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Why You Should be Differentiating in Your Classroom

Differentiated instruction is such an important aspect of a successful classroom. In any grade, there is always a range of students’ capabilities. Some students flourish in some areas and need support during others. Some students need hand-holding throughout all subjects and others need a challenge. Differentiation can give students the extra support or challenge they need to never stop learning and never give up.

Do you have students ranging in levels and capabilities? You need to start differentiating in your classroom. Read here to find out why.

Differentiation: An Overview

By definition, differentiation is the “development from the one to the many, the simple to the complex” – Merriam Webster dictionary.

When teachers differentiate instruction, they tailor the lesson to the students’ needs by taking a concept they want their students to learn and providing support to lower students or a challenge to higher students.

Helping your Struggling Students

Your struggling students benefit a ton when you differentiate instruction because they are the ones who need extra help. They’re the kids who seem to be lost, don’t know the instructions, or guess to try to get by. There’s nothing wrong with this type of student, they just need you to hand-hold a little more.

How to help your lower students

  1. Model more than you would for the average student
  2. Do more examples together
  3. Work in a small group (with students at a similar level)
  4. Take the content and make it simpler
  5. Make it hands on

Differentiating in the Classroom

Challenging your High Students

Your high students can greatly benefit from differentiating instruction because they need a challenge to continue to grow. These are the kids who are raising their hands, know what to do before you tell them and could easily get bored because they already know everything you’re going to say. These kiddos need a push to reach a higher level.

How to challenge your high students

  1. Give higher level thinking assignments
  2. Talk less, model less, give less examples – set them free to work on their own
  3. Work in a small group (with students at a similar level)
  4. Let them be helpers to students who have trouble – sometimes students learn more from peers
  5. Make it hands on

Differentiating in the Classroom

When to Differentiate

Differentiating is tough, I’m not gonna lie. Taking a concept and splitting it up so it’s taught at all students’ levels seems like a lot of work and honestly, it is. That’s why I’ve chosen to focus on differentiating during reading and math.

 

My lower school team uses guided reading as a way to teach reading. I learned this teaching strategy when I got my credential so I was familiar and comfortable when I started teaching kindergarten. If you have a strong program (we use Fountas and Pinnel) and materials then it’ll be simple enough. Now, guided math is a different beast. This is my first year using guided math and I am just starting to get the hang of it. (That’ll be another post for another time.) What I’m learning this year while using a guided math is to differentiate by tweaking the curriculum program we have so I’m not making more work for myself.

 

Differentiating is such a magical tool that can really help students grow and flourish if you put the time in to set up a system, create the lessons and work with your kiddos in small group settings.

 

Do you differentiate in your classrooms? What tips would you give a beginning differentiator?

Differentiating in the Classroom

Similar Posts

Guided Reading: The Ins and Outs

Guided Reading Groups: How to Set up Your Groups in the Beginning of the Year

Classroom DIY: Guided Reading Caddies

More to come on Guided Math!

 

6 Things You Must Do Before a Field Trip

Going on a field trip? Check out all the ways you can prepare so your trip runs smoothly!

Field trip days are some of the most fun yet absolutely terrifying days for a teacher. Kids are thrown off their normal schedule, overstimulated and extra energized. On top of dealing with rowdy students,  you’re expected to provide an educational experience while managing unthinkables that always tend to happen on the craziest days. This is why teachers often say they have super powers. We deal with everything and on field trip day the chaos is magnified. First tip to a successful field trip – get yourself a large coffee… you’re gonna need it.

In the four years that I’ve taught kindergarten, I’ve learned a few things about field trips and how to prepare in order to set yourself up for a more enjoyable experience.

Here are the 6 things you must do before a field trip.

1. Bring reinforcements – I mean Chaperones

First, you need to decide how many chaperones you want. I generally like to only take as many chaperones that I need to drive all the students. (Having too many parents can add to more chaos rather than helping.) Also, check with the field trip facility because you may have to pay for chaperones as well as students.

2. Send Home Permission Slips

My school has a certain permission slip that we send home that has the day of information and parents have to fill out the child’s doctor and emergency contact info. I send these permission slips home two weeks before the field trip. This gives parents enough time to fill out the form and send it back but doesn’t give too much time to where they’ll lose it and you’ll have to track them down.

Going on a field trip? Check out all the ways you can prepare so your trip runs smoothly!

3. Informational Letter to Parents

The week before the field trip, I send a general message to parents about the details of the field trip. As a kinder teacher, we have the extra step of making sure everyone has a carseat. TIP: tell parents to label the carseat with their child’s name on painters tape. In the past, I’ve had a few students who didn’t know their carseat and I had to go into investigation mode.

4. Separate Informational Letter to Chaperones

I also send home a separate letter to just the chaperones about their duties and responsibilities as a volunteer on the field trip. TIP: remind parents that they should put their phones away and really watch the kids. I make sure to emphasize that they are the ones in charge of their small group so that I’m not constantly the enforcer, running from group to group.

Going on a field trip? Check out all the ways you can prepare so your trip runs smoothly!

5. Color Code Your Name tags

I use large labels to make my name tags for our field trip. I write the students name (first name only) and put a colored sticker in the corner. The students know that if they’re in the green group, they must stay with other kids in the green group and stay with the green group chaperone. This makes it visually easier to know what kids belong to which chaperone and who rides in which car.

6. Pack Your Bag (or Backpack)

Like I said from the beginning, you never know what’s going to happen while you’re on a field trip so pack your bag so you can be prepared. I pack our first aid kit, hand sanitizer, wipes, Kleenex and water. I also put student’s permission slips in just incase. Make sure to pack any necessities for kids who have allergies also!

Going on a field trip? Check out all the ways you can prepare so your trip runs smoothly!

What would you add to this list? Anything you always do to prepare yourself and your class for a field trip? Leave a comment below!

Give Students Responsibility: Classroom Jobs

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but I highly recommend these products. I won’t suggest anything on this page that I don’t support or haven’t personally used. 

My students absolutely LOVE to have responsibility. They’re always asking what they can do or if they can help, which is why I love my classroom jobs. Each week, students get a new classroom job where they can be responsible for a certain part of our class. Some jobs have a lot to do and others get little action.

Read how to give students some work around the classroom through giving them classroom jobs.

Classroom Jobs: An Overview

Each year, I try to come up with a job for every student to do each week. I like when everyone has a job, even if the job is “substitute” or “on vacation” because it makes it easier to switch and manage the jobs. My jobs are hung on a ribbon that hangs near the front of my classroom. I clip a clothes pin with each student’s name on each of the jobs to keep track of who is responsible for what job for the week. When it’s time to switch jobs, I simply rotate the clips around the job display.

Read how to give students some work around the classroom through giving them classroom jobs.

This year, my jobs include:

  • Board Eraser
  • Caboose
  • Calendar Monitor
  • Hand Sanitizer Monitor
  • King or Queen of the Jungle (which is our jungle equivalent to Star of the Week)
  • Librarian
  • Lights Monitor
  • Line Leader
  • Lunch Monitor
  • Messenger
  • On Vacation
  • Paper Passer
  • Place Value
  • Substitute
  • Table Wiper
  • Teacher’s Assistant
  • Weather Reporter

Items you might want for your classroom job system…

 

The Specifics

I’ve organized this list into jobs that have a lot of activity (busy jobs) and jobs that are more low key (slow jobs).

Busy Jobs

  • Teacher’s Assistant: This person helps out whenever I need some extra help. I have them do things like turn on my SmartBoard, help the paper passer and anything else that might come up where I need to pick a student to do a special job.
  • Star of the Week: Self explanatory, they are the star all week! Check out my star of the week Jungle resource here.
  • Line Leader: Front of the line.
  • Caboose: Back of the line.
  • Hand Sanitizer: This person gives each student a small squirt of hand sanitizer before snack and lunch.

Read how to give students some work around the classroom through giving them classroom jobs.

  • Librarian: The librarian puts books away. I have two purple bins that students put their books in when they are done with them. Each book has a sticker color that correlates with a color on a bin in the library. The librarian matches the book sticker to the bin sticker and places the book inside the bin.
  • Lights Monitor: Turns the lights on and off.
  • Paper Passer: Self-explanatory
  • Table Wiper: Helps wipe the tables off at the end of the day. No germs in my class!

Slow Jobs

  • On Vacation: This person gets to take a break for the week: no job!
  • Board Eraser: The board eraser gets to erase the board or SmartBoard after a lesson.
  • Messenger: This person delivers any messages or items to other classrooms or the office. Also, if a student needs help going to the office, they can bring them there.
  • Lunch Monitor: Checks to see if all lunch boxes are put away after lunch and before we go home.
  • Substitute (depends on if a lot of students are absent that week): This person does a job if a student is absent.

The other jobs are specific jobs to circle time so they are relatively busy since they have a job to do each morning, but their job is done once circle is over. Read about my circle time routine here.

Resources

Check out my bright chevron classroom jobs resource here. Of if you have a jungle theme like me, check out the jungle jobs here!

 Classroom Jobs

What kind of jobs do you use in your classroom?

Give Students Responsibility: Clean Up

Do you feel like you’re constantly picking up after your students in order to keep your room tidy? Why don’t you get the students to help?! My kinder students LOVE to have responsibilities. It makes them feel like they’re adults and they love being helpful. I organize my room and supplies so students can independently keep things clean. That way, when I give them responsibilities during clean up time, they put things away to my satisfaction, eliminating the need for me to clean up after them.

Clean Up

Room Organization

My first tip is to spend some time in the beginning of the year showing students where things belong in your room. I set my room up in sections. I have a writing center, listening center, word work area, math area and of course a free play section. Having sections in your room make it easier for students to know what things belong where and where they can go when they need a certain material. Check out my classroom reveal to see exactly what my room looks like!

In the beginning of the year, I give a classroom tour. During my tour, I show students what they can find in each area of the classroom.

  • Writing Center: paper, markers, extra crayons and colored pencils and our sharp/dull bins
  • Listening Center: iPads, passwords, headphones
  • Word Work: word work center materials, extra whiteboard pens/erasers, whiteboards, magnets, cookie sheets
  • Math: math manipulatives, puzzles, any math centers we’re using
  • Free Play: toys, the kitchen, blocks, Legos, dress up etc (this center is always the toughest to keep clean)

Clean Up

Within each station there is a system of how students can independently keep things clean and organized without my help.

For example:

  • Writing Center: I have a sharp and dull bucket. Students know when they have dull pencils or colored pencils, they put them in the dull bucket. Then, students can grab a sharp pencil or colored pencil in this area.
  • Listening Center: Students keep their headphones in a pocket of a shoe organizer. The pocket has their name so they know exactly where their headphones belong.
  • Word Work, Math and Free Play: Everything in these sections are labeled with a picture of the real classroom item. This helps students know exactly what should go where and what they can expect to find in certain spots.

Clean Up

Storage Organization

My second tip goes along with the last bullet point: label, label, label (and with real pictures). It is especially important to label with pictures if you teach kindergarten because they likely can’t read yet.

I also try to put things in bins or boxes to make it easy to stack and fit as much as I can in a small amount of space.

Some things I have in my classroom that you might want to try for your storage organization:

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Classroom Jobs

The last tip that has saved me lots of clean up time is to give students classroom jobs that specifically help clean up certain things.

  • Librarian: The librarian puts books away (pretty obvious). I organize this by color coding my library. Each category of books has a color and the librarian knows where to put each book because the label on the book bin has the same color. Once students are done reading their book, they put the book in one of two purple bins. The librarian puts the books in the purple bins away whenever they have some free time.
  • Scrap patrol: This person is in charge of making sure all the scraps are picked up off the floor and tables. I make sure to tell this person that they do not have to be the person cleaning but they can give friendly reminders to their classmates and help out whenever they can.
  • Lunch monitor: We keep our lunch boxes in two blue bins. When it’s time to clean up, the lunch monitor makes sure every student has taken their lunch box. I’ve had too many students forget their lunch box in the blue bin and it stays overnight getting very yucky and stinky.

Check out my bright, chevron themed classroom job set by clicking the picture! Or click here if you’d like a jungle theme!

Classroom Jobs

These tips have helped my sanity in keeping the classroom clean but also not having to clean it all myself. Kindergarten students are very capable if you give them the right tools to be successful.

How do you keep your classrooms tidy?

Clean Up

Classroom Reveal

Welcome to my classroom reveal! I am currently going into my 4th year teaching so I’ve had a few years to figure out exactly how I want my classroom. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and I’ve arranged and rearranged countless times. I’m at the point where I am so happy with how my room is set up and organized and I cannot wait to share it with you!

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Welcome to the Jungle

When you walk in my room, I want it to feel welcoming with bright colors and obvious organization. I want my students to feel invited, like their classroom is their second home and structured so they can be successful. I chose a jungle theme because I personally love animals and it’s a very gender neutral theme. Plus, there’s a lot you can do creatively with this theme.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Student Tables

My students work mainly in two spots: their tables and the carpet. At their tables, they have everything they need in their chair pouch. I recommend the chair pouch because students can keep their supplies separate and they look a lot neater than the communal table caddies (personal preference).

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Rug Area – Circle Time

Our rug area is where students sit for circle time, whole group lessons or introductions and read alouds. We also use this area to use the SmartBoard and Elmo. I love that my carpet has individual squares because if I notice students spreading out or getting too close to their neighbor, I tell them to “tuck into their square” and everyone can check their bodies.

     Kindergarten Classroom RevealKindergarten Classroom Reveal

Library

My library is one of my favorite spots in my classroom! I made it a little bigger this year because as years go on I accumulate books upon books. Everyone wants to donate their old books to the kindergarten class and I can never say no to books! Doesn’t this area look so comfy?! I love the miniature couches and book buddies to read with.

Listening Center

The listening center is where my students take their iPads during Listen to Reading of our literacy centers. Here, students find their headphones, any passwords they might need and the listen to reading response sheet. This year, I’m organizing my students headphones in over the door shoe organizers! I just cut one in half and taped it on the wall – no more tangled mess!

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Writing Center

My writing center holds everything students may need during writing time. They have their pencils, colored pencils, crayons and writing folders in their chair pouch but this area holds all the extras. Behind this center I display my writing posters. I got these freebie posters here! As we work on a step in the writing process, I put up the poster.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Whiteboard

My main whiteboard displays our daily schedule, guided reading and math schedules and one of our behavior management systems, “Eye Like What I See”.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Guided Reading Tables

I am so fortunate to have a full time assistant teacher so when we do guided reading, two groups of students get to meet with a teacher while the rest are doing independent stations. My students meet at either my guided reading table or my assistant teachers. This summer, I DIYed some crate seats for my table! I also put together some guided reading caddies for maximum organization for our guided reading time.

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Free Play

The free play area is the space that I just can’t seem to get right. It is always a mess! This year, I bought new containers that fit better in the bookcase and labeled each lid. No matter what I do, students just don’t clean up the way I want… I guess that’s what I get for teaching kindergarteners! Any kindergarten teachers have a fabulous way to organize free play things?

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Storage

My room used to be the library in our school so my room is the only room that does not have a full wall of amazing storage. I do have three cabinets but I’ve had to be creative with this storage space as it is pretty small. One thing I’ve changed this year is making use of the space above my cabinets. I’ve used this space in the past, but usually I just shove things above it and it looks like a hot mess. This year, I decided the organize materials by season and cleaning supplies. I love how organized it looks (at least right now)!

Teacher Desk

This is my little home in the classroom to keep all my teacher things!

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal

Thank you for stopping by my jungle theme classroom! What’s your favorite part about your classroom?

Classroom DIY: Crate Seats

Summer is not over yet! There’s still time to complete some of the DIY projects on your to-do list. For me, these crates have been on my list for quite some time because 1. they’re adorable 2. they’re comfy and 3. they provide hidden storage!

Classroom DIY: Crate Seats

My dad always jokes each summer and asks what DIY project we’re doing. He is the handy one in my family so he gets pulled into everything DIY. He was very happy to hear that these crates were my focus this summer. (A one day project.) Last summer, we made cubbies for my classroom and they took three weeks to put together and install. On top of that project, I got married; so, as you can imagine we were very busy!

This project is very easy (if you or someone you know is good at cutting wood) and will only take you a couple hours to complete.

How to make your own DIY crate seats:

Classroom DIY: Crate Seats

1. Buy all materials.

  • Crates: I bought the crates at Target for $2.99. I chose blue because it goes with my theme but Target has many colors. (If you don’t find a color you like, buy the white and spray paint it!)
  • Wood: My dad bought particleboard from Home Depot. He bought a half sheet, 3/4 inch thick. A half sheet was enough for the 5 seats I made. (After I finished the project, I decided that I want to make 5 more for my assistant teacher’s guided reading table and I’ll need to buy more wood.)
  • Foam: I got 2 in thick foam from Joannes. One sheet was enough for 5 seats.
  • Fabric: At first, I was going to get just regular fabric, but my mom (yay mom!) found and suggested outdoor fabric. This fabric is more durable and will hopefully be easier to clean. I bought 4 yards of fabric and have enough to make 10 seats.
  • Extras: You’ll need something to cut the wood (my dad used a hand saw), a staple gun (with staples), screw gun (with screws), and scissors.

Classroom DIY: Crate Seats

2. Put it all together.

  1. Measure the top of the crate as well as inside lip of crate and cut wood to fit. (Each seat is made with two pieces of wood.) The foam and fabric go on the larger piece and the smaller piece goes on the bottom to fit into the crate.
  2. Cut your foam and fabric. Warning: the foam is VERY difficult to cut. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, because the fabric covers it. Make sure you leave about 3 inches of extra fabric on all sides.
  3. Take larger piece of wood and put the foam on top. Next, cover the foam and wood with the fabric. When you’re wrapping the fabric, make sure you pull tight. (It’s a good idea to have two people help with this job – thanks mom!) I wrapped my seats like I would a present, that way they are all consistent.
  4. After you’ve stapled the fabric to the foam and wood, you’ve finished the top part of your seat! Next, take the smaller piece of wood and center it on the bottom of the seat and screw it in so it’s tight.
  5. Put it on your crate and take a seat!

Classroom DIY: Crate Seats

I made these crate seats to put around my guided reading table. I love how they look and they are the perfect size. If your table is not the right size, check and see if the legs are adjustable. The best part about these crates is the extra storage. I use the storage to hold all my guided reading books. This frees up some space in my classroom that I can use for something else. This was the perfect summer DIY project and I am so happy with how they turned out!

Check out my other classroom DIY projects here. Happy DIYing!

Classroom DIY: Guided Reading Caddies

Guided reading is one of my favorite times of the day as I get to work with a small group of students. During this time, I focus on their strengths or weaknesses to continue to help them grow in their reading development.

I’m lucky to have a full-time assistant teacher who also works with a small group during our guided reading time. There have been many times where my assistant or I sit down with our groups and then realize we don’t have certain materials we need in order for our small group lessons. That is why I created Guided Reading Caddies! In our caddies, we have everything we could ever need during our reading lesson.

What’s in my guided reading caddie?

DIY: Guided Reading Caddies

 1. Hole Punch 

– To begin our guided reading lesson, I start off with sight words that students are working on. If it is our first meeting for the week, I introduce these sight words. (Students also get their sight words in their homework so most likely they’ve seen them prior to our group meeting). Students have sight word flash cards that they cut out during word work. I use these flash cards to test if they know the word. If they do know it, the student hole punches the card and puts it on a binder ring. This ring holds all the sight words they know and as the year goes on, they get verrrry full. I recommend getting large binder rings like these. If the student does not know the sight word, it goes back into a ziplock in their book bag. Since I start with sight words each guided reading lesson, the sight word is continually shown and eventually the student gets to put their card on their ring.

2. Mini Whiteboards/Expo Pens/Expo Erasers

– Sometimes during a guided reading lesson, I need to write something down so these materials come in handy. For example, during a reading lesson, a student might be having a hard time sounding out a word. In this case, I grab my mini whiteboard, expo pen and eraser so I can help them by breaking the word apart on my whiteboard. — I also have the students use these boards sometimes. During the lesson, I might say the sounds slowly while they write the letters down and then read the word back to me. There’s a million possibilities of what you can do during a guided reading lesson with mini whiteboards, expo pens and expo erasers!

3. Magnets 

– I like to keep alphabet magnets in my caddie as an optional warm up activity before we start reading. Students can practice making their sight words with the magnets or I can say sounds while they put the word together. Again, many possibilities and always a good idea to have them just in case!

DIY: Guided Reading Caddies

4. Guided Reading Strategy Cards

– Before we dive into reading, I like to introduce or reinforce a reading strategy. I introduce these one at a time until students know and use them all. I keep the cards in my caddy and pull the one we are working on during that lesson. Students also have a reading strategy bookmark in their book bags to refer to. Get this freebie here!

5. Stickers to End the Lesson

– And, what is a kindergarten guided reading lesson without a sticker at the end to celebrate all our hard work!? On the first day we do guided reading groups, students get to pick a colored construction paper and we fold it in half (nothing fancy). These “books” are where they keep their stickers throughout the year. Students love filling up these sticker books and taking them home at the end of the year.

6. Guided Reading Binder 

– This item doesn’t exactly fit inside my caddie but it is probably the most important because it holds all my guided reading lessons! In my binder, I have my literacy center schedule of what group goes where on what day, my individual group guided reading lessons, student sight word progress data forms and student reading assessments. Find all these resources here.

How to Make Your Own Guided Reading Caddie

1. Pick any Storage Box – I chose mine from the dollar store but you can get them from Target, Walmart, the Container Store.. etc.

2. Jazz It Up – I recently bought myself a Cricut and I’ve been having a blast playing around with it so I used my Cricut to cut out vinyl and fancied my storage box that way. If you have a Cricut like me, it is super easy to just use Design Space, pick your favorite font and cut your vinyl. If you do not have a Cricut, you can jazz your caddie up with a laminated label! Find some freebie labels here.

DIY: Guided Reading Caddies

What do you put in your guided reading caddie?

Top 10 Teacher Must Haves

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on or buy something from one of the links, I may receive a small income at no additional cost to you.

Recently, I asked teachers what their favorite school supplies are for the classroom. As you can imagine, many teachers had a hard time mentioning just one! I compiled a list of the top 10 teacher must haves. Does your favorite make the list?

Top 10 Teacher Must Haves

1. Flair Pens

Teachers are ALWAYS talking and obsessing over the magical wonder of flair pens and I completely agree. These pens will actually change your life. They come in many different colors including pastels and tropical colors [major heart eyes!!] I love the way the pens write. It makes correcting (or for me, drawing stars) a much more enjoyable task!

2. Sharpies/Chart Paper Markers

Is one of your guilty pleasures creating beautiful anchor charts? Well, sharpies and chart paper markers make the list of top teacher must haves. I really like the thin tip markers by Crayola. These pens have a pointy tip for making writing and detail easy but if you hold the marker at an angle it goes on thicker. Easy to draw with! And of course what would we do without sharpies!

3. Chart Paper

Again with the guilty pleasure! Chart paper is really an essential but not just any chart paper.. my favorite is the post-it sticky kind because it is SO easy to pick up and move ANYWHERE! Sometimes I’ll teach from one of my anchor charts at the carpet and then peel it off the chart and stick it on my whiteboard so students can use it at their tables. AMAZING! This one comes in plain white, dry erase or primary lines.

4. HP Printer and Instant Ink

I am a newbie here myself but I’ve heard great things about using an HP printer so you can get instant ink. If you’re tired of buying loads and loads of ink like me, you must sign up for Instant Ink. The printer knows when you are running low on ink and ships you more BEFORE you run out! I just bought myself a new printer and signed up and already I know it’s worth it. Click here to get a month of ink free!

5. Laminator and Laminating Sheets

Laminating all the things is not only one of my favorite things but is also so worth the time it takes! I have laminated pretty much everything that I prep and it has lasted three years so far and looks like it will continue to last a long time. I like to laminate decor, games, word work, puzzles.. everything! Especially if students are going to be using it because we all know kindergarteners are not the most gentle.

6. Post-its

Post-its made the list because duh, teachers write lists about lists! I love using the larger post its that have lines on them because my lists usually don’t fit all on the standard size. And, these bright colors make every teacher heart happy!

7. Expo markers

I recently got the multicolored large pack of expo markers on super discount on Amazon Prime Day and am obsessed! Now, these are sacred so I never let my students use them.. however the thin tip black expos are what I give students to use on their mini whiteboards. These are good for informal assessments or during word work. Tip: expo markers work on anything laminated. I laminate my word work and students use their markers to complete the work depending on what sight or spelling words we have.

8. Astrobrights

Holy brightness! This pack of Astrobrights paper is aaaamazing! I like to print important flyers on this type of paper because it gets parents attention. How many times do you send home Friday Folders and you never hear back? Well, using bright colors get noticed way more and parents will respond.

9. Lesson Planner

Have you tried an Erin Condren planner? If you have, I’m sure you’re hooked. These teacher planners come with everything you could ever want and they are ADORABLE! I seriously love planning for my kinders and I think most of the enjoyment is because I get to write in my Erin Condren planner. You can even customize!! This is what my planner looks like for this upcoming year!

If you want $10 off your next Erin Condren planner, use my referral code here.

10. Teacher Toolbox

I’m new to teacher toolboxes as of this year but I am SO excited to use it for all the things and stay super organized. I purchased a couple like this off of amazon and made my own labels to fit with my jungle theme. There are also a ton of other label designs on TpT!

Teacher Toolbox

Behavior Management Systems You Need in Your Classroom

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In my opinion, behavior management is the MOST important aspect of a classroom. If students don’t know expectations or are in an environment that is not structured, it will be very difficult to facilitate any learning.

In my classroom, I use three different behavior management systems: whole class, table groups and individual. I think it is important to have multiple behavior systems as different situations call for use of different systems.

Behavior Management Systems You Need in Your Classroom

Whole Class: “Eye Like What I See”

For this system, two large eyeballs sit at the top of my whiteboard. I draw a T-chart with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. Whenever students are showing good behavior as a whole class, I give students a “happy face point”. On the other hand, when students are not listening, they receive a “sad face point”.

At the end of the day, we count up how many happy vs. how many sad face points and if they earned more happy face than sad face points, they receive a pair of eyes that I draw on the white board next to our big eyeballs. I set a number of eyes to aim for and once they get that many pairs, they earn a reward as a class. Usually in the beginning of the year, I set the number of pairs at 10 in order to get a reward and then later on in the year, students have to earn 15 or 20 eyeball pairs in order to receive a class reward.

Behavior Management Systems You Need in Your Classroom

Table Groups: “Quit Monkeyin’ Around”

I use the table group system when I notice certain tables showing a desired behavior. I like to use positive reinforcement and compliment one table to encourage other tables to then want that reinforcement also. For this system, I give “table points” by hanging a monkey on the corresponding table’s hanging sign. Whichever table has the most points at the end of the day (before free play) gets to start free play first. This system is important as it encourages students to work together at their tables.

Individual: “Roarin’ to Learn” Clip Chart

Behavior Management Systems You Need in Your ClassroomFor individual behavior, I use a popular system, a clip chart. Every student has a clip and begins each day on green. As individual students are following rules, trying their best, etc, I ask them to move their clip up. They can move up three times on my chart. At the top of my chart I have a ribbon and when students move their clip up to the ribbon, they have reached the top of the clip chart and had the very best behavior for the day. Students get to the ribbon when they go above and beyond normal good behavior.

On the flip side, when students need reminders and warnings, they are asked the move their clips down. The first time they move it down, it serves as just a warning and no consequence is given. When they get to orange, they miss five minutes of free play and red is when I contact their parent.

What I love about this system is that students are never stuck on one color of the chart. If they’ve needed a couple warnings but turned their behavior around, they are asked to move their clips back up and can end the day on a good behavior color. I consider green and above a good behavior color. At the end of the day, we record our color and at the end of the week, I send the slip home for parents to see. Students really respond to this system and are proud when they work hard to get to a top chart color.

Resources

Check out my behavior bundle resource in my TpT store. This bundle has everything you need for behavior management in your classroom!

Behavior Management Systems You Need in Your Classroom

What behavior management systems work best in your classrooms?