Teacher Appreciation: What Works for Me!

Hi everyone! Well, it’s that time of year again…Teacher Appreciation. In case you haven’t heard it yet, I APPRECIATE YOU and all of the hard work you do day in and day out. There is so much more that you do that people do not see or know about. You are teacher, nurse, counselor, social worker, and mom (just to name a few! 🙂 )

Sometimes we are feeling burned out and just need a break. It’s times like these when I am so glad that I found this great community to talk to and to share ideas.

We all know that a teacher never really stops learning, working, or looking for ideas. That’s why todays link up is so great! It is a time to relax and see what works for others in their classrooms.

So…what works well for me??

I absolutely love the metal oil drip pans. My old school had magnetic boards so when I transferred schools I was devastated to learn that the boards were not magnetic. I used my boards and magnets for everything. So to fix the problem and to simplify my life, I found the largest size oil drip pan that I could find and used the Command Picture strips to stick them onto my blackboard.

Then I used my new metallic boards 🙂 to display my homework club, job chart, and my flow of the day with my teaching points.


This might seem really simple, but using a homework club with a reward of having Fun Friday works really well for me. Each student is given a number and if homework is missed, they are moved out of the homework club. I give my students a chance to be placed back into the homework club if the homework missed is made up during the week.
I have to tell you, Fun Friday goes a long way in motivating my second graders to get their homework completed.

If you look at the picture below, you will see my oil drip pan with my Homework Club and my job chart. I also love my job chart this year. We were not allowed to put the job chart onto a bulletin board so I had to get creative. I bought some ribbon and printed out the job cards. I hot glued everything together to make the job chart. Then I used clothes pins with blue or purple tape to differentiate between the boys and girls.


To help display my groups I have a clip chart. The students can go and move their clips if they move groups. I have three different groups during reading and math.

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What else works for me?
I use a checklist or spreadsheet for everything! At the beginning of every unit (or really over the summer) I create a spreadsheet to record my observations or my data. I then use the checklists to help me grade, have conversations with parents, and to form my small group instruction. It might seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but it is so worth the time when you can see all of your data and observations at a glance.

Have I mentioned that I have been called the Spreadsheet Queen. I guess it really it true! 🙂

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Running Records Checklist

What else works for me?
I love using reward cards in my class. My kiddos get so excited when they get to choose a reward card. They love sitting in my desk, using my chair, or bringing in a stuffed animal. This year I am using my iPhone Reward Coupons but I change them every year. You can take a look at some of my reward cards by clicking here

iPhone Reward Cards

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

But wait… there’s more! While you are hopping through the different blogs and hopefully getting some great ideas, be sure to enter into the rafflecopter below to win some awesome prizes! The more entries you have on the rafflecopter the more chances you have to win.

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You won’t want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

Summer Stock Up!

Summer Stock Up Blog Logo

Hi everyone. I’m so glad you stopped by our Stock Up Event put together by Amanda at Primary Gal. I can not begin to tell you how fabulous she is.

Let’s be honest, WE LOVE SUMMER VACATION! Yes we miss our kids but we so need to recharge our batteries and yes, we deserve the break. But what teacher do you know who actually takes the summer off?? Maybe you take a few weeks off to relax, visit friends and family, or go on vacation. Me, I am going to Idaho to visit my brother and his family. I haven’t seen them in 3 years.

I think teachers are always thinking about getting ready for the next year. I haven’t even finished this school year yet (4 days left 🙁 ) and I am thinking about how I want to change my room, what room theme I want to use, how to organize my desks, changing my math routines, or incorporating morning math stretches.

This Summer Stock Up is for you! Start your year with an interactive notebook on living things.


My kids were starting to get a glazed look in their eyes during science, which is so not my favorite subject. You know that look…the glazed over, this is so boring look you get from your kids somedays.

So, I decided to try something new. I decided to try to make an interactive notebook for my kids. I walked into class the following week with interactive notebook pages. My kids were like, “What’s that?” After giving them out and SLOWLY going over how to cut and fold the pages, the kids went straight to work. They were super excited and TADA…the glazed look was gone!


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My kiddos worked hard on these pages of the Living Things Interactive Notebook. They loved it and so did I!
Click the picture below to check out the Living and Non-Living Interactive Notebook.
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What is a Summer Stock Up without stocking up on what you really need for the beginning of the year. One of the first things I work on is my behavior management system. I have tried all different ways over my 16 years in the classroom. But I have found that the Clip Chart has worked the best for me.

I started using the clip chart a few years ago, but I needed more. Last year, I came up with this clip chart behavior management system. I updated it with a robot theme from Krista Wallden. I love all of her clip art.

Here is a quick view of the management system.
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First of all, there is the clip chart. I don’t have a picture of it in action but here is a picture.
Sorry it’s not the greatest picture.
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My kiddos love the individual incentive charts! They get so excited when they get a sticker on their chart. I use the incentive charts for reading logs and homework also. (I love multi-use items :))

There are two different versions of the individual incentive charts.
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I also send a home a weekly report with the students for the parents to sign. Students also have a monthly behavior calendar that is used during the month. Each day, the student colors in the color that corresponds to his or her place on the clip chart. At the end of the month, we review the monthly behavior chart and students quickly see how they did during the month. This lends itself to a great graphing activity “How Was I This Month?”

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Another aspect of the clip art management system that I use is the My Behavior Goals Plan. The student writes down his or her 2 behavior goals for the week and how they plan on reaching that goal. Each day the student gets a check or an X to show if they met that goal. Sometimes I also use happy or sad faces.

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If you want to check out the full product, click the cover below.
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In addition, I use Robot Reward Cards with my kiddos. Goodbye expensive treasure box, hello much cheaper reward cards. Imagine my surprise when the most popular reward card was bring in a stuffed animal. 🙂
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The Clip Chart Behavior Management System, all of the reward cards, and the Living Things Interactive Notebook are 20% until Sunday.

Zebra Reward Cards
Zebra Editable Punch Cards
Editable Brag Tags
Girl, Boy Themed Reward Coupons
iPhone Reward Coupons

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Stop by my facebook page tomorrow (Saturday, June 21st to grab some freebies!)
Be sure to follow me on facebook
Want to win a copy of the Living Interactive Notebook, The Clip Chart Behavior Management System, or the 38 Robot Reward Cards? Enter the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just take a look at all of the awesome people who worked so hard to put this together. Stop by each persons Facebook page to grab a freebie and see the product in action on Pinterest.

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