Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to School Night...DONE!

Day two of my new discipline policy. It was mostly successful. Friday will be the end all-as those that don't have enough tickets to participate in the free time, will hopefully, figure out their behavior. Have I told you how the plan works?
I use the old fashioned flip chart. Everyone starts with a green card. Green is good. If they make good choices, and their card remains green, they get two tickets, at the end of the day. If I have to turn their card to blue (warning), they only earn one ticket. If they get to yellow, they pay two tickets to ME. If they get to red, they pay 3 tickets, lose their recess, and may have to call home to tell their parents what their problem was. I give them 6 tickets on Monday-kind of like an allowance. Free time costs 12 tickets. They have to earn 6 more tickets during the week, to participate. As you can see, we had many challenges today. There will be lots of sad faces on Friday when kids don't have enough tickets to have free time. Oh well. They are the managers of their behavior-only they can choose to change it.
These are the tickets-cute huh? They collect tickets. If they have to go potty, they pay a ticket. I give tickets randomly for whatever I dream up. On Friday, they will turn in all of their tickets. I will apply 12 toward free time, and then I will log the extra tickets earned. Then I will add how many extra tickets they have-maybe every two weeks-and give prizes for that. Once we start homework, they'll earn tickets for that. I will probably have to raise how many tickets they need for free time, because I will pay them in tickets, for doing their homework, and they will earn lots. They are digging these tickets. They are pretty cute. I actually like this new system better than my money system-it's a lot quieter. Those coins can get noisy! Also, I don't need a store mom.
We had Back to School Night tonight. I may not be very popular after tonight, but I had to lay it all out for the parents. The bottom line is that I am spending so much time managing behavior, that my lessons are suffering. I think the parents got it. I had a lot of support, A LOT, and all of my jobs were taken away to finish for me, so that was a good sign! I was very honest with them. I have been teaching for 15 years. They need to know that they can't fool me, and their kids can't fool me. I won't back down. There's too much at stake. I want success for ALL of my students.
These are the heads we made last week. They had to draw their head, cut it out, and glue it onto green paper. Then, using magazines, they looked for pictures of things they like, and glued them above their paper heads. They turned out really cute. My favorite is the one in the middle of the bottom row. A cute little girl made that. She wears her hair in these mini pigtail things, on the top of her head, with the rest down. I love her paper face-I love her real face too actually.

We made these apples yesterday. They did a good job with them. They do like to do art. They may not be able to sit down, be quiet, or listen, but they sure can do art!

Excitement of the day: I got a new student. A sweet girl, new to our school district and city. She came in, sat down, started to work. 15 minutes later, I look over and she's crying. Tears and snot rolling down her face. I got her tissue. I comforted her. I modified her work, then I walked away. She continued to cry, quietly. The kids tried to comfort her. I told them to leave her be and she would be fine (crying does not work with me). Pretty soon though, the quiet crying turned into full on wailing, with very loud cries of "I want my mommy!" I told her I wanted mine too, but that she really needed to try and pull herself together. When she couldn't, and got louder, and I needed to TEACH, I called the office. One of the secretaries came and got her. She spent the rest of that hour, and recess, in the office. They called mom. She talked to mom, but she stayed at school. I went in at recess to see if I could get her to come back. Nothing doing. After recess, my principal came in with her, and she sat right down. She was fine after that, smiling, doing her work. It was a bit tense for awhile there though. She said she's coming back tomorrow, and I talked with her mom after school. They just moved on Sunday, so this is all brand new. She's a sensitive little thing. Tomorrow will be better.

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