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.

Just take a look at everything you could win…One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS….$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
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PLUS….$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here
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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.

Can You Guess What I’m Doing?

Hi everyone! Can you guess what I am doing the night before school starts? I’m sure MANY of you are doing the same thing. LAMINATING!!


I have to be honest, the thought of laminating makes me tired. I really hate laminating. It’s not just the laminating that I hate…It’s the cutting, laminating, and cutting again that I hate!

I know there is a debate over cutting, laminating, and cutting vs. laminating and cutting. Unfortunately for me, I have found that cutting, laminating, and cutting works best and lasts longer.


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So, it’s the night before school begins and here I am sitting on my floor laminating my reward coupons for my kiddos.
Do you use a reward, or treasure box in your classroom? I used one for years. Finally, I got fed up with looking for things that the kids would like and were not expensive. I would buy some little toys, only to have the toys fall apart quickly.

Last year I decided to throw away my treasure box. Instead, I started to use reward cards. It takes me a lot longer to get ready than the treasure box and my hands hurt by the end of the night, but the reward cards are so much better.

Last year I used the zebra themed reward cards to go along with my jungle theme.

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This year, I have a star theme so I decided to use my iphone reward cards. My kiddos are just going to love these!



Do you hate cutting, laminating, and cutting as much as I do?

What is your favorite way to reward your kiddos? Do you have a treasure box or use reward cards?

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,

What’s In Your Cart? Back to School Linky


Hi everyone. Can you believe that school is almost here? I have been doing some shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I keep telling my husband, I only need to get a few more things. 🙂 I don’t think he believes me anymore. After 12 years of marriage, I think he has finally wised up (Today is my anniversary!!)

I am linking up with Briana from Sun, Sand & Second Grade to show you what I have in my cart for tomorrows TpT Back to School Sale. Shhhh, don’t tell my husband that I will be shopping AGAIN. I love shopping on TpT, don’t you?

Right now, I have so many things in my cart that my wallet is crying so I definitely need to narrow it down a little.

A definite buy for me is this Maps, Continents, and Communities Packet from Sailing Into Second Grade.

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I also have these 2nd grade word problems in my cart.

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For Close Reading I have this bundle from Sassy, Savvy Simple Teaching.

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I also have tons of clip art in my cart! I think maybe Krista Wallden’s dinosaurs…

My store is also on sale tomorrow and Tuesday for 20% plus TpT’s 10% off with the code BTS14.

Here are some of my favorite products from my store.

I love using reward cards in my classroom. Click here to see the reward cards.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,

Go back to Sun,Sand & Second Grade to see what others have in their cart.


Back 2 School: Behavior Mangagement


Hi everyone! Today I am linking up for the first week of Mrs. D’s Corner and Miss V’s Busy Bees’ Back 2 School Linky.

Today we are talking about behavior management. What teacher hasn’t struggled with behavior management at some point in his or her teaching career?

Have the nightmares started yet? You know the nightmare when you wake up screaming because your class is not listening or out of control.

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I remember being a first year teacher and of course, getting one of the worst classes in the school. Imagine being picked up and moved out of the way by a 2nd grader because you were interfering with their fist fight!! Uh huh, that was quite a year. That year I tried everything I had learned in college, everything that colleagues had suggested. I even tried bribery…that didn’t work either. But we all know that we just can’t give up. I plugged away until the class was somewhat manageable.

Thinking back on my first year, I cringe. I have learned so much through the years about classroom management.

Here are some helpful hints:


1. One of the most important tips is to set up your rules and routines on the very first day of school. Your kids need to know what is expected and how the day will go. Start by showing students how they will enter the room each morning, go through where students are to put their things, how to line up, go over where the materials are, your job chart, and being called to a meeting area (if you have one.) Remind students how they are to walk in the halls (I’m sure they will have forgotten! 🙂 )

Make a list or plan of your rules and classroom routines so that you don’t forget any! Review the rules and routines constantly until the students know that you mean business. Often times, you will hear a teacher say, “But I went over the rules and we went through the routine. They just don’t get it.” If you don’t constantly reinforce the rules and routines, the kids will walk all over you.


2. Do not try to be your students’ friend. Don’t get me wrong, I love my students. I joke around with them and we talk about lots of things but there has to be some type of boundaries. I have seen many teachers crash and burn because they want to be seen as “cool” or want to be their students’ friend (Ladies and gents, the same things goes for parents who want to be their child’s friend!!)


3. Highlighting the positive that you see instead of the negative. Sometimes I don’t even say names, I say something like…”Wow! Someone wearing the color orange is doing a great job on line.” It’s great. All the kids look down to see what color they are wearing. Sometimes I choose something to say that many of the kids have in common, like…”Someone with the letter A in their name is doing awesome in class today.” The whole class sits up straighter. They are just so stinking cute!

4. BE CONSISTENT!!! I can not say this loud enough. You need to be consistent throughout the entire year. If the answer is no to Johnny, then it should be no to Suzy.

Bonus Tips

5. Develop “The Teacher Look.” Come on…you all know the look that I mean. the “look” that stops students (and husbands) dead in their tracks. The look that says, “Oh no you didn’t, you better stop that now!!” I love that look. The teacher look can silence a whole class in a matter of seconds.

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6. Stickers, pencils, and erasers go a long way. (I don’t consider that bribery. Do you?)

Are you still here? Sorry I am talking your ears off. 🙂

I’ve tried many different approaches to behavior management over the years. To be honest with you, different things work with different classes. I started using the Clip Chart about two years ago and my kids loved it. I was really surprised and I know that there are many articles against clip charts. But I say, you have to what you feel comfortable doing. I give my kids a warning (or two) before their clip has to be moved down and I have my kids move their clips up more often.

Last year I started to use my Robot Clip Chart Behavior Management System. I only used it for about month, before school ended. So this year I am starting in September. Both my kids and parents responded well to it. I also stopped using a prize box last year and started using reward cards.

Here is a quick view of the management system.
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I also send a home a weekly report with the students for the parents to sign. Students 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?”

For students who struggle with behavior, they complete a behavior goal sheet.

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The Clip Chart Behavior Management System and all of the reward cards will be 20% until Friday, July 18th.

You can check out the reward cards by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I would love to know what hints or tips you would give others about classroom management. Click the picture below to head back to Mrs. D’s Corner to read what others have to say about behavior management.