|Coat hook labels|
Along with sharing my student labels, I thought I'd also post something about my seating arrangement. We change desks a lot in my class (about every 3 weeks) for a couple of reasons: 1. it allows the students to work with a variety of classmates, 2. table groups can only sit together for so long before conflict arises, 3. I like to mix it up for our Team Challenge Competition. Each week the students earn tally points for their "team" (table group) for answering questions correctly, being the first group cleaned up, waiting quietly, etc. Teams can also lose points for calling out, being off-task, arguing, disrespectful behavior, etc. On Friday the team with the most points wins either a prize from the treasure box (trinkets the kids go nuts for), a No Homework coupon, or a Lunch with Mrs. Lawler coupon. I find the Team Challenge Competition is one of the best motivators for quality work and proper behavior - they are motivated by not only the incentive, but also the positive peer pressure from their group.
Last year my groups were colors, but this year, I've decided to go with continents! It will fit in my theme and will also be a good geography reinforcement all year. Here are my labels - I printed them out on card stock, backed them onto green construction paper, and then laminated them. I bought the little photo stands at Target in the Dollar Spot (my home away from home!)
Now I won't have 7 table groups, so I'm going to use 4 of them for the groups and then place one at my desk, one in the library - the students can say they're "off to Europe for some light reading" :) and here's my plan for Antarctica:
If a student is having trouble working in his group, then he can take a hopper flight down to Antarctica for a few quiet moments to "cool down." When he is reading to re-join his group, he can try sitting down once again. It's not exactly a "time out" seat, but more of a reflection time where students can regain composure and perspective and practice what I tell them all of the time - "choose your battles!"
*If you want copies of the continent labels, just leave a comment with your e-mail and I'll send them to you!*
I also found these small divided containers that I'll use when passing out special supplies, such as dry erase markers, crazy scissors, glue, glitter, etc. They can also be used for centers or to hold spare regular supplies for the table group:
Side note: my students are not always in groups - at times I have them in partners or in a large U shape (when we do our drama unit in reading). If they're not in groups, I take down my Team Challenge Competition tally chart and hand out tickets to reinforce positive behavior. I give each student an envelope and it is their responsibility to keep track of their tickets. If a ticket is found on the floor with no name on it, it is fair game. If an envelope is lost, I replace the envelope, but the student starts over with 0 tickets. This teaches them to keep track of their tickets very quickly! I buy my tickets at Staples (or Wal-Mart) and they come in a roll of 2000. I usually use 2 rolls for the entire year.
Here is my Ticket Redemption chart
Well that's it for now - check back again soon!