Monday, July 18, 2011

Accelerated Reader Rewards

Need help motivating your students to read and take Accelerated Reader tests?  These rewards and reward cards do that!  By using this reward system many students will have at least 100 points by the time the school year ends!  By using this reward system my first graders will read no less than 200 books during the school year!  And we all know that the more a child reads the better they get at it!
The Accelerated Reader Rewards include:

5 points = Bookmark
10 points = Candy
15 points = Pencil
1st Nine Weeks Goal & 85% Comprehension Score = Invitation to Coke and Extra Recess Party
20 points = Pick from the Treasure Chest
25 points = Free Computer Lab Pass
35 points = Bracelet
50 points = Free Homework Pass
2nd Nine Weeks Goal & 85% Comprehension Score = Invitation to Hot Chocolate and Extra Recess Party
65 points = Water Bottle
75 points = AR T-Shirt
3rd Nine Weeks Goal & 85% Comprehension Score = Invitation to Popsicle and Extra Recess Party
85 points = Eat with Teacher on Last Day of School!
100 points = Crown
4th Nine Weeks Goal & 85% Comprehension Score = Invitation to Pizza and Extra Recess Party
200 points = Super Reader Wal-Mart Gift Card

Here are some pictures of the reward cards:

Click Here to Download

Money, Money, Money!

I have had a lot of questions from teachers asking me if I have to spend my own money to furnish these AR prizes for my students.  Well the answer is I have actually done it both ways.   In the past I had to buy all the prizes I gave out 100% out of my pocket.  The last couple of years our school’s PTA is giving each teacher $100 dollars for their AR prizes. I will give you a breakdown on how I get away with spending the least amount of money on these prizes.  It’s just some frugal tips I have learned over the years.
First off there are prizes on the list that will cost you NOTHING out of your pocket such as the free computer lab pass, free homework pass, extra recess, and eat with teacher prizes.  Even though they cost nothing out of pocket these prizes are usually the ones the students get the most excited about!
Now for the bookmarks, pencils, bracelets, and crowns I purchase them from the Oriental Trading website.  I can usually find great deals in that catalog or online.  I always look for which items I get the most of for the least amount of money.  I purchase all these together because they usually offer a promotion where if you spend a certain amount of money you get free shipping.
The candy and treasure chest gift are really easy gifts to give out.  I always have candy in my candy jar and I have my treasure chest stocked and ready to go at all times.
I have different frugal tips on each of the goal parties.  For the coke party I just buy a couple different 2-liters and the students get one cup full of coke.  For the hot chocolate party I buy a can of hot chocolate mix and combine it with water in my crockpot.  Each student gets one cup full of hot chocolate.  The popsicles I buy for the popsicle party are the super cheap popsicles where you just cut the top off of them.  Finally, for the pizza party each student will get a slice of pizza.  The pizza treat is more like a snack instead of a meal.  I buy the 5 dollar pizza from Little Caesars and have them cut the pizza into 10 slices instead of 8.  Usually the students are so excited about the extra recess they get with each party, that they scarf their treat down and then go outside and play.  J
Finally, the most expensive items are the water bottles and gift cards.  I have found the water bottles for a dollar each the past couple years at Target in their dollar section.  I can usually only buy them at the beginning of a new school year. 
I usually don’t have many Wal-mart gift cards to give out – and those that I do give out only have 5 dollars on them.  
Our PTA has always given out AR t-shirts to students at our school – so this is something that they provide for me.  But if you don’t have a PTA that supports your classroom – you could always have each student bring an old white t-shirt to school and everyone could paint and decorate them together.  The students would totally love that!  
It does seem like a lot of prizes – and it’s totally supposed to for the kids - but it ends up not being too hard on the wallet and such a great motivator for the students to read!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Curriculum Map

I finally have my 11-12 school year units, spelling lists, and word family lists mapped out! 

Here is a picture of what my curriculum map looks like.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Calendar Sheets

Around the second semester during calendar time I have my students fill in a “calendar sheet” as part of their morning work.  Then during calendar time we go through the sheet together as a class.  This calendar sheet covers an enormous amount of first grade math skills in just one shot!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Classroom Website

I am constantly adding more information to my classroom webpage that I think would be beneficial for my parents to have access to at all times.  This resource is awesome for my parents to have and is also a great time saving resource for me to have and use all year long.  For example, during my parent meeting at the beginning of the school year I give my parents detailed instructions and show them how to get to my website.  Then I just go through the content that is posted on my website at my parent meeting.  If they ever forget or need to look up any important classroom information they have a place they can find it!  My parents love having this resource!

Here is just some of the information posted on my site:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Autobiography Project

At the end of each school year I have my students write an Autobiography.  This Autobiography project is a great writing activity!  It is also a wonderful keepsake for their parents to keep for many years to come.

Here are some pictures of the completed autobiography books!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Accelerated Reader Posters

Accelerated Reader is a program that is highly used at the school I teach at.  I have used Accelerated Reader in many ways but this year I am changing it up a little.  The first change I am making is the students are going to be setting individual nine weeks goals.  Each student will be responsible for reaching their goal that is tailored to their reading needs.  Secondly, I am going to make sure that the students are NOT using their books during their AR test.  You know you have those couple students that always try to sneak a peek.  Or those students that didn’t even read the book and are trying to take a test on it!  Finally, I am going to make sure that when they take their test that they mark the correct way they read their book, either independently, with someone, or the book was read to them.  This will really help me keep track if they are having comprehension problems where the breakdown begins.  If you use Accelerated Reader in your classroom what are some of the things that you implement?

I have made two different posters that will be hung next to my classroom computers.

This first sign is attached to a basket where they will place their book in before they take their test to insure they are not using it while they take the test.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Subscribe to My Blog!!!

I just started my blog today and would LOVE to have you follow my blog!!

Good things are yet to come!  :)

Easy to Use Printable Lesson Plan Template

Take it from me - doing your lesson plans on your computer saves a huge amount of time.  Not only is it convenient but if you save your lesson plans each week you can easily pull it up the following year.  I have created an easy to use and adaptable lesson plan template.  The template is on my Teachers Pay Teacher site! 

Here is a picture of what my week to week lesson plans look like:

FREE File Folder Games

This website has FREE printable File Folder Games in color!  You can print games for grades K-3.  I use this website all the time to get free games for my classroom.