Monday, August 3, 2015

Building Back to School: A Teacher Tools_The Basics

I'm linking up with my friend at #TeacherMom every Monday for the next four weeks to give you some tools for a successful year. Today's topic is teacher tools. Here are my top two teacher tools that will help you have a smooth sailing year.

Tool # 1 Class Dojo:

I love Class Dojo! Its an App that allows you to give the kids points. Parents are instantly alerted of the points their child gets. You can customize it any way you like. You can also pick a child at random. It was great for helping me pick students equally. I also used the random feature pick a secret walker. Children got a point for walking quietly if they were the secret walker. It worked like a charm they all walked perfectly just in case they were the secret walker. If my secret walker talked or misbehaved in line, I would simply say oh no I've got to pick a new secret walker. I also give kids academic points. Parents loved knowing instantly that their child mastered their letter sounds or sight word levels. But my favorite feature was the messenger feature. I could send parents group messages, individual messages or even pictures of their child. They could also respond or send me personal messages. When they responded it went only to me, there was no reply to all like in email. You can learn more about Class Dojo here

Tool # 2: Champs

I love Champs because it defines exactly what children are expected to do before each lesson. I use it daily at the beginning of the year then as needed to review expectations or any time the expectations are different than they are use to. Champs stands for C: Conversation, H: Help, A: Activity, M: Movement, P: Participation S: Success. 

Conversation: For the conversation component the teacher must model & have children practice the different noise levels. I use the following levels:

Level 0- Means complete silence

Level 1- Is a whisper voice

Level 2- Is a little louder

Level 3- Is a Presenter voice

The kids always love practice the different voices.

Help: For the help component, Champs defines what children should do if they need help.

Activity: Activity defines what they are doing.

Movement: This component defines what movement is allowed & what is not allowed.

Participation: Participation defines how they are participating  and with whom.

Success: This is my favorite component because it sums up what I expect of my students. We always chant this one together as a class!

In my classroom I tape my CHAMP posters to my white board &use magnets to change expectations. I have many CHAMPS poster sets in my store but this one is my personal favorite. Click on the image below to see it in my store:

Click below to read more teacher tools!