Reflect and Refresh ~ Part 1 Looking Back

I know I'm a bit late - but every summer my family and I begin our time off with a trip to the beach to decompress and then we're off to Gator football camp for my son!   

During that time, I do have a lot running around in my brain from school.  So I can relax, I write all these things down in lists.  That way, I don't have to keep thinking about it to remember it, it's safely stored in my notebook.  :)

Now my thoughts can also be safely stored here which is why
this fabulous link-up from Mrs. D's Corner is perfect for me!

We are getting a new principal this fall.  We don't yet know who that person will be either.  Since I teach both Special Needs and ELA, I do not know what the new principal will want me to teach. That makes it hard for me to do any real planning but I still think about it and lay out my ideas for whatever may come.

  • I did well with the weekly e-mail newsletters.  I need to remember to keep them short and simple.
  • Edmodo and Remind:  I need to make these a bigger part of my classes.  In fact, I think I'll devote a class day to taking all my classes to the computers and getting them all to sign up right then and there!
  • Organization is my nemesis but this year, using a drawer for each day's materials helped - well.... as long as I used the drawers.  
  • I had one place for all papers for each class to be turned in and one place for all papers that I had graded.  This helped A LOT.  I will definitely be keeping this system.
  • Tickets:  this is what I used for my behavior/reward system.  It took me all year, but I finally got it down to a science!  
I give out tickets to students for correct answers, 100% on work (2 tickets), 90% or better (1 ticket), good behavior and other positive actions.  Students put their name on the tickets and then placed them in their class' bucket.

Then on Friday, I do a drawing.  The students can take the "sure thing" - a piece of candy from my jar - or they can try their luck with one of my 3 boxes.

2 boxes had "good" prizes like a bag of chips or a full-size candy bar, but 1 box always had a "zonker" - a school supply like a pencil or eraser.

How many tickets do I draw, you ask?  That's the beauty part that took me all year to tweak!  What I do is keep a tally for each class.  As a class, if they are cooperative, I add a tally mark.  If they are uncooperative, I put one on "my" side.

On Friday, I calculate the difference between the sides and that is the number of tickets I draw!  So in the picture above, Period 1 will get one ticket draw.  

The kids love this system and love seeing who gets "zonked"!  Definitely a great strategy for me!

  • We use the SpringBoard curriculum with all our Language Arts classes.  I have definitely learned a lot about it and want to see if I can build on it with writing centers - which is also my Big Summer Project...
There are so many writing skills that I teach with INB and I thought, "Why not try making centers to practice these skills for Middle School?"  So that's what I am going to do!  That should keep me busy, eh?  :)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I love it and cost will be manageable. Zonkers are my fave on Lets Make a Deal!!!


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