reading materials to feel confident implementing it
  • creating rubrics blending Lucy Calkins units with 6 Trait writing and common core standards…but I really need to know what grade I’m teaching next year (I’ve wanted to do this for awhile, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.)
  • read The Leader in Me

If you know of a great blog or article that would help with any of these goals, I’d love for you to leave links to them in the comments!

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It’s Easy To Be A Great Teacher…Especially During the Summer When It’s All Plans and Great Ideas

Obviously it’s been ages since my last blog post.  About a school year, to be specific.  For the last several years, I’ve either started a blog or rediscovered the one from the previous year sometime between May and July.  The end of the year makes me reflective, wanting to consider the changes I intend to make for the following school year, while I’m still in “school mode,” but only have a few weeks left and the countdown to summer is on.  Between the reflections on what to keep and what to change, I always have hugely ambitious goals for the next year, and need an outlet to sift through them before I get lost in the daily grind.  As a result, my blog  du jour definitely gets more attention from me during the summer than any other time.  I had (or borrowed) a lot of really fabulous ideas I wanted to implement this year…and didn’t end up doing most of them.  There are even some things that weren’t new to my classroom that ended up being abandoned for one reason or another.  This year in particular, I had a lot of changes going on due to a move in schools and grade levels.

Without getting into too much detail, that single change meant that this year has been more work, with less time to do it during the school day.  I had new curriculum to learn, expectations of a district and school to learn and follow, and the simple fact that I had more students, and they were older than I’ve taught in a long time.  Older students producing longer/more complex work, and having more of them in a class than usual meant the time to grade a stack of papers increased exponentially.  Add to that having fewer planning periods each week for me to do work than I’d grown accustomed to, and I was left with a near-constant backlog of work to accomplish.

That being said, I had a fabulous team to work with, and support from a great facilitator.  Overall, I still think that changing schools was a good decision to support my long-term goals, which was the primary reason I opted to return to a public school district.  Eventually, I’d love to be a facilitator/instructional coach, or something along those lines.  I really enjoy putting together units, researching the newest ideas of how to do things, and integrating technology in the classroom.  Small charter schools just don’t have the funding to have a full-time person whose job is to help the teachers become even better at what they do.  I know I’m not ready for such a role yet, but I am learning more and getting a little better every year.  I think my biggest strength in reaching that goal is my ability to reflect, and my willingness to make changes based on my reflections.  I am definitely able to step back and see where I’m in need of making a change, and then trying my hardest to make it happen.

I already have some changes in mind for next year, and am considering sending a parent survey asking for feedback on particular issues, such as my methods of communication, and the types and frequency of homework they liked or would have preferred.  I’d also like to get into the habit of blogging during the school year; even if it’s just one post a month.

 

 

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I Dislike ClassDojo – And What I Do Instead

I’ve gotten a lot of responses to my earlier post about how I Dislike ClassDojo.  Some have been explanation of how a teacher uses this tool in an effective way.  Others have wondered why I have singled out this tool and defended their use of it.  Still others have asked what I do instead.  Do I use reinforcement and consequences for behaviors?  How do I use them?

What I do is loosely based off of Love and Logic.  Here’s a poster of Love and Logic rules I found posted at TeachThought.com

Image

As far as reinforcements, I give positive verbal feedback all the time, but I don’t have a prize box or give special treats or parties or anything like that.  I’m of the opinion that there are certain things that are necessary and expected in polite and productive society, and you do them because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re getting something special for it.  Think about it, as an adult, there aren’t many situations in which you get something extra just for doing what you were supposed to do, are there?

What about consequences?  Well, before I talk about consequences, I want to talk a moment about the intention behind the behaviors.  From what I’ve noticed, there are a few reasons why kids tend to do things that we’d rather they didn’t do:

  • They didn’t know it was a problem.
  • There was a misunderstanding.
  • Something else in their life has caused stress, anger, or sadness that makes dealing with difficult situations appropriately much harder then normal.
  • It was an impulsive response.
  • They’re testing their boundaries.
  • It was done maliciously.

Now, how I do things isn’t perfect, but my first step is to talk with the student and try to get a sense of the motivation behind their behavior.

  • If they didn’t know it was a problem or there was a misunderstanding, we talk through it, and that’s typically the end of it.  Some misunderstandings require a little more problem solving.  (One time last year a student asked if he could lick another child’s candy, and the candy owner misheard him.  He thought the kid asked to look at his candy.  Now, I don’t know who would want to let someone lick their candy, but I’m not six years old either.  The candy licking student replaced the candy with something from his Halloween stash the next day, and he had to throw away the candy he licked lest he think that was an acceptable way to get someone else’s snack.)
  • If it was impulsive (sometimes exasperated by other life events), we talk about ways to take a moment and consider your actions before actually doing or saying something.  Depending upon what they did, some sort or retribution may be in order.
  • For boundary testing and maliciousness, I give logical consequences to set the tone that such behavior will not be tolerated.

I also keep lots of records.  I have a notebook tabbed with student names, and make a quick note whenever we have one of these little talks about their choices.  If there is a consequence of any kind, I also record that.  I keep careful documentation for several reasons.  One reason is that I don’t want a student trying to pull the wool over my eyes.  I’ve overhead kindergarteners talking about how they work their teacher’s behavior system (a clip chart) so that they always end the day on a good note; they just do something good at the end of the day and it reverses any bad choices from the morning.  The “I didn’t know that was a problem” reason only works ONCE for a behavior.  If we talked about it in January and you do it again in February, well, you actually DID know it was a problem.  While I know everyone forgets, I think it’s less likely for a child to forget when we’ve had a one-on-one conversation about why that particular behavior is not acceptable than if we talk about it as a class.

I also keep documentation to see if something seems to be a bad habit or recurring issue.  If a behavior is repeated after we have had logical consequences because it was seemingly to test boundaries or to be malicious, I’ll often pull out a book with a similar problem and that student and I will talk about how things played out in the book, and how their problem was similar.  Sometimes this slightly removed perspective can be helpful in seeing their problem the way others see it.  If it’s an impulse control issue that seems to be a bad habit, we work out a way to help the student to notice the warning signs, and reduce or stop the behavior over time.  The plan we come up with would be dependent upon the problem and the student.

There are non-negotiable behaviors at every school, typically the types of things that would be illegal if an adult did them, that can’t be handled in this manner, but I’ve had success with handling most situations in this manner.

As far as notifying parents goes, I don’t tell them about every single tiny thing.  My rule of thumb is if we didn’t need to do anything more than talk about it, we handled it in the classroom and it wasn’t a big enough deal to write home about.  Any issue that resulted in some sort of consequence is something parents should be informed of, and I typically include the number of times that type of problem has occurred when I write about it so parents can make informed decisions about how they talk with their child at home.  I tell parents this at the beginning of the year, and have yet to have a parent who wants to know about every time I speak to their child.

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Ready to Ditch the Reading Logs

I’ve been teaching for 10 years, and I’ve used reading logs at least to some extent every year.  I tend to slack off about it around February every year, and no one gets upset when it happens.  I’ve been told by parents that their child used to read for hours until they were asked to use a reading log.  Once they had to log their reading, they read much less often, and even began choosing their books by the length of the title.  If the title was long, it didn’t make the cut because they would have to write the title.  These comments from parents were a big red flag for me, but everyone I knew used reading logs in their classroom, so it must not be a bad practice, right?

Then there are the times that kids have written down titles saying that they read a book, and later that day that same child talked about how they didn’t have time to do anything that night because they went straight from school to afterschool activities, ate dinner in the car, and got home just in time to go to sleep.  I’m not stupid; I know that there are probably plenty of times over the last decade that kids lied about having read something on their reading log.  So, whether there is some sort of negative consequence or a mark off their homework participation, does a reading log just penalize the honest children, rather than actually holding them accountable for doing some reading outside of school?

This summer, I participated in my library’s summer reading program.  You log your reading (just the title[s]) and how long you read [in 20 minute intervals]).  I participated myself, and also had logins for my three boys.  They’re all 5 and under, so let’s be honest, I did all the reading AND all the logging.  The older two helped choose books to read, but Mr. 4 months old mostly drooled and pinched my arm.  It was obnoxious!  By mid-July I gave up logging our reading.  It took easily 3 books to fill 20 minutes with Mr. 2-year old pushing me to turn pages before I’d finished reading half the text, so if we only had the attention span for one book, I wasn’t sure whether to log it and pretend it took 20 minutes, or whether it didn’t count.  Then I had to log in onto the  other two kids’ accounts and put the same information so everyone got credit for the reading.

I’m done.  I’m ditching the reading logs this year.  I’ll find other ways to know whether my students are reading.  We’ll talk about books we’ve enjoyed (or abandoned), I’ll ask them to write book reviews when they love or hate a book (hello opinion writing!)  Maybe I’ll make an Edmodo group for my class for book reviews.  I’ll find something that can’t be faked, and isn’t a nightly chore so they can just love to read again.

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Don’t Forget Your Gifted Students; They Need Their Teacher Too

Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember that your gifted students need your attention too.  I’ve been guilty of it myself.

In a classroom of 20+ students where nearly half are either below grade level or just making it by the skin of their teeth, it’s easy to put all of your time into helping those children while your gifted (and high achieving) students get put on the back burner.  I’ve been there.  It’s hard.  You’re expected to get as many students as possible to meet a certain standard, and there are 2 students who have already met next year’s standard by October.

I was in a meeting where a literacy facilitator at a school where I worked said to my grade level team these exact words, “Your high fliers don’t need any help.  They’re fine already, let’s focus on these kids that are below grade level.”

That was the catalyst for me to look for another job, because the open opinions of people who are in charge or provide the training set the culture of the school.  I couldn’t be at a school where the attitude was that gifted and high achieving students didn’t need instruction.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Every child deserves to learn and grow, every day.
  • Another page of practice problems on a skill that has already been proven to be mastered is not helpful.
  • This method of curriculum planning is amazing.  For each skill or concept, determine what kids absolutely need to know, what they probably should know, and what it would be nice if they knew.  I’ve been doing it for years, but never thought of it with this type of visual before.  Thank you Geoff at Emergent Math for putting it into such an elegant visual explanation.  It’s a lovely way to plan ahead for the kids who either catch on very quickly or already know the basics when you start a concept rather than scrambling when you realize that one kid already mastered this skill last year, while also setting a minimum standard for your lower performing students.
  • Remember that the standards are minimum expectations; going deeper or wider pushes your gifted and high achieving students.  These student often start thinking very early on their school career that school is supposed to be easy, and are in danger of not knowing how to persevere, learn from mistakes, or pick themselves up to try again after failing.  These are important skills to be successful in life!  Guide them through those skills early and often.  I’ve had first graders cry because it was the first time they didn’t know the right answer immediately, and they didn’t know how to handle it.  Thank goodness they experienced that in first grade, not their freshman year of college.
  • If there is a student who didn’t learn anything in your classroom because he already knew it all, that’s just as bad as having a below grade level student who didn’t learn anything because you didn’t meet him where he was.
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Trying To Avoid Being Over-scheduled, But Wanting To Do Everything!

So far, I’ve decided to have my class participate in: Quadblogging (Sept.-Dec.), the Global Read Aloud (Sept. 30-Nov. 8) NaNoWriMo (Nov. 1-30), and Genius Hour (no specified dates).  I also talked with some teachers in #4thchat on Twitter about the possibility of science Skype sessions, and I’d like to set up some Skype times with other classes in my state since our social studies topic is our state’s history, people, and culture.

Here’s the thing though: I’m trying to avoid putting too much on my plate, especially since I’m going to be in a new school and a new grade.  As a result, I’m thinking of postponing Genius Hour and Science/Social Studies Skype in my room until after winter break.  We may manage to schedule a few Skype sessions here and there in the first half of the school year, but I probably won’t schedule them with any regularity until the second half of the year.  Yes, we’ll still blog, have read alouds, and write after all these events end for the year, but there will be less urgency to stick to a set schedule for them, and so I think our schedule will be a little looser.  I plan to put the idea of Genius Hour out there to my students sometime in December, so they have winter break to let ideas percolate, and come back in January ready to start pretty early in the month.

On a more personal note as far as goals go, I plan to take this year to get my feet under me after so much change, and hopefully begin working towards National Boards Certification the following school year, or the year after that at the latest.  Bottom line is I want to finish my third year in this new district with a completed portfolio submitted for National Board Certification, if not sooner.  It’s something I’ve been interested in doing for years, but I’ve spent the last six years at a charter school where a) I wasn’t eligible for any pay increase for being a NBCT, and b) I think that also made me ineligible for the state loan to cover the costs.  With that being the case, I put the idea aside for awhile.  Now that I’m rejoining the regular school districts, I’m looking to work on them as soon as I feel confident enough in my new school and grade level.

I’d love to hear what exciting things you have brewing in your classrooms for the coming year!

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I Dislike ClassDojo

Look around Twitter, teacher’s blogs, and technology conferences and everyone is aflutter about how wonderful ClassDojo is.

Here’s the thing though; ClassDojo is just a high-tech behavior chart.

It has the ability to add points for behaviors you want to reinforce, and take away points for behaviors you want to stop, and gives you percentage graphs of “good” and “bad” behaviors.  It’a flashy behavior chart that does some math with the data you plug in.

I’m not a huge fan of giving rewards or punishments.  Both are their own brand of bribery, and students should do what is expected of them because it’s the right thing to do.  Not because they earn a sticker if they do, and they lose some of their recess if they don’t.

If you’re wondering how to get your class to behave, here are some better solutions than a behavior chart like ClassDojo:

  • Build relationships with your students.  If they know you care and really want to help, you will have earned their respect and they’ll be that much more willing to do what you ask or expect of them.
  • Be crystal clear about your expectations (even better if you gave valid reasons behind them), and stick to them.  Enforce your expectations, every time, by repeating the procedure until it is done correctly.  Expect it to take a lot of extra time upfront, but it will save tons of time all year once your class knows you will not accept less than their best.
  • Talk to your students about their choices when their behavior is unacceptable.  Try to get a sense of their motivation behind the behavior.  Was it just that they didn’t realize they were doing something they shouldn’t?  Were they testing boundaries?  Was it an impulsive response?  Was it malicious? (It happens, but in my experience, most kids don’t do many things maliciously.)  Use their motivation to guide you on how to handle the issue.  Talking about why something is unacceptable may be all a student needs.  For an impulsive response, helping to show a student how to take a moment and consider actions before doing something they may regret can be helpful.  Some situations may require some kind of consequence, and when that happens I prefer logical consequences (read my post about how classroom management has evolved for me over the years here.)
  • Remember that you are teaching human beings.  No one is perfect, and kids have had much less time to figure out what to do to be successful than you have.

You don’t have to take my word for it though, here are some other teachers who have blogged about firing their behavior chart and how it’s gone for them:

Miss Night at Miss Night’s Marbles

Matt Gomez wrote about his Reward Free Year

Edited To Add: I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on Twitter for this post.  Some has been in agreement, some has been other educators telling me about how they use ClassDojo for tracking all kinds of things without using it as a behavior plan.  I agree that with a little creativity, this tool can be used effectively for other things.  My issue with it is the intended purpose and how it seems that the majority of teachers use this tool: as a digital behavior chart.  If you have a different use for it, I’d love to hear about it!

Read my follow-up post: I Dislike ClassDojo – And What I Do Instead

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