Sunday, August 19, 2012

Last Day of Summer Vacation & Classroom Managers

On June 1st, I changed my ringtone to Alice Cooper's "School's Out". You know the song: "Schoooooool's out for summer! Schoooooool's out for ever!" I guess today's the last day I can rock it! MY GOODNESS, summer flew by....

Anyway, a few "Monday Made-It"s ago, I posted about my classroom manager positions (check the original post out HERE). I've had a lot of comments about what manager positions I have, how they're made, and how I manage my managers, so this post is dedicated to that.

My "Classroom Managers" idea came from the Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline (CMCD) inservice I attended as a student at the University of Houston (GO COOGS!). The gist of the idea is every student is given a responsibility in the classroom which turns the classroom into a community we ALL are responsible for and take care of. Notice I said EVERY student... I had 25 students last year and EVERY ONE had a position!

Manager positions should be relevant and switched out on a regular basis (I switch mine each month, but do what works for your class). I had my students interview for the positions (download my manager application HERE for free!), choosing their top 3 positions, why they would be a responsible and effective manager, and listing any special skills they have.

My students last year LOVED interviewing and took their positions very seriously. Plus, it's fun to be a MANAGER of something, rather than just expected to perform a "job".

Here's a list of manager positions I used last year:
Daily Jobs
   - Attendance Manager
   - Equipment Manager (brings out & takes in recess equipment)
   - Plant Manager (waters classroom plants)
   - Turtle Manager (feeds turtle)
   - Ticket Manager (we have a brain teaser at the end of the day where students earn reward tickets; this
   students collects all earned tickets into a bucket I draw from each week)
   - Computer Manager (turns on/ off computers daily)
   - Door & Light Manager
   - Pencil Sharpener Manager (I ONLY let one student sharpen pencils... Can't stand the sharpener
   noise! They enter the classroom early each morn to do their job)
   - Board Manager (erases board daily)
   - Restroom Mangager (one boy & one girl: makes sure students are quiet & neat during group
   restroom breaks)
   - Neatness Manager: Floor (checks floor at end of day/ asks students to clean any messes)
   - Weather Manager (records temp & announces temp to class)
As Needed Jobs
   - Supply Manager (makes sure hand sanitizer & kleenex stay stocked)
   - Handout Manager (helps me pass out papers)
   - Out of the Classroom Manager (takes messages to office, etc.)
   - Homework Manager (collects homework)
   - Substitute Manager (go to person when there's a sub)
   - Absent Manager (collects work for absent students)
   - Coffee Manager (this is a LEGIT position in my classroom, and one the kid's all want. Basically,
   they bring me my coffee & help me clean up any spills... which happen daily)
Weekly Jobs
   - Word of the Week Manager (changes out Word of the Week chart)
   - Library Manager (my students check out their books by signing them out on a chart. The library
   manager follows up with all check outs on a weekly basis)

New manager positions added for this year:
As Needed Jobs
    - Detective Manager (Helps Mrs. J find things she looses in classroom. I'm hoping this prevents the
   entire class from hoping out of their seat when I lose handouts or my keys...)
   - Paper & Centers Copy Manager (let's me know when we're running low on centers copies /
   notebook paper
Weekly Jobs
   - Boggle & Noggle Manager (Changes out Boggle and Noggle boards each week)

I like to make sure my students know how often they'll be needed for their positions, so I'm sure to label each position as a daily, weekly, or as needed.

I make up business card sized labels (I use Avery 8879; 10 cards to a page) with the job title and description, print & punch them out (no cutting! woot!) and glue them to library card pockets (you can also laminate for durability). I then put student names on popsicle sticks and stick them into their job pocket. Easy to make and easy to switch out as positions change.

I hope you find this info helpful! I CANNOT STRESS how much this system has worked for me... If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

VERY late Monday Made It

I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics yet again for Monday Made It.... Except it's WEDNESDAY!

Why didn't I link up on Monday? Well, I was totally zoned out in bed because my back gave out on Sunday... Here's the deal folks: I am a mere 29 years old (30 on Halloween), not in the best shape but not in horrible shape, and this is the THIRD time my back has gave out on me in the last 12 months... Ridiculous, right?! My Sunday night and early Monday morning were spent crying in the ER begging for answers as to why this keeps happening... I literally COULD NOT MOVE. My sweet husband had to help me sit/stand/walk/etc... It was awful. The very nice ER doctors told me I need to strengthen & stretch my core, wear better shoes, gave me pain meds & muscle relaxers and sent me home. I am finally feeling better today, and hope by tomorrow I'll be able to venture out into the real world. I'm definitely counting my blessings this happened the week BEFORE I had to go back to work... And I truly think God was telling me I actually needed to REST at some point this summer instead of going, going, going.

Anyway, three days of bed rest later, I'm finally uploading my Monday Made It.  :)

I wanted to give a cute and CHEAP little welcome back to school gift to my kiddos... Last year I spent soooooo muuuuuuuuch mooooooooney on my sweet little class, and most of the time I'd find my gifts (like Christmas books from Scholastic) stuffed in their desks when we cleaned them out in MAY.  NOT doing that this year...

On Pinterest, I found these adorable little guys:
Which inspired me to make THESE: 

Super cheap and easy to make. All you need is a box or two of Lucky Charms, snack baggies and a printer, because I've uploaded some free ones for you HERE! I know not everyone teaches 4th grade, so the freebies say "Welcome Back to School!" There are 4 different and adorable monsters on them, all created by clip-art genius, KPM Doodles!


Sunday, August 12, 2012


Have you heard about the huge sale going on at If not, let me fill you in.

Most sellers are offering 20% off their products, and TPT is offering 10% off with coupon code BTS12. That's up to 30% OFF!!!!

If you visit my store, here are some of the goodies you'll see on sale:

Get over there and shop 'til you drop! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ice Breakers

One of my favorite beginning of the year ice breakers is the M&Ms game. Each student gets a few M&Ms (I go with 2-3 each) and then they share a fact about them according to the color of M&Ms they have. This year I made a cute little sign to go with it. Want a copy? Leave me a comment & follow my blog. I'm giving this away to the first 3 people that comment and the first 5 new followers! Click THIS LINK to download a copy! Enjoy!

Monday Made It - Part 4

Hello All! I'm linking with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again for another Monday Made It!

The last weeks of summer are flying by. And not at jet plane speed, either. That I could handle... But this lighting speed crud?? Come on!! Didn't I JUST say good-bye to twenty-four 4th graders?? Anyway, this week's Monday Made It contains a lot of "made its'. And I'm including a Freebie! Yay!

First up, my out-of-classroom-passes & sign for my sharp/unsharp pencils.

Last year I made REALLY cute passes (they were lost) and bought REALLY cute passes (they were also lost) so this year I QUICKLY made a-ok passes. I totally realize I will need to make more toward the end of the year. Last year I would just hand random objects to my students when they left the room... Paper flowers, a Native American talking stick, rubber bands-- Basically, whatever I grabbed. I got my super cute broken pencils / sharpened pencil printables from The First Grade Derby HERE!

Next up, classroom manager positions! While in college at the University of Houston (GO COOGS!), I attended an inservice called Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline. As described on the website, CMCD is "is an innovative school-wide (preK-12th grade) research based, classroom-tested classroom management reform program that builds on shared responsibility for learning and classroom organization between teachers and students." Summed up: it's great. One of the points was having classroom "managers" with legit jobs that help the classroom function. Did I mention there needs to be a job for EVERY student?? Yes, that means I created 24 manager positions... As you can see from the pic, one is "Classroom Detective". Job Description? Helping me find items when I've lost them... hehehe! Also, my students will interview for their positions. I'll rotate them out every month or so to make sure everyone gets to manage their area of choice. FUN! Last year, my students took their jobs VERY seriously (and came up with the CUTEST interview answers) and it truly did make the classroom a functioning, cooperative place!

And now to my new system of turning papers in... Magnets! While at CAMT, I attended a session by Nikki Bitzer. She has a set of numbered magnets in her classroom and when students complete their assignment, they get their number magnet and use it to secure their paper to the board. The numbers are assigned in alphabetical order-- and students keep them in the correct number order on the board-- so when you collect the papers, THEY'RE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER! Gradebook WIN! Also, it's super easy to see who hasn't turned their work in. Love this idea! 

Lastly, I pinned an awesome "STOP: Please stop what you're doing and make a better choice" sign weeks ago. When I finally got around to following the the blog link, I was taken to Ms. M's Blog. Great blog- but I could not find the sign anywhere. So I made my own little guys. I think these are an awesome and discreet way of redirecting a kiddo while teaching. Just walk up to the student and place one on their desk and they'll get the hint! I'm always circling the room so other students wouldn't even realize what's happening. Awesome! Want some? I've uploaded mine HERE

Well, colleagues, I hope your summers have been fantastic. Enjoy these last lazy moments!