Monday, April 30, 2012

Pirates Are Savvy Students

Pirate Test Taking Strategies Power Point Lesson
Aargh! We be a week out from PASS, Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, and the mutiny is on.  As the teachers try to get the last little bit of standards taught, me and me mateys are strategizn' a Pep Rally, it be next Monday.  Presently, we be hijackin' each of the classes to be teachin' Test Takin' Strategies.  This year we be usin' a Pirate theme and makin' a booty of a power point for our lesson.  

Me boys and girl always be a fascinated with pirates, so me hearties be keepin' plenty o' pirate costumes in our dress-up trunk.  Ol' Pirate Privette dressed up in me finest garb and be makin' up an elaborate story to introduce test takin' strategies:
  "Ahoy their mateys! I be lookin' for a new crew and made me way here to this land.  Are ye wonderin' where me crew went? Aye, me crew all abandoned ship and left me with nothin'!  Shiver me timbers if ye be believn' that story.  No, those scoundrels walked the plank 'cause they couldn' pass the test!  So I be lookin' for me  a new crew.  Who in here would be likin' to sign up?  Well first ye have to pass the test...what test ye ask?  Well some people like to call it the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, but we all know what it really stands for......oh ye don' know do stands for: Pirates Are Savvy Students!"
Aye, me be a singin' pirate too!  The lesson be beginin' with an ol' pirate favorite:


Just so ye know, after me singin', I be sharin' the pirate code so students know how to be passin' the test.  They be learnin' lots o' strategies to be figurin' out the right answers!  Ye know testin' aint for the lily-livered, so I be lighten'n it up with a few pirate jokes too :) "Cept I be tellin' them if they don' know the answers, they be walkin' the plank!

I be leavin' them this here poster so as to not forget what I be teachn' them. 

"And after ye be finished passin' the test, I will  be back for me new crew!"
"Yo ho. Yo ho. A Pirate's Life for Me!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Behavior Bucks and Behavior Modification

It's been hard to be creative lately because I am feeling so overwhelmed.  What I seem to be working on the most is helping students reach specific behavior goals.  So I thought I would share some things that I have implemented with a couple of my students.  Recently the girl drama in third grade has spiked.  Specifically, one little girl seems to be having drama with just about all of the girls in her class.  I've seen her individually, I've seen her with the girls, even the assistant principal has been called in as the girl drama is becoming a disturbance in the learning environment.  So I saw this credit card idea on Pinterest and decided to give it a go.  What girl doesn't like having her own credit card and going shopping?

So I met with the little girl and we discussed the many times that the girl drama has been popping up lately and together we came up with a goal and an incentive plan to reach that goal.  She realized that she needed to work on the what she said to others and how she said it.  I shared with her what it means to "THINK" before you speak (also found on Pinterest).  We then made her a credit card with the "THINK" image on the back.
 Everyday her credit card is "loaded" with $125 of behavior bucks.  Basically that means she gets 5 skinny sticky tabs worth $25 each, every morning.  Her goal is to keep those behavior bucks (AKA sticky tabs.)

If she gets involved in any girl  drama, a sticky tab is taken by the teacher - no discussion, no ifs, ands, or buts.    At the end of the day she gets to keep the remaining behavior bucks.  When she has earned $500 worth of behavior bucks, she gets to come shopping at Mrs. Privette's Shopping Palace Emporium (AKA my office filled with different cheap or donated prizes labeled anywhere from $100-$500.)  I got her credit card laminated and she LOVES it.  She has already been shopping once and the girl drama has had a dramatic decrease!

Another student I have been working with seems to have a problem staying in his seat. His teacher says he is out of his seat at least 10 times a day.  His grades are definitely not a reflection of what he is capable of doing.  His teacher feels if we could just get him to stay seated, his focus may be more on his work.  So I met with this student, reviewed his grades, discussed how many times the teacher is calling his name to go back to his seat and he agreed to work towards a goal of staying in his seat.
So this student starts out each morning with 3 "I can get out of my seat for no reason" coupons .  If he gets out of his seat when he is not asked to, the teacher collects one coupon.  His goal is to save up (not use) 10 coupons  Once he has 10 coupons, he can trade them to come spend recess with me.  We plan on playing a game together.  Everyday, after school, he seeks me out to tell me how many more coupons he has earned.  Looks like we will be playing a game together tomorrow!