What did I forget now? Does this sound familiar? It is very easy to get overwhelmed when you have too much to do and so little time to do it.
The Boy Scout’s motto, be prepared, is the best way I have found to help with feeling overwhelmed. Organize your forms that you use frequently in folders or a binder.
Have multiple copies ready to go.
Color copies work best for important reminders.
Keep of stack of “speeding tickets” with you when you grade papers. Attach a speeding ticket to students’ papers when they speed (rush) through their work. Redoing the assigning plus parents seeing the speeding ticket on their child’s assignments has a magical way of slowing down students during work time.
Use a variety of forms if you do not get the response you need the first time. Start with a small note like the orange one in the picture above. It can be stapled to make a bracelet or attach it as a ring around the student’s backpack loop. If those two ways don’t work, use a bigger note like the pink one above.
Kids often talk about what level they are on when discussing their favorite game. Getting to the next level of the game motivates them and gives them a sense of accomplishment. You can do this with the charts like the ones above. One way you can organize this:
Each student begins with the first level chart – bookworm chart. Keep the chart in either their book box, Daily 5 folder, or reading homework folder. You set the goals for your students. You can have different goals for each reading group or the same goal for your class. Suggested goals:
- Read one book
- Return weekly reading log
- Read for 30 minutes
- When students achieve the goal they earn a sticker, stamp, or hole punch on their chart.
- Students earn a prize when they fill their chart.
- Give students a new chart which is the next level when they complete a chart.
Soon you will hear your students discussing which level of the reading motivational system they are currently on.
With this system, you are rewarding EFFORT not reading level. Students who work hard will advance to the next level.
Keeping your students accountable for their reading is a topic you often hear when teachers are together. Students can chart what they read in the examples above. Your students can keep these in their reading homework folders or reading boxes. Keep a couple of class sets of these handy for those times when the copier is on the fritz.
Build positive relationships with students and parents from the first week of school. Happy phone calls, emails, or notes are wonderful way to show your students (and parents) that you recognize happy things about your class. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can quickly staple a note like the one above into a bracelet or the backpack loop of a student who did something great that day. It is quick and positive!
**I have found parents are more receptive to sad notes (behavior charts) if you have sent home, emailed, or called to say positive things about their child.
It never fails, your students will fall off track at the most inopportune time. But, if you are following the Boy Scout motto, you will quickly have them back on track. Have a stack of behavior charts in your files so you can work as a team with your students and parents when this happens. Charts are a quick and easy way to communicate with parents.
I just added these Pencil Management printables and Brag Tags to Behavior 101 and the Bundle below. Here is a sneak peek:
How do you prepare for the new school year?
The forms from this post can be found: