Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ClassDojo Saved My Sanity!

I have seen many posts about ClassDojo lately, which encouraged me to finally try it with my kiddos.  I signed up and set up my class back in September, but it seemed like I never got around to setting up the behaviors and introducing it to my students.  We were just getting into the routines of first grade and I didn't want to add something new on top of it.  I wish I had.

Last week, I decided I just couldn't take any more of the talking!  I have a wonderful group of kids, but they like to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.  They have a hard time focusing and finishing work on time.  It was driving me insane! Enter ClassDojo

That little "plink" sound it makes when I award a positive point is just what my little darlings need to remind them that they are off task.  It focuses their attention back on their work.  I can take my phone with me into the hallway and they are quiet as we walk because they know I can give them points right there on my phone. 

There are so many features I love about this tool.  You can customize the behaviors you want to use, print reports or email them straight to parents, customize students' avatars, and best of all, it's FREE!

Plus, the students love it too! When I award a point, I can see a smile cross their face or hear a whispered "yes!" with a clenched fist.  They'll tap their neighbor and point to the screen.  If I have to change my screen away to use another window or use the document camera or DVD player, I here a chorus of "Awwww, bye little monster!"  At the end of the day, their points are translated into "Bird Bucks," which they can spend at our school store. Did I mention that they LOVE it?

I was so excited by how well it worked in my room, that I showed my principal as she passed my class in the hall for a restroom break.  She went down the hall to watch in my room as I awarded a point from my phone.  She was so impressed with the tool that she told all the other teachers in the building.  I had lots of visitors that day and my students were excited to get to show off!

If you haven't yet checked out ClassDojo, please do.  It might save your sanity too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Writing Process Posters

I've been teaching the writing process to my first graders and I wanted some cute posters for each stage that we teach.  I couldn't find any out there that had all the steps my district includes in its curriculum, so I made my own.

You can get them on my Teacher's Notebook store here.

This is the first item I've posted on there, so please let me know what you think.