Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Sale & TPT Giveaway!

I've got lots of reasons to celebrate this weekend! Not only am I honoring those that gave their lives in active military service, but my husband's birthday is today and it's a 3-day weekend!! We're heading to Vegas tomorrow to spend two days with my brother-n-law and his wife that are flying in from Indiana! Vegas Baby! I'm overdue! 

So celebrate with me! Some of my teacher friends and I are giving away a $25 TpT gift certificate to spend any way you wish! See details below! 

Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/4/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Everything in my TpT store is also 20% off through Monday!
Visit my store {here} and stock up for next year school year!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Solution to Holiday Themed Organization/Storage

As the school year winds down (4 more days), I tend to reflect on what has worked for me and what hasn't....and then I make changes! One thing that finally worked for me this year is my holiday themed organization! I finally LOVE it! 

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you might remember this post where I tried this! At the time, I thought it was the best thing ever!
Well it didn't work for me! Storing 3 months worth of holiday materials in one box and having to leave the box beside my desk for 3 months just wasn't cutting it! 

So then I tried these containers and had one for each month. What was I thinking? Fail! Which is why I don't have a photo of them in action! 
Well they say 3 times is a charm! And I must agree! 

This year I decided to invest in this baby and I must say the end of my dilemma is here! 
 It has worked perfectly and conveniently!
I got this 15-drawer organizer from here. It has the 10 skinny drawers like this traditional styled organizer typically has, plus 5 deep drawers for your holidays that you generally have more resources for. 

Our biggest and longest holiday celebrations occur in October, November, December, January and February; so these deep drawers were perfect for storing all of my centers, resources, books, notepads, stickers, etc. for these popular celebration months that tend to stretch beyond just a 1-day celebration.   

For the other 10 drawers, I needed less space to store my materials as these celebrations are only 1-day celebrations. For these drawers, I organized as Back to School, Groundhog Day, St. Patty's Day, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Easter, Multi-cultural/Earth Day, Mother's Day, Presidents/Flag holidays, and 100th Day of School....and because I had alot of resources for Christmas, it worked out perfectly that I had a small drawer left for my overflow of Christmas resources! 

I love my new system! It has worked so well for me this year that I'm hoping it can work just as well for you!!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

10-day Staff Countdown

The end of the year is here!!! Do a fun 10-day countdown with your teaching team or other staff members! Every year I do a 10-day summer countdown for my students, so this year I thought it would be fun to do a 10-day countdown for my two teaching assistants. 

This is what I will be giving them each day!

Day 10
Xtra Gum
Day 9
Day 8
Day 7
Day 6
Day 5
Day 4
Cool beach clips
Day 3
100 Grand

Day 2 

Day 1

"Endless Weekend!" 
So perfect for the occasion!!

If you'd like to do this, grab the labels for FREE!
 All you'll need now is: 
100 Grand candybar
Bottle/can of tea
Some sort of cool "clips"
Xtra gum
Mini donuts
You can also use these gifts and tags for individual gift giving too!

Nine more days for me! 

Happy Summer Countdown, 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Summer Countdown Blog Hop!

Summer is a'coming!!! I have only 10 1/2 days left with my students, which means we'll be starting our 10-day balloon countdown on Tuesday! Some of us have gotten together to share some of our tips and freebies with you to help your summer countdown end smoothly!

My summer countdown tip is....Don't start your countdown too soon or begin tearing down your room. I like to do a 10-day countdown or less. Students are already beginning to check out, and once they see bulletin boards being torn down or things being packed up, you might as well call it a year, because they will! Keep your students engaged in learning until the end. 

 A couple of years ago, I started doing a 10-day balloon countdown in my room and it seems to be the all-time favorite! What makes it so fun is not only do I choose the best behaved students to pop the balloon each day, each balloon has a slip of paper in it with some sort of fun activity that we do that day! You can easily shorten this to less days too. 

Click on the picture to download 20 activities for your balloon countdown!

You may also like this summer countdown that I used to use before I started doing the balloon countdown! You can also download it for free! 

Another tip to ending your year smoothly, is to get a head start on next year so you're not so overwhelmed come August or September! I'm going to help you do just that, by giving you a chance to win this USB Flashdrive Bracelet loaded with products for next year!! 

Two winners will be chosen! Bracelets will be loaded with 6 products of your choice from my store and shipped directly to you! Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents! 

Cheers to a smooth ending and a happy summer!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Creating a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

Behaviors can be one of the most frustrating and challenging aspects of our teaching career. Let's face it, we all want students that listen, follow directions, and do everything we request of them, right!? Of course, that's easy! But that's not reality! We always have 1 or 2 difficult kids that haven't acquired the appropriate behaviors needed to learn in the classroom. 

Behavior must take priority over academics for these students. Because if a student doesn't know how to learn, no learning will occur. You will only end up with frustrated teachers and students. You must set academics aside and focus only on behaviors for these students. For example, for a student that is generally non-compliant when reading his word cards, rather than focus on getting the word correct, focus on and reinforce the student for compliance. So let's say the word is "kite" and the child says "kit." You might say, "I love how you followed directions when I asked you to read the word. Awesome job!" We're not worried about the student getting the word right at this point, because we are teaching compliance with this student. 

The first step to shaping behaviors in our classroom, is to create a PLAN!! Just like with academics, we use data to drive instruction and guide our lessons. The same is true for teaching behaviors! We use our data to plan our behavioral instruction for our special behavioral students. It's just like teaching reading, but we're teaching behaviors. 

Let's create a behavior intervention plan!!!

So the first thing you'll need to do is conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA). This will assist you in analyzing when and why the behavior is occurring...the FUNCTION of the behavior, which is the most important for shaping a behavior. An ABC Data Collection Form can be a very effective and simple FBA tool. You can click here to access the ABC data form that I use. Once open, just hold down your ctrl and p key to open your print screen, and print in landscape. To be honest, most of the time I don't even need to complete an FBA, because it is pretty obvious what the function of their behavior is. But the ABC sheet is helpful if their function still remains a mystery. 

Once you have discovered the function of the behavior, you will need to conduct a reinforcement assessment. What are powerful reinforcers for the student that will provide them with incentives to want to learn? What do they love? What do they always want to play with and do?

Now you need a lesson plan, just like you'd use for teaching...also known as a BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan). How will you teach the behavior? When will you teach it? What strategies will you use? What will the replacement behavior look like? Will you use a token system? Point system? Money system? 

While writing a BIP seems to be a strenuous task for many teachers, just think of it as a lesson plan for teaching a behavior. 

Here is a sample of  a good BIP. 

I have included a blank version in a downloadable file below so that you can print and use this template to write your own BIP. 

For students with minor behaviors like blurting out or staying in their seat, you might find that a less formal BIP is needed. Here is an informal BIP template.

Here is a sample of how I might complete this informal BIP for my student that blurts out.

I always say though, that the BIP is only as good as the paper it's written on!!! Meaning that anyone can write a BIP, but if it's not implemented with fidelity, it won't make a difference! Work with your implementing teachers to ensure they have the tools needed to implement the BIP with fidelity and to take data on the effectiveness of the plan!

You can click here for a downloadable copy of all of the resources above. I hope these resources will assist you with creating an effective behavior plan for your student(s). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments. If you're looking for student specific behavioral assistance you can also fill out the "Behavior Buzz with the Bender Bunch" form on my top right sidebar. 

Look for my Ultimate Behavior Kit that is set to be released the end of June!!! It will include all sorts of behavior recording sheets for teachers, self-monitoring sheets for students, observation sheets, token boards, and more detailed information on creating the most effective BIP for your students! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of you!!! It's the one week of the school year where many teachers actually get to feel appreciated and get to be spoiled! Our PTO and Sunshine Club always go out of their way to place little treats in our mailboxes each day and have lunch catered each day! Today was a taco bar! Yum! I hope your school spoils you, because you deserve it! 

I'd love to show my appreciation to teachers too! Not just to my fellow colleagues, but to the teachers that have made a difference in the lives of my own children, and to those that continue to put in countless and unselfish hours to make learning meaningful and a great experience for their students. Hours that they take away from their own families. Hours that they take away from their own after school or weekend fun. Hours that they lie in bed each night thinking about how their lesson will go tomorrow. Hours that they spend thinking about how to get through to that ONE student. This is what teachers do!!!  

And to show my appreciation...I'm hosting a giveaway on my Facebook page every day this week!!! Visit my FB page every evening at through Friday and enter to win daily prizes! Each day the prizes get bigger! Winners will be announced each night!! Thanks for all you do to make a difference in the lives of your students! I appreciate YOU!

Thank a teacher!!!