Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday-Hail to the Victors!

I love ending the week linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!  

My class is responsible for the recycling program at my school, so every Tuesday afternoon we head outside to dump all the paper in the bin.  I've enjoyed these little excursions with the beautiful fall weather we have been having, but I'm dreading the bitterly cold days to come!

Everyone in Michigan is going to know there is no way this picture is from this week!  You caught me!  I started this Five For Friday last Thursday night, and I honestly don't even remember now why I didn't have time to finish it.  This week we have had below normal temperatures all week.  I even saw a couple of snowflakes land on my windshield yesterday after school!  Yikes!

Step one is to admit you have a problem, right?  Well, I admit it...I am a Charlie Brown junkie.  I love all that is Snoopy and Charlie Brown!  Who doesn't?  I have been decorating my room with these wonderful characters for years, and what's really fun is that for the past few years it seems that Charlie is becoming more popular with everyone, not just me.  So now Snoopy and Charlie are everywhere!  I was shopping at Kohl's about two weeks ago when I saw an enormous display of Snoopy and Charlie Brown stuffed toys near the check out.  They were so cute!  But I actually was able to resist and didn't let myself buy one.  I was surprised when one of my colleagues, Lisa, dropped by my room and brought me Charlie!  She saw him and thought of me.  Isn't that sweet?  Then a few days later one of my students brought in Snoopy.  Doubly sweet!  Aren't they adorable?

My good friend and teammate, Melissa, from Wild About Fifth Grade told me about a new online program she was using to promote make good choices in her classroom.  It's called Class Dojo.  I love trying out new ways of getting my kids to make good choices with their behavior, so I thought I would give it a try.  

You put in your class list, and then each student gets their own avatar which they can personalize at home if they wish.  You then give students positive or negative points for their behaviors.  I already have a system for behavior warnings, so I am trying it out just as a way to reward the positive behaviors. 

When I see a student making a good choice I touch their avatar on my ipad and choose the type of positive behavior they were exhibiting.  You can even make your own.  I added things like...quiet in line and reading when done with work.  Sometimes I set my ipad under the document camera or just bring up the website on my computer with the projector so students can see how many points they have.  This is what the screen looks like. 

At the end of the week, the students with the most points will get to choose one of my Behavior Reward Passes.  You can sign up for Class Dojo for free here.  If you would like to check out my Behavior Reward Passes you can find them at my TPT Store.

We finished reading Edward's Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan this week.  It's so sad!  I do love a good sad story when I'm in the right mood, but it's so hard to read a sad book out loud. My voice starts to get all wavery, and I have to work really hard to control the lump in my throat.  What I love about reading a sad story aloud is how quiet the students get, no one is moving all of sudden.  It's almost like they are all holding their breaths.  That's when you know they are really into the story.  

I have a packet that I created to go along with the free lesson plans by Oakland Schools. You can find the lesson plans here, and my packet and corresponding assessment are available at my TPT Store.

The most important day of the fall season is now 8 days away!  I've been thinking about it for the last year.  My heart pounds and my palms sweat even now...That's right, I'm talking about the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game, the game I both look forward to and dread all at the same time.  

It was ten years ago this fall that I had a great kid named Andy in my class.  He was truly a joy!  The only problem...he was a HUGE Michigan State fan, but even that turned out to be so much fun.  I created Michigan Wolverine warm ups for the class (but really just for him!) and loved the look on his face each morning as he was faced with the dismal task of answering questions about the Wolverines.  The A student that he was wouldn't allow him to answer a single question incorrectly, no matter how difficult for the Spartan inside of him.  

Thankfully, Michigan had a big win that year.  If I recall correctly, it was an overtime nail biter.  His mother later told me that the Monday after the game he went to her and said, "I just don't think I can face Mrs. Rye today."  His mom told him, "Honey, you put on your State sweatshirt and walk into that classroom with your head held high!". 

I revamped my warm ups this year, and you can find them at my TPT Store.  

Those are for you, Andy!  I'm hoping for another big win!  Paul Bunyan needs to spend another year in Ann Arbor.

No matter what, though, I'll put on my Michigan sweatshirt and keep my head held high too.  

Don't forget to head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday and have a great weekend!


  1. Hi! I just found your blog through Five For Friday, and I have enjoyed my visit with you! I have not heard of Class Dojo, and I'm very interested in checking it out! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  2. Have you read The Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan? It's a short read, not a tear jerker, but incredibly moving. I did a book talk on it for my students, and I have more than half of them on a waiting list to read it. I highly recommend it!
    Are We There Yet?

  3. I hope those Wolverine warm-ups don't mysteriously end up in my mailbox. LOL Thanks for the shout out. I'm glad you're enjoying class dojo. I can't wait to hand out your reward tickets to my students on Monday. They will be so excited. :)

    Wild About Fifth Grade

  4. Janie,
    The Truth of Me is on my to-read list! I've heard it's really good.

  5. I am definitely going to check out that book. I love a good sad story, but like you my voice crackles and I have been known to shed a tear or two! Great post!

  6. Melissa,
    I'm so disappointed you won't try out my warm ups! You make me laugh! :)

  7. Laura,
    The hardest but best book I've ever read aloud is Wonder. If you haven't read it you should check it out. I had to stop multiple times to compose myself to be able to continue, and I had several kids openly crying. But at the end they clapped! It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

  8. Though not from Michigan, we are big Wolverines fans; I am definitely going to check out those warm ups for my little football fans!